When the sun goes down, Savannah is just waking up. Savannah’s nightlife boasts plenty of exciting events, restaurants and bars that could easily turn you into a night owl for a weekend.
Johnson Square Food Trucks after 11 PM
Okay, you’ve had dinner (and possibly a few drinks), but after walking around downtown, you’ve already burned it off. Well, fortunately, just over a year and a half ago, Savannah began allowing food truck sales, and they have been an enormous hit, especially for late night, on-the-go bites. Visit Johnson Square at night and you’ll find a variety of food trucks you’ll love. Try a half rack of ribs, paired with savory and sweet sauces, as well as mac n’ cheese “done right” from Roy’s Nutz & Buttz Barbecue. Taste the Hat Trick, a traditional poutine topped with sweet and spicy sausage, bacon, chorizo and jalapenos from The Squeaky Beaver. Or try the jerk fried fish with mango salsa, cilantro sour cream and dill pickle from Dark Shark Taco Attack.
To-go Cups (Yes, Open Containers)
There is a lot to do in Savannah, and so much to see as you walk along the historic streets at night, wouldn’t enjoying an adult beverage make it even better? Savannah is one of the few cities that encourages to-go cups, which allow you to bring your drink of choice with you when it’s time to leave the restaurant or bar. If you’re walking somewhere between the river and Jones Street and from West Boundary to E. Broad Street, then you can make use of these to-go cups in nearby restaurants and take your beer or cocktail with you. Just make sure to contain yourself.
City Market Free Concerts
If you’re looking for a little entertainment on the cheap side, head over to City Market. This converted square of warehouses not only has dozens of boutique shops from Savannah Cigars to Georgia Tasting Room to the American Prohibition Museum during the day, but it also has nightly performances from various local artists, even on weeknights. And it isn’t far from some great restaurants and bars like A.Lure, Vinnie Van Go Gos, Belford’s, The Rail Pub and Boomys. Check their calendar for updated performance schedules.
There are plenty of opportunities to wet your whistle, but did you know that Savannah offers several special pub crawls? Depending on your tolerance for information (and alcohol), you can find haunted tours and historical tours year-round, but you can also find seasonal and holiday bar crawls. Finish the year with the Twelve Bars of Christmas and the New Year’s Resolution Bar Crawl both this month. Or look forward to the new year with Cupid is Stupid in February and St. Practice Day in March.
Savannah Smiles Dueling Pianos
What if a jukebox and an improv comedian had a baby? For over 20 years, Savannah Smiles has answered that question with some wildly entertaining musical performances. Here, you can request a song and live performers will battle it out in multiple styles and genres. You can also enjoy the pub-style food, local beer and liquors. Check out their schedule for a full listing of performers.
Although I’m a Savannah local, it’s been a while since I indulged in a day of exploring the city’s mystical treasure-troves. Savannah’s antique stores have so much to offer, from the locations, to the eclectic wares, to the hospitable owners, these shops are like a constantly unfolding story.
In one store, I’m bound to uncover a shimmering clutch purse that reminds me of my grandmother’s beautiful accessories. At another, I’ll lose myself in the aromas of hand-cut soaps while sipping a latte and indulging in a fresh-baked croissant. At yet another, I’ll find that perfect mix of new and old pieces to bring immense amounts of character to my home. If you love hunting for the perfect hidden gem as much as I do, come explore some of the finest vintage, antique, restored, and collectible shops Savannah has to offer.
When you stroll through Picker Joe’s Antique Mall and Vintage Market, you should be prepared to not only delight in everything you’ll see, but also have a really good, nostalgia-filled time. Owner Jim Plumlee, a former auto mechanic and part-time air-show pilot opened Picker Joe’s just over three and a half years ago. In fact, it was his pilot gig, and his affinity for old instrument gauges, that prompted a neighbor to ask him, “have you ever thought of getting a booth?” So he did. He got his own spot in a larger antique mall and along the way discovered his passion. “I LOVE going to work every day,” says Plumlee. “It’s like our slogan – an experience like no other – it changes all the time.” He said of all the praise he hears from his customers, the comments he hears most often are: it’s clean, it’s neat, it’s organized, and the energy is like no other mall they’ve been in. With Big Band music playing in the background and 65 individual dealers in addition to Picker Joe’s own selection, prepare to de-stress and experience unprecedented retail therapy. “I have PFTP,” said Plumlee in a spirited tone, “Passion for the Past.” Beyond aviation finds, Plumlee also has a passion for architectural salvage and will soon expand his back room by 300% just to house those specific finds. Be sure to visit their Facebook page where they have 360 degree photos to give you a virtual feel of all you’ll see in person.
