Road Trip | Savannah, Georgia

I was most excited to visit a couple of southern cities on our trip. Savannah was right up there at the top.

Our original itinerary included a stop after St. Augustine in Naples, Florida. A few things fell through, the weather wasn’t looking great, the tragedies in Orlando had just happened and we were not super excited about the long drive all the way down Florida and then all the way back up. So Naples got nixed.

Instead, we shifted our schedule and drove straight to Savannah. Surprisingly, this was only the second time we strayed from our pre-planned stops (the first was an overnight in Waco). And just like that first adjustment, we were happy with the decision to tack on a few extra days in Savannah.

airstream We stayed at a campground about 20 minutes outside of Savannah. There was lots of grass, pretty grounds, a pool, horses and a clubhouse with a big tv for watching movies and a pool table.

For most of our stops we’ve hardly had time to hang out around the campground. This time, we moved a little slower and there was more downtime which was perfect for our family.

camppond We spent two full days in Savannah. The first started with brunch at Soho South Cafe.

sohosouth The two younger boys tried chicken + waffles for the first time (and fell in love), I had the most amazing fried green tomato sandwich with a fried egg on top. It was such a great meal.

From there, we walked from square to square, looking at houses, popping into shops and getting a feel for the city.

housegarden This was the first time in Savannah for all of us and we were not exactly sure where to go and what to do. We went off of the suggestions from this book and my dear instagram friends who left helpful comments. 

houseorange We visited The Paris Market – a really pretty shop with fun displays and interesting mix of vintage and new.

parismarket A few doors down was Ryan’s favorite shop called 24e. First of all, the warehouse they are in is amazing and we all wanted to move right in. Second, the selection of furniture and lighting is well-made and unique.

24esofa After a stop into Anthropologie for a new top we moved on to Forsyth Park and the iconic fountain.

fountainpark fountain The park has a great playground where the kids played for a bit, a huge field where we threw a football until we were too sweaty and the Confederate Memorial Statue. 

statue We made our way down to the river and walked along the old cobblestone roads along River Street. There were mainly bars along the street so we didn’t spend much time down there.

bytheriver After a long, hot day with lots and lots of walking, we finished off the day at another really, really good restaurant called The Public Kitchen + Bar. Again, our food was so good, the service was great and I loved the atmosphere.

kidsdinner I snapped this photo at the table and got a little teary-eyed. These kids have been such great travel companions. We drag them all over the place and they just go along with it. We take them to restaurants where they have to stretch their tastes and use their manners and they take it like champs. We’re so proud of these four. 

The next day was Father’s Day and we decided to have a hang-out-at-the-campsite day.

ryanfathersday The kids made Ryan a surprise breakfast – a yogurt and fruit pyramid :)

Speaking of fruit, while in Georgia we ate a lot of fresh peaches.

peaches So very juicy and delicious.

Our second full day in Savannah started at another fantastic restaurant: The Collins Quarter.

collinsquarter This restaurant was my favorite of all we’ve been in during these travels. The lavender latte was amazing as was the avocado toast, the braised short rib hash, the brioche french toast … it was all so wonderful.

We spent the first day doing our own sightseeing, but we were anxious to learn more of the history of the city and so we booked a trolley tour that took us around for about an hour while our driver narrated along the way.

trolley The kids were not as into it as Ryan and I were, but they did great.

trolly I loved hearing about how the city was established, what all the squares contain, seeing old, gracious homes, gorgeous churches, learning about the dripping Spanish moss (it’s not actually moss!) and some of the city’s most famous residents.

housewhite housebrick fence After the trolley tour, there were a couple of spots we wanted to go back to and visit. One was this striking church:

church churchtall I didn’t realize that we could go inside, but Ryan opened the door and we all followed. 

When I walked in, I gasped. And then cried.

churchholywater Never have I seen a more beautiful building

churchinside Another stop we wanted to make it to was Leopold’s Ice Cream. Everyone told us it was a must-visit. We skipped it the first day because the line was super long and we figured the ice cream couldn’t be that great.

On day two, after hearing about it over and over again, we stood in the line and gave it a try.

leopolds Mmm. Very much worth it. 

One last little stop … Calhoun Square. This is the only square that has all of its original buildings intact and we wanted just a few more minutes to walk around and appreciate the architecture.

ryanphoto ironrailing stairs streetrailing street We really enjoyed Savannah. The food was so good. We loved the old homes and buildings. The trees are big and covered in that strange, romantic Spanish moss.

If we were to do it again, we would have taken the trolley tour on day one just to give us a good overview of the city before exploring on our own. Learning the history of the city made us appreciate it all the more and we would have missed so much if we didn’t have our trolley tour guide. Lesson learned.

