Turns out fourth time was the charm for our 24 hours in Savannah trip. This trip was first scheduled in Spring 2020 (pandemic cancel), was rescheduled to December 2020 (pandemic cancel), then December 2021 (stress cancel), and, finally, finally, it happened in January 2022. I’m not sure a trip has ever waited so long to happen (besides, perhaps, our now cancelled-again Israel trip), but it was worth the wait, and, now, I can’t wait to go back and work my way through the dozens of recommendations I got from Instagram followers and friends.
Travel Guide: 24 Hours in Savannah
Why’d we spend just 24 hours in Savannah? Our schedule this winter was jam packed and, with a flight just over an hour, it seemed realistic to get there and back in a day, rather than stretch ourselves trying to sandwich the trip between other obligations. Plus, y’all know I love a quick getaway so I can maintain my routine, while still getting to explore new places. It was totally doable and we felt like we were able to pack everything we wanted to do in, without feeling too rushed. I’d highly recommend as a quick trip from anywhere on the East Coast.
How to Get to There from DC and Get Around: 24 Hours in Savannah
I’ve written here before about Southwest Companion Pass, which we still have and use almost any time we fly domestically. We flew BWI to SAV, which was a quick flight, and we were able to get in around 11 a.m. the first day, and leave early afternoon the next. We caught an uber from the airport to downtown, and we walked the entire time we were there. Savannah is designed around 22 town squares, which makes it lovely for walkability.
Where to Stay in Savannah
We stayed at the Andez in downtown Savannah because Adam had a free Hyatt night. It was centrally located and, while I typically prefer a boutique hotel, this did the job (and we got upgraded to a suite!).
When to Go for a Winter Weekend in Savannah
We went the last weekend of January and had perfect weather. Lows were probably in upper 40s/low 50s, and highs were in the 60s/low 70s. For someone who hates the heat, this was the perfect time to go South.
Day One: 24 Hours in Savannah
Stop One: Brunch at Collins Quarter
Collins Quarter came recommended by no less than twenty people when I crowd sourced recommendations on Instagram. It’s Instagram-friendly, for sure, which I can go either way on, but it was a fantastic first stop. I knew this would be a heavy 24 hours of eating and drinking, and Collins Quarter had lighter, more nutritious options, which made me feel like I was getting some veggies and protein in. I opted for the Tabouleh Grain Bowl, while Adam went all in on Southern cuisine from minute one with the Pork Belly Benedict. I also decided to ease into the day with a coffee and ordered a Thai Iced Coffee.
Stop Two: Stroll Through Forsyth Park
After lunch, as we tried to figure out our next stop (only our meals and drinks were planned), we strolled through the iconic Forsyth Park. The oldest public park in Savannah, this Spanish-moss covered, lush land covers 30 acres. Whenever people ask me for my thoughts on Charleston v. Savannah, I always tell them that, while I love the food scene in Charleston and it’s a much larger city, there is just something about the lush squares that wins me over.
Stop Three: Shopping Along Whitaker Street
While I had gotten a slew of shopping recommendations for Savannah, it actually wasn’t in my itinerary. We stumbled upon Whitaker Street after popping in the heralded Alex Raskin Antiques, a dusty treasure trove which resides in the Noble Hardee Mansion. We popped in Hannah E., Brick House Interiors, Stone Lords, Courtland & Co., and One Fish Two Fish.
Stop Four: Tour of the Mercer Williams House
Embarrassingly, I owned a copy of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, but I’d never actually read it. I knew, however, that a tour of the Mercer Williams House was a must during our time in Savannah. The story speaks to all of Savannah’s Southern gothic roots — but with a true story that didn’t happen but so long ago. Jim Williams bought the Greek and Renaissance Revival mansion in 1969 in dire need of repair. Over the next several decades, Williams, a lauded preservationist, saved over 50 homes in downtown Savannah. But, in the 80s, he shot his lover in the study of the home and launched an 8-year trial that captivated Savannah — and the attention of a journalist who turned the case into Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. In 1990, the story was turned into a feature film and Savannah’s tourism took off. However, Jim Williams didn’t live to see the acclaim. He died of a heart attack in this study, shortly after being acquitted
Also, the Mercer Williams House gift shop is incredibly curated. Definitely arrive a few minutes early to check it out.
Stop Five: Grab a Mid-Afternoon Sweet Treat
After standing in the steps of a murderer, we needed something to sweeten up the afternoon, so we strolled over to another square and grabbed a few truffles from Chocolate by Adam Turoni. I chose a Mexican Mayan Truffle and a Caramel Habanero Truffle, both of which I’d highly recommend — along with a mild afternoon sitting amidst the camellias.
