Short + Sweet Southern Retreat: Girls-Only Weekend in Savannah
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If my job weren’t in Orlando, I’d move to Savannah in a heartbeat. The history, the southern charm, the shopping, and the open container policy (heyo!) have all pulled at my heart strings since the moment I laid eyes on them. Unfortunately, my latest girls-only Savannah GA retreat lasted a mere 24 hours, although I can assure you that Ashley Brooke, Michele, and I jam packed our “grown up” super short spring break with as much southern fun– and food— as humanly possible. Stay tuned for our full, girls-only Savannah weekend itinerary.
We stayed in a gorgeous waterfront room at the Hyatt Regency Savannah and spent our settling in time, which was intended to be getting ready for food time, watching boats pass by on the Savannah River.
And, of course, when bloggers come together, counter space quickly disintegrates into various work stations, displaying our disorganized jewelry, electronics, makeup, food, and other items I’ll just categorize as “random” on every flat surface we can find.
After unpacking, ie. scattering our belongings all over the room, and staring at the river for an hour, we finally got ready to hit the town. Michele and I actually unknowingly brought and wore the same Lilly Pulitzer dress (outfit details here), so we had a lot of nosy (but polite) southern gentlemen asking if we were sisters.
Next on our Savannah weekend itinerary was food. After playing on, in, and around the gorgeous cobblestone streets, we headed towards the town centers for dinner— but not before booking 3 tickets on a haunted ghost tour. These are Michele and I’s before-and-after learning of the new festivities selfies.
Everywhere you look in Savannah, you see rich history. I mean, the culture is so aesthetically beautiful. I’m by no means a world traveler (yet), but I have spent quite a bit of time in Europe. The notion of walking through an outdoor museum, similar to Rome or Pisa, is something we don’t get to enjoy often in Central Florida.
Side Note: This is Johnson Square, which we later found out is know for being the most haunted Square in Savannah. It’s a quick and easy must-stop for whoever’s planning your Savannah weekend itinerary.
The arts presence in Savannah is truly unique. From stunning modern and historic art museums to musicians playing for crowds in the town squares, its inspiring and creative energy flows every way you turn.
We’ve all got a thing for good, old-fashioned southern cooking, so dining at Paula Deen’s The Lady and Sons was a mandatory requirement of our retreat. We knew we’d have to wait a while to be seated, since apparently we’re not the only ones who love butter, so after calling in our reservation, we decided to do some Savannah shopping in the meantime. This retail curiosity, fueled predominantly by hunger, immediately led us into Savannah’s Candy Kitchen. Oops.
After stocking up on saltwater taffy and chocolate bunnies, we returned to The Lady and Sons to experience Paula Deen’s official store in person– and due to our rapidly-approaching haunted tour plans, to also intimidate the hostesses into seating us on time. When I say this restaurant gets crazy, I mean this restaurant gets crazy. A lot more people love deep fried food mixed with butter– or just love butter itself– than I thought.
I think I had an out of body experience at The Lady and Sons Restaurant. Maybe Paula Deen is my spirit animal, who knows? I ingested more calories in that one-hour period that I usually do in a week, but it was totally worth it. Plus, it gave me the stamina and energy to face our spooky ghost tour, which was the next activity on our Savannah weekend itinerary, head on.
Spoiler alert, this tour was not scary. At all. Instead of hopping off the tour bus, which we did eventually do, we decided to have fun with fellow riders and mess with the tour guide(s), especially during the tour destination stops. Michele refused to go with one tour guide’s group in an allegedly haunted mansion because, “she didn’t trust him.” We all didn’t trust him.
Oh, did I mention people are really really– almost offensively– friendly? A successful Savannah getaway would never be complete without the occasional accosting(s) from drunk college kids.
Surviving the longgg ghost tour was exhausting, especially since the weather was in the 50s and we Floridians packed for summer, as we’re known to do. Instead of singing karaoke like tradition would dictate, we put on sweatpants, hung out in the Hyatt’s hip lounge for some cocktails, and hit the hay for a Sunday filled with photoshoots and funky brunching.
Aside from the fact that they legally cannot serve alcohol until mid-afternoon, Sunday Funday in Savannah is delightful. We shopped on River Street, where I vehemently, yet unsuccessfully, searched for a classic derby hat, took some outfit shots (outfit details here), and proceeded to brunch at The Funky Brunch Café, a charming little diner where you can actually make your own pancakes at the table.
Oh, and Ashley Brooke was kind enough to snap some candid moments, like my death stare on highest intensity, for memories’ sake.
I’m totally going to petition for The Funky Brunch Café to make a debut in Central Florida. It’s fun, delicious, and a great place for kids of all sizes– like me and my fraaans.
Unfortunately, we had to leave right after brunch on Sunday morning due to work deadlines and family emergencies— womp, so our Savannah weekend itinerary was cut short. However, before enduring the long car ride home, we made a mandatory pit stop at Leopold’s Ice Cream, which is truly the hidden gem of Savannah, on Broughton Street. Their ice cream and cupcakes are to die for, and their old-fashioned parlor is even more precious.
Fun Fact: Famed lyricist Johnny Mercer grew up a block away from Leopold’s and was a faithful customer when he was home from Hollywood. He even told Peter, one of the three founding brothers, that he would write a song about Leopold’s famous “Tutti-Frutti” ice cream, which had become Leopold’s hallmark and Savannah’s official favorite flavor.
We really couldn’t say goodbye properly without dramatically waving to the Savannah River in our new and insanely cozy Savannah sweatshirts. Perfect cozy end to the perfect short and sweet Savannah retreat.
Until next time, Savannah! What’s on your Savannah weekend itinerary? Anything I should hit next time? Oh, and in case you want more southern charm, click here to check out my guide to the ultimate southern road trip! Last spring, Kyle and I traveled from Tampa to Charleston to Asheville to Savannah in a week’s time. And it was incredible. Happy traveling!