“You must visit Savannah!” friends said. And so, we finally did. We stopped in Savannah, Georgia on our way back from our annual fall trip one November, when the weather was absolutely perfect—not too hot nor too cold. Savannah is a beautiful city to walk around in when the weather is nice, with beautifully landscaped, historical blocks with large oak trees and benches.
We spent a Saturday walking around downtown Savannah and looked at the art galleries in City Market and enjoyed the action on the River Street waterfront. We had intended to have lunch at the top of the Bohemian Hotel on their rooftop lounge, Rocks on the Roof, but there was only one server that Saturday, and she was overwhelmed. But the view, as promised, was spectacular. There’s a great view of the Savannah River and a bridge, and I’d bet this place is very romantic at night.
The River Street waterfront was a lot of fun and we saw kids dressed as zombies, large cargo ships and other boats coming down the river, people from all walks of life, and shops selling just about everything. It was a fun day to be in Savannah.
On the other side of the waterfront are the historical Savannah squares, and we enjoyed walking around those. There were several weddings going on that day, taking advantage of the gorgeous weather. We were able to sit on benches in the same square away from the actual wedding and still hear the guitar music, like we were attendees. Ah, young romance! We even happened upon a Veteran’s Day parade and the Telfair Art Fair, so there was a lot going on that day.
Traffic in Savannah is problematic, so the city has set up a visitor center and several routes of free transportation for visitors, including shuttle buses, streetcars, and ferries. Having visited, I can say that Savannah is too big to walk in one day. We were there on a Saturday, when parking is not as bad, so paid a flat fee to park in a downtown garage and walked, for the most part. By late afternoon, we were pretty tired, but it was still daylight and we hadn’t seen one of the recommended attractions, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. I’d heard pedicabs were a fun way to get from point A to point B, so we found one, who pedaled us over to that end of town. With the weather so pleasant, it was a lot of fun, and I would highly recommend it. In fact, if we ever go back, I’d do a pedicab tour of the whole city, because we certainly didn’t see the whole city in a day. The pedicabs may actually be a more efficient way to spend your transportation dollars, because they can take you directly to where you want to go, if you don’t want to stop at every single site in Savannah, like a shuttle or trolley would. And you just pay as you go. We didn’t have to buy an all-day pass, like some trolley tours offer. A pedicab also allows a view that is free of the confines of a vehicle. There is more than one pedicab company, and Savannah Pedicab comes highly recommended by several tour books. We got a ride back to our car from that company, and noticed the seating and quality of the bicycle were superior compared to the first pedicab from a different company that took us out to the church. We also figured out later that we were supposed to call ahead for a pedicab, just like a taxi. In both cases, we saw a pedicab nearby and asked for a ride, but I think they were actually there because they were supposed to be picking someone else up. We might have made them late for their actual fare!
Dinner that night was at the highly recommended Pink House and was fun. The Olde Pink House is an upscale restaurant in an, old, restored mansion, built in 1771. Make reservations ahead of time. There are several different dining rooms, each with a different ambience, and I believe we dined in something called the Grand Ballroom, a large area with a crystal chandelier. We had their famous BLT salad, with fried green tomatoes and sweet bacon, and it was delicious, as we’d been told. My pecan crusted chicken was good, but truthfully, I had a better version in a Charleston restaurant a year earlier. The dessert, however, was spectacular: an edible, crunchy, praline pecan basket filled with ice cream, drizzled with a mango citrus puree, and covered in raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and served with chocolate. I would highly recommend this Pink House dessert to anyone.
We visited Forsyth Park the next morning before checking out of the hotel, and it made for a pleasant morning stroll. The fountain and the huge old oak trees draped in Spanish moss are recognizable to most people because this park has been featured in two movies: Forrest Gump and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I can imagine Forsyth Park is just gorgeous in the spring when all the azaleas bloom. And I can see now why so many people love visiting Savannah.