Thursday, May 13, 2010

Shitty-Chic Goes to Savannah!

I love it when I go on a trip somewhere, and it is everything I hoped it would be and more.  This is exactly how I felt about Savannah, GA.  I had an amazing long weekend, and it was the perfect getaway from NYC: two-hour flight, completely relaxing, and a city truly unique in it's architecture and flavor.  I know this is sacrilege, but I was not ready to come back to NYC....especially since I returned to rainy, wintry temperatures.  Calgon, take me back to the heat!  Here are my top picks on where to stay, what touristy things to do, where to eat, and unique places to shop.

To Stay:
The Mansion on Forsyth Park was just up my alley: quirky, well decorated, and not a cookie cutter hotel in any sense.  Our standard room was about $200 a night with taxes.  The best thing was the location--right on Forsyth Park which was perfect for morning jogs and late afternoon lounging.  There are tons of bed-and-breakfast spots in the historic downtown as well, so you can make your lodging just as much a part of your Savannah experience.

To Do:
- I really like to go jogging in the cities I visit (yes I know I am on me, it's more like plodding than running).  I think it is a great way to go exploring on your own "self-guided" tour, and it helps me get my bearings in a new place.  Obviously it helps when the city is laid out in a grid so I don't get lost.  This is how I discovered most of the restaurants and shops we visited during the day.  Best of all---it's free....and it let's you say OK to that extra slice of peach cobbler.

- There are about a million tours of historic Savannah: trolleys, carriages, walking, etc.  We wanted something different so we sprung for a Segway tour of the city.  Our guide, Sherri, was a firecracker, and it was really funny to see the stares we got.  Best of all, it was basically a private tour for us since it was Mother's Day Sunday.  Cost: $45 for an hour.

- We kept hearing how Savannah is a haunted city so we decided to go on the Paranormal Tour inside the Sorrel-Weed House....the most haunted home in Savannah (no really, this house has been on the History Chanel's Ghost Hunters show).  Our tour started at 10:30pm and began with a walking tour around the city's most famous haunted spots and the stories behind them.  Then, we went back the the Sorrel-Weed house to get the crap scared out of us some more.  Seriously, I think we ran back to the hotel.  This is a must. Cost: $18

To Relax:
- After a hot, humid day of walking around the city we were in a state of delirium.  We walked past the Sweet Water Spa on Abercorn St. and decided a massage (and air conditioning) sounded just up our alley.  The waiting area is chock full of goodies like brownies, lemon bars, wine, and even tequila, but what I loved most were the treatment rooms.  The spa is in an old home, and each room is fully decorated in its Savannah finest.  This was not your usual sterile, sleek, NYC spa experience with dried fruit and nuts, and I loved it.  Our massages were out of this world, and one of the best I have ever had.  Highly recommended to escape the afternoon heat and do some relaxing.

 To Shop:
- One Fish Two Fish is a smart shop of home decor, linens, and a small selection of clothing.  They had a candle there called Savannah, and I heavily regret not buying ten of them.
- The Paris Market was my favorite shop.  Fun, unique bits for the home that would look great anywhere from Savannah to Paris.  My favorite purchases were a unique silver bud vase for my mom (belated Mother's Day gift) and a sachet of fresh lavender to keep my travel bag smelling divine.
- E. Shaver bookstore-- I am a complete sucker for small independent bookstores.  I love nothing more than to putz around the aisles and flip through anything that catches my eye.  This store reminded me of my beloved Biography Books on Bleecker Street that recently closed and to my chagrin will be filled with a Marc Jacobs bookstore. 

To Eat:
Coffee: The Sentient Bean - This coffee shop at the south end of Forsyth Park reminded me of Austin with it's quirky, laid back vibe.  Great iced coffee, and the banana bread was to die for.
Breakfast: J. Christopher's - Another spot I found during my morning run.  Perfect for breakfast or lunch and packed with locals so you know it must be good.  Huevos Avacados---so yum.
Lunch: Six Pence Pub - The only English pub in Savannah.  Great sandwiches, sweet waitstaff, and lots of tea...or beer.  Be sure to get the potato salad with whatever you order.
Cocktails: 700 Drayton - Have cocktails on the outside terrace overlooking Forsyth Park.
Dinner: Lady & Sons - Paula Deen's famous restaurant and a glutton's dream.  If I were to go back, I would order the buffet and not off the menu so I could get a little taste of a bunch of classic Southern dishes.

The Deets:
The Mansion on Forsyth Park
700 Drayton Street

Segway Tours of Savannah
102 E. Liberty Street, Suite 106

Savannah Paranormal Tour
6 W. Harris St. @ Bull

Sweet Water Spa
148 Abercorn St.

One Fish Two Fish
401 Whitaker St.

The Paris Market
36 W. Broughton St @ Whitaker

E. Shaver Booksellers
326 Bull St. @ E. Harris

The Sentient Bean
13 E. Park Ave.

J. Christophers
122 E. Liberty Lane

Six Pence Pub
245 Bull St. @ W. Perry Lane

700 Drayton
700 Drayton St.

Lady & Sons
102 W. Congress

Photos by Barbara K.

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