P.S. If you’d like to learn more about the history of Savannah, this is a great resource.

34 Responses to Road Trip | Savannah, Georgia

  1. Kimberly Wilbanks August 30, 2016 at 6:49 pm #

    Savannah is one of my favorite cities. I celebrated my 50th birthday weekend with my mom and 15 friends in a historic home. It was amazing!

  2. melissa July 28, 2016 at 3:11 pm #

    So much fun! Just curious which campground you all were staying at…my sis and I are trying to plan a fun trip to Savannah and we’ve thought about trying to find a good campground close by so our families could have room to play. I was hoping for a link, but didn’t see one. Thanks so much!

    • emily July 31, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

      The campground we stayed at was about 10-15 minutes from Savannah with a big open grassy field. It was a great home-base for us for a few days – not the nicest we’ve been to, but totally workable. http://www.redgatecampground.com/

  3. Margaret July 28, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

    This post made me ridiculously happy as Savannah is one of my very favorites! Also, my daddy is a Georgia peach farmer–they are one of the best things on the planet & I’m glad your family got to experience those, too!

  4. Betsy July 18, 2016 at 6:16 am #

    Love your blog! My husband and I actually *moved* to Savannah last August from NYC — and I’ve never looked back. It really is a special place :)

  5. Christie McGetrick July 17, 2016 at 8:31 am #

    Savannah is great but if you didn’t hit Charleston, SC you missed out – best restaurants, downtown is amazing – historic college houses, churches and islands. Hope you get to
    stop there.

  6. Audra July 16, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

    We’re from Western Canada and are spending 2 weeks in the Boston area. If you’re planning to come this way, be sure to check out Plymouth…it’s a gorgeous seaside town I’d never heard of but is very rich in early American history and the architecture and houses are so quintessentially cape cod. So so so beautiful. Cape cod itself is amazing and of course Nantucket is gorgeous…going to Martha’s Vineyard on Monday which should be beautiful as well. The seafood everywhere is a treat for us prairie people as well!

  7. Amy July 16, 2016 at 3:01 pm #

    Sounds like a great place! I was a bit surprised to see that you were going to Naples. It’s so far south and we vacation by there (Marco Island), but definitely wouldn’t think Naples was a must see. Glad you were able to enjoy Savannah!

  8. Ale July 16, 2016 at 4:40 am #

    I think you made a good call not to head down to Naples and then all the way back up to Savannah. Not sure it would have been worth all that drive time. Seems like it allowed you to slow down a bit and really savor your family time in Savannah.

    I felt the same way about Savannah when we visited in January…not so crazy about River Street, loved the historic squares, and the food! We were so full, but kept eating because there were so many good options. Will need to visit Soho South and The Public for our next visit – thank you!

    Here’s my recap of our recent visit. You will probably recognize a lot of the places :)

  9. Tami Walsh July 16, 2016 at 4:02 am #

    I’m so glad you saw River Street, even if you didn’t spend much time there. The cobblestone streets are to die for and I hope you all got to climb one of the steep sets of sets up to the main road. I love Savannah!!

  10. Lynn July 15, 2016 at 10:52 pm #

    It looks so beautiful and makes me want to go!

  11. Luuh July 15, 2016 at 10:02 pm #

    Hello Emily, I love your pics. So natural, so beautiful!
    Greetings from Brazil!!

  12. Jeri Sires July 15, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

    I’m so sad that I didn’t realize ahead of time that you were coming to Savannah!!! As a native, I agree with all of the choices you made while you were here – even the locals don’t spend a lot of time on River Street :0). Paris Market and 24e are two of my favorite stores in all of Savannah!!! Don’t you just LOVE the merchandising displays at The Paris Market???

    The only thing I think you missed (off the top of my head) was dining at The Olde Pink House (the most amazing shrimp & grits and BLT salad) and spending the day at Tybee Island. Other than that, it sounds like you got a great taste of all that our wonderful city has to offer and I hope you experienced nothing but amazing southern hospitality everywhere you went.

    Honestly, it doesn’t matter how long I’ve lived here, I NEVER get tired of this beautiful city, it’s residents, and all who choose to visit!

    Thanks for stopping by. Y’all come back now, ya hear!

  13. Karmen July 15, 2016 at 7:20 pm #

    It’s been a long time since I read it, but you should check out the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I remember really liking it and insight into the South.

  14. Kathy July 15, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

    We’ve been to Savannah twice and really love it there! So glad your family also included several days’ stop there. Hope you visited the amazing candy store down by the canal….I’m sure your sweet children would have loved it! The Paris Market is so fun. And you are right, Emily, that the Catholic Church there is so inspiring and beautiful.