Now on to a shop whose motto is simply, “if you need it, we don’t have it, but if you want it, we’ve got it.” Welcome to Wright Square Vintage and Retro Mall. As its name suggests, this is not a one-owner type of store, but rather hosts 32 dealers within its space to ensure there really is something for everyone. “Every dealer has their niche of something they do well,” said Andy Sher who, along with Joe Weaver, co-owns the shop. “We have some dealers who specialize in record albums, others who only carry vintage cameras and others who do vintage clothing.” Sher kindly explained the difference between antique and vintage to me, “an antique piece has to be 50 years or older but vintage or retro pieces are words that indicate something ‘not new’ and resonate with customers.” In many ways, Wright Square Vintage and Retro Mall is like the Smithsonian, “you can spend five years looking at all of our booths,” described Sher, “but most customers don’t just wander in. They’ve done their homework and we’re on their ‘to see’ list of places they want to go,” and he adds, “it’s a short list.” Sher knows the store and its dealers like the back of his hand and not only guides customers, but also tries to lend some local advice on what to see and do while in Savannah. “We sell a lot of copies of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, first editions and even signed copies, and if a customer buys one, I ask how many days they have left here and then I try to guide them as to what to do to ‘live’ the book,” said Sher. Eclectic finds and a tour guide to boot? Sounds like Wright Square Vintage and Retro Mall is a great stop for every visitor.
The next shop is best described by its owner, Renee Slipko: “GCD Home Furnishings & Décor is located in a quiet part of downtown Savannah. You enter the shop through a 10-foot red barn door and into a large, open loft with exposed Savannah gray brick walls, a wood-planked ceiling and massive steel industrial support beams.” This is the type of shop where you could spend hours browsing, exploring, and discovering. GCD offers customers countless vintage and new items, as well as a selection of antique pieces (some more than 100 years old). Their full offering includes furniture and home accents with an emphasis on affordability and eccentricity. “The range of products is as surprising as the affordable prices are,” Slipko, who owns GCD with her husband, Robert, told us. “Available items include a line of imported antique and vintage Persian rugs, new mid-century modern furniture, imported hand-dyed Kantha quilts, pillows, floor poofs, vintage and new artwork….” The shop also hosts a revolving art exhibit with different local Savannah artists every month as well as one-of-a-kind jewelry, seasonal and upcycled signs, and hand-crocheted blankets. During the holidays, GCD is offering free gift-wrapping on all purchases along with several tiered add-on “bonus items” where the more you spend, the more you get. GCD will also be doing a holiday raffle so be sure to check their Facebook page for updates.
Yes, we’re in Savannah, GA, but The Paris Market, positioned at the corner of Whitaker and Broughton Streets in downtown Savannah, is like a vacation inside of a vacation for anyone visiting the city. “If I can help someone have a good day and maybe even transport them into a different world for a few minutes, then my job is done,” said Paula Danyluk, the shop’s owner. “When you open our big antique doors, you hear French music playing and smell dried lavender and hand-cut soaps, along with freshly brewed coffee, croissants, cookies, and baguettes from our café.” As you may have guessed, this is not your standard variety shop. With every step, you hear the old, wooden floors creak beneath your feet as you’re struck by the mix of both antique and modern goods perfectly comingled on displays throughout the space. “We have two floors full of beautiful, whimsical treasures,” Danyluk explained, “home goods and kitchen wares, jewelry and handbags, vintage furniture and light fixtures, art books and children’s gifts.” Danyluk travels extensively to craft her curated selection at The Paris Market, often falling in love with the story and history of a piece so much that it’s hard to part with! When it comes to spotting a rare find, Danyluk advises, “Don’t worry about whether or not something is rare. If it feels special and it makes you happy whenever you look at it, well, that’s the most beautiful gift of all.”
Just outside of Savannah’s downtown district is the community of Sandfly and our next stop: a 16,000 square foot space called Sandfly Market. “We are the largest antique mall in Savannah with an ever-changing, eclectic selection of antiques, primitives, mid-century, rustic and unique finds,” described Amber Lair who co-owns Sandfly Market along with Krystle Venticinque. A visit to Sandfly Market provides you with an opportunity to both purchase historic pieces and explore historic surroundings. Sandfly is located near Isle of Hope at the intersection of Montgomery Crossroad and Skidaway Island. The community was established by African Americans in the nineteenth century, many of whom were former slaves of the nearby Wormsloe Plantation. “We tell our customers to plan a day trip in downtown Sandfly and visit our shop, followed by lunch at a local restaurant or café and after lunch, they can head on over to historic Wormsloe plantation followed by a stroll down beautiful Bluff Drive,” recommended Lair. Wormsloe, the colonial estate of Noble Jones who was among the first Savannah settlers from England, is known for its breathtaking Live Oak entry that is a natural canopy of centuries-old limbs and Spanish moss. Today, Wormsloe is a state historic site and offers programs, events, a museum, and interpretive nature trail for visitors to enjoy. A visit to Sandfly Market is a great way to immerse yourself in history. “Savannah truly gives you the full experience of living in the past, and what better way to take a piece of Savannah home with you than with antiques?” said Lair. “We have a team of about 30 vendors who travel all across the US to bring back one-of-a-kind, hand-picked items,” Lair told me. If you happen to visit Sandfly Market in December, you can feel extra-good about your purchase as part of their annual charity event. Shoppers can even expect sales from 10-40% off for the month of December. Find out more about their charitable giving and view photos of their selections on their website.
