Savannah Has Lots to Offer Even Over A Long Weekend

Host City of the South Ripe With History, Charm, Dining, Shopping, Golfing, & Enmarket Arena

Jeff Walker,  Entertainment Writer

While Charleston SC continues to receive countless recognition from such esteemed magazines such as Travel & Leisure and Conde Nast, its sister city 90 miles south deserves equal praise. Founded in 1733 Savannah, Georgia is known for manicured parks, horse-drawn carriages and antebellum architecture. Its historic district is filled with cobble-stoned squares and parks such as Ellis Square and Forsyth shaded by oak trees covered with Spanish moss.

Much like Charleston, Savannah thrives on its history, ambiance, and southern charm with two of its biggest attractions being tourism and container shipping through the Port of Savannah. Home to companies such as Gulfstream Aerospace, International Paper, JCB, TitleMax and Morris Multimedia, Savannah is a booming community with the city's population around 140K and the metro area coming in over 400K. aaaaaaaasavvisit 1

With all that happening, Savannah still manages to attract all types, visiting for a myriad of reasons including conventions, business trips, athletic competitions, and weddings, as well as relaxing family vacations. While it would be hard to take in all the city has to offer in just a weeks vacation, it's even harder over a weekend stay. However, with careful planning a long weekend could provide visitors non-stop adventures and allow for a lifetime of memories.

If your schedule permits I would suggest getting in late afternoon on a Thursday so you and your party have Thursday night and almost a full three days to enjoy your Savannah excursion. Perhaps the biggest decision to make is where to stay. While all the major chains have hotels strewn throughout greater Savannah, remember this is not Orlando or Myrtle Beach, so if you're taking in Savannah than immerse yourself in the full experience.

Obviously you can save a little if you stay outside the city limits, but if a majority of your plans include downtown destinations, and quite frankly they should, than I recommend staying in the historic section of Savannah which is pretty much east of Broughton Street right up to River Street.

Although there are a good number of chain hotels situated in the heart of city, in this case 'when in Rome' or 'when in Savannah' take in the full charm of this historic destination and stay in an celebrated inn, one with character and history. Here's where you can save a little money.

Typically along the waterfront district you're going to pay a premium. However, Just two or three blocks in (basically a five minute walk) from the river you'll discover some of the oldest inns with affordable prices, and you'll be more central to a variety of things to do in midtown Savannah.

Much like their website touts, the Planters Inn is where Savannah charm meets cherished southern traditions. Located at 29 Abercorn Street in the heart of the historic district facing the very quaint Reynolds Square, Planters Inn sits adjacent to the Oliver Sturges House (National Register of Historic Places), with both sites pre-dating the Revolutionary War, and having ties to Church of England missionary John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. aaaaaaaasavplantersinn 1

Planning a wedding, a family reunion, or a corporate social than Planters Inn is the ideal host location. They offer a penthouse executive boardroom for meetings, warm cookies when turning in, and refreshments in the lobby all day long. Want more reason to stay, Planters Inn sits beside The Olde Pink House, considered one of Savannah’s most popular restaurants where aside from offering lunch and dinner, patrons can have dinner delivered in the privacy of their room.

A four time TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award winner, Planters Inn is lauded by Fox News, and a variety of tourism publications, with CNN adding it's 'a quintessential southern stay'. Planters Inn offers boutique hospitality surrounded by a charming hotel. A 24-hour front desk means customer service is just a phone call away. They'll help you arrange a tour or reserve a pedi-cab.

'Location, location, location'. Planters Inn has it all and is convenient to shopping and dining. Perhaps if you're on of the lucky few you'll be able to see the ghostly couple who wanders the hall late at night. Consider them on your next of first visit to Savannah, Georgia. For more visit

You've heard it said, 'breakfast is the most important meal of the day'. Only a few minutes walk from Planters Inn you have two uniquely different morning spots, which surprisingly are just two doors away from each other, separated by an oversized River Street alley way.

Although you're in Savannah venturing into Cafe M at 128 E. Bay Street, ia akin to popping into a bistro in Paris. Cafe M is where owner Cristine Tindall and her staff serve up French delights paired with southern hospitality. A variety of create your own scrumptious breakfast sandwiches (ham, turkey, sausage & salmon) on your choice of croissant, baguette, or traditional breads. Vegans might opt for the Veggie quiche teeming with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and pesto. Yum yum!

