Apr 30, 2012

Savannah - History, Art, & Beauty on Every Corner

Touted as "the most beautiful street in North America", legendary Jones St. in Savannah, GA is where we enjoyed our most recent stay in my favorite city.

*Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of this post for our favorite places to eat and things to do, as well as great tips on parking.

Having a child attending the Savannah College of Art and Design, in addition to her being on the college's Equestrian Team, we have had the pleasure of staying in Savannah several times over the past couple years.  Although, this is Madison's first year in college - we visited several times during the college decision making process
So thankful that is all behind us - not an easy process!  But clearly worth the effort as we made the right choice! SCAD is a wonderful school in a beautiful city, and Madison can't imagine herself at any other college! Warms my heart!

We have stayed in several different locations throughout the city and surrounding areas, and I have to say 208 E. Jones St, unit #2 is by far our favorite to date!  Instead of staying in a hotel, we chose a vacation rental with Savannah Getaways.  We were planning to travel with Don's parents so we needed a place right in the city to make it easy for them to rest up whenever possible. We also needed a place with no stairs for their limited mobility. In addition, I really wanted to show them a nice time and spoil them a bit with homemade delights, which is what started my quest for a reasonably priced location with a kitchen.  I'm not a fan of B&B's - so that was out of the question.  One day, while I was searching all of the hotels in the area that offer kitchens, I received an email from Tripadvisor.com (love that site!), and that's when I found Savannah Getaways!  This is when I realized there were so many vacation rentals from which to choose right there in the Historic District!  I scoured all of the rentals available and narrowed the list down to which ones met my requirements.  I finally settled on 208 E. Jones St, Unit #2.  

208 E. Jones St
Mention this blog post and save $50 on select vacation rentals with Savannah Getaways!

Not because it was the fanciest place I could find, but because it had everything I wanted and it was very close to bus stops for the trolley as well as the free bus system in the city.  It was very private, and the price was right too!  Splitting the costs with another couple made this vacation rental less expensive than staying in a hotel!  and BONUS - parking on the street was FREE! NO METERS right out in front of the house AND we NEVER had any trouble getting a space!  It doesn't get much better than that!

As an added BONUS, working with Savannah Getaways couldn't have been easier!  Booking the rental was quick and easy! As soon as everything was finalized we received an email with all the information we needed once we arrived in Savannah, and our deposit was refunded right on schedule as promised! I highly recommend staying with Savannah Getaways while in Savannah. You will save money over staying in a hotel, and you will love the feel of living life as a local!
In the Courtyard we could hear the Cathedral Bells

The Courtyard Gate

In the Courtyard

The Neighbor dog came to visit while I was walking past

Looking across Jones St.

Very comfy with beautiful wood floors and a well appointed kitchen
 Jones St. definitely lived up to its reputation!  It is a quiet tree-lined street paved with bricks and lots of friendly folks! How relaxing to take a stroll at anytime of day....as long as you don't try to stroll with my family! Don and Madison are always on a mission to get to where they are going! Madison is speedy gonzales walking several steps ahead, and my sweet husband is torn between trying to keep up with Madison or hanging back to keep me company.  As a result we end up walking in single file!  I finally had enough and screamed at both of them to SLOW down! It's not a race - it is a STROLL! for crying outloud! and they need to enjoy it!
Corner of Jones and Abercorn Streets
When I do get to actually enjoy a leisurely stroll around the streets of Savannah it always makes me smile.  I feel so at home and truly can imagine myself living there permanently.  I imagine myself taking care of my everyday chores surrounded by such beauty and history... what's not to love?  Savannah, in my mind, would make everything sweeter.  But then again, everything is appreciated more from afar.  It seems when immersed in something it is human nature to take it for granted.  I certainly wouldn't want that to happen, so for now, I will enjoy Savannah in the small doses I get a few times a year and savor every moment I get in my most favorite city. 
Horse Drawn Carriage on Jones St.

 On our first evening in town we decided to eat dinner out and walked around the corner to our favorite pizza place - The Mellow Mushroom.  I love the Esperanza salad dressing, Madison had a yummy looking calzone! While Don and I shared a white pizza with spinach and tomatoes - delish! The weather was perfect, and we enjoyed a leisurly dinner listening to Madison tell us all about what has been happening this quarter at school.  Being SCAD parent's weekend as well as SCAD's Sidewalk Art Festival, there were many folks in town - so everything was busy. Which is one reason why we rented a place with a kitchen...

 On Friday, Madison gave us a tour of some of her academic buildings. She treated us to lunch at her favorite place to eat - Montgomery Hall. We enjoyed Einstein Bagel sandwiches - yummmmy
and she showed us her 3d classroom - where we were teased with all sorts of yummy looking treats!
Madison's 3D Project made out of Sculpey Clay - the cheese looked so real - one of her roommates almost ate it!  But it is made from saddle soap! Her professor also thought she was trying to use real cheese!  You know you've done well when they want to eat your project!

No this is not a buffet! It is food made out of sculpey clay!

The detail is amazing! Those berries are not real! They are made out of sculpey!

Such creativity and talent!

Again...all made from sculpey

We were really getting hungry!

That evening Madison continued to spoil us by making her secret recipe - Shrimp Lasagna Rolls!  She really does make the best shrimp, and she was kind enough to share her secret recipe here on the blog!  It truly is delicious!

The kitchen is well equipped with quality tools!

 What a great dinner!  We were stuffed!  Thanks, Mads!!  So happy she carved out so much time to spend with us - we were together all weekend! and this mom is feeling pretty lucky to have such a great kid. I'm sure she had plenty of other things she could have done, but she chose to spend her time with us.  Love that girl!

