7 Savannah Staycations

You may not believe it now, while you fanaticize about a spring vacation to some exotic getaway, but sometimes the best trips happen when you just stay home. Times are tight, and our wallets are even tighter. Layoffs, recession, and the ever-spiraling economy seem all consuming, forcing many of us to redefine our money-spending choices. In effect, the economic climate has altered the way in which we travel: People are staying close when leaving home, saving on time, money, gas and perhaps even guilt. But just because you’re staying local doesn’t mean you have to skimp on excitement. Who says that luxury can only be found by hopping on a plane to the Caribbean?

To remind you that the lap of leisure is closer than you think, we offer some fun, creative, affordable (and some splurge-worthy) ideas on where to stay, play, eat and shop, all in your own backyard. Read up on ideas to inspire, invigorate, enlighten and even ease the “guilt of travel” during such unstable times. So kick back, relax and enjoy; You’re on staycation.

OPULENT ESCAPE

>WHERE TO STAY:

staycation2There’s no better place in Savannah to experience a relaxed, refined boutique environment than at AVIA. The brand new, world-class hotel overlooks the soon-to-be-restored Ellis Square in City Market. The savvy, eclectic decor and intimate atmosphere in and around the hotel lobby create the perfect environment to enjoy a well-deserved glass of wine or cocktail with your friends.

Bring the party outside to sit around the roaring fire pit or take a dip in the heated pool. End the day in one of the 151 guest rooms and suites boasting 9-foot ceilings, crown moldings, plantation shutters, pedestal and soaking tubs, and stunning nighttime views of the city’s landscape.

staycation3In design, facilities, services and amenities, the luxury property represents a blend of regional input and cultural traditions. Small touches, such as fresh flowers outside each door placard and chandeliers in the bathroom stalls, speak to the upscale yet welcoming environment. “The experience we’re delivering here is pulled right from the local flavor,” says John William Carter, director of sales and marketing. “We want our guests to feel relaxed and comfortable and to fall in love with Savannah. It’s very engaging here at AVIA.” AVIA, 14 Barnard Street, 912.233.2116, www.aviahotels.com

• Whether you need a room, a floor or even a mansion, Luxury Living Savannah offers the finest in unique Savannah vacation rentals. Luxury Living Savannah,630.455.9877, www.luxurylivingsavannah.com

• A South Carolina golf resort and spa, the Inn at Palmetto Bluff embodies Southern hospitality and upscale enjoyment. Inn at Palmetto Bluff, 476 Mount Pelia Road, Bluffton, 843.706.6500, www.palmettobluffresort.com

>WHERE TO SHOP:

The oldest jewelry store in town, Levy Jewelers has been serving satisfied Savannahians for almost 110 years. “I love seeing young couples come in and talk about how this is where their grandmother’s ring came from,” says company president Lowell Kronowitz. Specializing in everything from baby gifts to 50th anniversary ware, Levy is the exclusive Savannah seller of numerous high-end brands, including Rolex, Mikimoto and Tag Heuer. No matter if you’re a jewelry aficionado or simply a lover of all things shiny, Kronowitz and the 20-year-plus tenured staff are at hand to assist and won’t rest until you’re satisfied. Levy Jewelers, 101 East Broughton Street, 912.233.1163, www.levyjewelers.com

• For a private fitting of custom-made clothing, try The Hunt Club Custom Clothiers, specializing in fine men’s fashions. The Hunt Club Custom Clothiers, 102 East Liberty Street, Suite 103, 912.238.5395, www.huntclubclothiers.com

Bleu Belle Soiree offers discriminating ladies of taste distinctive clothing and accessories of exceptional quality. Bleu Belle Soiree, 102 East Liberty Street, Suite 106, 912.443.0035, www.bleubelle.com

• At 2CarGarage Contemporary Art Gallery you’ll find the perfect piece for the discerning art collector. Stop by and browse the work of nationally exhibited artists from Savannah’s emerging art scene. 2CarGarage Contemporary Art Gallery, 10 East Broughton Street, 912.236.0221, www.2cargallery.com

• For 18 holes of four-star golf, tee off at The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa. This course offers excitement for everyone from beginners to pros. The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa, 1 Resort Drive, 912.201.2000, www.westinsavannah.com

• Tour the city in style as you glide through the streets in a vintage Cadillac with Classic Tours. Classic Tours, 912.856.1000, www.classiccaddytours.com

>WHERE TO EAT:

For a steak house with a softer side, try Ruth’s Chris. Using only simple seasonings of salt, pepper, butter and parsley they produce a specially seared and sizzling steak that will not only melt in your mouth but melt your heart as well. Whether you’re dining indoors in the dignified dining room, outside on the peaceful patio or just relaxing as you listen to live music in the cocktail lounge, Ruth’s Chris offers something for everyone. “We are formal and we offer upscale service, but we’re also friendly and provide a comfortable atmosphere,” explains Raquel White, general manager. “Everyone is welcome here.” Ruth’s Chris Steak House, 111 West Bay Street, 912.721.4800, www.ruthschris.com

