Written by: Jennie Clarke
Savannah is the oldest city in the state of Georgia, having been established in 1733. In fact, it was America’s first planned city. The squares and parks that Savannah is famous for were meant to serve as meeting places and centers of business. All but two of these shady squares are still in existence today and are now perfect spots to round-up romance.
This historic destination can also make for a historic couples getaway! For your delight, Savannah serves up a heaping spoonful of southern flare and somehow mixes in European charm. You’ll feel separated from the rest of the world, but truly connected to your one and only as you wander hand-in-hand to picturesque cobblestone streets, sidewalk cafes and more. Here’s our guide for a Savannah getaway!
Near The Riverfront…
The Kimpton Brice Hotel offers modern elegance in the heart of this iconic city. Situated in the historic district between the riverfront and Washington Square, you’ll find yourselves in an ideal location to explore Savannah. The hotel is well appointed and contemporary, and you’ll feel like you are spoiling yourselves a little bit… as you should on a romantic getaway.
Near Forsyth Park…
The Mansion on Forsyth Park, Autograph Collection, a part of the Marriott brand, delights with unique accommodations. A Victorian mansion riddled with elegance will have you feeling especially welcomed and cozy. Located next to the famous Forsyth Park, take a daily morning stroll through the park and then hop on the city’s complimentary transportation system (the Dot) for a quick ride to the riverfront.
The Gastonian is an upscale boutique bed and breakfast ideal for couples looking to renew their vows on a getaway! They offer a special package that includes: a private garden courtyard or elegant parlor for the ceremony, floral arrangements, petite wedding cake in your flavor choice, champagne toast, justice of peace services or minister and choice of guest rooms such as The Caracalla Honeymoon Suite (recognized as one of the most romantic rooms in Savannah). The indulgence doesn’t stop there! Staff also provides turn-down service, chocolate-covered strawberries, a chilled bottle of champagne and a gourmet breakfast.
For other options, view the accommodations page on Savannah.com.
Dive Into History…
All aboard! What’s not to love about trains? At the Georgia State Railroad Museum, explore the history of trains and even ride on one. You can also visit Dottie, the River St. Streetcar who is temporarily out of commission due to planned construction on River St.
Smart is sexy, right? So study up at the quaint Savannah History Museum. You’ll learn about the American Revolution in Savannah and, for a bit of pop culture, check out Forrest Gump’s bench. A National Historic Landmark with views of Savannah’s riverfront and daily cannon firings, Old Fort Jackson is a must-do for your vacay agenda!
Glide through Savannah and visit many of its 22 historical squares on a fun Segway Tour. Come on… you know you’ve always wanted to try a Segway. Tip: The first three places listed above are all part of the Coastal Heritage Society. You can get a discounted ticket if you plan to visit all three.
Take a Stroll…
Famous and picturesque, you cannot miss Forsyth Park, an ideal spot for a romantic walk. The park was laid out in the 1840s and covers a massive 30 acres of land. Close to the north entrance of the park, find the historic fountain built in 1858. It makes for a great place to take a selfie with your love or, even better, find someone to capture the moment for you. Keep walking and you’ll also discover the Confederate War Memorial, built by a New York City sculptor and dedicated to those who fought for the Confederate Army in the Civil War. Forsyth Park is a great place to catch a concert or visit the Saturday Farmer’s Market.
Madison Square is a trendy and historic square named after James Madison, the fourth president of the United States. In the center of the square stands a monument dedicated to Sargent William Jasper, an American soldier in the Revolutionary War. While the square is quaint, you will find that you can wander the surrounding streets and shops for even more so quite some time. Be sure to visit E. Shaver Booksellers, Shop SCAD (a gallery for the students and graduates of The Savannah College of Art and Design) and grab a cup of tea or coffee at the Gryphon Tea Room.
Also plan to visit Lafayette Square, a beautiful square with a relaxing and romantic fountain. Take in the views of the surrounding historic architecture and also devote time to visiting the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, first constructed in 1876. Some dub this cathedral as the “Sistine Chapel of the South” so appreciate its beautiful stained glass and painted ceilings.
Get On The Water & Into Nature…
Make a splash on vacation by getting out onto the water to see dolphins and perhaps a few sites like the Tybee Island Lighthouse, Cockspur Island Lighthouse and Fort Pulaski. Check out Captain Derek’s Dolphin Adventure and Dolphin Magic, or other dolphin tour options.
Who doesn’t love a beach day? Tybee Island is located less than 30 minutes from historic Savannah so take a short drive for a memorial day on the shoreline.
Stroll through natural Georgia and experience wildlife along the Intracoastal Waterway. Skidaway Island State Park offers 6 miles of hiking trails along with bike rentals and bird watching.
Explore the marshes in a kayak. You might end up seeing a dolphin, eagle or other wildlife.
Dare to be haunted because there are a great number of haunted houses and ghost tours in Savannah… perhaps for good reason. Fun fact: Savannah is known as one of the most haunted cities in the U.S. Maybe a little scare will bring you a little closer to your love. Consider Ghosts and Gravestones (a trolley tour) or Savannah Ghost Walking Tour (a walking tour).
And for buzz-worthy souvenirs, pop into Savannah Bee Company.
Get a Taste: Food tours are a yummy way to discover a city while vacationing. Savannah Taste Experience is ranked as a Top Thing to Do in Savannah and, in our opinion, a must-do date activity.
Lunch/Dinner: When in the south, eat like the locals. A visit to Sisters of The New South will satisfy. This where the locals go for good ol’ southern soul food. And Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room is another popular destination.
If you are looking for a place that serves up a great location, ambiance and food, look no further than Belford’s Savannah. And for a historic colonial feel with a great menu, check out the Olde Pink House Restaurant. FYI, it’s rumored that you can also encounter a ghost here. For a riverfront option, be sure to check out Vic’s On The River.
Desert: From cheesecakes to mousse and fondue for two, feed your sweet tooth at LuLu’s Chocolate Bar. Also, try the classic Leopold’s Ice Cream parlor; it’s been open since 1919 and has been noted as the best ice cream in town.
Drinks: Did you know that Savannah’s historic district has an open container policy? That means that you can grab a beverage from a local restaurant and stroll the streets or stop and sit on a bench in one of the squares to enjoy libations and laughs with your love. This makes exploring the city and trying out different bars just a little more fun. For a flight of beer, order up at the Moon River Brewery.
There are a good handful of chic rooftop bars around town which are always great for atmosphere and spending a romantic evening together amidst a stunning backdrop. For views of the river, go to Top Deck or Rocks on The Roof. Both provide a high location looking over the water, complete with a refreshing breeze. If you love a good gastropub, head to Churchill’s.
For more fun ideas for a Savannah getaway, order a free travel guide from Visit Savannah.
Feature image credit: Dylan Wilson (www.dylanwilsonphotography.com) via Visit Savannah.
About the author: Jennie Clarke is a Central Florida based mom of two boys, wife to her supportive husband Jason, a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant with Good Night Sleep Site Florida, allergy-friendly food enthusiast and lover of the outdoors. Now in the midst of life after kids (and blogging about it), she and Jason work to bring focus to their marriage… (hello, date night!).