On a recent commute from Palm Beach, Florida to Charleston, South Carolina, we stopped over in Savannah, Georgia. While Charleston is perhaps better known for its history, beautiful architecture and outstanding restaurants, boutiques and galleries, Savannah, in many ways, rivals Charleston as a destination.
After all, Savannah has much to boast about. It was America’s first planned city. It has the largest historic district of any city in the U.S; the largest cathedral south of the Mason-Dixon Line; more decorative ironwork than any other city; the largest port in the South Atlantic region; the oldest college of art and design in America; the oldest public museum; and, the oldest continually operating theatre in the country. And with its historic district planned around 22 bucolic squares—accented with massive live oaks, palms and lovely gardens—this district has more green space than any other in the country.
Additionally, Savannah has some wonderful restaurants and museums—not to mention the variety of nightly haunted pub tours that are popular with visitors. For starters, check out the The Olde Pink House Restaurant (on Abercorn off E. Bay St.), Elizabeth on 37th restaurant (www.elizabethon37th.net), the Sapphire Grill (www.sapphiregrill.com), Noble Fare restaurant (www.noblefare.com) and the Telfair Museum (www. telfair.org).
Consider a stay at the historic Ballastone Inn (www.ballastone.com), an antebellum townhouse built in 1838 and considered one of the most beautiful and romantic B & Bs in the city. It’s the only one with a bar, an elevator and off-street parking. If you’re feeling amorous and indulgent, stay in the spacious China Trade Suite. Don’t miss the inn’s complimentary afternoon tea (including orange brownies, assorted scones with Devonshire cream and much more), evening hors d’oeuvres with drinks and signature gourmet breakfast—served inside or al fresco in a peaceful courtyard.
After breakfast, an adventurous way to start the day is with a walking tour of the historic district with Earl (call 912-507-7525), husband of the inn’s chef and, by reputation, one of the best guides in town. For more information, check: www.savannahvisit.com