• Located in the oldest masonry building in Savannah, Chart House Restaurant brings you a classic evening with a contemporary twist. Don’t miss this legendary steak and seafood menu. Chart House Restaurant, 202 West Bay Street, 912.234.6686, www.chart-house.com

Elizabeth on 37th is the epitome of elegant Savannah dining. With an extensive wine list, seasonal menu and nightly specials, this carte du jour is a treat for all taste buds. Elizabeth on 37th, 105 East 37th Street, 912.236.5547, www.elizabethon37th.net

• Located in the heart of downtown Savannah, Il Pasticcio’s premier Italian dining offers an authentic trattoria experience. Il Pasticcio, 2 East Broughton Street, 912.231.8888, www.ilpasticciosavannah.com

>WHERE TO PLAY:

staycation4Sleek, sophisticated, personalized service is yours to be had at JW Salon and Spa. Owner Jessica Woolschlager recently opened her doors to the tranquil spa area above the established salon, offering locals and tourists alike an ideal place to escape and be pampered. Choose from a variety of lavish services, including mud wraps, sugar salt glows, stone massages, aromatherapy, reflexology and customized facials. You can even customize packages to suit your individual needs. After relaxing in the spa, pop back down to the salon for world-class hair care. “We use the very best in all that we do, from high-end massage oils and lotions to select Rene Furterer shampoos and styling products,” explains Woolschlager. “We don’t overbook appointments so you don’t feel rushed, and we give a full scalp massage with each shampoo. Most salons don’t do that anymore. I enjoy building a relationship with my clients and I am very proud of my staff. It makes me feel good when I see my staff and clientele happy.” JW Salon and Spa, 19 East York Street, 912.272.7676, www.jwsalonandspa.com

staycation5• For 18 holes of four-star golf, tee off at The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa. This course offers excitement for everyone from beginners to pros. The Westin Savannah Harbor  Golf Resort and Spa, 1 Resort Drive, 912.201.2000, www.westinsavannah.com

• Tour the city in style as you glide through the streets in a vintage Cadillac with Classic Tours. Classic Tours, 912.856.1000, www.classiccaddytours.com

HISTORY TREK:

>WHERE TO STAY:

If you’re looking for quiet, quaint, elegant charm, you’ll find it at The Dresser Palmer House. This 11,000-square-foot, newly renovated Italianate townhouse is ideally located on Gaston Street, near Forsyth Park. All 15 guest rooms have private baths, gourmet breakfast is included, and an evening social with complimentary wine encourages guests to mix and mingle. General manager David Moore maintains a refined yet relaxed atmosphere at his inn.

“We want our visitors to feel completely at home when they come here,” he says. “We want them to come in and enjoy it as their own.” The Dresser Palmer House, 211 East Gaston Street, 912.238.3294, www.dresserpalmerhouse.com

• The Hamilton-Turner Inn on Lafayette Square offers a full gourmet breakfast, afternoon tea and sweets in the parlor, as well as complimentary workout passes to the Savannah Downtown Athletic Club. Hamilton-Turner Inn, 330 Abercorn Street, 912.233.1833, www.hamilton-turnerinn.com

Overlooking historic Oglethorpe Square, The Presidents’ Quarters is a small luxury hotel with 16 spacious rooms and unmistakable historic appeal. The Presidents’ Quarters, 225 President Street, 912.233.1600, www.presidentsquarters.com

>WHERE TO SHOP:

staycation6Find exquisite antiques at Arthur Smith Antiques, one of the area’s premier antique shops located in the heart of historic downtown. The 4,000-square-foot, family-owned business showcases elegant pieces of art, mirrors, porcelain, rugs, various decor pieces and tables. Manager Todd Valderrama has worked in the family business for several years and proudly carries forth his passion for antiques. “Customers can expect friendly service and museum-quality, superior pieces when they come into our shop,” he says. “We’re in a great location and have been called the finest antique shop in the Southeast.” Arthur Smith Antiques, 402 Bull Street, 912.236.9701, www.arthursmithantiques.com

Abercorn Antique Village in the Historic District runs the gamut from sophisticated elegance to shabby chic. Choose from imported and domestic textiles, decorative accessories and books. Abercorn Antique Village, 204 East Bay Street, 912.443.9337, www.abercornantiques.com

>WHERE TO PLAY:

staycation7Savannah’s a city best discovered by foot, so put on your walking shoes, grab a bottle of water, and take an in-depth and leisurely stroll with Architectural Tours of Savannah. Owner and guide Jonathan Stalcup, a graduate of SCAD with his master’s degree in architecture, leads a 90-minute tour that takes a chronological look at the city from its oldest to its newest structures. Begin with Georgian Savannah and continue through nearly 300 years of buildings, ending with the city’s most recent landmark project. “I really saw the need for this kind of tour,” Stalcup says. “It’s a great way to get to know this vibrant city.” Architectural Tours of Savannah, 912.604.6354, www.architecturalsavannah.com

• Step back in time and visit the stately Telfair’s Owens-Thomas House. The distinctive collection showcases a wide array of decorative arts and furnishings. Telfair’s Owens-Thomas House, 124 Abercorn Street, 912.233.9743, www.telfair.org

Old Fort Jackson exhibits Civil War artifacts, cannon displays and cannon firings during the summer months. Tour the ramparts and take in the expansive views of the coastal plain. Old Fort Jackson, 1 Fort Jackson Road, 912.232.3945, www.chsgeorgia.org

staycation9• The historic Sorrel-Weed House stands as one of the most pristine examples of antebellum Greek Revival/Regency architecture in the country.