 On Saturday we spent the day in Forsyth Park - it is the most beautiful park and the weather was perfect! Words really aren't good enough to describe how beautiful Forsyth Park is, so I will share some pictures instead....

The Fountain - and bonus there was a wedding. The bride was beautiful!

Madison helping the tourists in the park - what a good kid!

A Man brought his tortoise out for a stroll

Here we are in single file.... Madison in front, Don torn in the middle and me STROLLING behind haha.  The pic is really of the beautiful trees in the park, but it does perfectly show what it is like STROLLING with the family!

SCAD plans parent's weekend in the spring....leave it to the fancy art college to have to be different from most other colleges who host parent's weekend in the fall.  SCAD plans it for the same weekend as their Sidewalk Arts Festival.  What a nice treat! It almost brought tears to my eyes to see all these college students working so diligently on their artwork.  It was so nice to see them being so creative while enjoying the outdoors at the same time.  And they are so very creative!  I snapped a few shots to share with you all.... okay - more than a few, but they were so great I couldn't resist.  It is hard to believe they are all from chalk!

That is a BIG box of chalk!

A handy place to hold your paintbrushes!

This dog was rescued after being thrown from a car as a pup! He loves to be rubbed in chalk!

Bee Unique


This was a 3 square set of screaming faces. It was really an interesting piece and won Best in Show!

Here is Julie working on her masterpiece.  Julie is a member of the SCAD Equestrian Team and a friend of Madison's.  She is a very talented artist.  You can view more of her work -  Julie Ferris Paintings


This was done by another team member and friend of Madison's.  What a talented group!

It HAD to be hot lying there in the sun! That is dedication!

If you ever plan to visit Savannah don't forget your camera! and here are some great tips:

Parking - little known facts: metered parking is free from 5pm-8am weekdays and all day on weekends.  Be sure to watch the signs so you can be sure you don't park where the street sweeper is going to be. It won't be free anymore if you are in a sweep zone when the sweeper comes through...
If you need to park during the week between 8am and 5pm you can purchase a parking pass from the visitor's center. $7 for a 24 hour pass and $12 for a 48 hour pass.  Much cheaper than paying the hotel parking fees.  Finding street parking can sometimes be tricky, but we have always been able to manage it as it is worth it for the savings!  Just be sure to note on what street you park the car or you may end up walking around the city for way too long just looking for your car (Not that we learned the hard way....no, definitely not us! hahaha)!

Dining - We have found a few truly unique places that are not  your typical tourist spots:
Zunzi's - corner of York/Drayton. It looks like a hole in the wall - because it basically is haha.  There is only seating outside, but it is worth it - everything is freshly made and delish! Which is why there is always a line out the door!
J.Christopher's  - Perfect for brunch!  Try the Hazelnut French Toast - yummmmmm
Mellow Mushroom - great for pizza!
Sundae Cafe - This is a real gem! Don't let the outside turn you away. You will be pleasantly surprised when you walk in!  This is reasonably priced fine dining with generous portions. The food is perfect! The service is outstanding! It is a bit of a drive to Tybee Island, but well worth it! Don't miss it! and be sure to make reservations!  The first time we went was on a Wednesday evening and they were booked!  Fortunately, they are so accomodating and sat us at the bar - it was great!
Mrs. Wilke's Dining Room - We have not been here, but I did see the line go down Jones St. and wrap around the corner at 11am!  Mrs. Wilke's is only open for lunch during the week, and you have to get there early!  Southern cooking at its best from what I hear - this is where the locals eat!
Soho South Cafe - great spot for lunch! Madison LOVES the chicken pot pie with potato salad (weird combo, but it is her fave). I hear the grilled cheese and tomato soup is awesome, and I had the pleasure of enjoying the chicken salad. On Sundays you can enjoy a delicious french toast - yummm
Barberitos - great place for burritos! They use fresh ingredients and you can taste it! Don't forget the fresh cilantro!!

Some of my Favorite things to do:
Enjoy a walking tour - Google 'Savannah Walking Tour' and you can choose from several guides to give you a personalized tour of the city.  It's a great way to see things through the eyes of a local and hear stories you won't hear on a trolley tour. Or maybe you might enjoy a Savannah Architecture Walking Tour.  Madison is taking a Savannah Architecture class in the Fall, so I plan on her giving me a great tour when we visit next!
Visit Forsyth Park - Beautiful - you won't be disappointed
Savannah Squares - all beautiful and each a wonderful place to sit and people watch
The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist - this took my breath away
Bonaventure Cemetery
Colonial Park Cemetery - on our first visit to Savannah, Don and I were just taking a stroll through the city and stumbled upon this very old cemetery. Turns out it is Savannah's oldest cemetery and is right in the heart of the city. It dates back to 1750!
Ronald C Waranch Equestrian Center - for my equestrian friends you will want to take the quick trip across the bridge to South Carolina to visit the SCAD Equestrian Center.  What a beautiful facility!  and it is just about 5 minutes from town!
Savannah Bee Company - stop in for a tasting! The honey is superb!  We especially enjoy the Tupelo Honey and the Sourwood Honey.  Madison's fave is the Winter White Honey - I haven't had the pleasure of trying that one....yet!
City Market - shopping, food, arts, and entertainment
River Street - shopping, food, arts, and entertainment
Tybee Island - beach


  1. What an interesting post to read! So that's your lovely daughter/photographer! Thanks for sharing! I loved reading it!

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Lillian. I am glad you liked it, and YES! that is Madison the photographer/cook/tour guide, etc... She has many talents :o)

  3. That looks like a beautiful place to visit and to stay! I'm going to check it out next time I'm in Savannah.

    1. we love it so much! I never have enough time in Savannah, and I'm always finding new treasures too!


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