Beautiful Savannah is the perfect romantic getaway for you and
Savannah is a city of twos. Couples roam this Southern city, many hand-in-hand or with arms draped around one another, while strolling cobblestone streets, landscaped parks, and the shoreline.
One couple stops at a City Market gallery with shoulders touching as they admire a painting by a local artist. In a café, another couple bends heads toward each other in quiet conversation. Visit Forsyth Park, the largest in the historical district, and you might see a wedding in front of the iconic fountain.
Savannah is often referred to as one of the country’s most romantic cities, and it’s easy to see why; romance is contagious here.
Georgia’s oldest city – Savannah was founded in 1733 – combines the charm of the South with the tranquil elegance of a coastal location. Within Savannah’s National Historic Landmark District are many inns and bed and breakfasts. A favorite is The Gastonian (220 E. Gaston St.), a AAA Four Diamond bed-and-breakfast inn. The Gastonian is really two mansions sitting side by side. Built in 1868, the homes were purchased to make into a luxurious bed and breakfast. Made-to-order breakfasts and evening biscotti are just two of the inn’s many special touches.
Each of the 17 rooms at The Gastonian has a different look, with furnishings that convey romance, such as antique claw-foot tubs and shared verandahs. Original brick and tile adorn many rooms, while special features might include an iron fireplace or private balcony. A few rooms offer private entrances, such as The Garden Room, located on the ground floor of the Champion House with access through a serene garden that boasts a goldfish pond. Here, guests can enjoy an antique tub and fireplace.
If you prefer a seaside location, the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa sits along the Savannah River. In addition to being a world-class golf course and spa, the Westin provides a deepwater dock for both private and public boats. The Westin’s marina also transports guests to Daufuskie Island — located between Savannah and Hilton Head, S.C. — for secluded beach access, and a water ferry provides access to downtown Savannah.
Savannah is developing a reputation as a culinary trailblazer. One of these noteworthy restaurants is The Grey (109 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.) with its modern Southern cuisine. Since its 2014 opening, the restaurant and its chef, Mashama Bailey, have been recognized by the James Beard Foundation and Food & Wine magazine. Bailey puts her spin on comfort food like pork shank, seafood boudin, and peanut stew.
Located in the once-segregated Greyhound bus terminal, the 1938 art deco building was not just restored, but improved upon, leading bon appétit to call The Grey the Best Designed Restaurant of the Year in 2015. Photographs and artwork from local artists line the walls. Perhaps one of the most eye-catching views is the sleek blue-and-white glass façade at the front of the building. The former bus station diner is now the restaurant bar.
If you’re looking for entertainment (and you’re 18 and older), check out Jazz’d Tapas (52 Barnard St.). As you walk down steps to an old department store basement near Ellis Square, you might question your decision…until you open the door to the sleek 5,500-square-foot dining, bar, and lounge space.
Is Jazz’d a bar that serves food or a restaurant that offers live music? You decide. Jazz’d Tapas features live music six nights a week along with specialty drinks and American-style tapas. These small plate adventures encourage sharing and experimenting.
And what’s romance without a little chocolate? Lulu’s Chocolate Bar (42 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.) is everything chocolate, from chocolate martinis to a triple chocolate mousse tower. Desserts change weekly so there’s always something new to try, but the chocolate-topped Strawberry Suspension Cake is a house specialty. Mascarpone cheese with strawberries is nestled between rum and chocolate cake.
Things to Do a Deux
Savannah is a very walkable city. With 22 squares, each a garden oasis, privacy is easy to find. Museums, churches, and Victorian homes border the squares where Spanish moss draping off substantial trees casts a silvery net.
Walks along the waterfront or the cobblestone streets of the historical district are like treasure hunts with constant discoveries. River Street runs parallel to the Savannah River. Old cotton warehouses now house nightspots, restaurants, and shops.
A few blocks from the waterfront at the corner of Jefferson and West St. Julian streets is City Market, a gathering place for Savannah’s population since the 1700s. It’s still a gathering spot where you’ll find restaurants and shopping, from jewelry to candy; don’t pass up the pralines, anyone. The upstairs Art Center features galleries, exhibits, and even artists at work.
Islands dot Georgia’s coast. Savannah’s subtropical climate makes walks along the beach an option throughout the year. If it’s a nice day, trade in the cobblestones for the beaches at Tybee Island, just 18 miles outside of the downtown area. Five miles of public beach border the Atlantic Ocean.
You also can see Savannah by horse-drawn carriage or open trolleys. Old Savannah Tours specializes in bringing Savannah’s history to life with re-enactors from Savannah’s history, from Georgia’s founder, James Oglethorpe, to movie icon Forrest Gump.
A different, not to mention romantic, view of Savannah is available on riverboat cruises. Special Valentine’s Day cruises are available Feb. 11 and 14 from Savannah Riverboat Cruises. Brunch and dinner cruises provide a two-hour boat tour with gourmet dining and dancing. Early reservations are a must.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet weekend to recharge or a spark of romance, Savannah promises to capture your heart.
Karen Gibson is a contributor from Norman, Okla.
January/February 2017 Issue
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