Move Over, Charleston: Savannah Is the Southern Getaway You Need to Book ASAP
Dallasites have been flocking to Charleston for years, lured by pastel-hued architecture, serious restaurants and the easy pace of small-town (well, smaller town) life. But there’s another Southern city that boasts all those things and is about to become the weekend getaway all your friends are talking about. With the opening of the splashy Perry Lane Hotel last summer—and nonstop flights from DFW for around $200 round trip—Savannah’s never been more enticing to out-of-state travelers. Here’s exactly how to spend a weekend in a city that’s been around forever yet suddenly feels brand new.
Where to Stay
Located in the heart of the city’s historic district, the Perry Lane Hotel opened in June 2018 and has been impressing guests ever since. Designed with the property’s muse, Adelaide Harcourt, in mind, the entire place is filled with her art and personal touches. One important thing to note? Adelaide doesn’t actually exist. Yep, the New York–based Flank development firm dreamed up the seventh-generation Savannahian to help design and guide the look and feel of the hotel. Talk about a design team doing their research.
The 167-room property has rooms and suites (starting at $280) on both sides of a quaint cobblestone street and features an on-site coffee shop, watering hole, restaurant, boutique and rooftop pool and bar. Amenities include a morning cup of locally brewed joe, bike rentals, luxury car service transfer, Frette Italian linens and Byredo bath products. Our favorite perk? A big jar of complimentary cookies in your room (from legendary local bakery Byrd’s) that gets replenished each day of your stay.
Where to Eat
Pack your stretchy pants and your walking shoes because this is not a trip for those with a small appetite. First, fuel up with an Americano and a chocolate croissant from the local brewers at Bowerbird. Once you’ve worked up an appetite strolling the city, put your name on the list for brunch at The Collins Quarter, where you can feast on avocado smash, short-rib hash and one of the heavenly Bloody Marys featuring locally made mix.
And no weekend in Savannah is complete without a stop at Husk—the city is home to the fourth outpost of the acclaimed Southern restaurant—for a custom cocktail followed by farm-to-table creations by executive chef Chris Hathcock. You can’t go wrong with anything on the local-focused menu, but we’re partial to the Georgia shrimp and grits served with a farm egg, arugula and embered mushrooms.
Where to Drink
Ditch the tourist traps and frozen-drink dives that attract bachelorette parties and opt for a more laid-back beverage. Love a good rooftop bar? Peregrin, located on top of the Perry Lane Hotel, offers a stunning view of the city in addition to craft cocktails, yard games and Instagram photo ops for days. When the sun sets and the church bells are ringing, you’re guaranteed to feel all the feelings.
On warm days, post up under an umbrella at The Wyld Dock Bar for a bucket of Tybee Island Blondes and a local shrimp roll. The waterfront spot is only a 15-minute Uber from downtown Savannah, but it feels miles away, tucked onto a quiet stretch of Country Club Creek.
Speakeasy enthusiasts will dig the uber-cool Alley Cat Lounge, which offers guests a lengthy menu—designed like a fancy newspaper—featuring every cocktail you could ever imagine. Drinking with a group? Go for a Bicyclette punch bowl (Champagne, Campari, elderflower, lemon). Looking for something stronger? Opt for an Oaxacan Old Fashioned (reposado tequila, mescal, mole bitters).
What to do
The best way to take in Savannah’s historic beauty is with a nice, leisurely stroll. Start your walk by heading toward Forsyth Park, where you’ll find 30 acres of lush green space, fountains and even a farmers’ market on Saturdays. Heading back toward downtown, you’ll pass rows and rows of Victorian-era houses, interspersed with the city’s 22 picturesque squares.
Fancy yourself a history buff? Pick your poison and head out on a tour, whether it be self-guided or by horse-drawn carriage. You’ll find options that focus on everything from Civil War landmarks to ghosts. You can even take in the sights from the deck of the Georgia Queen via a sightseeing boat cruise.
For window-shopping or souvenir hunting, Broughton Street is your best bet for both boutiques and mainstream brands. We adore the Paris Market and Brocante, an eclectic mash-up of antiques, home decor and a lovely in-house café. It’s also worth exploring the many art galleries scattered around the historic district, including ShopSCAD, which sells pieces from students at the venerated Savannah College of Art and Design.