Leading up to life as a post-graduate my goal has always been to give back to my parents, my day-one supporters. Now that I'm approaching a year as a full-time working girl, I am finally in a place where I can start doing so.
My mom and I went on our first girls' trip to Italy this past February and still find ourselves gushing about it each time we get together. Come fall, I decided to treat her to a birthday vacation in a city that has all the charm and ease for the perfect girls' trip -- Savannah, Georgia.
Lined with Spanish moss-covered oak trees and elegantly historic architecture, Savannah has everything we wanted from a quaint Southern city. Beyond a welcoming environment, the locals made us feel right at home with a kind of friendliness that isn't always found in New York. It takes more than a few paragraphs to describe Savannah with its deeply rooted history and uniquely Southern culture. But I can say that from my mom's goal to visit all fifty of the United States, I'm so grateful we chose to explore this one together.
Read on more details from our first day in Georgia's oldest but most beautiful city:
I'm not usually a fan of guided tours, but we kicked off our trip with a popular Savannah trolley tour to get acquainted with the city. Most of these tours offer unlimited hop-on hop-off capabilities for the remainder of the day, and I would also recommend them as initial guides to map out the rest of your trip. After the 90-minute ride, we were more than excited to get exploring.
Our first brunch was the most un-southern meal of the trip, but as a New Yorker I couldn't resist the best Aussie café in town. The Collins Quarter brought the Australian dining scene to Savannah with its best-in-class coffees (especially the lavender mocha) and avocado toasts, of course. But despite the cultural change, there was definitely a Southern influence on my french toast with its unapologetic toppings of pulled pork and bacon.
Just across the street from brunch was the Birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, who is best known for establishing the Girl Scouts. Fun fact of the day: I was a Girl Scout for about ten years. Savannah has no shortage of homes to visit, and this one seems to always top the list. When visiting the historic city I would absolutely recommend visiting at least one home. The amount of history that lines these streets is best experienced in person rather than read on a web page.
Any Forrest Gump fans here? Just down the street from the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace is Chippewa Square, where Tom Hanks famously gave his "life is like a box of chocolates" line. The original bench no longer stands here, but the area is still worth the stroll. Savannah boasts 22 beautiful squares that make walking the best mode of transportation.
A further walk down Savannah's historic district is its famous Forsyth Park, where a stunning line of oak trees leads down to the iconic fountain. You can easily spend hours in this park strolling, reading, or simply lounging along any of its 30 acres. It's no wonder that so many couples choose to get married in this very spot.
Speaking of weddings, another popular spot for the event is The Gingerbread House, which sits just outside the historic district. This house has become a photographic symbol of Savannah as well as a preferred venue for various events. It was quite the walk from brunch to this spot, but the view was well worth it.
There is a consistency between the cities I love most -- Venice, Lisbon, and now Savannah. They are all best seen on foot. I love any walkable city that lends itself to exploration outside of the typical tourist spots. Jones Street is one of the most beautiful streets to stroll in Savannah with its uniquely elegant Southern homes. I especially loved each homeowner's festive spirit, with metallic pumpkins and colorful flowers decorating the stairways. Needless to say I couldn't help but stop to take photos every few seconds.
Not photographed: We ended our day with dinner at Alligator Soul, where we dined over an elegant seafood meal. Between stuffed oysters, mussels, and scallops, we had a fantastic culinary welcome to Savannah. Don't be surprised when restaurant staff constantly strike up conversations while you dine either. We were so warmly greeted by our waitress that every minute was made memorable. It's no wonder the South is attributed to hospitality and charm.
Stay tuned for more highlights from our Savannah getaway!