For a little more than $20 diners can choose one of three four-course brunch menus including a glass of fresh juice, hot beverage of your choice, organic low fat fruit & granola parfait, with the Parisian coming with a baguette or chocolate croissant, and the American option substituting scrambled eggs, choice of cheese & meat with a side of baguette or wheat toast. aaaaaaaasavcafem

The healthier selection pairs juice, hot drink, and parfait with smoked salmon, fresh cucumber & Tzatziki sauce and a baguette. You and your significant other or besties want to go a little more cosmopolitan during brunch, than for $12 apiece you can enjoy endless mimosas! An ideal way to kickstart a romantic weekend, or end a long bachelorette party outing. Pastries, sandwiches, salads, and more at Cafe M. Experience Paris in Savannah at

For those who prefer a more heartier morning fare, Two Cracked Eggs (202 E. Bay St) offers up a traditional breakfast and lunch menu from 7-2:30pm everyday except Wednesday, and they do it all to the 'glory of God'. Two Cracked Eggs serves up southern favorites such as Chicken & Waffles and Peach French Toast, alongside classic diner fare like Western Omelettes. We're talking ample stick to your ribs portions of old school favorites.

Seafood lovers might want to wrap their teeth and gums around their Crab Cake Benedict, or the always welcome Shrimp & Grits (a half dozen overly plump shrimp blanketed in peppers & onions served over cheesy & creamy Adulah stoneground grits, before being topped with crumbled Applewood bacon). Served complete with a homemade biscuit. Heavenly! aaaaaaaasavtwo

From eclectic palates to everyday appetites Two Cracked Eggs has something for everyone on the menu. Guests might dine on an authentic Grilled Cuban Sandwiches, an Avocado Club, a NY style Reuben, or a Veggie Wrap teeming with lettuce, tomato, onions, roasted red peppers, spinach, mushrooms & Swiss cheese (optional).

Love a full bodied cup of Joe? Two Cracked Eggs import their coffee beans from Cuba which is evident in their hot and cold brews. The spirited 21 & older crowd might want to sip on a Bleu Cheese Bloody Mary, Breakfast Sangria, or the appropriately named Peach Bellini (it's a Georgis thing). All the‏ir potent potables easily complement a Belgian Waffle, thick slabs of Pineapple & hickory smoked butcher cut clothesline bacon, or a colorful fruit plate. Come hungry, leave satisfied! Discover angelic food at

Suppose it's the middle of the day and you're craving an upscale dive bar (yes, they do exist). Locals and visitors frequent PS Tavern at 11 W. Bay St. to enjoy quality food and awesome signature drinks all in a fun-filled atmosphere. Sandwiches, burgers, fresh made pizza, and plump & juicy wings alongside 14 different rubs are available everyday at PS Tavern.

Open since 2016 owners Paisley and Scot (hence the name PS), say even though PS host Green Bay Packers watch parties, their midtown watering hole is less of a sports bar and more of a neighborhood tavern where friends gather for good food and good drink. Their wings fly (pun intended) off the menu. A full half pound of wings (traditional or boneless) served with your choice of mix and match sauces including the zestier habenaro mango or Jamaican jerk for a cool $16. Great with cold brew. aaaaaaaasavpslogo1

The Ultimate Tavern Smash Burger is a juicy half pound twin patty delight topped with chicken tenders, cheddar, onion rings and pickled onions, before being slathered in their ya'll sauce (secret recipe), with pepperoncino (Italian chili peppers) for an extra zing! A variety of seasonal and regional beers on tap including Savannah's own Southbound Hop'lin, a smooth, medium-bodied West Coast IPA carrying a citrusy pine aroma and a hint of caramel aftertaste.

Prefer a cocktail, the Invisible Pants is a mystical blend of Captain Morgan's, coconut rum, fresh lime and pineapples juices mixed with Blue Curacau (Caribbean citrus similar to Triple Sec). Sophisticated palates might prefer the Savannah Peach Lemonade concocted by using Deep Eddy Lemon and Peach vodkas. Scintillating! Something about Georgia and peaches. Come for the food & drink. Stay for the overall ambiance! For more click

Quite frankly there are countless food and beverage destinations in Savannah, many with storied histories along Broughton, Bay, and River Streets. However, I can assure you no visit to Savannah would be complete without dropping by Leopold's Ice Cream Shop. A century old (actually 104) ice cream parlor Leopold's is a Savannah landmark. Located deliciously at 212 E Broughton St. Leopold's has been named one of the Top 10 Ice Cream Parlors in the world. You read that right, in the world. aaaaaaaasavleop

Filled with Hollywood memorabilia due to owner Stratton Leopold's connection to the film industry, Leopold's is a cool and creamy taste of yesteryear, offering up dozens of flavors some that rotate throughout the year. Whether you're having a banana split, brownie sundae, a float, or any of their thick & creamy malts and milkshakes, visiting Leopold's is a bucket list experience.

