Wander: Savannah, Georgia

If I could move anywhere in the U.S. it would be the deep, deep south. I’m a true southern belle at heart and there’s no place like Georgia for me. The architecture, the oak trees, the history, the FOOD, I’m in my full element when I’m in the south. I could totally see myself wearing a bright floral print dress living in an old southern home with a big wrap around porch serving my friends cold iced teas. But, I live in the steel city of Pittsburgh so sometimes we have to adjust our dreams a smidge.

My soul may not have the southern sun it needs but I do try to escape to my destined roots as often as I can. I visit my grandmother in Brunswick and tour Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island (the Golden Isles of Georgia) whenever I have the opportunity. In September 2016, my husband and I journeyed south for a visit with my Grandma and also made a day trip to Savannah while we were there. Savannah has been pretty high on my bucket list since my best friend went and convinced me to go. I have to say, the city was even more than what she raved about.

Just an hour away from Brunswick, Savannah is full of old southern charm with a small town feel. Cobblestone streets and gaslight buildings decorate the city. One thing I love about the south is that everything is history, when everything is history – everything has a story. Savannah has that character about it. It’s amazing to walk around a place with so much civil war history and….haunted history! Maybe it’s the journalist in me but I love any place that has a good story behind it.

We began our day trip with a tour of River Street and City Market. Our hotel was literally in City Market so it worked out conveniently for us. River Street had a pretty view of the river and gaslit storefronts and shops but I adored City Market. Restaurants, shops, live music, carriage rides – I felt like I was in the heart of Savannah in City Market. Of course we had to stop in the famous Savannah’s Candy Kitchen – because sugar. My husband has a sweet tooth that we must not deny. But who can pass up homemade fudge and homemade ice cream?

After lunch and a stop at Savannah’s Candy Kitchen, we explored what I was most anticipating: the Victorian District, Historic District and the beautiful Forsyth Park. I can’t brag about Forsyth Park enough – this was one of my most memorable moments with my husband. The trees were breathtakingly beautiful and made for a perfect afternoon walk. The Victorian District was full of the old southern charm and architecture that I crave. I’m crazy passionate for old architecture and have a weak spot for southern homes. Of course we couldn’t resist passing through Chippewa Square to take a picture where the famous Forest Gump scene took place. I know, I’m your typical cliche cheesy tourist.

By the time we toured through the key districts, food was in order. We headed back for a rest stop at the hotel before dinner. We chose to have dinner at Belford’s Restaurant on the outdoor patio. Hubs selected a chunk of beef (the filet mignon) as usual while I opted for a chicken watermelon salad. Belford’s was definitely one of the more upscale restaurants in City Market and certainly delivered. Our food was delicious and it was nice to eat outside on the patio and enjoy the views of city market. After a great meal, I couldn’t contain my excitement for the Haunted Ghost Tour I had been waiting all day for. We had some time to spare before the tour so we sat on River Street to watch the sunset while devouring fudge from Savannah’s Candy Kitchen.

We had an open trolley haunted tour with Ghosts & Gravestones to ride through the haunted cobblestone streets of Savannah.ย  The tour did a good job at providing actual history of the city in addition to the ghost stories. Our first stop was the haunted mansion of the Andrew Low House. I loved this because we were actually able to walk through the house, see the original furnishings and hear about the deaths that occurred in the home – definitely creepy. It was also nice to be able to get out and see things as opposed to being stuck on a bus the whole time. We also had a ride along tour of the Historic District and our final stop was a creepy warehouse on River Street. I’ll save you the details but let’s just say I had my eyes closed and was clinging on to my husband throughout this one.

One of the children’s rooms from Andrew Low House. Creepfest.

As many places that we’ve traveled to over the years, this trip was one that stuck with me. Savannah was full of character, charm, history, hot sun, nature and amazing food. Even the hubs raved about it afterward. This is definitely a city we would come to again because it was so memorable for us. With our first baby on the way, Savannah is even on the list of possible baby names because we hold such fond memories of this trip.

Must Do’s when visiting Savannah: River Street, Savannah’s Candy Kitchen,ย  City Market, Forsyth Park, Victorian District, Haunted Ghost Tour, Andrew Low House, Chippewa Square (where the famous Forest Gump bench scene was shot), Historic District