Monday, November 9, 2015

Get lost for days on the charming cobblestone streets of Savannah.
(Photo:
Thinkstock)In terms of small Southern cities, Charleston always rakes in the
accolades.
Perhaps it"s to Savannah"s credit that it remains a humble runner
up.Still, in our opinion, Savannah should receive equal praise.
The booming
nightlife, up-and-coming art scene, epicurean delights and beguiling ghostly
history are all reasons to visit this coastal getaway.
But, it"s the
enchanting Southern hospitality, like the hotel loaning a car for longer than
allowed or the waitress telling you to get the best pralines at a different
restaurant down the street, that greets you at every cobblestone step and
perfectly manicured square that makes any trip to the city
one-of-a-kind."Every local is eager to dish out his or her favorite jaunt,
tidbit or historical fact making Savannah an escape filled with impromptu tour
guides.
With the Savannah Food and Wine Festival kicking off November 9 and
shoulder season in full swing (aka lower rates for accommodations), there"s no
better time to visit one of the country"s oldest and most beautiful
cities.Here"s our guide to the perfect visit to Savannah:Where to stayAlthough
millions of visitors descend on the mini metropolis each year, colorful
Victorian-style bed and breakfasts overshadow many of the major hotel
chains.
Places like the magnolia-framed Hamilton-Turner Inn (starting at $239
a night), aka the "Grand Victorian Lady," greet you with gourmet snacks, host
breakfast each day in the formal dining room, and have rooms and suites that
retain elements of décor from its 1873 origination."Don"t even think
about staying in a chain here.
Savannah has more to offer.
(Photo:
Hamilton-Turner Inn)You don"t even have to step beyond the hotel"s front steps
for a mini history lesson of the area.
Not only was it the first home in
Savannah to have electricity, but also was the residence of the real life Joe
Odom, a party boy made famous by his depiction in the book Midnight in the
Garden of Good and Evil.
Just steps from the famous Forest Gump bench scene
filmed in Chippewa Square sits another former 19th century home now called
Ballastone Inn (starting at $249 a night) that has housed virtually every
celebrity like Paul Newman, Matt Damon and Kevin Spacey while they filmed in
town.
You can easily walk to the nearby antique shops and busy River Street
during the day before retiring to a four-poster bed and fireplace overlooking
a courtyard in the evening.
Make sure to check their website for special fall
deals taking place right now."The Marshall House, a 68-room hotel on Broughton
Street has one of the best locations in town.
(Photo: The Marshall
House)
Other stunning options include The Marshall House (starting at $254 a
night), Planters Inn (starting at $129 a night) and Mansion on Forsyth Park
(starting at $189 a night).Where to eatEqually as impressive as the Southern
hospitality is the Low Country cooking.
And nothing says home cooked comfort
food like the famous Mrs.
Wilkes (107 W.
Jones St).
Only open weekdays from
11am-2pm, the line starts to form at 10am for the first seating."Once inside
you"ll be treated to an endless supply of family-style Southern staples like
macaroni and cheese, collared greens, candied yams, black-eyed peas, biscuits
and, of course, juicy fried chicken.
Sitting next to strangers and bussing
your own dishes is all just part of the authentic allure of the family style
dining experience.For the more high society Southern meal The Olde Pink House
(23 Abercorn St.), which is literally situated in an old pink mansion, serves
up a more modern take on the classic cuisine and hosts live music in the
cellar tavern bar.Elizabeth on 37th (105 E.
37th St.) is equally as elegant
with its focus on coastal cuisine and locally grown produce.Of course there is
absolutely no shortage of tasty lunch spots.
Crystal Beer Parlor (301 W.
Jones
St.), Zunzi"s (108 E.
York St.) and Fire Street Food (13 E.
Perry St.) are all
delicious stops for a midday snack If you have room for dessert (and who
doesn"t), be sure to check out the popular Leopold"s Ice Cream (212 E
Broughton St.), which makes its one-batch flavors exactly as they did when
they first opened in 1919.What to do:With 22 green squares, over 20 museums,
countless ghost tales and zero open container laws, there"s a lot packed into
this relatively small place."Fans of the famous""Midnight in the Garden of
Good and Evil" should make sure to stop by the official gift shop.
(Photo: Jo
Piazza)You can easily navigate the Spanish moss draped streets hopping from
square to square while stopping into the various mom-and-pop shops.Make sure
to check out one of the city"s 10,000 artifacts housed in museums like the
Telfair Academy (home to the famous Statue of the Bird Girl from Midnight in
the Garden of Good and Evil), the Juliette Gordon Low birthplace and Ralph
Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum.
Companies like Old Town Trolley Tours and
Savannah Bike Tours make it easy to learn about all these spots in just a
couple of hours.It"s really been the presence of The Savannah College of Art
and Design, aka SCAD, that has made art a staple of any trip to Savannah with
many of the best Southern artists flocking here to live and work.
Get lost in
Savannah City Market where more than 50 local artists are represented, many
with their own small studios in the space.And with all of the history,
cemeteries and gravestones that date back to pre-Revolutionary days, it"s not
surprising the amount of paranormal presence that Savannah claims to have.
To
learn about the city"s most infamous ghostly encounters, take a spin in an
actual hearse as the Hearse Ghost Tours terrifies you with tales of murder,
war and revenge.
Even if you choose to skip out on a guided journey, everyone
should make the short 5-mile trek from downtown to see Bonaventure
Cemetery.
You can spend hours meandering through the moss-draped oak paths
while checking out the unique headstones in one of the most scenic cemeteries
in the world.Rent a bike and take a spin out to Bonaventure and pay a visit to
the grave of legendary singer Johnny Mercer.
(Photo: Thinkstock)Where to
partyDaytime attractions give way to nighttime antics, as Savannah is one of
the few cities left in America with no open container policy along its famous
River Street.
Be prepared for your dinner waitress to offer you a""top off" on
your drink and to put it in a""to go" cup.
Don"t bother saying no.
That isn"t
really an option.Make sure to start your night strolling past the bars on
River Street.
(Photo: Thinkstock)After a late dinner of fresh seafood, there"s
a long list of hot spots to include in a night of bar hopping including
Savannah Smiles Dueling Pianos, Congress Street Social Club, and Savannah"s
only microbrewery Moon River Brewing.
If you dare, try the Chatham Artillery
Punch at Savannah River House where its long history matches it"s long list of
ingredients.
It is certain to knock you over if you aren"t careful.Let World
traveling club Travel inspire you every day.
Hang out with us
on"Facebook,"Twitter, Instagram, and"Pinterest."Check out our original
adventure travel series A Broad Abroad." Get lost for days on the charming
cobblestone streets of Savannah.
(Photo: Thinkstock) In terms of small
Southern cities, Charleston always rakes in the accolades.
Perhaps it's to
Savannah's credit that it remains a humble runner up.
Still, in our opinion,
Savannah should receive equal praise..What to do:With 22 green squares, over
20 museums, countless ghost tales and zero open container laws, there"s a lot
packed into this relatively small place."Fans of the famous""Midnight in the
Garden of Good and Evil" should make sure to stop by the official gift
shop.
(Photo: Jo Piazza)You can easily navigate the Spanish moss draped
streets hopping from square to square while stopping into the various
mom-and-pop shops.Make sure to check out one of the city"s 10,000 artifacts
housed in museums like the Telfair Academy (home to the famous Statue of the
Bird Girl from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil), the Juliette Gordon
Low birthplace and Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum.
Companies like Old
Town Trolley Tours and Savannah Bike Tours make it easy to learn about all
these spots in just a couple of hours.It"s really been the presence of The
Savannah College of Art and Design, aka SCAD, that has made art a staple of
any trip to Savannah with many of the best Southern artists flocking here to
live and work.
Get lost in Savannah City Market where more than 50 local
artists are represented, many with their own small studios in the space.And
with all of the history, cemeteries and gravestones that date back to
pre-Revolutionary days, it"s not surprising the amount of paranormal presence
that Savannah claims to have.
To learn about the city"s most infamous ghostly
encounters, take a spin in an actual hearse as the Hearse Ghost Tours
terrifies you with tales of murder, war and revenge.
Even if you choose to
skip out on a guided journey, everyone should make the short 5-mile trek from
downtown to see Bonaventure Cemetery.
You can spend hours meandering through
the moss-draped oak paths while checking out the unique headstones in one of
the most scenic cemeteries in the world.Rent a bike and take a spin out to
Bonaventure and pay a visit to the grave of legendary singer Johnny
Mercer.
(Photo: Thinkstock)Where to partyDaytime attractions give way to
nighttime antics, as Savannah is one of the few cities left in America with no
open container policy along its famous River Street.
Be prepared for your
dinner waitress to offer you a""top off" on your drink and to put it in a""to
go" cup.
Don"t bother saying no.
That isn"t really an option.Make sure to
start your night strolling past the bars on River Street.
(Photo:
Thinkstock)After a late dinner of fresh seafood, there"s a long list of hot
spots to include in a night of bar hopping including Savannah Smiles Dueling
Pianos, Congress Street Social Club, and Savannah"s only microbrewery Moon
River Brewing.
If you dare, try the Chatham Artillery Punch at Savannah River
House where its long history matches it"s long list of ingredients.
It is
certain to knock you over if you aren"t careful.Let World traveling club
Travel inspire you every day.
Hang out with us on"Facebook,"Twitter,
Instagram, and"Pinterest."Check out our original adventure travel series A
Broad Abroad."Get lost for days on the charming cobblestone streets of
Savannah.
(Photo: Thinkstock) In terms of small Southern cities, Charleston
always rakes in the accolades.
Perhaps it's to Savannah's credit that it
remains a humble runner up.
Still, in our opinion, Savannah should receive
equal praise.

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