Sorrel-Weed House, 6 West Harris Street, 912.236.8888, www.sorrelweedhouse.com

• Explorestaycation8 a historic fort or take a scenic nature walk at Fort Pulaski National Monument. This large-scale outdoor exhibit offers guided and self-guided tours and is open year-round. Fort Pulaski, located 15 miles east of Savannah off Highway 80 East, 912.786.5787, www.nps.gov/fopu

>WHERE TO EAT:

Tired of the typical bar scene? staycation10Check out Circa 1875 Gastro Pub. Friendly service and contemporary jazz music add to the warm, relaxed, step-back-in-time atmosphere. Plans are in the works to open a restaurant on the other side of the pub; the menu will consist of affordable bistro food with a French flair. Owners Donald Lubowicki, Jeffrey Downey and Kathryn Stipcich saw the need to bring a real gastro pub back to life. “Savannah really lacks moderately priced food that’s really good in a pub environment,” Downey says. “We’ll also serve a late night menu on the bar side. It’s a whole different feel here.” Circa 1875 Gastro Pub, 48 Whitaker Street, 912.443.1875

Garibaldi Cafe is known for its fresh, local seafood and Italian fare served in a romantic, historic building. Garibaldi Cafe, 315 West Congress Street, 912.232.7118, www.garibaldisavannah.com

• Enjoy down-home, Southernstyle cookin’ the old fashioned way at Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room, where you eat at large tables for ten in a fun, family atmosphere. Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room, 107 West Jones Street, 912.232.5997, www.mrswilkes.com

• You’ll find fast, friendly service, a casual atmosphere, and a bit of Savannah’s colorful recent history at the downtown Clary’s Cafe. Clary’s Cafe Downtown, 404 Abercorn Street, 912.232.2308

LOVER’S GETAWAY

>WHERE TO STAY:

Urban chic meets Southern style at the Mansion on Forsyth Park, a Kessler Collection property overlooking Savannah’s most beautiful park. A renovated 1888 Victorian Romanesque mansion, the sprawling structure is an award-winning, AAA Four-Diamond rated hotel offering 126 spacious guest rooms and suites adorned with original artwork, pristine crystal lighting fixtures, soaring ceilings and whirlpool or soaking tubs accentuated by an open-air bath design. Once you’ve settled in, relax by the stunning outdoor pool with your sweetie. Afterwards, indulge your palate with a romantic dinner for two at 700 Drayton Restaurant, or go for a drink at Casimir’s Lounge or Bösendorfer Lounge. “We offer a truly unique experience here from a building, design and historical perspective,” says Axel Suray, general manager. “We also pride ourselves on exceptional service and attention to detail. There’s nothing else like it in Savannah.” Mansion on Forsyth Park, 700 Drayton Street, 912.238.5158, www.mansionforsythpark.com

staycation11• Set in a quaint, residential neighborhood near Forsyth Park, The Gastonian is known for its intricate atmosphere, authentic antiques and welcoming hospitality. The Gastonian, 220 East Gaston Street, 912.232.2869, www.gastonian.com

The River Street Inn, originally built in 1817, consumes an entire block and offers lovers a taste of Savannah’s romantic past with all the modern conveniences of today. The River Street Inn, 124 East Bay Street, 912.234.6400, www.riverstreetinn.com

>WHERE TO SHOP:

ZÏA is the quintessential shopping experience for one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, home interior accents and exclusive accessories. Owner Zia Sachedina draws upon his multicultural background in searching and finding peerless items from 40 international artists, such as carved sandalwood bookends, bamboo bowls and exotic woodcarvings. Sachedina’s artistic inclinations inspired him to create the exclusive FeelExotic Collection, featuring exceptional, handcrafted jewelry. The boutique also stocks fine sterling silver and gold necklaces, bracelets, rings, pendants, scarves, handbags and a variety of men’s accessories. “My store is highly unique,” explains Sachedina. “I am known for my statement pieces and it’s definitely an unexpected, eclectic collection. My items are elegant in a non-traditional way.” ZÏA, 325 West Broughton Street, 912.233.3237, www.ziaboutique.com

staycation12• Indulge in all the delights one heart can hope for at Wright Square Cafe as you enjoy a wide selection of gourmet coffee, sandwiches and chocolates. Wright Square Cafe, 21 West York Street, 912.238.1150

• It’s easy to pretend that you’re in the city of lights during a visit to The Paris Market and Brocante. Browse quaint curiosities including stationary, books, candles, funky art and vintage furniture. The Paris Market and Brocante, 36 West Broughton Street, 912.232.1500, www.theparismarket.com

>WHERE TO PLAY:

Romance pours from crystal chandeliers at the Savannah Day Spa. Nestled into one of Oglethorpe Avenue’s most beautiful town houses, antique hardwood floors, the soothing scents of lavender and a glass of champagne greet any lucky visitor. Spa-goers can choose from an outstanding menu of services for individuals and couples. Indulge in a mind-blowing massage and facial combo or a raw sugar or Agean sea salt scrub.

