Hey y'all! Vacation 2016 was a success! Woohoo! I love to read all about other peoples trips and adventures out into the world, so I decided that I would share mine with you all!
Since I usually go to a beach for my summer vacation, I decided to shake things up a bit and do something a little less typical, Savannah Georgia! Let me just start by saying that I have never visited a place that I could see myself living, but Savannah did just that. I don't know if it was the Spanish moss hanging from the trees that lined the streets or the smooth gospel singing heard on the street corners, but it just had a special something to offer.
The city of Savannah is set up different than any place I have ever been. There are 22 squares in the historic district that each are different in their own way. They are not typical squares like I have seen here in Indiana, but are more like small parks inside of blocks of AMAZING historic southern homes. The Squares each have something different as a focal point. Many had fountains and statues, but they all were gorgeous.
We got into town at about 1pm, and the hotel was ready early! Woot Woot! Dropped suitcases off, and headed to explore town. We started at City Market in historic downtown Savannah where we grabbed lunch. Then we decided to just walk around and explore the shops and restaurants. If you ever take a trip to Savannah, you need to leave plenty of time to explore. You can find lots of suggestions of places to eat and things to do and see, but there is just so much to see here that if you plan too much ahead you will miss some really great stuff. Part of the fun in Savannah is just seeing all of the amazing homes, parks, and city streets, so we made sure to leave time just to walk around and explore.
On our walk, we popped into a Macaroon bakery. Sounds amazing right?! Well it was! I have always wanted to try macaroons so of course I picked up a dozen, and could not wait to taste them. They were almost too cute to eat, but don't worry I didn't let that stop me! Some of my favorites were the banana foster, bourbon pecan, and chocolate covered strawberry.
We headed back to the hotel to cool off and after a brief break from the heat, because lets be honest Savannah is HOT in August, we headed back out and visited Forsyth park. There we viewed some of the statues and the famous fountain and saw some more mind blowing homes. At this point we were getting pretty hungry, and decided to grab some pizza before our big activity of the evening.
To end day 1, we had scheduled a ghost walking tour. Spooky right? It wasn't too scary, but we did get to hear lots of stories about some of Savannah's reportedly haunted homes, and got to take a really neat tour of the city at night. It was just as beautiful at night as it was in the day. If you are ever in town I would highly recommend one of these tours, as you get to see the city a night, and you get to hear some local stories that you might not otherwise get to hear.
Luckily for me our hotel had Krispy Kreme donuts for breakfast so you know I hit that up! lol There was lots on the agenda for day two. We started the day off with a short drive to Bonaventure Cemetery.
Bonaventure is stunning! I don't even know how to accurately put into words how beautiful this place was. We visited the grounds there and saw the resting sites of some pretty remarkable people. I don't have alot to say about Bonaventure because it is just one of those places you need to see for yourself.
After we left Bonaventure we headed back into town and stopped for lunch at The Olde Pink House Restaurant. The house was built in 1771 and is 16,000 square feet! Talk about massive! The house has a lot of history and is super cool. If you eat there for lunch you get to walk through the whole house when you are finished, so of course we did that! It is too busy to walk through for dinner time, so we were excited to get to check out it while it was less crowded. Pimento cheese is a big deal in Savannah, and while we were waiting for our meal our server brought us out some pimento cheese cracker straws. The best way I can describe them, was that they made me think of a super fancy cheese-it. Strange, but sooooo yummy!
Once we were finished eating lunch we took a short walk across town and visited the Owens Thomas house. This house was the first house in Savannah to indoor plumbing! It was really interesting to see how the richie-riches of the 1800's lived. The home had some odd features. There were three fake doors, wood columns painted to look like marble, and even a bridge on the second floor. They did not allow photography inside the home, but I'll make sure to find some picture so that you all can see how amazing this place was.
Once the house tour was over, we headed back to our hotel to catch our breath and clean up for dinner, because as we discussed earlier Savannah is HOT, and the AC was needed!
Tybee Island is only about 25 minutes outside of town, so for dinner we headed to the beach. Tybee Island is the cutest beach town, not really a huge tourist area from what I could tell, but more of a local beach town. We made sure to stop and see the lighthouse there on the island and headed to the beach just before sunset. We walked down to the pier and saw some guys fishing from the top, they caught a shark! I was glad to be on the sand and not in the water! We took some selfies (because we are basic) and headed to dinner.
