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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Trip Report Savannah, GA - Eat, Stay, Shop

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go down to Savannah for a few days, and had the best time! I hadn’t been in over five years, and was so impressed by how this quaint southern town has really picked itself up while maintaining its charm. Set on the Savannah River and famous for its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, Savannah’s riverfront is the heartbeat of the town. Even on a weeknight, the restaurants lining the cobblestoned River Street were alive and pumping, and street performers provided a New Orleans-like soundtrack to the evening.

I stayed at the Hyatt right on River Street, which served fine as a convention hotel, but wouldn’t be my top choice to stay downtown. It is in need of a renovation, and the only window in my room overlooked the lobby atrium – waking up to harsh, iridescent lights does not put a girl in a good mood! Nonetheless, there are many lovely places to stay. The new Andraz (also owned by Hyatt) is just minutes from the riverfront, as are the Bohemian Hotel and the older historic Marshall House. Farther away from the River, the Mansion on Forsyth Park allows relaxing views of one of Savannah’s signature squares (complete with live oaks and Spanish moss).

Apart from the obvious natural beauty of the town, there is a vibrant local scene that is largely undiscovered by the throngs of reporters and tourists that have started to smother Charleston for the same reason. “SCAD” (Savannah College of Art and Design) students provide a refreshing hipster edge to the town, combined with the refined, laid back southern history. I spent my morning at The Coffee Fox on Broughton Street, working and enjoying both my java and the steady stream of friendly customers (a mix of artsy college students, locals, and visitors). It is located in an adorable area sprinkled with both local stores (The Savannah Honey Bee, where you can have honey tastings!) and national staples (Banana Republic).

Leaving the coffee shop after a couple of hours (one downside of downtown: the parking situation and 2-hour limit meters), I swung by Papillote, which bills itself as serving “French Cuisine To Go.” I purchased just that – a french version of a Turkey BLT, with a delicious homemade mayonnaise on a soft, fresh baguette. While I had to head back to the Hyatt to meet up with my husband (where the sandwich was much appreciated in the iridescent atrium), eating it on a bench in a nearby square would’ve been divine.

Stay:
Mansion on Forsyth Park
Marshall House
The Bohemian
Andaz Savannah

Eat & Drink:
The Coffee Fox
Papillote (French Cuisine To Go)
Mrs. Wilke’s Dining Room (Lunch Only) – unbelievable southern home cookin’

Shop:
Savannah Bee Company
Lovelane Designs (adorable, whimsical, handprinted designs for the home)

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