Charmed by Savannah & Charleston
This past weekend, I got to meet up with one of my best friends! After living overseas for so many years, being able to hang out for a weekend in a new fun place was sooo exciting. Hatley flew from San Francisco to Savannah, while I drove the 7 hours from Pensacola to Savannah. It was a super easy drive— basically just straight along all of the Florida Panhandle until I turned North in Jacksonville for the last 2 hours to Savannah.
Our hotel in Savannah, The Olde Harbour Inn, was so charming! It was right next to the riverwalk, which is a cute (touristy) area of town to walk around. There was lots of live music spilling out of the bars at night (but we couldn’t hear it from our hotel room!)
We arrived at night and walked to The Grey for drinks and dinner. It is housed in an old art deco Greyhound bus terminal, which has been restored beautifully. The food and drinks were great! I especially loved their beef tartare (but I am a sucker for tartare).
After dinner, we walked through town and back down along the riverwalk. We stopped and got some daiquiris (Savannah doesn’t have open container laws, so you can drink on the street like in New Orleans!) and enjoyed the view of a huge river boat, while listening to live music from the bars.
The next morning, we walked through town to a really sweet cafe called The Collins Quarter. I had read that it was a “Melbourne Style” cafe, so of course, I had to go! I can definitely attest to the “Melbourne Style”— I was so excited to have a good flat white, and I also had a turmeric latte because I can never pass those up. We didn’t partake, but it is definitely a good spot for a boozy brunch— we saw a lot of sparkling rosé going around!
After brunch we headed over to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. It was breathtaking. I love being reminded that incredible, gothic style architecture exists in America, too.
We took one last walk through the old city of Savannah before heading out to Charleston. We loved how Savannah reminded us so much of New Orleans, and we definitely left wanting more! There are tons of restaurants still on my list and I hope to get back to Savannah soon.
After an easy 2 hour drive from Savannah to Charleston, we checked into our hotel: Staybridge Suites. It was located just across the bridge from Charleston in Mt. Pleasant, which turned out to be a great location. It was a $10 Uber into downtown Charleston, but then we were also closed to Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms which would be great in the summer if you’re planning on including some beach time in your itinerary. We were super happy with the hotel, but I didn’t take any pictures before our suitcases exploded all over the room!
After relaxing in the hotel room, we headed to 167 Raw which came recommended to us. We arrived pretty late and we were lucky to be the last people on the waitlist. It is a tiny restaurant, but we were offered drinks while we waited outside for a spot at the bar. The mountain of seafood that we ate there was delicious! My favorite was the tuna poke— and while we were waiting we received some insider info to eat the poke with the guacamole. We did. And it was amazing.
The next day, we went to a late breakfast at Miller’s All Day, which, as the name suggests, serves breakfast all day. The coffee was locally sourced from Springbok Coffee Roasters and I was super impressed, but the “Unicorn Grits” were the real star of the show. They’re made with an unrefined red corn meal, and they were creamy, cheesy (added) and delicious. We bought some to make at home— we’ll see if they turn out as yummy!
From Miller’s, we walked South to White Point Garden. It was an easy walk through the French Quarter and we stopped to take a lot of photos of gorgeous houses, and government buildings. White Point Garden is a charming park with beautiful old oak trees, right along the water.
We spent the rest of the afternoon walking back up King Street, which turns into an outdoor shopping mall that reminded us of Georgetown in Washington DC. We landed at The Darling Oyster Bar around 5pm for drinks and a bite to eat. We liked the coconut ceviche, and Hatley had her first oyster shooter! The shooters were especially delicious. Bloody Mary style.
We went back to the hotel for a bit before driving over to The Obstinate Daughter in Sullivan’s Island for a late dinner. I started with a huge (and much needed) local lettuce caesar salad while Hatley had delicious peel and eat shrimp. Then I had ricotta gnocchi with short rib ragu which cancelled out the salad but blew my mind. I would go back just for that.
The next day, we drove over to check out the beaches at Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms. Although it was definitely not beach weather (foggy!!) it was fun to cruise and look at the stunning beach houses along the way. I look forward to spending time in the area when it’s beach/diving weather!
We headed back into Charleston for lunch, and to fulfill Hatley’s craving for Southern BBQ. We went to Lewis BBQ which is known for their Texas-style brisket, and the brisket was amazing of course but we were also impressed by the fruity tang of the collard greens, the jalapeño corn bread, and (of course) the banana pudding.
We parked in the french quarter to check out the Rainbow Row houses (below) and to walk around the city market. The architecture in Charleston is just so charming— there’s no other way to describe it!
We ended the day in Folly Beach, our last hotel (BNB) of the weekend where Hatley would stay for a few days with another friend after I left the next morning. It was a sweet apartment with a view of the marsh, and it would be amazing to stay there for a week during the summer! We loved the porch and got to leave the doors open during a huge rainstorm that night.
All in all, it was a great weekend! We ate well (too well) and I would definitely recommend every restaurant linked in this post.
The 9 hour drive back to Pensacola was surprisingly easy— I left Folly Beach at about 8AM and I was home before dark, at about 5:30PM. Definitely worth it to explore with my girl!