Heading to Savannah, Georgia soon for a long weekend? Here is your tell-all summary of what to do and how to do it.
The majority of the suggestions are Black-owned (noted with a *), Instagram-worthy, and absolutely filled with Southern charm and Savannah goodness.
- WHERE TO DRINK:
- WHERE TO EAT:
- WHERE TO STAY:
- WAYS TO TOUR:
WHERE TO DRINK:
Artillery Bar is a sophisticated speakeasy in a restored armory with mood lighting, imaginative cocktails & an extensive bourbon list. I ordered the “Smoke and Mirrors” and “Ring Around the Posies”, and loved both.
Come for drinks and finger foods in the front room and then head to the larger dining room for a delicious meal. Co-owned by African American chef Mashama Bailey who has a James Beard Award (and a super infectious laugh!) and Johno Morisano, The Grey menu changes seasonally according to what’s fresh and available.
And lemme tell you, there was not a single thing on the menu I did not like. And I tried everything—the beef tongue, the oysters, the fried flounder, the beef short-ribs, the wine. All of these eateries awards and accolades are extremely well-earned.
Good Time Jazz Bar*
Known for their excellent food, excellent service, and of course, excellent live music 6 days of the week. I didn’t have time to visit Good Time’s Jazz Bar during my weekend in Savannah and it is my biggest regret as it was a must-do suggestion by almost everyone I asked.
➜ Tip: Savannah has open container laws, like Vegas or New Orleans. The law permits the carry open drinks as long as they are in plastic, 16-ounce cups—no bottles, mugs or flasks—and must remain in Historic District limits. These laws definitely play a part in why Fodor’s listed it in one of the Top 10 Largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the U.S.
WHERE TO EAT:
Geneva’s Chicken & Cornbread*
If you’re looking for traditional Southern fried chicken in Savannah, Geneva’s Chicken & Cornbread is your best bet. I met three generations of Ms. Geneva’s family when I visited the restaurant so it is truly family-owned and operated, with Ms. Geneva herself still in the kitchen every day.
If you aren’t a friend of fried chicken the collard greens, green beans, gumbo, mac n’ cheese, or fried shrimp can win you over.
The Original Crab Shack (!!!)
The new love of my life for, I think, quite obvious reasons. Between almost-absurd portion size of the ‘Captain Crab’s Sampler Platter’ and the Tybee Trashcan drink I ordered, this was the best meal I’d had in a long time. I still dream about those snow crab legs!
Back in the Day Bakery*
This is one eaterie that is packed more often than it’s not, and for good reason. Back in the Day Bakery is a Black co-owned restaurant by Ms. Cheryl Day who cooks up some delicious and unique pastries and baked meals like biscuits and gravy, cinnamon biscuit buns, cream-cheese pepper-jelly biscuits, and my favorite…
Can you say ‘strawberry-lavender jam on homemade blueberry biscuits’?
WHERE TO STAY:
Perry Lane Hotel
I stayed at the Perry Lane Hotel and had a more than exquisite stay. Like, the beds held me, hostage, every morning with how comfortable they were, and you can’t beat the location being less than 5 minutes walking distance to most public Savannah squares.
The Drayton Hotel
The Drayton Hotel has been freshly remodeled and the rooms are beautiful. It’s located in the heart of Historic District, features an extremely colorful, bright bar area, a restaurant, and an unmatched rooftop experience with views of City Hall, Savannah River, and the surrounding cityscape.
➜ Tip: For affordable accommodations in Savannah check out Airbnbs just outside of Downtown. However, in central Downtown and in the Historic District, Airbnb is often not much cheaper than the local hotels. So opt to support the small businesses and look forward to experiencing true Southern hospitality.
WAYS TO TOUR:
Footprint Through History Walking Tour*
The Footprint Through History Walking Tour is less of a walking tour and more of a journey. And as Ms. Vaughnette Goode-Walker will tell you, “This is not a Black history tour. This is an American history tour.” She will take you through all aspects of Savannah and Southern history, from Native American interaction with settlers to the times of slavery to Southern economics, the Civil War, technological revolutions, and all things in between.
Come to this tour prepared to listen, but more importantly, to feel the history in Savannah.
Day Clean Journeys*
Day Clean Journeys Day Clean is a Gullah phrase that means “new day”, Dr. Jamal Touré, the remarkable scholar and teacher who conducts this remarkable trip into the underground African American history of Savannah for his company Day Clean.
Dr. Jamal Touré shared his considerable knowledge of the history of Savannah and the people who built and inhabited the city, along with changes faced by the African-American community over the centuries. Many return customersEverything you need to know about visiting Savannah, GA. Click To Tweet
When I left D.C. my mind’s images of Savannah were plantations, sweet tea, and horse-drawn carriages. However, as we descended into Hilton-Head I was greeted by shallow, blue waters and beautiful white beaches. What I was seeing was Tybee Island, a nearby 3.5 sq miles allotment of islands and inlets about a 20-minute drive from Savannah. A popular town for families, history buffs, and water lovers, this area is easy to walk around self-tour.
Pinpoint Heritage Museum
The community was founded in 1896 by freedman after the Civil War. The former factory has been transformed into the Pinpoint Heritage Museum educational center for visitors to authentically learn about the Gullah/Geechee culture directly from residents who grew up in the small, close-knit community. Guests can discover these unique lifeways, from daily life to religion, language and food.
Yogi Soul Farms*
YogiSoulFarms is run by a young, Black naturalist who offers foraging tours in the backwoods of Savannah, GA. The focus of the tour is on mushrooms, and you’ll come across Lions’ Mane, Turkey Tails, and oyster mushrooms, as well as more varied fauna such as loquats (also known as Japanese plums), mulberries, kumquats, chicken of the woods, figs, dates, and prickly pear cactus.
This trip and blog post were sponsored by Visit Savannah.
Did you add any of these suggestions to your Savannah to-do list? Let me know in the comments.
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