This will be my first time going to Savannah and I have heard so many great things about it. Planning ahead is important when making the most of your limited time. So how do you prepare for a trip like this? Here are six things you can do to help make your weekend a success.
- Plan Ahead– Start by googling the city’s visitor page and do some research there. You will find popular places like City Market & the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace (the founder of the Girl Scouts). They have a tool to help you plan out your visit and you can even order a visitors guide on Visit Savannah. (It takes three weeks for delivery, so order ahead of time!) I usually make a spreadsheet of all the places (sites and restaurants) I may want to visit. Next, I search for blog articles on the city I am visiting and add new locations and any tips or notes from the blogs on my spreadsheet. Then I go to Pinterest, looking for anything interesting. That is where I found out about this cute Liege waffle place called Mirabelle Cafe.
Then I go to Yelp and read people’s review and pictures. We decided to check out Huey’s because of the good reviews on Yelp. Plus, I found out that if you check-in to Yelp you will get a free beignet! I cross off any places I decide aren’t for me and narrow it down to a reasonable amount of locations.
- Research– Do your research on the places you decide to visit. Be sure to check hours and days that they are open as the hours may be limited especially on Sundays, as well as to check pricing to see if paying anything in advance will save you money. We decided to choose what house we visited when we arrived. This was a mistake. Locals suggested the Owens-Thomas House, saying we need to check it out as it is the best. A tour costs $20 but includes access to Jepsen Center and Telfair Academy. It was late afternoon when we got there and knew we wouldn’t have time to visit all three locations; for two women on a budget, we felt $20 was too much money since we only had time for one.
- Give yourself enough time– Now you can use your spreadsheet to start planning your schedule. Give yourself time to explore the area; you never know what you might find. Try and plan out two or three things on the must-do list and then one or two on the maybe list, that way if something goes wrong you still have plenty of things to do. I recommend choosing a ghost tour now and book that for Friday or Saturday night. We went with Southern Strolls Walking Tours. They did a great job. We choose this tour because it was more history-based versus just trying to scare us. It seemed to be less well-known and cheaper so we took the chance. It ended up working out great because it was a small group which was nice and our tour guide, Scott was awesome. We definitely suggest booking a tour with them.
- Allow yourself to make changes to the plan– See somewhere interesting you want to stop? Do it! You’ll never know what you are going to find. It’s important to leave a little extra time when you are planning out your schedule to allow for last minute additions. We hadn’t planned to visit the Colonial Cemetary but we are glad we did. It was listed as a stop on the Ghost Tour but you can’t go in because it closes after dark. Our tour guide mentioned the cemetery a couple times so I was glad we saw it during the day.
- Talk to the Concierge at your hotel– We got a great map and our concierge highlighted the route to take and some main sites to look out for. It can’t hurt to chat with them for a couple minutes. A lot of times they will have coupons for local restaurants or shops.
- Read up on the area– Do some reading on the history of the area. Savannah is filled with history and knowing a little bit about it will add interest and help make sense to all the plaques you are reading about. It could be a great thing to talk about during your road trip there. I would also suggest reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Savannah is the main character in the book; in reading it, you can get a good feel for the city. Plus there will be some spots you will recognize as you walk around.
This should help you plan out your weekend. Here are some suggestions of great places we went that you won’t want to miss on your trip. The first two were planned and the second were just places we discovered during our adventures.
Goose Feather’s Cafe – We went there for breakfast. It was SO delicious! Very filling, great price, and relaxed atmosphere.
Savannah Bee Company – Free honey tasting, amazing body butter, and honey-scented soap. Need I say more? You can’t go wrong, plus they have two locations in the Historic District.
The Book Lady Bookstore – This place is adorable. Nooks and crannies filled with old and new books around every corner. There were a number of unique finds at this store that you may not see at other stores back home. This is a must stop for book lovers.
Kitchens on the Square – It’s right across from Goose Feathers and is the cutest store ever. A cooking lovers heaven filled with fun kitchen paraphernalia. Love this store!
Let me know in the comments if there are any great places we should stop next time we visit.