Monday, March 31, 2014

From the Land of Ma'am: Day One in Savannah

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone is having a great week.  It's going to be a busy one for me but I made time last night to start my Savannah recaps as I want to write the posts while it's all fresh in my mind.  Basically, I loved Savannah, which you could easily tell if you saw my iPhone photos because I took SO many pictures, especially of the trees and squares.  I knew it was a special place and I had heard a lot of good things about it, but the city totally surpassed my expectations. I actually liked it better than Charleston which sort of surprised me as people rave about Charleston but I just fell in love with Savannah and would be more apt to go back there versus going back to Charleston honestly...

Anyways, I am going to break my trip up into two posts because it's just too much to cover in one.  So here goes!

I drove into Savannah on Friday afternoon.  It was an easy 3.5-4 hour drive from Charlotte (but full disclosure, the drive back took over 5 hours so traffic can really make or break the drive).  Savannah was built on a river and shipping is its #1 source of revenue with tourism being #2.

Savannah's river front was not as picturesque as Charleston but it was still pretty, and I loved the bridge in the background of the photo below, which is actually the bridge that I drove into Savannah on.


On this trip, I decided to cut my costs down a bit by using airbnb.  You can rent an entire house or apartment through this website but since I was traveling alone and knew I'd be out and about most of the time, I ended up renting a room in a couple's home.  It worked out really well and I would highly recommend this couple's home as they were wonderful hosts.  The row house on the right is the one I stayed in.  The 2 rooms they rent out are located on the 2nd floor and have their own bathroom.  Another couple was staying in the other room but I barely saw them. 


Hands down, my favorite parts about Savannah were the beautiful trees and all of the little squares scattered throughout the city.  It was so pretty to walk around.  I took SO many photos of the trees, which of course don't do the city justice.

Many of the trees are covered in Spanish Moss which is actually neither Spanish, nor a moss...



Besides having so many beautiful trees, the city also has about 16 different squares scattered throughout the city.  Some have statues honoring people of Savannah or Georgia's past, some have fountains.  All of them have numerous park benches.  I feel like Savannah must have the most park benches per capita.

This off-centered photo gives you a feel for one of the parks.  This one has 2 different areas:  the fountain area in the front and then off to the back there is a tower that is in honor of someone (but don't ask me who, so many people are memorialized, it's tough to keep track of them all!).
 The biggest park in the city is Forsyth Park, which was my favorite.  There is a beautiful water fountain in the center of the park which is one of the most common images associated with Savannah.


I sat in one of the park benches and took a little reading break.  It was relaxing.And what a beautiful view!


The park has wide sidewalks and on Saturday there was a small farmers market which featured local farmers.  It's definitely a beautiful place to take a stroll.


I was supposed to take a bike tour on Friday afternoon, but it got cancelled as it was maybe going to rain.  It's too bad they cancelled as it did not end up raining, but I was able to easily find something else to do.  I was visiting Savannah during their annual music festival so after walking around some more, I went to a square where they were having a free concert.  It was so relaxing to sit on a park bench, read, and listen to this jazz ensemble.  


After all of that walking around, I had worked up an appetite. I decided to have a casual dinner at a place called Kayak Kafe.  I had done my research and they were known for being GF friendly.  I had some shrimp tacos which were delicious.


After dinner, I wasn't quite ready to go back to the house where I was staying, so I treated myself to a decaf mexican mocha at a coffee shop.

It was my first Mexican Mocha and it did not disappoint.  And I loved the pretty foam art!
My first day in Savannah was so wonderful.  I slept like a baby that night since I had tired myself out walking around the city.  Stay tuned for the recap of Saturday and Sunday!

Have you ever used airbnb?  I wasn't sure what to expect but I would definitely use the service again.  It's a great way to save some money, especially if you know you are barely going to be in the room, which was the case for this visit.

17 comments:

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

I used Airbnb for our apartment in Iceland and it was sooo nice! Iceland is known for being expensive so it was definitely the cheapest way to go. I love hotels but I'm a convert to apartments and houses for the most part because it's always cheaper and you may get a kitchen which saves more money.

Savannah looks so awesome! I think it's a place I would really love to. I may need to do a road trip down in that area (add this to my ever growing list!)

Jeanie said...