As you countdown to the gift-giving season, why not skip the crowded box stores and bland online-shopping, for a gift discovery excursion? If you’re planning a Savannah trip anytime soon, be sure to bookmark post for easy reference. Trust me, you won’t want to miss a single shop!
It’s the season of giving and you’ve probably started thinking about finding the perfect gifts for the ones you love. If you’re visiting Savannah during the holiday season, you’ll find something for everyone on your list at our wide variety of local shops and boutiques. It also happens to be perfect shopping weather this time of year – crisp and cool, but not too cold! So take a stroll down Broughton Street, wander through City Market, and weave your way around Savannah’s historic squares as you discover all the unique shopping and locally-made treats to take home for the holidays.
The Paris Market is a Francophile’s dream. From its immaculately designed window displays to the cozy Parisian café inside, serving espresso and delicate macarons, this distinctive shop has a little bit of everything! On the main level, you’ll find locally-inspired candles, old-fashioned candies, delicate jewelry, and French perfumes. Little ones on your list? Their children’s section boasts adorable toys, costumes, and clothing. Venture downstairs to find an eclectic array of home goods, from vintage teacups and barware to handcrafted cutting boards and baking mixes. The entire store is a carefully-curated wonderland with a rare attention to detail.
While many Savannah visitors are familiar with the popular Savannah Bee Company, this new, local shop is also garnering quite a bit of buzz! Venture down the eastern end of Broughton to find Capital Bee — a quaint boutique selling local honey, scented candles, pretty tea towels, and other bee-utiful gifts. Wooden honey dippers and pewter bee magnets make the perfect stocking stuffers, and you absolutely must try the raw frosted cinnamon honey! Want to give a little bit of everything? Capital Bee offers handpicked gift sets featuring some of their favorite products.
This idyllic independent bookshop is the perfect place to pick up a thoughtful gift for every book-lover on your list. Located just off Madison Square, E. Shaver is picturesque and loaded with charm. Pet the resident kitties while you peruse their wide selection of literature, local history, and children’s books. You’ll also find Christmas cards, canvas totes, and other bookish gifts. Not sure what to buy? Check out their shelf of staff recommendations with personalized reviews. Don’t forget to stop by the tea room for a soothing cup before you go!
Step into this warm and friendly boutique on the corner of Bull St. and Perry Ln., just south of Chippewa Square. Red Clover offers budget-friendly fashions and unique accessories to please all your most stylish friends and family members. Pick up a pretty scarf and a pair of statement earrings for your best friend, and maybe grab a pair of ankle boots in your size while you’re at it! It’s important to treat yourself, too!
If you’re on the hunt for something extra special for the artistic friend or relative who seems to have it all, you’ll want to stop by ShopSCAD – a retail gallery of unique works by students and alumni of Savannah College of Art and Design. Just south of Madison Square, you’ll find everything from stunning pieces of fine art to handmade décor, apparel, and jewelry. Pick up a copy of The Bee and The Acorn, a beautifully illustrated memoir by Paula Susan Wallace, the president and founder of SCAD. This elegant Rooibos and Fruit Tea blend from The Captain’s Daughter, and these handmade, all natural salves from Humblelove also make wonderful gifts for anyone in need of a bit of stress relief this year.
Pets deserve some pampering, too, and there’s no better place to treat your pooch than Woof Gang Bakery. With locations on Bull St., River St., and City Market, you’re sure to spot their hot pink sign while you’re strolling around the city. Woof Gang is packed with toys, treats, collars, and accessories for both dogs and cats. You won’t be able to resist taking home a pink goodie bag full of holiday-themed biscuits for your furry friend!
The holidays are quickly approaching, and with that comes shopping, holiday parties, and most importantly, capturing the perfect holiday photo. Savannah is the city for holiday festivities, as well as dreamy scenery for capturing your most Instagram-worthy photo! After all, if it’s not on the Gram, did it even happen?!
We are exploring the city with our phone in hand to show that you, too, can capture a beautiful holiday photo for Instagram. You may want to start early to avoid large crowds (aka photobombers) and to take advantage of the softer lighting. So grab your phone and get ready because your Savannah holiday photo is about to be #Instafamous.
First and foremost, Forsyth Park. It’s no wonder this is the most iconic photo spot in Savannah. It is beautiful! Walk into the park off E. Gordon and stroll halfway down the walkway in front of the fountain. Grab a bystander or bring a friend to take the photos. Capture multiple shots, vertical/horizontal, and keep in mind the person snapping the photo will need to be quick as lots of people like to gather around the fountain.
The Olde Pink House
Located on the corner of Abercorn and E. Bryan St., you’ll find the perfect shade of pink for your holiday post. The Olde Pink House offers an ideal backdrop and this particular wall is located on the side of E. Bryan St. Thankfully, you do not have to compete with the sun in this spot as the parking deck across the street blocks most of the sunlight.