Stop Six: Drinks at Artillery Bar
We ran by the hotel to change, then immediately headed back out for drinks (have to make the most of a 24-hour trip!). Artillery Bar was one of my favorite stops of our trip, with its sultry, sophisticated atmosphere and incredibly complex cocktails. We snagged a comfy sofa seat, got a few snacks, and perused the extensive cocktail menu. Up first, I ordered the Coffee and Cigarettes, which sounded right up my alley with smoky and sweet flavors. Ingredients included cardamaro, St. George coffee liqueur, angostura bitters, and egg white, and it was just as delicious as it sounds. Since I typically am a one to two drink a night person, my next ‘cocktail’ was a non-alcoholic concoction that the bartender came up with going off my request for smoky, spicy, and fresh. We stayed here almost two hours, people watching and sipping. 100% recommend.
Stop Seven: Appetizers and Drinks that The Olde Pink House
I was in Savannah several years ago for a friend’s birthday and the next two stops mimicked exactly what we did on that trip. We stopped by the basement tavern at the Olde Pink House, which is perhaps the darkest bar you’ll ever go in. You can only imagine the 18th century stories these walls could tell, the rendezvous that occurred, and the secrets they hold. Order the sweet potatoes, even if you’re just there for snacks. Trust me. A dark beer and these dessert-worthy sweet potatoes was my dream come true.
Stop Eight: Dinner at The Grey
We capped our night with the entire reason for this trip. Adam wanted to go to The Grey after seeing it on Chef’s Table, and I had gone back in 2016, pre-Netflix hype. I’ll be honest, looking at the menu, I was questioning our decision to do the tasting menu rather than eating at the bar a la carte, but it lived up to all expectations. To start, we had scallop crudo and beef carpaccio, then carrots with fekeh and sweetbreads, then the best duck I’ve ever had in my life and lamb. We finished it off with a take on s’mores for desserts. The presentation, the service, the flavors. All of it was incredible. Plus, they send you on your way with a tootsie roll, my favorite and, apparently, Mashama Bailey’s, too.
Day Two: 24 Hours in Savannah
First Stop: The Paris Market
Obviously, I needed to see what all the hype was around Paris Market. So, we grabbed coffees (a rose latte for me) and perused the two story curated take on a flea market. Here’s the deal: it’s beautiful, no doubt. There’s inspiration around every corner. But I saw a small vase version of a ceramic lamp I have — same brand, same exact print — for $312. I paid $10. That is an insane markup, and it made me question every vintage item in there. I’d feel much better buying new items there, and I did. I couldn’t resist their Savannah candle after smelling it the evening before in the bathroom at The Grey.
Second Stop: Waffles at Mirabelle
Next up, we’d worked up an appetite walking around, so I was thrilled to try out the darling Mirabelle, which is both a charming restaurant and a boutique hotel. No surprise here, I got the s’mores waffle (I can never turn down a s’mores flavor!). It was indulgent, and more of a dessert than a breakfast. In an ideal world, I’d actually stop by here for lunch, grabbing one of their paninis then splitting a waffle for dessert.
Third Stop: Davenport House Museum
Eager to squeeze in another historic home, we went by the Davenport House Museum, which was shocking as a representation of a middle class 19th century home. Most of us hear about servants and enslaved people, and neglect to realize that it wasn’t only the super wealthy who lived like this. Middle class people did as well. This tour was equal parts dark honesty about the fact there were enslaved people here and the brutal reality that many, if not most, women of this era died in childbirth, while also showcasing the striking home of an architect, with its impressive detail (and the wallpaper!).
Fourth Stop: Walk Around Savannah
With a few hours to burn, we simply walked around, taking in the scenes and the architecture of the neighborhoods and squares.
While we were strolling, we stumbled upon V&J Duncan map shop, which had come recommended by several people, including fellow blogger Caroline. I didn’t find any maps that grabbed me, except that I found several vintage editions from Julius Bien’s map shop. We’re not related, to my knowledge, but he’s, perhaps, the only famous character in history who shares my last name.
Stop Six: A Rooftop Drink at Perry Lane Hotel
We made one last stop before grabbing our bags and an uber back to the airport: a rooftop drink at Peregrin at Perry Lane Hotel. This was a bit at odds with the rest of our historic, Southern gothic weekend, with its bright colors and upbeat vibe, but it would be perfect if you were in town for a bachelorette party (like the table next to us!).
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