Dubbed the Hostess City of the South, Savannah is the sort of place that invites you to stay awhile. There are twenty-two squares to explore, each lined with historic homes, churches, museums, and plenty of live oaks dripping in spanish moss—which, as any local will quickly note, is neither Spanish nor moss (in fact, it’s more closely related to pineapples and succulents).
While Savannah has long been steeped in history, a new generation of chefs and makers have breathed new life into the city while honoring its past. Take Artillery Bar, which brings mid-century glamour—and a killer cocktail menu—to a Civil War-era cavalry storehouse. Or the Alida Hotel, where guests can settle into lush accommodations in a centuries-old building on Savannah’s bustling riverfront that was once slated for demolition.
B’s Cracklin’ BBQ
Considering pitmaster Bryan Furman has been nominated two years in a row for Best Chef: Southeast by the James Beard Foundation, he must be doing something right. Maybe it’s some good karma, earned after the young restaurateur lost two locations to fires in the last five years. Maybe it’s the smoked brisket, South Carolina-style whole hog, or his brunswick stew, or the peach-mustard barbecue sauce. We’ll let you be the judge.
With homespun treats made from scratch, like banana pudding and chocolate chess pie, Back in the Day Bakery on Bull Street lives up to its name. Swing by the walk-up window for a bucket of mini buttermilk biscuits with housemade jam, or a spicy and savory ham and cheese croissant.
Named for its speakeasy-style entrance off a nondescript alleyway, this basement cocktail lounge boasts an impressive selection of more than five hundred spirits and one hundred fifty drinks on the menu. Speaking of, that twelve-page menu looks and reads like a newspaper—for a little adventure in your evening, try the drink assigned to your horoscope sign.
Savannah is best known for a few things: The bench scene in Forrest Gump, the filming of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and the Savannah College of Art and Design. Support the city’s budding artists with a trip to ShopSCAD, a Bull Street storefront that houses paintings, decor, and wearable art all handcrafted by talented students of SCAD.
Savannah is considered one of the most haunted cities in the country, a notion Ghost Coast Distillery wears with pride. It honors the city’s history of spirited mischief with an impressive roster of flavorful spirits. Keep an eye out for their fernet, made with myrrh and hops, and Carthusian, a European-style herbal liqueur inflected with mint, lemon, and thyme––a worthy swap for green chartreuse.
Tucked away in the Kimpton Brice Hotel, this comfortably chic trattoria serves up decadent pastas and vegetable-forward small plates. But the real hidden gem is its menu for aperitivo, the Italian afternoon tradition of relaxing with a snack and a beverage. At Pacci, this means fried mortadella, chicken liver pâté, or sardines and roasted tomatoes. And what’s an aperitivo without a negroni or Aperol spritz?
Artillery, an intimate yet stately bar, occupies the former storehouse of the Georgia Hussars, a pre-revolutionary cavalry regiment. The stunning space reflects nineteenth- and twentieth-century glamour, from the original, intricately detailed façade to the Art Deco and midcentury modern furniture and fixtures throughout.
Situated on a quiet block in downtown Savannah, the Perry Lane Hotel is a study in refined luxury. Throughout the space there’s grand artwork installations by young local artists curated by seventh-generation Savannah resident Adelaide Harcourt. Perched atop the hotel is the Peregrin: From its woven furniture and AstroTurf lawn to the bright tropical murals and towering plant walls, it’s a slice of Miami nightlife dropped in Savannah. Grab a next-level mule (made with fernet branca and spicy ginger syrup) or sangria spiked with apple brandy and take in the skyline under the string lights.
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