Along Abercorn across from Clary’s Cafe you’ll find our next spot…
Green Barn Doors
You may never notice these barn doors if you’re just casually strolling down the street, but they are the perfect color for your holiday photo. As you walk down Abercorn Street towards Clary’s you’ll spot them along the sidewalk.
Now make your way towards River Street to find historic, rustic Factor’s Walk…
Factor’s Walk is a great historical landmark in Savannah, located between Bull Street and River Street. You can find these beautiful walkways leading to many antique shops and restaurants. We chose to capture the one right in front of the iconic restaurant, Vic’s On The River. Grab another grammable shot here, you won’t regret it!
If you’re up for a short drive out of downtown, head to Wormsloe Historic Site…
Located on Skidaway Island, this historic site is stunning. Arrive as soon as the gates open at 9am. This is the perfect time to beat the traffic and capture the best sunlight. You may not find a bystander, so make sure you have someone with you, if you plan to appear in the shot. As soon as you drive through the gate, you’ll see a beautiful row of live oak trees. You may want to stand closer to the front of this stunning view in order to get the most live oaks in your photo.
After you finish your journey of holiday photos, kick your feet up and scroll through all your pictures while indulging in a spiked hot cocoa and pick the perfect Savannah holiday photo! Happy Holidays, Savannah! Tag us in your grammable shots #staysavannah so we can join in on the festivities and possibly share a few!
The days are shorter, and the nights are longer, but people are flocking to Savannah for the holidays. Each year brings a time of joy and celebration, where long-standing traditions meet new ones. From carolers in Chippewa Square to Santa’s arrival in City Market and the Christmas Parade, you can find all kinds of gatherings and events that will light up your holiday season. We’re here to fill you in on some of the most iconic traditions, both old and new, that will make your holiday trip to Savannah one worth remembering.
Winter in Savannah
Savannah winters are generally mild. Daytime temperatures typically average in the low to mid 60s, with overnight lows averaging around 40 degrees. No matter the temperature, you’ll find a heart-warming experience with the holiday events available over the winter months. Here are just a few of the many seasonal hallmarks of Savannah.
Boat Parade of Lights (November 24)
One of Savannah’s most celebrated traditions is the Boat Parade of Lights on River Street. To kick off the holiday season, dozens of lighted boats will take over the Savannah waterfront. You will want to secure your spot on the river early, as this is a well-attended holiday tradition. Enjoy the view from many restaurants along River Street, or book your stay at the Homewood Suites to watch the parade from your room or the rooftop bar! Stay a while and you’ll also enjoy a beautiful firework display!
Holiday Pops Concert with the Philharmonic (December 7–8)
Now in its tenth year, the Holiday Pops Concert is returning to the Johnny Mercer Theater in the Savannah Civic Center. Every year, the Philharmonic convenes for this seasonal celebration with the orchestra and chorus, as well as musical guests. This year will feature the excellent Savannah Children’s Choir. Bring the family for a sing-along of your favorite holiday music. Family matinee tickets are $15 per person. Evening shows start at $25.
Savannah Theatre Holiday Show (November 22–December 24)
‘A Christmas Tradition’ is a wildly popular event that draws people of all ages to the historic Savannah Theatre for a fun, engaging performance, but make sure you’re ready to participate! This show includes everyone in comedic song, dance, and random outbursts. Now in its 17th year, the holiday show is an entertaining experience for the whole family.
One of Savannah’s most characteristic locations, City Market, becomes a brilliant display of lights and cheerful spirits. This destination for entertainment, shopping and dining also includes a celebration for children called “Christmas for Kids” on Dec. 8. Kids will love making ornaments, getting their faces painted, and meeting Santa. City Market also hosts a popular New Year’s Eve celebration.
Any time is a wonderful time to see the beautiful architecture in Savannah. However, during the holidays, visitors love seeing the classic homes of downtown Savannah decked with boughs of holly. Residents and guests alike look forward to touring eight private homes, three inns, and two museum homes, all decorated for the season. There are two tour sessions available, 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. The ticket price is $65 per person.
The hospitality industry creates a lot of waste. One of the largest contributors is servicing rooms for guests. When rooms are serviced, bathrooms are provided with new soaps and bottled shampoos. Nationwide, this practice contributes around 14 million pounds of waste to landfills every single year. Soap is easily recyclable, so it’s very unfortunate that so much is being discarded.
All preferred hotels on Stay in Savannah partner with Clean the World, a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste and saving lives. Since 2009, Clean the World has partnered with hotels to collect soaps for recycling and distribution to nearly 120 countries worldwide. Since 2016, Stay in Savannah’s partnership with Clean the World has kept over 10,000 pounds of waste out of local landfills. Stay in Savannah partners have also recycled and distributed over 35,000 bars of soap and distributed nearly 10,000 hygiene kits to communities in need, both domestic and international.
Recycling Reduces Environmental Impact
Keeping hotel rooms clean is a priority, but hotel soaps, shampoos and lotions are needlessly thrown away, even if they are not fully used. This inefficient practice adds millions of pounds of unnecessary waste to landfills. Clean the World helps to mitigate some of the effects of landfill waste by recycling soaps and distributing them to people in need.
