By Libbie Summers for Smartflyer
Photography by Teresa Earnest Photography
The folks at Smartflyer asked me to share my Savannah with their travelers. Get the full article HERE.
WHAT ARE THREE THINGS YOU LOVE ABOUT SAVANNAH?
The people, the history, and the weather!
Savannahians don’t trade on pretense. What you see is what you get –a creative and colorful people with an infectious sense of humor and endearing stubbornness. I’m always in awe of Savannah’s rich history. A must when visiting Savannah is going on a proper tour, whatever your interest. And trust me, they never disappoint. Some of my favorite tours include: Architectural Savannah, Freedom Trail Tour, Genteel and Bard Fine Savannah Walking Tours (History and Ghost). Gates and Gardens Tour. Mild winters keep things moving while steamy summers slow things down. I attribute the weather to why Savannahians live and work at a gentler, more thoughtful pace. It’s refreshing to see how that pace seems to rub off on visitors after a couple of days into their visit.
photo credit The Brice Hotel
BEST HOTELS IN THE CITY?
At the top of my list is The Brice Hotel (pet friendly). I love the Brice for it’s soaking bath tubs, Pacci Italian Kitchen + Bar Restaurant, large outdoor courtyard and the adorable seersucker uniforms the hotel staff wears.
For small hotels/Inns, The Hamilton-Turner Inn (AAA/Four Diamond) is a MUST for it’s historic beauty, luxurious rooms, attentive service and quite possibly one of the best small biscuits I’ve ever eaten. (have image for this)
If you’re thinking about renting an historic home or cool loft, Lucky Savannah Vacation Rentals is the number to call. Lucky Savannah handles over 150 exclusive rentals in Savannah’s Historic Landmark District and will pair you with the perfect place for your stay and even fill it with groceries, flowers, cheese boards and special notes for your arrival.
THE MOST INSPIRING DISH YOU’VE HAD IN SAVANNAH?
It’s a simple thing that a cook may do with our locally grown ingredients that inspires me. The first time I had collards boiled WITH peanuts at a local BBQ shack, my world changed. It didn’t hurt that it was a side to the most wonderful pulled pork. Or, how the chow chow that Mashama Bailey from The Grey restaurant makes to go with her roasted “yard bird” (aka chicken) was so perfectly sour and sweet that it kept me up all night thinking about it.
A SIGNATURE SAVANNAH DISH/MEAL ENTAILS:
Bourbon, butter and peaches.
photos by Teresa Earnest
FAVORITE PLACES TO EAT?
The culinary scene in Savannah is on fire. Some of my favorites include:
The Grey: EVERYTHING!!! Amazing restored space, outstanding food, drinks and service.
Collin’s Quarters: Love the simple clean menu at breakfast and lunch. Their walk up coffee window is my favorite place to grab a coffee in town and the fact that they give away dog biscuits helps to seal the deal.
The Atlantic: An old gas station turned laid-back neighborhood eatery with a flavorful menu, extensive wine list, carefully picked beers and craft cocktails.
Sandfly BBQ: I dream about the pulled chicken sandwich.
Smith Brother’s Butcher Shop: A modern grocery store/butcher shop/lunch counter and the best house made garlic cheese spread you’ll ever eat.
Crystal Beer Parlor : …I have a crush on the lamb burger.
Circa 1875 : French bistro without the bravado.
Bella Napoli Bistro: The size and feel of an Italian grandmother’s kitchen…complete with the best homemade pasta, sauce and family arguments.
Beetnix :This place is the sole reason why I hope Buddha Bowls and Fresh Pressed Juices are always in fashion.
Mrs. Wilkes: A Savannah tradition –get the fried chicken.
Flying Monk Noodle Bar: I rarely stray from the White Elephant.
ANY TREATS YOU’VE EVER TRIED TO MIMIC YOURSELF?
Since I’m a baker at heart, I challenged myself to make the best Red Velvet Cake in the history of red velvet cakes. I wanted my “super cake” to be organic and lower in sugar than the usual Savannah version. Two months of my life later, I think I nailed it and published it in one of my cookbooks.
BEST SPOT FOR DRINKS AND A SOCIAL SCENE?
Yes, you can walk around in most of the Historic District with an open cup (plastic only) filled with libations of the liquor type –that alone should speak volumes. If you want to have a drink, walk by any courtyard on a Summer night and invite yourself in or hit up one of our many social spots. Some of my favorites include: Abe’s on Lincoln, Perch, and The Jinx (for live music), Hitch , El-Rocko Lounge and Alleycat Lounge.
FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES TO DO IN THE CITY?
Savannah is filled with things to do with the littles. Make plans to go to the Savannah Children’s Museum, Georgia State Railroad Museum, Oatland Island Wildlife Center, Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace (founder of the Girl Scouts), Forsyth Park, Massie Heritage Center and save room for Leopold’s Ice Cream!
photo by Teresa Earnest at PW Short General Store
BEST PLACES TO SHOP?
The best shopping in Savannah is found behind the often colorful doors of our many boutiques and galleries that are filled with high end, hand made and hard to find objet d’art. *See below for my complete list of favorite go-to shops
ANYTHING ELSE WE MISSED?
Savannah is a rising star in the festival world. The Savannah Film Festival presented by SCAD, Savannah Music Festival, Savannah Stopover, Savannah Book Festival and Savannah Food & Wine Festival are each worth planning a trip around.
Hi Libbie! Thanks so much for the great suggestions! Going to be there this Thursday and Friday. Looking forward to fun-Christina
Great!! Have a fun time. I love Savannah!!!
If I didn’t tell you, Thursday night is the Downtown Design District’s Holiday Walk (Give it a search on facebook to see all the stores that are participating…it’s always a lot of fun and great shopping! )