I’ve been in Atlanta for 10 months and realized something recently… I haven’t taken nearly enough roadtrips.
While living in Dallas, Texas I was a roadtrip master. Austin, Houston, San Antonio, South Padre, even Louisiana and Arkansas. I drove all over the place at a moments notice on a regular basis. But that’s changed a bit since I moved.
I’ve had so much fun exploring the city of Atlanta that I’m missing out on some of the amazing places that are just a few hours away. Outside of driving to Tallulah Gorge and the Little Grand Canyon of Georgia to camp with friends, my weekend roadtrips have been minimal.
Luckily, all that changed when my friend Vivian and I took a 3.5 hour drive to lovely Savannah, GA this past weekend. Our trip planning was extremely detailed and went something like this:
Two Weeks Out – Let’s go to Savannah it’ll be fun!
One Week Out – Maybe we should think about booking a hotel room.
The Day Before – Uh, what time are we leaving tomorrow and who’s driving?!?
The Morning Of – You have Waze so we know how to get there… right?!
The Awesome Thing About Not Having Plans
As we headed to Savannah, we discussed what we knew about the city and what we might enjoy doing. Ghost tours and eating at The Lady & Sons quickly made the “not gonna happen” list. On the list of things to check out were eating fried green tomatoes, walking the historic district, and chilling at the beach on Tybee Island.
I selected the Doubletree Savannah Historic District as our hotel based on it’s walkability and price. It’s at the edge of the Historic District but close enough that you can still walk most places in 15 minutes or less. The free public trolley passes right by the hotel which is convenient as well.
The hotel was adorable! Purple, gold, and navy paired together in the common areas and rooms to create a modern but unpretentious atmosphere. Plus, those warm Doubletree cookies always put a smile on my face from the moment I check in. At the time of booking, the rate was $256 per night after tax plus $25 a night for valet parking.
Savannah Restaurants & Eating & Walking
We got checked in and immediately hit the pavement to take in the sights and some of the amazing food we’d heard so much about before arriving. The restaurants in Savannah lived up to the hype. From seafood to southern, we found a variety of good eats, gorgeous views, and world-class hospitality.
Crystal Beer Parlor – 301 W Jones St, Savannah, GA 31401
What I Had: Fried Green Tomatoes, Crab Dip, Emergency Drinking Beer
Our first stop was Crystal Beer Parlor where we enjoyed crab dip and a southern staple, fried green tomatoes. The food was good, the cold Emergency Drinking Beer was better, and our server was the best! She gave us the dish on what areas to explore and avoid and made the stop by their establishment well worth the visit with her positive outlook!
Rocks On The Roof – 102 W Bay St, Savannah, GA 31401
What I Had: Crab & Truffle Flatbread, Savannah Tea
With roadie in hand (you can openly drink on the streets of Savannah) we took a stroll down to River Street. The area is so dense with restaurants, bars, and shops that we quickly found relief from the heat at Rocks on The Roof in the Bohemian Hotel. The “Savannah Tea” and crab and truffle flat bread did not disappoint. We also took in a beautiful view of the river before heading out for more adventures… and snacks.
Tubby’s Tank House – 115 E River St, Savannah, GA 31401
What I Had: Kimchi Calamari, Southern Mule
Our quest for a meal with a view continued on to Tubby’s. The oceanic decor made for a simple yet stylish environment and their massive balcony was just what we were looking for. The kimchi calamari provided a generous portion of perfectly crisp, slightly sweet, and amazingly savory fried squid. It’s something you must try if in Savannah.
Byrd’s Cookie Company – 213 W St Julian Street Savannah, GA 31401
What I Had: Key Lime Coolers, Chocolate Chip, Peach Coolers
As we hit the main square we noticed things stirring near Byrd’s. Our curiosity took over and we wandered in only to be greeted with more cookies than even Cookie Monster himself could indulge in. The store has a cookie bar where you can try all the cookie flavors they offer. The lime stole my heart, and my dollars, and I couldn’t help but bring some home with me.
Persepolis – 41 Whitaker St, Savannah, GA 31410
What I Had: Dolmades, Pastitsio, Spanakopita, Saffron Rice, Grilled Veggies, Port Wine, Mango Hookah
As the night was drawing near a close, we passed by a place that said hookah and were immediately drawn in. Initially we planned to only have hookah and move along, but the welcoming atmosphere and friendly team at Persepolis kept us there so long that we literally shut the restaurant down and were the last to leave. I’ve eaten a lot of Mediterranean fare in my day and the food here was delicious, fresh, and well spiced.
The District Cafe – 202 E Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401
What I Had: Turkey Salad, Coconut Cake
As we rode out of town on our last day, we randomly found ourselves at The District Cafe. I ordered the turkey salad (it had a fancier name I can’t remember) that was the essence of fall… in my mouth. Perfectly crafted bites of tender turkey, aged cheddar, crisp apples, fresh spring mix, and avocado were brought together with a homemade cinnamon apple cider vinaigrette. When I noticed that every single person at the table of 7 next to us ordered their own slice of cake, I figured they might be onto something and indulged in a piece of my own. I was quickly reminded that cake is always a good thing as I scarfed down the fluffy, yet moist, slice covered in fresh toasted coconut before we hit the road.
Bikes & The Beach
On our last day we drove down to Tybee Island to take in a view of the Georgia coastline. Located about 30 minutes away from town, Tybee proved to be worth the visit.
We rented bikes in Savannah from the most helpful couple. Their shop is located in Laurel Canyon Gifts which is right off of River Street. They hooked us up with 2 bikes, helmets, and a bike lock. The best part was the bike’s ability to compact. We easily fit both bikes in the backseat of my car.
While Tybee is no culinary hotspot, we had a decent breakfast at a local diner before taking a ride around town and heading to the beach. My yearning for grits took us to Sunrise where I enjoyed their Savannah Shrimp and Grits. After breakfast, we took a quick ride around town before heading to relax at the beach.
If you want to see diversity, you will find it on Tybee Island. Families, singles, couples, young, old, all shapes, and sizes, and ethnicities. Tybee Island was a melting pot of locals and visitors alike. We took our own beach towels, but there were plenty of stations to rent chairs and umbrellas right along the water.
I wasn’t expecting the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, which was great because I didn’t find it there. What I did find was completely inline with my expectations. A family friendly beach, within driving distance from Atlanta, with the sound of ocean waves crashing in the background. Zen enough for me!
You don’t have to go very far to make memories, experience new cultures, and soak up rest and relaxation. If planning stresses you out, no problem. Book your accommodations in an area that is easy to walk and let your legs carry you to whatever locations seem the most interesting.
The best part, your lack of planning = no fomo. Instead of rushing to pack in as many things as you can while away for the weekend, you can relax and trust your intuition to create an itinerary of fun.
Have you been to Savannah? What was your favorite part of the city? Let me know in the comments below!