Our First Trip to Savannah, GA: Where to Eat and What to Do
All about my first trip to Savannah, GA: I will give you trips on where to eat in Savannah, Georgia and what to do to make the most of your time spend there.
For someone who grew up in the north east, I tend to embrace most things Southern (especially country music)… and, to me, nothing epitomizes Southern grace and charm quite like Savannah, GA. Here it is – where to eat and what to do in Savannah!
My husband and I were heading to Georgia for a friend’s wedding back in May (yes, I’m a little late with this post!) and we were lucky enough to escape to Savannah a couple of days early to explore the town that we have heard so many great things about. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency on W. Bay Street, which was within walking distance from everything we wanted to see in the historic district of Savannah. Our room overlooked River Street – we had such a beautiful view!
I have SOO many pictures from our time there, but I felt the need to limit them for your sake! I think I really could have taken a picture of something beautiful every 4 steps! Of course we had a zillion things on our “to see” list, which ensures we will return, because you can’t possibly see everything in two days.
Our first morning there we had breakfast at Clary’s Restaurant. We both had huge omelettes that came with mouth-watering buttermilk biscuits and I ate the whole darn thing despite the enormous portions. It is an above average greasy spoon with very friendly servers, quick service… and it’s a nice little slice of Savannah and definitely worth a stop if you are ever visiting!
The historic district of Savannah has 24 squares (2 of which have been lost after being built upon), countless beautiful homes, Jones St. (voted the most picturesque in America by Southern Living Magazine), River Street which is lined with many pubs and shops, and just so, so much to see in a short amount of time! Walking around Savannah is one of the most beautiful walks I’ve ever taken. Many of the streets are lined with hundred-year-old oaks dripping with Spanish moss…. I just love Spanish moss!
We went to The Pirates’ House for our one dinner there. What a great place! The meal started off with honey glazed biscuits and cornbread, and those biscuits were by far the best ones you’ll find anywhere. They came with orange marmalade and a sweet, soft cup of butter. My husband ordered the pecan-crusted chicken and it was to die for (he let me try a few bites). I ordered the shrimp carbonara and it was so delicious. Not only is the food good, but the atmosphere is even better. If you eat there, go with an appetite! Overall, this place is unique and it should be on the stop list for any Savannah tourist. A lot of cool history, and a beautiful, historic interior. The old architecture is simply beautiful… the high ceilings, old wood floors, classic color scheme… very true to itself, and the city.
We also got to stop at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist which is a very beautiful cathedral located in the historic district of Savannah. Dedicated in 1876, it is known for being one of the largest and most beautiful in the South. This church is absolutely beautiful. Whether you’re visiting from out of town, or are a local member of the parish, you’ve got to appreciate the splendor of this place. Pictures really can’t do this place justice. The vaulted ceilings, the Stations of the Cross and the windows must be seen in person to appreciate.
I didn’t get a chance to do the Paula Deen tour, but I did go into her gift shop and restaurant.
Another place we wanted to try in Savannah, GA but didn’t get the chance to was the famous Mrs. Wilkes’ Restaurant. We didn’t realize that you had to get there early and wait in a line, so come early and be prepared to wait for an hour and a half or so! The restaurant is only open Monday – Friday from 11 a.m until 2 p.m. and I’m sure the experience and the waiting are more than worth it. We had read that there is no better Southern home cooking or better atmosphere anywhere else in Savannah than this place. It’s also a great way to meet new friends as the seating and service is family style. Do not miss this place and go there hungry because I hear it is a LOT of food!
I will definitely be making a trip back to Savannah, GA in the future as there was so much more to see that we didn’t get around to.
Have you ever been to Savannah, GA? I’d love to hear what you thought of it! Check out my Where to Eat in Boston post if you’re ever visiting there.
Enjoyed reading your post on Savannah. We also dined at the Pirate’s House last year. My husband enjoyed their Sunday buffet. Did you get a chance to visit the old house next door? It’s supposed to be the oldest house in Ga if I remember correctly.
I heard the sunday buffet is awesome! I didn’t get to visit the old house next door. We had such limited time to spend there, unfortunately!
We should go together next time you go! The four of us! You put a new city on my vacation list 😉
Let’s do it!!
LOVE this post!! I still haven’t ever been to Savannah, but I KNOW I’d love it. Charleston, SC, is one of my favorite cities in the world and people tell me that they’re very similar! Glad you had a great trip! 🙂
I’ve never been to Charleston! I bet I’d love it there, too!
I haven’t ever really spent time in the South, and I need to! Your time in Savannah looks amazing!
I think you’d love Savannah!!
What a treat for you! We love Savannah — we had the pleasure of living there for 5 years, and hope to move back and retire there (we are originally from Boston). My favorite pizza restaurant is there, Vinnie Van Go Go’s. We spent every Friday night there. Our son and daughter in law were married at St. John The Baptist Cathedral, so beautiful! Enjoyed reading your posting!