Lovers can be swept away to a couple’s massage and private, candlelit soak in the hydro-lounge. Regardless of the treatment, prepare for the pampering of a lifetime that will relax and unwind you and leave you dreaming of your next appointment. Savannah Day Spa, 18 East Oglethorpe Avenue, 912.234.9135, www.savannahdayspa.com

• Share the love of gastronomic delight at the Mansion on Forsyth Park’s 700 Kitchen

Cooking School, offering interactive hands-on culinary programs for individuals or couples. Ask about the special “Culinary Getaway for Two” cooking school package. 700 Kitchen Cooking School, the Mansion on Forsyth Park, 700 Drayton Street, 912.238.5158, www.mansionforsythpark.com

staycation13• What better way to re-discover romance than taking a horse-drawn carriage ride with a

Historic Savannah Carriage Tour. Each tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. Ask for the Romance Private Tour; reservations recommended. Historic Savannah Carriage Tour, 912.443.9333, www.savannahcarriage.com

>WHERE TO EAT:

staycation14Treat your sweetie to a candlelit dinner at Bull Street Chophouse, a downtown eatery boasting a menu as rich and refined as the decor. Situated atop Il Pasticcio, Bull Street’s signature dishes include double rib steak, rack of Colorado lamb, center cut filet mignon and grilled veal chop with a bacon bourbon demi-glace. Fresh, local seafood rounds off the selection, with a “shellfish bouquet” of oysters, mussels, clams, shrimp, lobster and Alaskan king crab. To complement any meal, choose from a full-selection wine list of over 250 wines.

“My personality is unique and so is my restaurant,” says managing partner Pino Venetico. “I’m Italian, from Palermo, so I’m full of passion which comes across in my food. You have to be passionate in order to be successful in this business.” In order to further accommodate his clientele during the economic flux, Venetico is offering a steal-of-a-deal prix fixe “stimulus package” menu every Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Monday through Thursday, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Now there’s no excuse not to indulge. Bull Street Chophouse, 44 Bull Street, 912.232.2728, www.bullstreetchophouse.com

• Sate your sweet tooth at Lulu’s Chocolate Bar. Choose from a selection of truffles, cheesecake, mousse towers and layer cakes. All desserts are made from scratch on site. Lulu’s Chocolate Bar, 42 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, 866.461.8681

staycation15• Get swept away by the intimate atmosphere of The Olde Pink House, where charm and savory menu selections are certain to satisfy. The Olde Pink House, 23 Abercorn Street, 912.232.4286

BEACH ADVENTURE

>WHERE TO STAY:

There’s no place like the beach to soothe the soul with sun, sand and surf. staycation16Ocean Plaza Beach Resort is right on the beach and is the only full-service hotel located on Tybee Island. Just 20 minutes away from downtown Savannah, the resort sports 205 newly renovated hotel rooms and suites, some with private balconies. Owner and CEO Harry Spirides takes pride in offering tradition coupled with quality service. “This is my family’s business, and I’m really proud to keep the legacy going,” Spirides says. “Hospitality has been served here since 1886. Not many people know that, and we love to tell about its history.” Ocean Plaza Beach Resort, Oceanfront at 15th Street, 912.786.7777, www.oceanplaza.com

The Lighthouse Inn is the perfect bed and breakfast for serenity, solace and escape, ideally situated just steps from the beach. The Lighthouse Inn, 16 Meddin Drive, Tybee Island, 912.786.0901, www.tybeebb.com

• Go fun and funky by renting a Tybee Cottage from Jane Coslick. These bright, lovingly restored homes on Tybee Island mix the quirky with the quintessential. Jane Coslick Designs and Restorations, 302 Parkersburg Road, 912.354.8602, www.janecoslick.com

>WHERE TO SHOP:

Though it’s a hike from the beach, save a rainy day for Keller’s Flea Market, a shopping experience with almost as much variety as fish in the sea. Featuring more than 400 retail spaces brimming at the seams with antiques, artifacts, collectibles, bargains and more, the market attracts vendors, permanent and new, from near and far so there’s always something unique to discover. There are six food concession areas as well as a fresh produce section. Keller’s Flea Market is open Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. year-round with free parking and admission. Just look for the big cow. Keller’s Flea Market, Highway 17 at GA 204, 912.927.4848, www.ilovefleas.com

The Shops at Tybee Oaks feature a wide variety of stores to amble through, including Latitude 32° where you can find casual beach apparel and accessories. The Shops at Tybee Oaks, 1213 Highway 80 East, Tybee Island

• Ride the waves to High Tide Surf Shop, where you can find surfboards, swimwear, skateboards, paddleboards and paddles. High Tide Surf Shop, 405 Highway 80 East, Tybee Island, 912.786.6556, www.hightidesurfshop.com

