There’s no need to work hard at coming up with a plan for what to do in Savannah. The six downtown inns and boutique hotels in the Bed and Breakfasts of Savannah collection each has a team of experts at the ready to help plan your activities. Here’s Part I of a new series of blogs on what to do while you’re here, from the concierges at our properties.
A 2-Night, 3-Day Savannah Itinerary
By Laura Hammond
Many visitors traveling to Savannah have planned to stay 2 nights and 3 days, so I often ask them to let me write out an itinerary. As a native of Savannah, I like to give guests a taste of the old and new. I also recommend guests make an effort to spend at least half a day visiting our coastal areas. So often I hear that visitors get distracted with all that is in the Historic District and never get to Tybee Island, Isle of Hope or Wormsloe. I don’t feel a trip to Savannah is complete without these places!
I suggest that you go straight to your hotel or inn and drop your luggage — even if it’s before check-in time. You will be able to talk with the concierge, and discuss restaurants where you’d like to have dinner, and your approximate times preferred for dining so they can help you with reservations. If you are visiting on a weekend the restaurants can fill quickly. If it is peak season or during an event, its a good idea to contact your concierge at least a week ahead of time to make dinner reservations. If you opt to pre-arrange, your first-visit with the concierge is a great opportunity to ask them to call and confirm your dinner reservations.
If you arrive by Noon on Day 1: Once you have checked in or just dropped your luggage, get directions to Tybee Island. Although there are many wonderful restaurants on the island, I like to give visitors a local impression. So, I recommend the Crab Shack, Sunday Cafe, North Beach Grille or AJ’s Dockside. The Crab Shack is an eclectic place located on Chimney Creek. You will enjoy wonderful steamed seafood and a chance to fatten up the alligators as you walk the plank to your table. Sunday Cafe is a local favorite. I personally think they have the best fried shrimp and chicken salad on Tybee. It is a busy place, so call ahead if you choose to dine there. North Beach Grille is a kick-off-your-shoes and enjoy-the-ocean-breeze type of place. Located in the shadows of the Tybee Lighthouse and old Fort Screven, this beach side shack serves up Caribbean inspired dishes. AJ’s Dockside is located on the south end of Tybee Island on the Back River. The setting is an old marina converted into a restaurant with amazing river views. They have an extensive menu with fresh local seafood served most any way you prefer.
Once you have recharged yourself, head over to Fort Pulaski. Fort Pulaski itself is a large-scale outdoor exhibit. The main structure, together with outlying works including drawbridges, ditches, and dikes, and is a fine example of historic military architecture. There are many trails and wildlife at the fort. You may catch a glimpse of one of the many protected species that have been identified at the park, including: American oystercatcher, bald eagle, gull-billed tern, least tern, and woodstork.
Once you leave Fort Pulaski head over to Isle of Hope and drive down the bluff. This tranquil historic bluff side community boasts the river front homes you imagine in your dreams. Bluff Drive will wind you back around to Skidaway Road which will lead you to Wormsloe Plantation. There you can experience live demonstrations of life when Noble Jones claimed and developed this land. Be sure to have your camera handy as the entrance and drive of Wormsloe are some of the most photographed in this area.
After you have experienced Wormsloe, I suggest heading over to Bonaventure Cemetery. If it is close to sunset, you will be awed by the landscape of this cemetery in the late afternoon light! Located on the Wilmington River, this Southern Gothic cemetery has captured the imaginations of writers, poets, naturalists, photographers and filmmakers for more than 150 years.
I recommend hopping on Oglethorpe Trolley Tours, whose tickets can be purchased through the concierge. Oglethorpe Tours will take you on a comprehensive 90 minute tour of the historic district. Make note of the places you would like to go back to visit. Once the comprehensive tour is finished you will be taken to the City Market where you can take advantage of their shuttles to the places on your list to revisit.
Be sure to grab a map because most of the historic district is walkable. I often suggest that visitors take a shuttle to the farthest spot from their hotel/inn and manage their way back on foot. If you get tired of walking, no problem, just text Oglethorpe Tours and they will come get you.
Here is a list of my top must see places in the historic district:
• Walk Bull Street from Savannah River to Forsyth Park (Approximately 1 mile)
• River Street
• Colonial Cemetery
• City Market
• Forsyth Park
• Owens-Thomas House
• Telfair Museum
• Jepson Center for the Arts
• Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace
• Andrew Low House
• Green-Meldrim House
• Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
• Congregation Mickve Isreal
• Davenport House Museum
• The Mercer-Williams House
• The Roundhouse Railroad Museum
You will find so many boutiques, antique shops and souvenirs along your way through the historic district. This is a full day and perhaps you will want to make time on your departure day to experience what you missed. No worries because we will be happy to store your luggage and arrange that your transportation, if needed, is waiting for you when you are ready to go.