Famed American composer and Savannah native Johnny Mercer worked at Leopold's early on and made it a point to visit when home from the west coast. On warm sunny days it's not surprising to see lines outside the door. No matter your dietary restrictions Leopold's Ice Cream has something for everyone with a bevy of gluten-free and vegan options. Fresh pastries and beverages complete their menu. If ice cream parlors were nominated for an Academy Award, Leopold's would be a sweet treat Oscar winner! Taste the difference at

With nods to a few must visit food & drink locales, there's much more to do in Savannah over a long weekend. The epi-center of all the action and nightlife surrounds River Street and Bay Street on either side of Factors Walk (a landscaped half mile park running parallel between the two thoroughfares).

Staying closer to the action there's a plethora or things to do on River Street. No matter where you're staying on the strip walking the riverside boardwalk on a sunny morning is a nice way to kickstart the day. Shops open early and there are plenty of them along the cobblestone thoroughfare.

75 plus businesses including restaurants, pubs, boutiques, and an old fashioned open air marketplace housed in old cotton warehouses along a nearly three quarter mile stretch. Again, ideal on a sunny day with a nice breeze off the water. aaaaaaaasavbyrds

At Byrd's Famous Cookies it doesn't matter if you have a sweet tooth or lean toward salty snacks. Not only are they known for chocolate chips, salted caramel and Georgia peach cookies, they are equally Everything Cheddar Biscuits and Southern Fried Peanuts. Grab an assortment of pop in your mouth treats in any of their decorative tins or baskets. They make great thank you and holiday gifts. Taste the difference at

If clothes, handbags, jewelry and other glittery trinkets are your style, than downtown Savannah and River Street have plenty to offer. While many of the Savannah's finer clothing stores are several blocks off the waterfront district, there are a few boutiques ladies will find appealing on River Street.

Whispers (shhh!) is perhaps the best-kept secret in Savannah for the shopper who wants to get the look of high fashion at affordable prices. Try this on for size. Hats, bags, dresses, accessories, and jewelry all under $45. Freakin' Amazing! Shop til you drop at

Cinnamon Bear Country Store has two locations at either end of River Street carrying a wide variety of local gifts, gourmet foods, children’s toys, and apparel, with their location at 508 East River Street serving up generous scoops of delicious ice cream and frozen yogurt. Whether you're coupling, with your kids, or hanging with friends Cinnamon Bear is a must, and an ideal place for eccentric finds. See for yourself at

Fancy the year end holiday? River Street is home to three (count 'em), three year round Christmas shops including A Christmas on the River and Southern Christmas. Searching for keepsake ornaments for your Christmas tree or to help decorate your home for the holidays, from one of a kind gifts to trinkets for every room in your house, the Christmas shops on River Street carry everything in Santa's bag and more.

102 E Liberty Street in downtown Savannah is home to Mamie Ruth where owner Emily Bargeron designs clothing for the creative thinkers, peacemakers and the front row girls of all ages that just want to have fun. There's perhaps no more utopian store in Savannah crushing it for the ladies than Mamie Ruth. All garments made in the USA! Wildly shop at

Whereas cobblestoned River Street proper has been the main focus for visitors enjoying Savannah's overall ambiance, Plant Riverside proudly boasts as the city's new riverfront district featuring an ample mix of art, entertainment, luxury hotels, fine dining, wine tasting, and high-end shopping. For more than a decade the former electric power plant has been transformed and re-energized into a welcoming destination bridging the gap between modern day Savannah and its rich history. aaaaaaaasavplantriver

Among the vendors visitors might want to check out at Plant Riverside are Graffito Pizza, home to flavorful authentic Neapolitan-style pizza, cooked to perfection in state-of-the-art custom double pizza ovens. Their artsy warehouse feel is intoxicating. If you're a serious carnivore Stone & Webster Chophouse is arguably Savannah's premier steak house serving up premium selections of wine, prime steaks, seafood and craft cocktails. Take the tour at

I would be remiss if I didn't mention Savannah Riverboat Cruises and their flagship boat The Georgia Queen, a towering 68 ft tall boat featuring three grand ballrooms with over 15,000 square feet of dining space, a 5,000 square foot, fully open-air top deck with patio seating. Enjoy live entertainment while dining on their signature Savannah shrimp & grits, tender beef carving station, and fresh catch of the day with exceptional complementary sides, as well as several full bars. aaaaaaaasavriverboat