Partnering with Clean the World, Stay in Savannah partners have not only been able to provide thousands of soaps and hygiene kits for those in need, but have also been able to improve their practices, making hotels much more environmentally conscious.
Preserving Natural Resources Reduces Costs
It’s estimated that hotels nationwide discard nearly 2 million bars of soap every single day. This wasteful practice not only drives up the cost of resources but also skews the levels of consumption. Though seemingly insignificant, the costs associated with servicing rooms can build up over time, especially with soaps. The reality is that millions of dollars are being thrown away instead of helping those in need.
By choosing to recycle used soaps through Clean the World, Stay in Savannah partner hotels use resources more effectively. Simultaneously, hotels pay closer attention to their consumption. All of the materials that hotels source can be more closely monitored so that they only take what they need.
Supporting Global Communities Saves Lives
A World Health Organization study estimates that nearly 1.8 billion people around the world don’t have access to proper sanitation. Consequently, nearly 1 million lives, mostly children, are lost every year due to bacterial and viral infections. These deaths could be easily prevented with proper sanitation.
Clean the World is striving to prevent perfectly good soaps from going to waste. These soaps can go directly to help communities with sanitation needs. Through Clean the World, Stay in Savannah partners have made a genuine impact, helping people in need.
Stay in Savannah partners proudly use these renewable practices in all preferred hotels.
With the weather finally turning cooler and fall at our door, Savannah is the perfect destination for a fabulous date night. Here are just a few tips on how to make your next date night in Savannah complete!
Make it a staycation! Whether you’re visiting from out of town or right down the road, make it a getaway and stay the night at the gorgeous Homewood Suites Savannah Historic District/Riverfront in the heart of the downtown. Savannah is a walking city, so let the valet take your car for the night and you can get around on foot, by horse and carriage, or even pedicab! With our open container laws, it’s easy to safely sip and stroll your way around the historic district, and you’ll see more this way, too.
Speaking of strolling, make sure to add Forsyth Park as a stop along your route. This 30-acre park situated in the center of downtown Savannah offers postcard-perfect photo-ops, so plan on stopping by a bit before sunset.
Next, head north on Bull Street to The Collins Quarter for a cocktail. Home of some of the best people-watching in Savannah, this charming spot is a favorite of locals and visiting celebrities alike.
Before you arrive in Savannah, be sure to make a reservation at The Olde Pink House. Built in 1771, and as Pink as the name suggests, this Savannah staple never disappoints! The service is as warm as the greeting you’ll receive from the Pink House host, Marquelle, quite possibly the friendliest person in Savannah. We recommend the always amazing BLT salad, the pork shank with pineapple gremolata, and of course a pink lady cocktail (or two!).
Next, head over to Lulu’s Chocolate Bar for a sweet after dinner treat. Lulu’s is open late and serves the most decadent desserts and dessert cocktails. We suggest sharing the insta-worthy rapture sundae, if you dare! A chocolate martini is also a must.
The night doesn’t have to end as Savannah offers a lively nightlife scene, but if you’d prefer to relax and watch the ships go by on the river, head back to the Homewood Suites for some of the best views in Savannah at their signature (guest only) roof top bar, rtb! Hang a do not disturb sign on the door, sleep in, and enjoy your free breakfast in the morning for the perfect end to your Savannah staycation!
Include Savannah as a part of your next date night and tag us in your photos, #staysavannah so that we can tag along!
It’s the holiday season! Well, at least according to every department and craft store. Is it just me or did it seem that as a child, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas was FOREVER? Now that same time seems to go by in a blink. This holiday, you owe it to yourself to hit pause on the hustle and bustle, and enter for your chance to win the VIBee Savannah Weekend Getaway from DoubleTree and Savannah Bee Company.
December in Savannah should be called the Goldilocks season — not too hot, not too cold, with just the right amount of briskness in the air to put a little pep in your step. You’re here, of course, because you are the lucky winner of our VIBee Savannah Getaway, a grand idea developed by Stay in Savannah and the Savannah Bee Company. Here’s what you’ll enjoy:
As the winner of the VIBee weekend getaway package, your Savannah Gift Box will be shipped directly to you with all of the instructions on booking your stay. Your gift box will be filled with Savannah Bee favorites like their Tupelo Reserve honey, Royal Jelly Body Butter, Chocolate Whipped Honey, honeycomb, and a variety of products from their skin care line.
A two-night weekend stay in December for two at the DoubleTree by Hilton Savannah Historic District, complete with a heart-warming complimentary breakfast and valet service both days. Staying at the DoubleTree places the beautiful views of River Street and the excitement of City Market right outside your door!
You’ll receive two all-day on-off passes aboard a trolley from Old Savannah Tours so you can experience the heart and history of Downtown Savannah.
