The Chic City Guide: Savannah

With its perfectly preserved squares, trees dripping with Spanish Moss, and beautiful mansions, Savannah feels like a magical journey back in time. But it’s not a city-as-museum: its youthful, design-inspired boutiques, innovative cuisine, exciting nightlife and sheer enthusiasm for the art of living epitomize the here and now. In partnership with our friends at Condé Nast Traveler, we’ve got an itinerary to please all palates and personalities. 

Photo Credit: John Burke/Getty Images

From modern hotels to renovated antebellum mansions, Savannah has many unique and genteel gems where you can stay. Here are our standouts, each one capturing a bit of Savannah’s originality and style.

Andaz Savannah- Located in the old Savannah Daily News building, this hotel gives a fresh face to Savannah’s rich heritage. The sleek interior brings a modern edge to the Historic District, while the nouvelle Southern fare at 22 Square is simply divine.

The Gastonian-  Two Regency-Italianate-style mansions, built in 1868, make up this perfectly located bed and breakfast. On a quiet residential street near, well, everything, you’ll feel right at home with the gorgeous decor, delicious breakfast, and complimentary afternoon wine served with traditional Southern canapés.

The Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront- Voted a “Top 30 Hotels in the South” by Condé Nast Traveler and perched on the Savannah River, this hotel is a contemporary alternative close to endless shopping options. Bonus: it houses a stunning gallery featuring the works of local artists.

The Grey Photo Credit: Quentin Bacon

Savannah’s food scene has evolved past its deep-fried roots and emerged as a regional culinary tour de force. From fresh crab cannolis to reinvented shrimp and grits, you’re in for a gastronomic treat.

The Grey- Drawing an eclectic mix of local society, SCAD students, and visitors, The Grey is one of the most buzzed about restaurants in the country. Located in a 1960s Greyhound Bus Terminal, this stylish hotspot serves elevated “Port City Southern” cuisine. Don’t miss the pork-belly country pasta and succulent pork shank.

The Collins Quarter- From velvety flat whites (an Australian coffee specialty) and impeccable cocktails to the brioche brisket burger, this buzzing café with soaring ceilings is a must-savor for all foodies and coffee connoisseurs.

Local 11ten- Located a block from Forsyth Park, this candlelit eatery is housed in a restored bank building from the 1950s. The restaurant is redefining Southern cuisine with seafood caught from Georgia’s nearby coast and fresh vegetables and herbs from Savannah’s own farmers.

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Service Brewing Co. Photo Credit: Richard Leo Johnson

Savannah has no shortage of places to imbibe. Sit fireside with a handcrafted cocktail, share a bottle of red over a burlesque show, or tour an artisanal brewery. Here, the night is always young.

Rocks on the Roof- The rooftop bar at the Bohemian Hotel offers inventive cocktails, food and live entertainment with a view. Whether you’re staying there or not, the breathtaking vistas of the Savannah River are worth the trip.

Mata Hari- Bartenders in risqué costumes pour martinis behind a handsome bar and the evening’s entertainment might include burlesque at this discreet speakeasy-style lounge.

A Savannah Brewery Tour- Craft brewing has been having a resurgence in Savannah. Start at Service Brewing Co. for the crisp Compass Rose IPA, then venture to Southbound Brewing Company for the Scattered Sun Belgian Wit. Finish at the Coastal Empire Beer Co. with a half-pint of the vanilla-infused Southern Delight Praline Amber. 

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Savannah’s ancient oaks and historical squares coexist with cool shops, art galleries, and parks beckoning for a stroll.

Forsyth Park- A walk through this sprawling oasis promises everything from dog walkers to violin players. Continue past the opulent fountain to the farmer’s market for locally roasted coffee and farm-fresh herbs.

Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art- In recent years, SCAD, as it’s affectionately known, has increased its visibility nationally, which has led to an influx of gifted young art students and designers, infusing energy into the town. In 2011, its art museum moved into a new building, constructed in the ruins of an antebellum rail depot. Exhibits include contemporary works with a focus on fashion and design.

Home Shopping- Another delightful effect of SCAD, not to mention all the gorgeous restored mansions surrounding Savannah’s squares, is that there are a plethora of wonderful design-oriented boutiques. Two of our favorites are 24e, which will have you dreaming of redecorating the moment you walk in, and Alex Raskin Antiques, featuring delightful (and occasionally eccentric) finds from near and far. Antlers anyone?

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8 Responses

  1. Carolyn Philllips

    Why did you close the store in Key West, Florida? I always look forward to shopping there, and – poof! — it’s gone! The only thing I can think of is that the store carried too much Winter stuff – but your home office is in Florida, after all! – Such a disappointment.

  2. Betsy hankins

    Was also sad that the Key West store was gone… First place I went when I got to town on the way down Duval Street!!!

  3. Judith Schell

    I wish you would show shoes to compliment the out and about outfits, especially the touring ones when high heels when won’t work.

  4. Karen Rodriguez

    I’m sad about the closing of the Key West store also. We don’t have much to choose from down here, and online shopping is not my thing!

  5. Deborah

    I come to Florida from Canada every March for 3 weeks, the most important shopping stop for me is Chicos, I most often go to Chicos downtown St. Petersburg…great staff, love the clothes..never leave without a full shopping bag..can hardly wait until next month

  6. Cynthia

    The Chico’s in Key West is where I made my first purchase ever! So disappointed to think it will not be there when I return. I’m surprised the cruise business isn’t enough reason to keep it open.

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