Savannah is a place that was on my bucket list, since I’ve heard fantastic things about it and I’ve always wanted to explore more of the South! I finally got the chance to. Savannah is a very walkable city with lots of amazing history and architecture. It’s more a slow-paced place, where you really just relax and take it all in. The squares scattered around the city are also cute which is perfect for sitting and taking a break. I would definitely recommend and I’ll be back!
To start off the day, I made my way towards Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room to get lunch. I purposely made sure that I didn’t eat much beforehand since I heard they give you a lot of food (which is SO true). To start off, I would recommend getting there early and wait in line before they open. Trust me on this, since the line will definitely get longer.
How they structure their lunch is that it costs $30 (no credit cards, just cash/Venmo/check) and you can either get 4 pieces of fried chicken or meatloaf and then 3 sides from a list. It also comes with cornbread and pound cake. Then, they call you when your order is ready! The 2nd thing here is that one $30 meal is definitely enough for 2-3 people. They give you a LOT of food! When I got my order, they must have given me 3x as much fried chicken and a bunch of sides that I hadn’t ordered (it was all complimentary). This was also happening to everyone else that got their orders!
I couldn’t finish all of it in one sitting. However, my favorites were the fried chicken, the candied yams, buttered peas, red/brown rice and the mac & cheese. Overall, I would say this was the best place I went to during my time in Savannah. Just prepare your stomach!
While I was waiting for my food, I walked along Jones Street, which has really beautiful houses. I would definitely recommend doing this while waiting since Mrs. Wilkes is on the same street. After I finished my food, I went to Forsyth Park! It will probably only take you 15 minutes to walk from end to end, but it just has good vibes - I definitely liked just sitting around and coming here multiple times during my time here.
For the rest of the day, I walked by the First African Baptist Church on my way to River Street. In my opinion, the path along the river has similar vibes to Forsyth Park where it’s nice to just sit and watch some boats go by, or to relax. The river walk is close to a lot of the shops and stores in Savannah’s downtown! On my way back to my Airbnb, I just looked at The Paris Market, which is decorated in a very extravagant way but still a cool sight. Everything in there was too expensive for me though!
I started off the 2nd day by going to The Collins Quarter for brunch, where I got the short rib hash and the spiced lavender mocha. The mocha was probably the highlight of the meal, since it had such a cute decoration and tasted amazing! The short rib hash was also pretty good, but not as good as the mocha. After finishing the meal, I spent most of the day exploring the museums.
For the 3 museums I mention below, they sell the tickets where the price ($20) gets you into all 3, but they don’t sell tickets individually. This is kind of annoying if you only want to see 1 or 2, but they are only a short walk from each other and it will take you half a day to a whole day at most to see everything! Once you go to the 1st venue, you have 7 days to visit the other 2 venues.
First, I headed towards the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters. How the entry works is that they can only let in ~8 people at a time. So, you have to get an assigned time to come back (kind of like if you’re getting a tour). You come back, the guide gives you a quick overview and then you're on your way. I had to wait an hour for the next available slot, so that’s when I went to The Collins Quarter and came back.
The house is structured in a way where there’s markers in a specific order with an audio transcript. So you start at point #1, listen to the audio from your phone, and then move on to #2 and so forth. I just read the transcript and went at my own pace, but overall I learned a lot about the history! Basically it shows how Owens (a past influential figure in Savannah) raised his kids and slaves.
After the house, I went to the Jepson Arts Center. I really liked how the building is designed in a way that lets in a lot of light. I liked the exhibits too - I would say half was “contemporary” while the other half was “historical” with a slight emphasis on Southern history. I also learned a lot here too - it was a great way to see some art and get away from the heat.
The last stop on this museum rotation was the Telfair Academy, which was only a short walk from the Jepson Arts Center. I think the Telfair Academy was my favorite since it basically shows the history of the Telfair family and how they lived and accumulated art over the years. Overall, I loved seeing the recreations of the bedrooms, dining rooms, etc. The artwork was also very pretty!
After walking around a bunch, I went to Leopold’s to get some ice cream. This spot is very popular so be prepared to wait for a bit! I got a double scoop of the Savannah Socialite and the Lemon Custard, which were both really good! Then, afterwards I walked around the downtown area a little more before getting dinner at City Market, where I decided on a calzone with spinach and sausage from Vinnie Van’s Pizza. The calzone was absolutely massive for $10. It tasted great and I definitely felt full afterwards! After eating that in the market, I went back to my Airbnb to get some rest.
Day 3: Day trip to tybee island
For my last day, I decided to take a day trip to Tybee Island. Before I went, I went to Clary’s Cafe to get some food. I got the Oglethorpe, which was a mix of eggs, pancakes, home fries, sausage, and toast which definitely hit the spot!
In terms of visiting Tybee Island, I took an Uber there and back. But, a day trip is more than enough in Tybee. I would advise you start from the Light Station and then work your way down to the Tybee Beach Pier either by walking down the beach the whole way or walking on the streets! The houses are absolutely beautiful and has a certain peacefulness associated with it, so I would recommend a mix.
The places I hit are below, but I highly recommend the ones in bold if you’re pressed for time:
I made a critical mistake in planning my return to Savannah towards the end of the day. I would HIGHLY encourage you to arrange some type of transportation back to Savannah if you’re doing a day trip (either by booking a pre-set taxi, etc.). This is because when I tried to call a Lyft/Uber, I could not find any drivers. It took me over an hour to get matched with someone, and then I subsequently missed my overnight train so I had to pivot my plans. I wouldn’t rely on Uber/Lyft in Tybee Island - you’ve been warned!
Due to my mishap, I had to spend an extra day in Savannah and got to try these food places: