My husband and I recently celebrated our 1 year anniversary with a weekend getaway in Savannah, Georgia. Savannah is less than 4 hours drive from Charlotte, so it makes the perfect getaway as you can leave early on Saturday morning and still be back to work on Monday.
My husband was in charge of booking the room for the night, and he found a pretty good deal on expedia for a two-room suite at the Oglethorpe Inn & Suites. The inn is located in a good central location for those wishing to visit the beach as well as the historic district. Drive time from the hotel to Tybee Island was roughly 35-40 minutes, and we were able to get to River Street in a little over 20.
The inn was slightly dilapidated, but in a charming old south-scrolling cast iron balconies on each level-fountain in the main lobby kind of way. The room was spacious and clean, the complimentary breakfast was ample and the pool felt refreshing. We would most definitely stay again, but the suite was unnecessary for us, so we would most likely just book a standard room.
After checking in, we changed into our swimsuits and headed out to Tybee Island! Like a couple of dummies, we left our beach towels at the hotel room and had to stop at a little surf shop for new ones, Tsk Tsk. After buying the needed supplies, we drove around a good bit looking for a parking spot, but finally found one down a side street of beach houses. Just a tip: Nearly every street has paid parking spots-some metered and some with the payment boxes that accept credit cards so there is no need to search endlessly in the small lots near the boardwalk or the street spots on the main drag. The beach, surprisingly, was not very crowded for a Saturday afternoon in June, and we had a great time playing in the waves and watching the sea birds dive bomb for fish. After a couple of hours in the ocean, hunger pains had us heading back to the hotel for a shower and change of clothes, and then we were back on the road pointed toward River Street.
River Street is a little touristy, but it is still a ton of fun! (Parking is also difficult to come by around here so just suck it up and pay at a nearby garage). First stop for us was dinner, we looked at a few menus, most places have one posted outside the front door, and finally decided on Barracuda Bob’s as it was reasonably priced (my requirement) and had an acceptable beer selection (his requirement 😛 ). I had the crab cake sandwich and he opted for the mile-high Reuben. We were both very happy with our sandwiches, although he grumbled a bit “it looks more like a kilometer-high sandwich”, but it ended up being plenty of food. Bob’s french fries were exceptionally good, and the tables are really cool!
Next stop: Wet Willie’s for frozen daiquiri style beverages. Savannah has a lovely lackadaisical approach to open containers, if your drink is in a plastic cup, you are good to go. It really makes you feel like a rebel to walk around boldly sipping an alcoholic beverage in full daylight out on a public street, and when we asked if we could bring our drinks into a shop (and this is an exact quote):
I had my tarot cards read by a psychic, we listened to a band play on the outdoor stage, we watched caricatures being drawn, sampled freshly made taffy in the candy shop, and had a cup of coffee in a small cafe before finally heading back to the hotel for the night. River Street has something for just about everyone! Tip: Don’t forget to check out the different sets of historic steps, just use caution if you are wearing heels or ordered the “call a cab” from Wet Willies, because those stairs are STEEP. I felt like I was doing power lunges trying to walk up them!
The next morning, after a continental breakfast and a quick dip in the pool, we spent a little time in Forsyth Park. This 30 acre park is located in the historic district and was originally created in the 1840’s, and the gorgeous fountain on the north end is a must-see. There was a great walking path flanked by the magnificent trees (oak I think) with all the hanging moss, perfect for a morning stroll. Parking is free in the lot on the south end, and I believe there is another lot near the cafe that is kind of in the middle of the park.
Before jumping in the car to head back to Charlotte, we stopped in for a cup of coffee at a cool hipster cafe called the Sentient Bean (conveniently located directly across the street from the parking lot). We only intended to get coffee, but the haunting aromas in this place had us ordering our 2nd breakfast…or was it elevensies? The food is farm to fork and all options are either vegetarian or vegan. We went with the breakfast tacos and home fries, and the house-made ketchup was #yumyumyum.
We had intended to hit up the animal preserve on the way out of town, but, unfortunately, they are closed on Sundays.
**bonus tidbit:On the way home, we stopped for lunch in Columbia and had the delicious BBQ buffet at Maurice’s BBQ. The buffet included chicken, ribs, pork, plenty of vegetables, salad, and best of all-banana pudding. If you find yourself needing lunch in Columbia, this is your spot.**
Savannah makes an excellent weekend trip from Charlotte because the drive is very manageable and the city has plenty of things to keep you entertained!
Is there a great Savannah spot that we missed? Do you have another favorite place we should try for a weekend trip?