Next, indulge in a private Mead and Honey Tasting Tour at the Savannah Bee Company (and discover why Southerners so affectionately address acquaintances as, “honey”). Your tour will take you on a journey through the ancient art of mead-making while sampling a flight of Savannah Bee’s delicious Honey Wines (they say it’s like liquid sunshine in a bottle). Of course, you can’t go on a tasting tour of Savannah Bee without tasting some honey! So ready your taste buds to sample up to 20 varietals of honey while learning what makes each honey different. If you’ve never tried Savannah Bee honey, you’re in for a truly sweet treat. What was started by one man in Savannah, GA back in 2002 has grown to include 13 locations. Founder, president and head beekeeper of Savannah Bee, Ted Dennard, is passionate about bees and in a short time has grown his offering of edible treats to include beauty and lifestyle products that stay true to his all-natural Georgia roots.
Once you’ve fully pampered your palate, you’ll relax with honey facials for two at the award-winning Spa Bleu. Sit back, and let the hydrating, antioxidant and antibacterial properties of honey nourish your skin and leave you with a golden-honey glow.
In the evening, redeem a $100 gift card at one of the fabulous restaurants owned by Ele & The Chef: Fire Street Food, Little Duck Diner, The Vault Kitchen & Market, Flying Monk Noodle Bar, or Chive Sea Bar and Lounge– all located in historic downtown Savannah – or venture to nearby Wilmington Island where Current Kitchen & Cocktails awaits.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, you cap off your evening with a decadent, delicious and famously creamy treat, care of Leopold’s Ice Cream.
So what are you waiting for? You only have until October 26, 2018 to enter! Just follow the steps below for your chance to win one SWEET VIBee Savannah Getaway. And thank you to DoubleTree, Savannah Bee Company and all the generous donors who came together to make it possible. Good luck! We look forward to seeing you in Savannah!
If you’ve never attended the Savannah Food and Wine Festival before, you’re in for a treat! The Festival is an annual week-long event that takes place across multiple locations throughout the city, and it’s your chance to sample the unique flavors of the South while strolling down River Street, taking in rooftop views, or even cruising on a river boat!
Not sure where to begin? We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite events below. Keep in mind that availability is often limited, so purchase your tickets today!
If you’re the hands-on type, you’ll want to buy your tickets for the Bistro Savoir Interactif on November 1st, hosted by the Savannah Technical College Foundation and guided by chef instructors from the Savannah Culinary Institute. This all-inclusive event allows participants to learn new culinary skills as they tackle recipes from around the globe, including Turkish meatballs, Chinese dumplings, and Jamaican pickled peppers. The event also includes guided wine tastings with expertly paired hors d’oeuvres.
Tickets: $100 in advance, 21+
Ready to party like it’s 1929? Then put on your fringe and pearls and head to the Georgia State Railroad Museum for the Secret Savannah Speakeasy all-inclusive event on November 8th! Enjoy artisanal cocktails, small-plate tastings, and live music while you dance the night away in your best flapper-inspired style. Sample the signature drinks of the Bartenders Challenge finalists and vote for your favorite to win the People’s Choice award!
Tickets: $80-85 in advance, 21+
One of the most popular events of the Food and Wine Festival is the annual River Street Stroll. Enjoy the beautiful riverfront views and watch the sunset over Savannah while you sip handcrafted cocktails, wines, and craft beers on November 9th. Tickets include all beverage tastings and limited food offerings. Learn more about all the featured beverage participants here!
Tickets: $55-60 in advance, 21+
If you can only choose one event to attend, we recommend Taste of Savannah on November 10th, where you’ll sample the local flavors of Savannah’s best restaurants and chefs! Located at the Georgia State Railroad Museum, you’ll have access to over 400 beverage tasting booths, including wine, beer, and spirits, as well as 5 free food tokens to satisfy all your cravings. Peruse the Artisan market, purchase Georgia Grown products, participate in the Silent Auction, and watch cooking demos from celebrity and local chefs! You’ll also take home a souvenir leaded crystal wine glass. Be sure to arrive early, as this popular event tends to get very crowded.
Interested in taking your Taste of Savannah experience to the next level? Purchase a VIP ticket for access to the indoor/outdoor VIP lounge, where you’ll meet celebrity chefs and winemakers, enjoy a catered gourmet experience, and receive access to private bars, live music, and an exclusive entrance. Find out more about the VIP offerings here!
Tickets: $70-75 in advance, 21+
VIP Tickets: $150 in advance, 21+
Cap off your Food and Wine Festival experience with a champagne POP at the Jazz + Bubbles Brunch, located onboard a Savannah Riverboat Cruise on November 11th. Fill your plate at the buffet of chef-selected specialties, including southern fried chicken, honey glazed spiral ham, Savannah shrimp & grits, biscuits & sausage gravy, banana pudding, and plenty more! This all-inclusive event is sure to make you fall in love with Savannah all over again as you indulge in unlimited mimosas while you take in the river views and enjoy a live jazz band.
There’s a certain cool factor associated with food trucks. It’s almost like venturing out to find that best-meal-ever hole-in-the-wall spot — the one you would usually be hesitant to try but once you do, you’re SO glad you did. Only with food trucks, there’s an added element of mystique because it’s so good, you can’t help but ask, “was this really made…in a truck?”