  15. Kim July 15, 2016 at 4:09 pm #

    Squeeeeeee! Savannah is my hometown and I love this post. I moved away in my twenties but had to come home because I missed it too much. You captured our city beautifully, and I’m so pleased you enjoyed it. Soho South is my absolute favorite-well chosen!

  16. janet July 15, 2016 at 4:07 pm #

    Loving following along on your trip. So impressed with all that planning, and now all that doing!

    I want to see the Anthro top you bought! :)

  17. Rachel O July 15, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

    What’s the name of the beautiful church?

  18. Deanna July 15, 2016 at 1:21 pm #

    Glad you enjoyed Savannah! We have lived here almost 9 years now and we never tire of going downtown. There is always something else to discover.

  19. Ann July 15, 2016 at 11:37 am #

    Love, love, LOVE Savannah! Like you, it didn’t take long for that quintessential Southern city to capture my West Coast heart. My husband and I went in October, right before I began work on my dissertation. It was the last hurrah before the REAL grad work began. I am convinced that city doesn’t have a bad season. I adored seeing it decked out in fall decor. Many of those iron porch railings were draped in fall color and the steps leading up to doors hung with big autumn wreaths featured brightly colored pumpkins. I was hooked from the moment my feet hit the pavement!

  20. Amy Harvey July 15, 2016 at 9:37 am #

    We lived a total of 10 years in Savannah. The Army sent us there from 2001-2004 and 2005-2012….needless to say this beautiful city holds a special place in my heart. Your pics made me miss it even more!!

  21. Abby July 15, 2016 at 9:05 am #

    Savannah is in my top 3 of favorite cities anywhere! We like to vacation on Tybee Island and always make time to spend a couple of days in the city while we’re there!

  22. Carin July 15, 2016 at 9:01 am #

    A must do next time is to hire a walking tour of the squares which wr thought was so awesome and gave some good history. The night time grave tour was pretty fun as well.

  23. Danielle July 15, 2016 at 8:09 am #

    This is so funny because I work in downtown Savannah and as I was driving in on Tuesday I saw an Airstream and wondered if you were in town. The cathedral is gorgeous, I went to the Catholic high school there and our graduation ceremony was held in the Cathedral. So glad you enjoyed the city!

  24. Ardith July 15, 2016 at 7:55 am #

    Fantastic post, Emily. Savannah should make you its travel ambassador. I’m happy hear the entire family enjoyed the visit so much. Cheers, Ardith

  25. Ardith July 15, 2016 at 7:54 am #

    Fantastic post, Emily. Savannah should make you its travel ambassador. I’m happy hear the entire family enjoyed the visit so much. Cheers, Ardith

  26. SUSAN SHIPE July 15, 2016 at 7:19 am #

    I was in Savannah years and years ago, spent time on River Street. I loved it then. And, those old Southern homes. Dreamy!!

  27. Trish at TheOldPostRoad July 15, 2016 at 7:04 am #

    Love Savannah! For future visitors: the river taxi is FREE and gives you great views of the City- which still looks a lot like it did 200 years ago from the water!

  28. Erin July 15, 2016 at 6:51 am #

    Thank you for sharing this amazing trip with us! It’s definitely inspired me + my family to want to travel more.

    Also… your pictures are beautiful! What lens are you using?

    • emily July 16, 2016 at 5:56 pm #

      Thank you!

      We’ve been using a mix of our phone cameras (most of these are taken with my iphone) and our cannon slr. I’m hoping to do a photography post soon!

  29. Emily July 15, 2016 at 6:49 am #

    ^ yes we don’t touch the moss! Sorry a local didn’t stop you!

  30. Cali Campa-Padilla July 15, 2016 at 6:48 am #

    I’m from Hilton Head Island and Savannah was our go to place for the weekends. We love it there! My favorite store is 24e. And The Paris Market. Hope you guys enjoyed your time there. I love keeping up with your traveling.

  31. Monica July 15, 2016 at 6:44 am #

    Savannah is one of my favorite cities in the US! We spend a lot of time in Hilton Head and have popped into Savannah many times with our 4 kids. The ghost tour at night was one of their favorite activities along with a stop for taffy along the River front. When your kids are a bit older you can return for that.?
    Love following your journey!!

  32. Jo July 15, 2016 at 5:34 am #

    My husband and I visited Savannah during a 3 wk East Coast car trip. It is beautiful. I wanted to take some of that Spanish moss home so he pulled some off the tree and stuck it in the trunk. Next time we opened the trunk it was full of gnat-like bugs! We had to throw it away.

    I am LOVING this trip of yours. You are excellent at showing us photos and your narrative is so informative. I’m learning of many new places I’d love to go. This is such a fantastic opportunity for your family and I’m so glad you are doing it – for all of us, your readers, and also mostly for you and your family. Can’t wait til the next stop!

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