I’m jealous you got to live there for 5 years! I’d love to retire there someday 🙂 Such a perfect place…
Hi there! Savannah native here…lived there from birth until I was 45. Moved to Tampa (love it!) but moved back for a year due to work needs (my job is still in Savannah though I live in Tampa). Let me tell you..I love my hometown..it does have a charm that only the South embodies….it is absolutely beautiful..downtown,t hat is. The rest I could live without hahaha! I used to live downtown when I was younger. Downtown is where my heart is and I would live there again if I could afford the cost of housing there! It is almost as if everything south of Victory dr ceases to exist if you live downtown! It is it’s own little city. Thing is once you are there a while you begin to realize: A. There is nothing to do..except drink and eat. B. Good restaurants do not tend to stick around, C. Everyone eventually knows all about your life (never divulge too much..stay mysterious!) D, CRIME! It is awful…has its ups and downs but after dark you shouldn’t walk around too much downtown! Or the southside! Lastly did I mention there is nothing to do but drink and eat? lol I mean sure there are a few places to visit (THe tours, Fort Pulaski, Tybee) but you go through those quickly and then realize there is nothing left to “do”..except..drink and eat! Savannah natives are closed minded and do not take to “outsiders” well or fast. They act as if they do..but it is only on the surface. I have seen more than my fair share of businesses fail due to nothing more than the powers that be (especially in the historic district) disliking outsiders. I would say this…buy yourself a home there, small but accommodating, and visit. Heck..make your visits extended!! Just don’t think you will be satisfied living there full time unless you love to drink and eat day in and day out!
Oh my, that shrimp carbonara!
I’ve been to Georgia earlier this year and the food – the biscuits and the chicken and the mac and cheese and the collard greens. It was just top notch, I never wanted to stop eating!
Same here, Pamela! I ate a little bit TOO good while down there LOL
What a beautiful place (with some delicious looking food!). I hope to visit there someday!
I think everyone should visit Savannah at some point if they can – it’s awesome!
Even though I have family down there, they have always come to visit us and not the other way around. It looks like you’re having a great time though!
You should visit them sometime! 🙂 Thanks, Rayna!
I’ve never been to Savannah but the photo from Jones Street reminds me of parts of Boston that I’ve visited before. The food looks really good too. It makes me hungry and it’s to late to eat. Thanks for sharing your trip, hopefully someday I’ll visit. It looks beautiful.
I’ve visited Boston and love it there, too! Thanks for your comment 🙂
wonderful place to visit, i have never been there hopefully one day.
You’d love it, I’m sure!
Sounds like a great trip Ashley! Jones Street is beautiful and the food photos look amazing! I’m getting hungry just looking at it. 🙂 Have a terrific week!
It’s such a great place! Thanks, Anne!
We’ve driven through Savannah once (on our way to Florida), and we only stopped for about 20 minutes. It sounds like I need to take another trip soon!
Oh you definitely need more than 20 minutes next time!
That’s always fun when you go somewhere and then escape to go out adventuring! We did the same thing when we went to Myrtle Beach…all the way from Utah! So, I was (extremely) excited when we left the other family members and went on a whole 3 day tour of all the lighthouses out on the Outer Banks. Never would I have thought I’d ever go there.
Now, I’m going to have to put Savannah on my list…it already is, you just motivated me even more! Thanks for sharing!
I’ve never been to Myrtle Beach but that’s somewhere I’d love to visit someday!
Savannah is great! You need to stay at the Azalea Inn B&B – – Teresa is a wonderful innkeeper and her staff is superb – you definitely experience Southern Hospitality staying there! Forsyth Park is wonderful to see, as is all of Savannah. Any one going there for the first time should take the trolley ride – worth the time and money. Gives you an overview of the city’s history and beautiful places. The homes and architecture are just gorgeous in Savannah – – can’t say enough good things about it!!!
I completely agree, Nancy!
I have lived in the south most of my life but have never have had a chance
to visit Savannah. I have always heard great things about it an it looks like you had a great trip!! If you every make it to NC let me know!!!
Oh you’d love it so much! I’ve never been to the Carolinas, but would love to one day!
I went to Savannah when I was in high school – we actually did a dance performance on River Street. And I believe we ate at Mrs. Wilkes (it was very famous, and family style, and we waited forever to get in.. has to be, right??) It was an awesome experience and sooo good. If you go back, you have to go. I think I even have a pic with the owner in one of my old photo albums. 🙂
Yes you must have ate at Mrs. Wilkes!! I’m jealous!
Sounds like a wonderful trip! It’s always nice when you have a great time on vacation. That carbonara looks so good and creamy.
It was great – thanks!!
Savannah is such a great city! We went as a family and it was perfect. The only downside was having a drunk man follow us. But it was an experience! So glad you had a nice time 🙂
That’s no good (about the drunk man!) but I’m glad you still had fun!
Your post makes me want to hop in the car and go to Savannah right now! I’ve only ever heard amazing things, but I’ve never been. I live in Atlanta, GA so I really don’t have an excuse! Not a one. Shame on me!
Definitely no excuses! you must go!
It looks simply beautiful there!! I love the charm of the south. Something a lot of the Midwest lacks!
I agree – the south is so great!
Savannah is such a pretty place to visit, isn’t it? I’ve only been once, but want to go back – great stuff to see and loads of great places to eat.
I’d love to go back again!
Wow, your photos of both the food and the sites are beautiful! I especially love the cathedral photo, and whoa Paula Deen restaurant? I wonder how that food would have tasted! It sounds like you had a wonderful time, Ashley!
Awesome pics! I’ve never been to Savannah but would definitely love to go there someday.
PS – you are so pretty 🙂
Bianca – you’re so sweet, thanks 🙂 You would love Savannah!
I’ve heard Savannah is beautiful. Judging by your photos, it sure it! I’ll be in Atlanta next week for work. Not Savannah but it will be the first time that I’ve been out of Florida in 11 years!
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Looks like you had an amazing time! Savannah is such a gorgeous place to visit. I absolutely love all the ghost tours. My favorite restaurants there are The Pirate’s House, The Grey and of course Leopold’s. I also came across this other helpful guide while searching for places to visit near me while in Savannah https://www.visitsavannah.com/list/15-cant-miss-things-to-do-savannah – Can’t wait to go back!