In looking for our next home, it must be a place that inspires stories. Our globetrotting friends have so many wonderful stories of their own, and this guest post from Lanise Lovestone shares her adventures on an anniversary trip to Savannah, Georgia. — Angela
Hey, y’all! Spring has arrived on my side of the world, and there’s no better time to take a weekend getaway to the “Hostess City,” Savannah, Georgia.
I remember visiting Savannah for the first time nine years ago celebrating my honeymoon. At that time, I had never heard anything about the city, but I was really fascinated by what I read. After that first visit in March 2009, my husband and I made Savannah our annual anniversary destination.
Savannah has one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the world. People from everywhere drive, fly, and take the bus to partake in the city’s festivities. There are so many things to do and see, and during St. Patrick’s Day weekend, you will also see a lot of drinking. In their historic downtown district, the city allows adult beverages in an open plastic container. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not all about drinking, but if you love a good adult beverage, there are a ton of bars and lounges where you can get a St. Patrick’s Day green drink or cocktails in general.
Despite the plethora of beverage options, the city is very family-friendly. The city is also very pet-friendly, and you will see a lot of dogs at the celebration dressed up in their green! Head-to-toe shamrocks are a popular theme across the board.
The St. Patrick’s Day parade usually starts at 10 a.m. and lasts for a few hours. If you don’t want to stand during the parade, you can buy a seat on a set of bleachers along the parade route. You can expect to see a lot of high school bands marching through the parade, and the bands are my favorite, because I love rocking to those drums and seeing those girls move. It’s fun to watch and interact. The kids practice for this day all year long, and they do not disappoint.
You’ll also see the famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses make an appearance. Those are some of the most beautiful horses! And you just might see some prominent people come through the parade, from local celebrities to the Vice President of the United States, who attended this year’s festivities. And when the parade is over, the fun doesn’t end there.
You can be out and about all day and night in the Hostess City. In the City Market, they have a section set up where bands play throughout the day and into the night. The live music is great! They have benches for you to sit, drink, eat, and be merry while you listen. I love the variety of music they have!
You can walk around Savannah and sight-see, take a trolley tour, a ghost tour, or even enjoy a martini tour. On the latter, they take you to three or four different locations, and you enjoy a cocktail while you hear about the history of the bar. It is cool! Special shout-out to the late Ron Higgins, founder of Savannah Movie Tours and More. He was such an awesome person and very knowledgeable, and he will always be my favorite tour guide in Savannah.
Savannah is the type of place that if your friends don’t feel like going out with you, you can go downtown alone and you will make some new friends along the way. The people are just that awesome.
The St. Patrick’s Day celebration can become expensive if you don’t plan ahead. The longer you wait to book a room, the more expensive the hotels will be. Airbnb is a great option as well and can be cheaper than downtown hotels (get a $40 credit toward your first Airbnb stay with this link). I wouldn’t suggest staying anywhere besides the downtown area. That way, if you drink, you can leave your car parked and not have to worry about driving. Plus, parking can be overwhelming during that time of year.
Savannah is the type of place that once you visit, you will go back repeatedly; the parade is at the top of my favorites list but the people, the atmosphere, the way Savannah celebrates every holiday you can think of, the random people you see playing music in the squares or on River Street, and the food are all wonderful! Here are a few of my favorites:
- Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room (a memorable experience)
- Zunzi’s (food with influences from South Africa, Switzerland, Italy, and the Netherlands)
- Lulu’s Chocolate Bar (dessert and cocktails)
- Leopold’s Ice Cream (make this your first stop!)
- Wet Willie’s (drinks galore)
- Vinnie Van Go-Go’s (best pizza ever)
- Godfather’s Pizza (yes, it still exists!)
- First African Baptist Church (take a historical tour)
- Ellis Square
Savannah really does live up to the name “The Hostess City,” and the St. Patrick’s Day parade and festivals are just a bonus! What’s your favorite time of year to visit Savannah?