On a moonlit night a dinner cruise is the ideal way to cap off a delightful day in Savannah. Brunch, lunch, and sunset cruises available on their fleet of riverboats. If your stay includes a Monday than I suggest their Gospel Cruise, with the Savannah River Queen and Georgia Queen filled with the uplifting sounds of Southern gospel music during the two-hour Gospel Dinner Cruise. No matter what time of day you board for this historic adventure it's well worth the money. Learn more at

Without a doubt there's endless opportunities for things to do in Savannah over a long weekend or a week if you're so blessed to do so. 18 miles east of downtown you'll discover Savannah's most popular beach community known locally as Tybee Island which host Beach Bum Parade around Memorial Day and Tybee Pirate Fest usually in early October. Ideal late spring thru early fall. Of course, it's no secret that Savannah know how to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

If you're not venturing to far from downtown than aside from shopping and dining, Savannah is home to some of the prettiest parks on the entire east coast with 30 acre Forsyth Park with its walking path and beautiful fountain among the city's most visited attraction. 5 acre Emmet Park in the heart of downtown runs parallel to the busier shopping mecca and houses both a Vietnam and Korean War memorials. Several of the most noted 19th and 20th century architects helped design the city's landscape.

If it's a golf weekend for the guys or gals (or both) than the city boasts some of finest courses Georgia has to offer including several with four star ratings such as Crosswinds, Southbridge, the Wilmington Island Club, and the Club at Savannah Harbor. Over 20 golf courses in greater Savannah alone. Just over 30 miles away in neighboring South Carolina Hilton Head has 40 courses with 24 at championship level. Enjoy your stay and nightlife surrounded by history and charm of Savannah while having more than 60 golf courses available.

Coming full circle let me make mention of one of Savannah's latest attractions. Opened in February of 2022 Enmarket Arena still has that relatively new car smell. Five minutes by car from midtown, the 9500 multi-purpose arena welcomes some of the biggest names in entertainment (concerts, wrestling, etc) to Savannah, as well as being home to the Savannah Ghost Pirates an ECHL expansion hockey team. aaaaaaaasavenmarket

Classic rock legends, country music superstars, pop icons, and R&B favorites have graced the stage at Enmarket Arena. They play host to veteran comedians, Disney on Ice productions, indoor rodeos, and epic World Wrestling Entertainment matches. Operated by the Oak View Group, a full-service venue management and event programming company, Enmarket Arena boasts deluxe amenities alongside preferred food and beverage options.

Taking a page out of recent arena remodel jobs, Enmarket offer up a pleasant mix of local and national vendors when it comes to food & drink. The same PS Tavern on Bay Street serves up burgers, Chicago hotdogs, & street style pretzels on the event level near the entrance to the floor level access.

The main concourse level has a plethora of edible options including Savannah's own Spanky's Chicken Fingers, 520 Wings, 912 (city zip code) Doghouse serving up plump chili cheese dogs and brats, and Savannah Rae's Gourmet Popcorn. Regional purveyor Papa's Pizza serves up fresh baked pizza togo outside section 123 at Enmarket Arena.

Want to experience a taste of the islands maybe venture over to the Caribbean Shack (section 109), or chow down on grilled cheese and smashed grilled cheese potatoes at Melted. Have a hankering for Mexican, make your way Taguero & Taco for pulled pork, beef, or vegetarian Quinoa tacos. Section 122 is where you'll find Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream.

A variety of food needs a variety of drink. Heineken, Bud Light, Tito's Handmade Vodka, and Jack Daniels all have bars located on the main concourse. Famously Frozen serves up 'you guessed it' frozen drinks, and Enmarket Grab n' Go is the place to find full service cocktails, canned beers, canned cocktails, and assorted candy (like popcorn everyone loves pop in your mouth candy). Enjoy a visual appetizer here

Take it from me Enmarket Arena has done it right, focusing on the entire entertainment experience. If you're going to see a show, a concert, an event at Enmarket Arena than wrap your visit around a longer stay in Savannah, and experience a few of the things the 'host city of the south' has on tap. Making their mark in the southeast at

I could go on and on about how much Savannah has to offer. Love a good mystery, Savannah offers several ghost story tours. Dining, shopping, guided tours, sports, and entertainment, Savannah Georgia offers it all surrounded by history, architecture, charm, and ambiance not to mention near gorgeous weather year round. For more on this rich southern gem and Charleston's little sister visit