I have never used airbnb but I'm glad for the recommendation. And I've never been to Savannah, either, but after seeing your post, I sure would love to add it to the travel list. Looks gorgeous -- sort of like a Paris of the South with all that outdoor space. I'm so glad you had a wonderful time and I'm looking forward to your next post!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

THANK YOU for pointing out Savannah > Charleston. I have always felt the same way and people look at me cross-eyed when I say so! (Another reason we're pals!)

When we were in Savannah the other week, our friend gave us a driving tour (thanks to rain) of the city. As we were driving through one of the squares, he said he thought it was his first time driving through it. He's lived there for about a decade! Shows you how many squares there are and how long it takes to discover all of them!

Marlys said...

Lovely city and beautiful trees! I love to "travel" with you as I may never get to those places you've been so it is so enjoyable!
Can't wait to see the next posts!

Kyla Roma said...

Sounds like an amazing time! I've always wanted to visit this part of the country and you're just making that worse! lol Air BnB is fabulous, I've used it three times now and I'm a convert. My sister is even using it for her move to Germany! She and a friend are doing the first two months in an AirBnB spot while they apartment hunt. Hope you're feeling restored!

Leigh said...

Looks like such a wonderful city! We used airbnb in London and Paris and had wonderful experiences both times. In London, it was a room in someone's flat and the couple was such great hosts! They were from Germany and toured the world for a year. He was also a professional poker player, so it was neat to chat with them

Carolina John said...

Yaaaaaaaayyyyy!!!!! I like Savannah more than Charleston too, but Chas is a lot easier to get too from Raleigh. There's a very high cool factor down there. Especially downtown. The squares and open markets are really fun. And you picked a great time to go down there. Come July/August it gets so hot & humid you can barely walk outside.

Nora said...

I haven't used AirBnb but I know my brother did when he went to Puerto Rico and had a great experience. I've heard good things. I tend to use vacationrentals.com but I will be sure to check out airbnb going forward :)

I know a little bit about Savannah from when my parents went. Something about a Pink house that has a restaurant and is haunted? And all of the walking and etc.! My mom loved it so I'm sure I would, too. hopefully I can get there some day =)

Stephany said...

I've never used AirBnB but I've only heard rave reviews so I think I would be apt to use it if visiting a city like this.

Your trip sounds like a lot of fun! I'm glad you were able to get away and explore a new city. :)

Becky said...

I've heard rave reviews about airbnb - I think we'll try to do that on our next big trip (although not sure where that will be...)

Love these photos - can't wait to see the next recap!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

It looks like a beautiful place to visit and super relaxing. And what a great idea to rent a room from air b n b.

Elizabeth said...

Ha my rental is one airbnb as I had several people suggest putting the room on there. Since I'm out the suburbs I don't get a ton of hits, but I'm just booking my first guest off of there for part of this summer! Keep your fingers crossed! Two of my gals live in Savannah and another will be there this time next year (they're all military). Last time I visited I fell much more in favor with Savannah than the first time, but I'm a bigger fan of Charleston. Most my friends feel the same way though, as they prefer SAV over Charleston. :) Glad it was a wonderful trip!! This time of year is especially ideal for travel :)

CharisFaith said...

I have never heard of airbnb but I'll have to check it out. I thought about you all weekend since you were so close by. I'm delighted that the city treated you well!!!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I've never heard of Airnb. The shrimp tacos look great - that reminds me that we were planing on making shrimp tacos last week and never did ...

Abby said...

Beautiful! This looks like a day you needed , with all the stress you have going on! Parks, trees, jazz, mocha, fish tacos, and lots of fresh air! Beautiful!!!!

I've never had a Mexican mocha - but obviously tons of local coffee shops here in SW AZ sell them. It's kind of like a chai tea/mocha, right?!

We didn't try "airb&b " specifically - but the house we rented at Ocean Beach in San Diego had the similar concept. Except we did have access to use her kitchen? And we really lucked out our last night, because the other "guests" checked out - so we basically had the house to ourselves. Loved it for a trip where we were out and about so much!

Shoshanah said...

I've never actually used Airbnb myself, but I do have a good friend whose used it to rent out an apartment and has had good success with it. I do like the idea of it, but I'm not quite sure I'd be comfortable renting out my own place though.

Amber said...

I haven't used AirBnB yet BUT I do have a couple of places booked from there for our trip to Ireland and Scotland! I think it's a great alternative to renting an expensive hotel room.

Savannah looks like a really beautiful place. I'm glad you loved it and had a relaxing weekend away!