• You can find all your beach needs on Main Street off of Butler Avenue on Tybee Island. Gear for fun in the sun, souvenirs, trinkets and more. Main Street,

Tybee Island

Tybee Lighthouse and Museum, Meddin Drive, Tybee Island, 912.786.5801, www.tybeelighthouse.org

>WHERE TO PLAY:

staycation17Take a step back in time with a day trip to nearby Daufuskie Island, a pristine residential sea island located about 1 mile south of Hilton Head Island and 3 miles north of Tybee Island. The best way to see the island is by golf cart or bike; you must call in advance to make a reservation (guided and self-guided tours are available). President of the Daufuskie Island Foundation and native islander Amelia Stevens-Benskin works to preserve and protect the island while promoting and maintaining the native Gullah heritage. “The best way to see the island is just to explore. Everyone on the island is very friendly. We’ve never met a stranger here,” she says. Ferries to Daufuskie run daily from Savannah; call ahead for reservations and times, Savannah Waterfront Association, River Street Market, across from 425 East River Street, 912.727.2297; Self-guided golf cart/island tour available through Dolphin Plus Fun Jet Boat Tours; call ahead for reservations and times, 912.572.8687, www.dolphinplusfun.com.

• Feel like flying? Try Tybee Island Parasailing to earn your wings—and bragging rights— above the water. 5 Tybrisa Street (near Tybee Pier), 912.675.6195, www.tybeeislandparasail.com

•Watch bottlenose dolphins play with Dolphin Magic tours. Cruise the historic Savannah waterfront and then watch the marine mammals swim alongside the boat. Dolphin Magic, next to River Street Marketplace, 912.897.4990, www.dolphin-magic.com

• Make your catch of the day shark with Reelemn Deep Sea Fishing Charters. They supply the fishing gear, bait, tackle and ice. Reelemn, Tybee Island, 912.897.4990, www.reelemn.com

Rent bicycles from Tim’s Beach Gear, Tybee Island, 912.786.TIMS, www.timsbeachgear.com.

>WHERE TO EAT:

Tempt your palate while taking in the aquatic scenery at Tybee Island’s premier restaurant, Eleven-06. This casually elegant restaurant prepares the finest in American cuisine with an eclectic menu and extensive wine list. Menu items include hand-cut steaks, the freshest in local seafood such as mahimahi and tuna steaks, and a Lowcountry boil that’s perfectly seasoned. Come in for happy hour and sip your drink at the stunning coral bar, or complement your meal with the perfect glass of wine on the outside deck as you watch the sun set on the horizon. Eleven-06 Restaurant and Wine Bar, 1106 Highway 80 East, Tybee Island, 912.786.0913, www.eleven-06.com

• Experience traditional Southern charm with a splash of beach atmosphere at The Hunter House Restaurant and Inn. Try the seafood bisque or fresh Atlantic salmon. The Hunter House Restaurant and Inn, 1701 Butler Avenue, Tybee Island, 912.786.7515, www.hunterhouseinn.com

staycation18Marlin Monroe’s Surfside Grill serves up fresh, local seafood right on the beach. Marlin Monroe’s Surfside Grill, 404 Butler Avenue, Tybee Island, 912.786.GRIL

• Dine on the water at AJ’s Dockside Restaurant. This Tybee Island favorite serves up a full lunch and dinner menu. AJ’s Dockside Restaurant, 1315 Chatham Avenue, Tybee Island, 912.786.9533,www.ajsdocksidetybee.com

The Crab Shack, 40 Estill Hammock Road, Tybee Island, 866.789.CRAB, www.thecrabshack.com

The Sugar Shack, 301 1st Street, Tybee Island, 912.786.4482, www.tybeesugarshack.com

The Breakfast Club, 1500 Butler Avenue, Tybee Island, 912.786.5984

FAMILY FUN

>WHERE TO STAY:

The newly renovated, AAA Four-diamond Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa overlooks the scenic Savannah River and boasts an impressive 403 guest rooms. Unwind with the kids at the outdoor oasis featuring a riverfront, heated swimming pool, private cabanas, hammocks and chimineas. Afterward, Mom can retreat to the celebrated Greenbrier Spa to indulge in a mineral bath, body polish, facial or massage. Dad can even hit the greens on the Troon-managed, pristinely kept, 18-hole PGA championship golf course. “For what we are—a high-end, state-ofthe- art resort—we really do offer the most value around,” says general manager Mark Spadoni. “We want people to explore their own city. We want them to view it from a visitor’s perspective.”

