When John asked me if I wanted to tag along on his work trip to Savannah, GA, it was an easy YES. Granted, it’s easier for me to say yes because I have a remote job; however, I would’ve made it work regardless because Savannah holds a special place in my heart.
It was the first city I ever visited solo. (You can read about that trip here.)
In case you didn’t know, solo travel was a major part of my life during the years I was single (2016 – 2019). International solo travel, mostly. But, Savannah started it all.
So, it was a treat to go back—this time with my husband!
We spent a long weekend there, with some work thrown in, but still managed to explore and enjoy Savannah’s food scene, too.
If you’ve got your eye on a trip to Savannah, here’s a list of what I recommend based on our experience.
Our hotel in Savannah, GA
I’ll start with where we stayed—the Hyatt Regency—with the caveat that we did not choose this hotel. It happened to be where John’s nuclear medicine conference was held, and where his company paid for him to stay.
While we didn’t pay for it ourselves, I will say the Hyatt Regency next to Savannah City Hall was the ideal location. Not only were we within walking distance of everything downtown, but we also had easy access to River Street, directly behind the hotel.
We also found a rooftop lounge with an amazing view of Savannah’s Talmadge Memorial Bridge, especially at night.
But, if the Hyatt’s not your style, not to worry. There are plenty other downtown Savannah hotels to choose from.
Savannah Restaurants Downtown
If you’re looking for a few good dinner spots, plus pizza and ice cream, I’ve got you.
Treyler Park on E Bay St
As far as unique restaurants go, this place is quite the eclectic spot. The atmosphere is fun and casual, and the menu was a pleasant surprise. I ordered the fish tacos, and John opted for the “grilled apple pie sandwich,” which is not an exaggeration. It’s a grilled cheese sandwich with fried chicken and a literal apple pie IN the sandwich. Oh, and house made waffle fries. If none of that entices you, maybe the full menu will. Check it out here.
I have to admit, this wasn’t our first choice. We’d hoped to get a table at The Olde Pink House—a restaurant that lives up to its name—but the wait was 2+ hours. No thanks!
Common Restaurant wasn’t too far away and we were able to walk in and be seated immediately with no reservations. That was on a Saturday night, too.
The menu was surprisingly diverse, and we LOVED the food. (Click here for the website.)
For an appetizer, we shared German rabbit stew. And, because we were torn on entrees, we shared two dishes: (1) “Pork Chop Chow Chow”—cider brined pork chop, mashed sweet potatoes, and roasted carrots; and (2) something called the “Pineapple Situation”—grilled pineapple half, stuffed with pineapple pork fried rice, yum yum sauce, grilled pineapple pieces, and Korean BBQ glazed mahi mahi.
Let’s just say, we were glad it didn’t work out with The Olde Pink House.
Vinnie Van GoGo’s Pizza
I can’t speak for this one, but John ate here for lunch one day because it was hyped up as one of the best pizza places in Savannah.
Though he said it was good, he didn’t think it lived up to the hype.
Still, I thought I’d include it here for anyone who might be curious. Pizza preferences vary SO much, so what John thinks is okay might be spectacular to someone else, and vice versa.
Check out Vinnie’s website here.
Leopold’s Ice Cream
Last but not least, dessert! Leopold’s came highly recommended, so when we saw a line out the door, we knew it would be worth the wait. I wasn’t even hungry after dinner, but after browsing the menu while we waited, I knew I had to get something. Especially when I saw the dairy free options. Score!
I have a very annoying dairy sensitivity that has me avoiding dairy products as often as possible—with a few exceptions that I deem “worth it.” Leopold’s would have been worth the gastrointestinal discomfort; however, I still opted for one of the dairy free flavors and never would have guessed it was made without milk. That vegan peanut butter chocolate chunk tasted like the real deal!
Also worth noting, Leopold’s is over 100 years old! It opened in 1919 and still makes the same award-winning, homemade ice cream.
Things to do in Savannah, GA
While we didn’t do an official tour of Savannah, there are a LOT of options if tours are something that interests you.
I’m more of a wander and shop gal, so that’s what I did while John was at the conference on Saturday.
Savannah is perfect for wandering, with its historic buildings and neighborhoods, and a park every few blocks.
Speaking of parks, the Forsyth Park farmer’s market is probably the best farmer’s market in Savannah. It runs Saturdays from 9am – 1pm, with an abundance of food vendors and others selling handmade goods.
Of course, I was on the hunt for dairy free snacks and a free sample of vegan granola convinced me to buy a bag, along with a cookie.
But enough about food shopping. Here are some of my favorite Savannah Georgia shopping spots:
SCAD stands for Savannah College of Art and Design. ShopSCAD is a store that sells products made by the students themselves. The items are a bit pricey, but you know they’re handmade and you’re supporting local (and students!).
The Future on Forsyth
Where my fellow vintage lovers at?! This vintage clothing store is across the street from Forsyth Park and I had fun browsing for almost an hour. Everything is organized by clothing category and then by color within that category. My kinda store!
Aleksandra’s Gift Shop
This shop was a lucky find. I stumbled on it while waiting for John when we tried to get a table at The Olde Pink House. Aleksandra’s was right around the corner from the restaurant, so I popped in while John was walking from the hotel to meet me.
I wound up buying a few well priced jackets, and could have easily spent more!
Savannah’s City Market
This area covers several blocks, and is more touristy and pedestrian-friendly. You’ll find shops, a candy store, and various restaurants and eateries—like Vinny’s Pizza.
River Street is another touristy area lined with shops and restaurants. And, yes, it’s located along the Savannah River.
If you’re wondering: Does Savannah have a riverwalk? Yes, there’s a walking area along River Street that runs between the street and the river. You can even grab some food to go or eat at one of the riverwalk restaurants and watch the barges roll through.
Pro-tip: Wear flat shoes in this area. (Here’s looking at you, ladies who bachelorette in Savannah!) The cobblestones are old and uneven, and heels would have been a nightmare.
Savannah Day Trip to Tybee Island
Well, this was more like an afternoon / evening trip. The drive to Tybee is about 30 minutes, give or take, depending on traffic. And, I must say, it’s a stunning drive through the marshland.
We only had two goals: (1) walk the beach; and (2) grab dinner somewhere.
For the beach, we parked near the Tybee Beach Pier and Pavilion and then walked along the beach to the south tip of the island.
Note: Parking is $3.50 per hour, and the lot where we parked forced you to pay for 2 hours.
Overall, I am not impressed with the beaches on Tybee Island. Of course, I may be biased after living on the Gulf Coast of Florida for 5 years. And, on the flip side, I’ve seen worse beaches. But, I wouldn’t choose Tybee Island as a vacation destination solely for its beaches. Just saying.
Dinner on Tybee Island
There aren’t a ton of options to choose from in the off season. But, we settled on The Deck Beach Bar and Kitchen, and the food was good—although pricey! We sat outside and had a view of the ocean as well.
If you’re planning a trip to Savannah and considering a Tybee Island excursion, I would say it’s worth a few hours of your time for a change of scenery and some beach time. However, I personally wouldn’t plan a whole day around it.
Again, we did go in off season, and there are other things to do, like exploring the light house. So, I encourage you to do more research on Tybee if you feel like beach bumming while in Savannah.
Have you been to Savannah yet?
If not, what are you most excited to do there?
If you have been, what else would you recommend?