If you’ve ever tried food truck cuisine, you’re not alone. According to a recent article in Inc. Magazine, food trucks are the fastest-growing channel in the foodservice industry today. They started to hit the mainstream back in 2012 and at that time it was a $650 million industry. Fast forward to 2017 and food trucks were hailed as a $2.7 billion industry.
Savannah’s food truck scene caught on a few years later, around 2014, and according to Ryan Giannoni, president of the Savannah Food Truck Association, when they stamped their initial request with the city they had only one food truck. “A lot of people look at it like a negative that we didn’t have food trucks for so long,” stated Giannoni, “but I feel very blessed because we were able to step back and see what other cities were doing – what worked, what didn’t – and then bring the best-of-the-best ideas back to Savannah.” And boy did that formula work! The first official organized food truck event by the Association was in April 2015 and included just two trucks — Savannah’s single food truck, along with one more brought in from nearby Bluffton, South Carolina. By contrast, more than 65 trucks applied for this years fifth annual Food Truck Festival, and 25-30 trucks will be selected to attend. “It’s been growing steadily ever since we started,” said Giannnoni, “Savannah’s a foodie town and they make it convenient and easy.”
Prior to the formation of the Savannah Food Truck Association, Giannoni realized that zoning restrictions played a large part in inhibiting the industry’s growth in the city. Once the city granted their request, getting a mobile food unit permit became legal, and more food trucks and food truck developers flocked to Savannah. While owning a food truck can have a lower start-up cost compared to a brick-and-mortar restaurant, in a city like Savannah, where amazing food is paramount, you better believe these trucks put pedal to the metal when it comes to serving up delicious mobile fare.
The Big Cheese food truck is a must-try for those who fawn over fromage. Memories of mom’s grilled cheese and canned tomato soup can still make you warm inside, but The Big Cheese is taking that nostalgia to the next level. “Currently we have 23 sandwiches that we cook (and adding all the time based on customer suggestions) and we select roughly six of those recipes for special events, chosen to fit the customer base,” explained Jan McKinney, owner of The Big Cheese. After spending much of her career in customer service, McKinney suffered a stroke in 2016, which proved to be a time to recover and reevaluate her life. She’d always thought a food truck would be fun and, apparently, her husband agreed because he purchased an old FedEx truck and spent nine months building it out while McKinney perfected her recipes.
In March of 2017, she attended her first event and she’s been serving up her brand of comfort food ever since. One of the more interesting grilled cheese concoctions served by The Big Cheese is their Big Daddy, which features homemade spaghetti with mozzarella cheese, served on locally-baked bread coated in a garlic parmesan mixture. But the most popular “by far” according to McKinney, is the Oldie, which starts as a basic cheese sandwich that customers can enhance with a variety of ingredients. A meatball sandwich will soon be making its debut and their Elvis – peanut butter, honey and banana – will have you saying “oh, mama” in no time. There’s also the Rosie – cheddar, cream cheese, bacon and jalapeno; the Hot Rod – swiss, ham, pickle and spicy mustard; and the Athena – mozzarella, feta, cucumber and tzatziki.
Unlike some food trucks that also operate as a restaurant, The Big Cheese is strictly on wheels and your best chance to find them is at a local event or festival. You can always visit their Facebook page for updates.
Here are a few upcoming dates in 2018 that will help you get your cheese fix:
Oct 14 – Savannah Food Truck Festival, Daffin Park
Oct 20 – Isle of Hope Art and Music Fest
Oct 21 – Family Fun Scavenger Hunt, Emmet Park
Oct 25 thru 28 – Savannah Speed Classic, Hutchinson Island
Nov 8 – Pups and Trucks, Diamond Causeway
Nov 10 – Wilmington Island Farmers Market
Nov 11 – Butterducks Winery
Dec 7 – Starland Street Fair
Dec 8 – Santa Train at the Railroad Museum
While grilled cheese is a universal comfort food, many consider barbecue the official comfort food of the South, especially when you add in home-cooked sides like macaroni and cheese, collard greens and coleslaw. Sound like your kinda truck? Then you need to give Bowtie Barbeque a try.
Back when Corbin Parker, owner/ operator of Bowtie Barbeque, worked as a manager at a chain restaurant, his choice of on-the-job bowties drew a surprising amount of attention. Several years later when Parker decided to try his hand at making barbeque sauce, he decided the name ‘bowtie barbeque’ had a nice ring to it. “I liked the alliteration of the B’s and the Southern throwback of bowtie-wearing gentlemen,” said Parker. The name stuck and so did his sauce, which he still makes today. “We’ve paired with local sources like Southbound Brewing Company, PERC Coffee Roasters and Savannah Bee to make a variety of sauces that people love,” said Parker.
