I had seen the movies. Forrest Gump, Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil and the lesser known period piece, Magic Mike XXL. Savannah has been on my list of places to visit for a long time. Last weekend Stephen and I headed east for my first trip to the Georgia coast!
We walked on the beach just before sunset, had dinner at a place that serves fresh shrimp off the boats, sat in Forsyth Park and people watched, played a round of mini golf and drove down the gorgeous mile and a half stretch of tree lined drive at the Wormsloe Historic Site before having barbecue that was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever eaten. Stephen, who grew up in the south and needs barbecue like I need burritos, said it was the best he’s ever had. Here’s a full trip report of where we ate, played and slept.
Where We Ate
As with everything, there were some hits and misses. These are the places where we’d eat again, and a couple we didn’t get to try but are on my list for next time:
B’s Cracklin’ Barbecue
We ate this on our way home but it deserves top billing. I had the brisket sandwich with mac & cheese and Stephen had the pork plate with baked beans and mac & cheese. It’s in a strip mall and the staff was…interesting…but the food and story of how B’s came to, well, be is awesome.
Coco’s Sunset Grille
Not gonna lie, this place had Margaritaville written all over it. I don’t think either one of us had high hopes, especially as we drove down a dirt road that spills you right into the middle of the restaurant. But we got settled, watched the sun set and were delivered a “Hurricane Survival Shot” to do with the rest of the bar. Not our usual M.O. but when in Tybee, etc.
A conch shell emerged and then the toast brought me to tears. It hit me how much people love their town, how much they almost lost and how genuine the feelings of relief were. I was humbled. And then I had the shrimp which humbled me even more. Somewhere along the way, someone long ago told me that if I ever had the chance to eat fresh shrimp to do so. I pass along this same advice to you. I can’t even remember what Stephen got, I was too busy inhaling my shrimp.
80 East Gastropub
We kind of stumbled into this place when the restaurant where we wanted to eat was full. I had the shrimp tacos (are we sensing a theme here?) and Stephen got the fried chicken with sweet potato waffles. The food was good, staff friendly and then they had to go and bring us salted caramel ice cream sandwiched between two homemade white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies. TLA and BFFFL and all other appropriate acronyms.
Tybean was a recommendation from a friend whose parents have a vacation home on the island (hi Megan!). The coffee was great, staff friendly, and it was in this cute little grouping of beach huts that were occupied by different shops. We just had a chance to pop in for coffee. It’s really small, so if you do go, plan on taking your coffee elsewhere.
For Next Time…
What We Did
Took a Tour
I will leave out the part about looking for parking for over 30 minutes on the same day SCAD students were moving into the dorms, and tell you if you go to instead to drive straight to one of the hop on/hop off tours. We parked all day for free at Old Savannah Tours.
I usually do a hop on/hop off tour when I’m new to a city. I think they give a good introduction to a bit of history and layout and then I have an idea of what places I’d like to learn more about. (The tradeoff is putting up with the occasional not so great tour guide and/or pirate actor whose fake teeth were so bad you couldn’t understand a word he said.) (Aaaaaargh indeed.)
I joked over on Instagram that the historic district was two square miles of straight up charm and humidity and that Forsyth Park nailed it. Buuuuut…it’s kinda true.
I hadn’t played putt putt in years and we had such a good time. One of Stephen’s favorite jokes is “there are two types of people in the world, those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.” I’ll tell you that he did not win this round of putt putt and allow you to extrapolate. (Because I am nothing if not the epitome of graciousness.)
I had seen pictures of this place for years and it did not disappoint. Hundreds of trees were planted down a mile and a half stretch of road. The care and preservation that goes into the site was just as beautiful.
Where we Stayed
We rented an Airbnb that was about halfway between Savannah and Tybee. While it was a good experience, I think I’d recommend staying in the historic district of Savannah. It’s such a walkable city, less than 20 miles to Tybee and you can rent an Airbnb for not much more than we paid.
Travel is a huge priority of mine. I keep paid off cars for years, live in less house than I can afford, wear inexpensive clothes and (mostly!) eat at home so I can afford to do so. I love getting out of daily life and love returning to it just as much. I had no idea what to expect with the Georgia coast. We had some bumps along the way, but it’s definitely a place I’d like to return to. There are houses to tour, cobblestone streets to walk and horse drawn carriage rides left to do!