The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, 1 Resort Drive, 912.201.2000, www.westinsavannah.com

• Tired of hotels? Go for resort condos instead at Beachside Colony located right on the beach. These condos are ideal for short-term budget rentals. Beachside Colony, 404 Butler Avenue, Tybee Island, 912.786.4535, www.beachsidecolony.com

The DeSoto Beach Hotel is just steps from the beach and all 37 rooms were recently renovated this past January. DeSoto Beach Hotel, 212 Butler Avenue, Tybee Island, 877.786.4542, www.desotobeachhotel.com

>WHERE TO PLAY:

staycation20Your kids will relish in a bit of time traveling at the DavenportHouse. This distinguished, Federal-style house-turned-museum received the prestigious Preserve America Presidential Award in honoring its historic preservation, the highest national honor in such a category. Authentically restored, the house museum, built in 1820 by master builder Isaiah Davenport, features original plasterwork, a cantilever staircase and traditional period furnishings. The half-hour tour takes you through both the formal and informal areas of the home, such as the entrance hall, office, drawing room, morning room, dining room, three bedrooms and the upstairs hallway. Museum director Jamie Credle urges everyone to learn about the rich history of the Hostess City. “History is like air and water,” she says. “It’s something you need.” Davenport House, 324 East

State Street, 912.236.8097, www.davenporthousemuseum.org

• Visit the birthplace of the founder of the Girl Scouts, at the Juliet Gordon Low House. The house has been elegantly restored to reflect the 1880s. Juliet Gordon Low House, 10 East Oglethorpe Avenue, 912.233.4501, www.girlscouts.org

• See marine life up close at University of Georgia’s Marine Education Center and Aquarium. Georgia’s original saltwater aquarium features interactive exhibits and other educational programs. University of Georgia’s Marine Education Center and Aquarium, 30 Ocean Science Circle, 912.598.2496, www.marexuga.edu/aquarium

staycation21• Add some art to your vacation by visiting the Jepson Center for the Arts. The impressive permanent collection features more than 4,500 works of art. Jepson Center

for the Arts, 207 West York Street, 912.7908800, www.telfair.org

Oatland Island Wildlife Center, five miles from Historic District off Island Expressway (President Street), 912.395.1212, www.oatlandisland.org

Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, 175 Bourne Avenue, Pooler, 912.748.8888,

www.mightyeighth.org

Savannah Children’s Theatre, 2160 East Victory Drive, 912.238.9015, www.savannahchildrenstheatre.org

Ferry/Water Taxi, Savannah Waterfront Association, 404 East Bay Street, 912.234.0295,

www.riverstreetsavannah.com

>WHERE TO SHOP:

staycation19Be family-friendly and buzz by the Savannah Bee Company’s Honey House. The new store offers an interactive, kid-friendly “learning hive,” where kids can learn more about making honey and discover the busy world of the honeybee. Belly up to the bar and sample different types of honey, or sit and sip on your honey latte or a tea infused with your favorite honey. Shop beekeeper Clay Culver is dedicated to educating the public about the importance of bees. “We’re really excited about education. We’re a retail experience built on education,” he explains. Savannah Bee Company’s Honey House, 104 West Broughton Street, 912.233.7873, www.savannahbee.com

• Budding artists will love the Beadstro Art and Bead Gallery, Savannah’s premier downtown bead gallery, located one block south of City Market. The Beadstro Art and Bead Gallery, 226 West Broughton Street, 912.232.2334, www.beadstro.com

• Buy some booty at The Pirate House Gift Shop, where you can get gear to dress like a sailor, even if speaking like one is still a no-no. The Pirate House Gift Shop, 20 East Broad Street, 912.233.5757, www.thepirateshouse.com

• Take in the intoxicating aroma of fresh pralines at Savannah’s Candy Kitchen. Watch taffy being made on the antique taffy pull that’s been in operation since 1924. Savannah’s Candy Kitchen, 225 East River Street, 912.233.8411, www.savannahcandykitchen.com

>WHERE TO EAT:

B&D Burgers offers 33 different kinds of burgers, serving up quality, USDA-grade beef that’s fresh and never frozen. If you want to add some excitement to your burger experience, opt for the Bring It On Challenge: Eat a three-pound burger including one pound of fries within 40 minutes and your meal is free. In addition, your name will be added to the Wall of Fame for everyone to see. “We are one of a kind,” says Lindsey Richey, executive manager. “Really, we’re the best burger around.” B&D Burgers, 13 East

Broughton Street, 912.231.0986, www.bdburgers.net

• Life is sweet at Leopold’s Ice Cream on Broughton Street. This family- owned and -operated business savors the days of old with malts, ice cream sodas and floats. Leopold’s Ice Cream, 212 East Broughton Street, 912.234.4442, www.leopoldsicecream.com

staycation22• Experience the sweeter side of Savannah and try Mabel Francis Potter’s Cupcake Emporium. The Red Velvet and Cream Cheese Frosting cupcake is a must-have. Mabel Francis Potter’s Cupcake Emporium, 6 East State Street,912.341.8014

• Hey, y’all! Get your rib-stickin’ favorites at The Lady and Sons. Serving a hearty lunch and dinner buffet, this popular Paula Deen restaurant is always busy—and kid-friendly, too. The Lady and Sons, 102 West Congress Street, 912.233.2600, www.ladyandsons.com