The sauce eventually led to a brick-and-mortar restaurant located on Waters Avenue in Savannah’s midtown but Parker envisioned more. “I thought, we’ve got this kitchen with all this food so let’s get it out there,” he said with a laugh. And that he did when he launched Beauregard’s Chariot, the official food truck of Bowtie Barbeque. “The cool thing is, it’s a full kitchen on wheels,” detailed Parker, “everything from pork ribs, fried chicken, wings, tacos, macaroni and cheese, and even barbeque poutine, we can serve from that truck.” For those who are curious about barbeque poutine, he described the perfectly crisp fries topped with blue cheese crumbles, blue cheese dressing, smoked pork, and Bowtie Barbeque sauce. Of course, most folks opt for Beauregard’s pork sandwich, served on brioche with the sauce on the side. “We love our sauces, but we want the meat to speak for itself,” stated Parker. Find them at their standing food-truck spot at Lone Wolf Lounge in Savannah on Friday and Monday nights with special themes and even wings (just be sure to check their social media for any changes or updates). For the latest updates on Beauregard’s Chariot’s locations, visit their Facebook page.
If you’ve never been to a southern BBQ cantina, then it’s time to track down that truck and order the deliciousness they’re serving up at Blowin’ Smoke Southern Cantina. Their home base is a downtown location in the Starland District where there’s live music on the patio and plenty of margarita varieties to keep things interesting. But Blowin’ Smoke also takes their colorful brand of cuisine on the road in their food truck, serving up southern cantina favorites at festivals, special events, and privately catered parties. “We combined our love for tacos and BBQ to give us a Southwestern BBQ vibe,” said Bailey Coppage, general manager at Blowin’ Smoke. “We smoke all of our meats in house, which gives more uniqueness to our tacos, and our love for craft cocktails and cantina-style mules shows with our drink menu.” If you’re ready for a flavor adventure, then order one of the newest additions to their menu, the Georgia Peach — a taco that’s packed with pecan-smoked pulled pork, peaches, peach BBQ, and fried onion straws. Coppage also recommends their fried pickle spears with smoky ranch or their street-style corn with a chili lime butter and parmesan cheese. Yum! Ready to track down that truck? Then take your taste buds on one exciting ride and visit their Facebook page for the latest posts and event updates.
For a refreshing change of pace, look no further than Savannah Square Pops. Aptly named for the 22 historic squares in downtown Savannah, Savannah Square Pops has a devoted following of folks who adore their handcrafted gourmet popsicles. They use only the freshest ingredients, no preservatives, made in small batches right here in Savannah. “I was actually an attorney in Birmingham, Alabama and a local company there delivered a batch of their popsicles to our office,” explained Judd Wiggins, owner/partner of Savannah Square Pops. “I tried a buttermilk popsicle and honestly didn’t think I would like it and it turned out to be surprisingly great!” He filed that yummy experience away until an opportunity to open Savannah Square Pops came along. Now two years in business out of their whimsical downtown location on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Judd, along with business partners Royce and Tara, operate both stationary and mobile versions of their business.
These are not your ordinary popsicles. Among their more interesting flavors, Wiggins described the Reynolds Square variety (also known as the Milk ‘n Honey Bees Knees popsicle) that blends Madagascar vanilla beans, fresh cream, and Savannah Bee Wildflower Honey. There’s also the Franklin Square, a combination of fresh strawberries and a hint of balsamic vinegar, the Monterey Square that puts a fresh twist on key limes, the Greene Square, which blends grapefruit, pineapple, strawberries, mango and peach, and the Pulaski Square that’s a heavenly hand-held treat of chocolate and pretzel-covered salted caramel. “We strive to offer as many vegetarian, non-dairy, vegan, and gluten-free options as possible,” explained Wiggins. And if you want to go back to where it all began, there’s even the Ellis Square, a buttermilk popsicle like the surprising treat that started it all back in Birmingham. “We love our shop, but we also love taking our treats out to farmers markets, festivals, and even private events,” Wiggins told me. If you can’t swing by their shop and want to mosey up to their food truck, be sure to visit their Facebook page , and if you have any four-legged friends along with you, ask Savannah Square Pops about their frozen treats for dogs!
Wouldn’t it be great to visit all of these food trucks in one place? You’re in luck! The Savannah Food Truck Association’s fifth annual Food Truck Festival is the area’s biggest gathering of food trucks of every variety. This year’s festival will be held at Daffin Park off Historic Victory Drive, on Sunday, October 14th, from 12 pm to 7 pm with free admission. The entire event is designed to help raise money for charity (so that means you should definitely splurge on that fried goodness or decadent dessert). “We donate everything above the cost to run the festival to charity,” said Giannoni of the Food Truck Association. “This event isn’t to profit the Association, it’s to help grow loyal followers to the area’s food trucks while also raising money for as many charities as we can.” It gives the phrase “comfort food” a whole new meaning!
Whatever you crave, Savannah’s Food Truck Scene is a delicious addition to this thriving foodie town. So check in with social media calendars and keep your eyes peeled when you’re here, because off a square, in a park, or around an unexpected corner, you may spot the very best meal on wheels you’ve ever had!