For dinner we stopped at The Crab Shack. It was one of my favorite places that we ate while on vacation. The restaurant itself sits on an inlet where boats can come in and dock, the scenery was beautiful, and as a girl who loves boats and loves the water, this place was perfect. We both ordered crab legs (because are you even on vacation if you don't order crab legs?) and shrimp, and it was delicious! Best crab I have ever had! After your meal, if you ask your server, you can get some gator food and feed the gators that they have out front. So of course we did that!
We headed back into town where we stopped at Jen's and Friends, a martini bar with over 300 unique martinis. I got the Birthday cake martini, complete with a lit birthday candle, and Jake got a Reese's cup martini. Both were yummy! Just a short walk down from Jen's is Leopold's, an iconic ice cream parlor in town, so we stopped in there before calling it a night.
I knew day 2 was a busy day, but until I started typing all of this I didn't realize how much we really did! Time flies when you are having fun!
Wormsloe! We started the morning at Wormsloe Historic Site. Wormsloe was a plantation in the 1700's, and the Tabby Ruins on the property are the oldest standing structures in Georgia. The path to the plantation house is hands down one of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen!
A few very popular movies have been filmed at Wormsloe, Forrest Gump and The Last Song with Miley Cyrus.
Later in the afternoon we headed down to River St. River Street is right on the river, and is full of shops, restaurants, and has lost to do. To get to River st. you park on the street before River st. and walk down to the shops and restaurants. There are lots of historic stars and one elevator that you can take if you choose. Some of the stairs are wide and some of them are so crazy steep. They even come with a warning, "Historic Stairs, walk at your own risk."
Once you get down to River st. you walk from shop to shop. We started the day at The Shrimp Factory and had lunch. After we finished there we walked to a few of the shops and boutiques and picked up some gourmet dog treats for my Copper boy at the cutest little pet shop. I was missing Copper pretty bad at this point so it only seemed natural to bring him back something special, bacon and quinoa treats in the shape of hearts.
A little further down River st. was the Savannah Bee Company. We tasted lots of different naturally flavored honeys and brought some back home too. I brought back a big chunk of honey comb. I had never seen it straight on the comb and I thought it was too cool, and too tasty, not to bring back with me.
Mid-day we decided to take a break from River st. and go see The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. This church was magnificent. The view inside was breathtaking, my jaw literally dropped.
We ended up back at River St. for dinner at Huey's. Huey's was sooo yummy! I tried fried okra for the first time which was interesting. lol Definitely not my new favorite food, but not terrible either. We were way too full for dessert but they have these world famous beignets with a praline sauce, so I was tempted. I had never had a beignet and wanted to make sure to try them so we took an order to go. We tried them later in the evening once we had a chance to chill from eating dinner and they were amazing!! Best thing I have ever eaten! Kind of like a donut, kind of like a roll, with powdered sugar, but literally my favorite. If you are ever in Savannah and you don't go get an order of these, we can't be friends anymore.
We left Savannah on Friday morning and made our way to Charlotte, halfway from Savannah to Asheville where we would be visiting on Saturday. I have some family in Charlotte so we decided to spend some time there on Friday afternoon. It was so nice getting to see some family that I don't see as often as I would like to!
After visiting in Charlotte, we drove the rest of the way to Asheville, NC. We had some of the best BBQ at a little place called Luella's BBQ in Asheville. Asheville is beautiful and the views of the mountains were so pretty to see as we were driving around. Saturday morning we got up early and made a short drive over to the Biltmore Estate. I visited the Biltmore once when I was a kid and I knew I would love it, but I had no idea how much I had forgotten from my first visit. My mind was blown all over again. Jake had never been to the Biltmore so seeing his reaction to it's massive size was entertaining. The house itself is 4 acres!! We did a self-guided through the house and saw its massive bedrooms, indoor pool, bowling alley, and ballroom. It is something everyone should see. The gardens are perfectly groomed and are stunning all on their own, even without the house as a backdrop.
I loved every minute of this vacation and had so much fun visiting and exploring new places. As much as I love the beach, I think road-trips are my new favorite kind of vacation. Thanks for taking the time to read about my adventure filled week, hopefully you feel inspired to go out and find an adventure of your own! I can't wait to see where life leads me next!