HAUNTED GHOST ADVENTURE

>WHERE TO STAY:

staycation23A Queen Anne style mansion originally built in 1892, the Kehoe House is Savannah’s only 4-star bed and breakfast, and it’s quite possibly haunted. Before being converted to an inn in 1993, the building stood as the Kehoe family residence, a boarding house, a funeral parlor and, at one brief point, home to quarterback Joe Namath. If a ghostly sighting is what you’re searching for, be sure to request Room 201 or 203, reportedly the most haunted in the house. And if the ghosts of the Kehoe family twins keep you up all night, at least you’ll have a delicious cooked to order breakfast to look forward to in the morning. Kehoe House, 123 Habersham Street, 912.232.1020, www.kehoehouse.com

• A hospital during the Civil War and throughout two separate yellow fever epidemics, The Marshall House is a Savannah favorite for spooky sightings. The Marshall House, 123 East Broughton Street, 912.664.7896, www.marshallhouse.com

• A stay at 17 Hundred 90 Inn and Restaurant might just land you a ghostly glimpse of Miss Anna Powers, awaiting her lover’s return from the sea. 17 Hundred 90 Inn and Restaurant, 307 East President Street, 912.236.7122, www.17hundred90.com

staycation24• Built in 1852, the East Bay Inn is the perfect place to indulge in a little eerie fun. Look out for the resident ghost, “Charley” and be sure to ask for the Scary Savannah Package. East Bay Inn, 225 East Bay Street, 912.238.1225, www.eastbayinn.com

>WHERE TO SHOP:

A stroll to the quiet shade of historic Madison Square will find you at E. Shaver, Booksellers, a quaint and cozy bookstore where you’ll be greeted with a smile (often by Ms. Shaver herself ) and pleasantly directed to the literary department of your desire. If Savannah lore is what you’re looking for, the first of 12 book-lined rooms is home to “every book ever written about Savannah,” boasts Esther Shaver, who opened the bookstore with her late husband in 1975. And if you ask very politely, she may just let you in on exactly which books will have you tingling with terror regarding

America’s most haunted city. E. Shaver Booksellers, 326 Bull Street, 912.234.7257

• Browse the selection of fine candles, crystals and more at the Aura Shop as you experience the mystical side of Savannah during a palm or tarot card reading. Aura Shop, 206 East Factor’s Walk, 912.233.1854

“The Book” Gift Shop offers up exclusive souvenirs from Savannah’s famously mystical Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. “The Book” Gift Shop, 127 East Gordon Street, 912.233.3867, www.midnightinsavannah.com

>WHERE TO PLAY:

In search of the best spirits in town? Don’t miss the Creepy Crawl Pub Tour. Luscious libations and terrifying tales abound on this two-and-a-half hour walking tour. Owned and operated for over 15 years by licensed guide Greg Proffit, this tour leads you through the spooky streets and cemeteries of Savannah in search of the city’s best (and most haunted) pubs. “I can barely even call it work,” Proffit says in jest. “I’m just having a great time with great folks and making a living along the way.” Reservations are required for this riveting evening, but good times and ghostly shivers are guaranteed so grab your camera and let the good times flow. Creepy Crawl Pub Tour, 527 East Gordon Street, 912.238.3843, www.savannahtours.com

staycation25•Watch out for ghosts, ghouls and goblins as you tour the streets and cemeteries of Savannah from your own personal funeral coach with Hearse Ghost Tours.

Hearse Ghost Tours, 412 East Duffy Street, 912.695.1578, www.hearseghosttours.com

• Don’t just tour it—hunt it! For a variety of paranormal playtimes, check out Sixth Sense Savannah. Sixth Sense Savannah, 615 East 54th Street, 866.666.3323, www.sixthsensesavannah.com

>WHERE TO EAT:

staycation26Founded 26 years ago, Six Pence Pub is “where locals and tourists meet,” according to manager Sandra Smith. With 35 beers to offer, 12 of which come on tap, and a mouth-watering menu of delicious British delicacies, there’s no better place to satisfy your hunger for both food and frights. One of Savannah’s few late night eateries, the Six Pence serves food—and beverages—until 2 a.m. every morning. Don’t miss the house specialty, Beef Guinness, a hearty helping of tender beef tips slowly marinated in Guinness Stout, simmered in a thick brown sauce with savory vegetables and served in a warm bread bowl. As you tuck in, keep an eye out for Larry, the Pub’s ghostly regular, sitting at the bar or lurking in the corners. Six Pence Pub, 245 Bull Street, 912.233.3156

staycation27• If you’re brave enough, visit Moon River Brewing Company, one of Savannah’s most haunted locales and a frequent focus of a paranormal TV series or two. Moon River Brewing Company, 21 West Bay Street, 912.447.0943, www.moonriverbrewing.com

• Drink your grog and enjoy your grub at The Pirates’ House. Just a block from the Savannah River, this famed restaurant still recalls the days of wooden ships and thirsty pirates. The Pirates’ House, 20 East Broad Street, 912.233.575, www.thepirateshouse.com

FESTIVE WEEKEND

>WHERE TO STAY:

Check out the Hyatt Regency Savannah for a festive weekend of fun and freedom. Even the large and bright lobby fills the contented guests lounging on their indoor balconies with the air of enjoyment. The Hyatt is quite literally “the anchor of River Street,” asserts Scott Edwards, director of sales and marketing. “We offer access to both Bay and River Streets.” Start your morning with a room service special (a service included in many of the hotels weekend packages), spend the day relaxing by the indoor pool, and when night falls, retire to the Vu Lounge for a cocktail beneath the fiber-optic stars, or head out to enjoy the Savannah night life. Hyatt Regency Savannah, 2 West Bay Street, 912.238.1234, www.savannah.hyatt.com

staycation29• The newly built, 127-room Four Points by Sheraton is just steps away from the downtown Historic District. Ask for special discounted rates for Georgia residents. Four Points by Sheraton, 520 West Bryan Street, 912.790.1000, www.starwoodhotels.com

• Known as the Grand Lady of Bay Street, the Inn at Ellis Square in the renovated Guckenheimer Building is conveniently located near City Market. Inn at Ellis Square, 201 West Bay Street, 921.236.4440, www.innatellissquare.com

>WHERE TO SHOP:

staycation30Want art, dining, shopping and entertainment, all in one spot? Look no further than City Market, the always-hopping area known as the “art and soul of Savannah.” Originally designed in 1755, City Market still stands as one of the premiere social and commercial centers of the Hostess City. Even the horse-drawn carriages remain. Sit outside and listen to live music as you eat ice cream and people-watch or sip a latte at a cozy cafe. Browse the numerous art galleries for that perfect painting and meet the resident artists. If the Southern sun proves too much to take, seek shade in a dark bar and share a cold pitcher of beer with your buds. In City Market, shopping is in the bag. Choose from funky fashions, timeless trinkets and staple souvenirs. You won’t leave empty-handed, guaranteed. City Market, Jefferson at West Saint Julian Street, 912.232.4903, www.savannahcitymarket.com

• If your shopping bug bites 24 hours a day, seven days a week, visit Parker’s Market for gasoline, gifts and gourmet food. Parker’s Market, 222 Drayton Street, 912.231.1001, www.parkersav.com

The Cottage Shop on Abercorn Street is a boutique gift store offering a wide variety of wish-list items, including affordable china and silverware and other unique accents. Cottage Shop, 2422 Abercorn Street, 912.233.3820

• Shop Factor’s Cottage for Rhythm Magic Motion clocks, Sid Dickens’ memory blocks, home furnishings, jewelry and accessories. Factor’s Cottage, 204 East Bay Street, 912.443.9337, www.factorscottage.com

>WHERE TO PLAY:

staycation31Zip around Savannah in a fun, affordable and green ScootCoupe. Available for rental from Coastal Scooters, these colorful coupes (think bumper car with wheels) save on gas, hassle and time. They run on a small, low-emission 49cc engine that gets about 150 miles on a full tank of gas. All rentals include a coupe seating two, unlimited miles, gas surcharge and helmets. “Our clients love the ScootCoupes,” says Coastal Scooters owner, Russ Moore. “It’s really the ideal way to see the Historic District. We found that more and more people wanted to ride in something that resembled a car and was lower to the ground. So far, the coupe is our fleet vehicle.” Rent by the hour or by the day. Reservations recommended. Coastal Scooters, 645 East Broughton Street, 912.232.5513,

www.coastalscooters.com

• No staycation is complete without enjoying the architectural wonders and floral details of Savannah’s side streets from a ride in a Savannah Pedicab. Savannah PediCab, 912.232.7900, www.savannahpedicab.com

• From April to September, there’s no better way to spend the day than enjoying hot boiled peanuts alongside America’s favorite pastime at the Savannah Sand Gnats baseball field. Savannah Sand Gnats, 1401 East Victory Drive, 912.351.9150, www.sandgnats.com

• Join the crowd at Savannah Smiles Dueling Piano Bar for an evening of all request tunes to tap your foot to. Savannah Smiles Dueling Piano Bar, 314 Williamson Street, 912.527.6453

>WHERE TO EAT:

Stop at Vinnie Van Go-Go’s for the best New York-style pizza in town. Their dough is made fresh daily and only freshly grated Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses are used. Choose from an array of toppings such as ham, salami, anchovies, hamburger, pineapple and spicy Italian sausage for your slice or pie. Then wash it down with the house wine or bottle of draft beer. Other menu items include hearty calzones and a healthy spinach salad. Located in City Market, Vinnie’s offers both indoor and outdoor seating, and plenty of it. Feel like staying in? Take advantage of the free delivery service via bicycle to the downtown area with a minimum order. Vinnie Van Go-Go’s, 317

West Bryan Street, 912.233.6394, www.vinnievangogos.com

• You can’t go wrong with the spirits, song and sustenance at The Distillery, a prohibition style bar with pub style food and American craft beer.

The Distillery, 416 West Liberty Street. 912.236.1772, www.distillerysavannah.com

staycation32• Dine, shop and be entertained by the captivating belly dancers and authentic decor at Casbah Moroccan Restaurant.

Casbah Moroccan Restaurant, 118 East Broughton Street, 912.234.6168, www.casbahrestaurant.com

Category(s): Apr/May 09, Lifestyle, The Magazine, Travel
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