Does Savannah, GA rival New Orleans?

“Lots and lots and lots of Spanish moss”

— A Random TripAdvisor Review


Ghost City Tour

If you do one thing in Savannah…let it be this, particularly the “Beyond the Good and Evil” tour. This ranks up there with the top three best tours I’ve ever taken; it was the perfect amount of unsettling and comedic. For starters, I happened to be having a bad bit of anxiety and was extremely uneasy about taking this tour. Hearing about death and murder usually makes anxiety worse. After hemming and hawing about if I should cut my losses and skip the tour, I could not have been more relieved and thankful that I decided to go ahead with my original plans.

Our tour guide was an Aussie, and as such, had an incredible sense of humor and a lovable and sarcastic style. We were doubled over in laughter within the first five minutes of meeting him. He was theatrical, immersive, and kept the attention of our entire group the whole tour, I had tears in my eyes too many times from laughing so hard. Our guide brought us to several sites, including the Mercer House, and explained the fascinating and intense horror-filled history of each place, but laced jokes and humor into every story.

The history of one house scared me a lot, a scene where nearly every family who moved in has experienced a mysterious death in the house. I felt really unsettled by hearing the stories and it bothered me to even look at the house, I felt my anxiety coming on again. However, our guide finished the tale with a story about there actually being a nice family moving in recently, and putting up a Christmas tree in their window in December and them loving the house entirely. He joked that for the month of December, his credibility in bringing guests there to hear about the terror was not as effective.

To be honest, I’m not sure how much truth there was to ANY of the stories he told, but I enjoyed every moment of this tour. The guide’s ability to work impromptu, on the spot occurrences that unexpectedly happened throughout the night into his bit as comedy was nothing short of genius. Savannah is known for its pervasive haunted history and spooky vibe, and I felt I had the best opportunity to see so much of that, and in a unique way on this tour.

Juliette Gordon Low House

From a young age, my mother knew it was her job to help me develop into a strong and independent individual and woman. Although she’s consistently horrified at my sense of humor, salty language, and running after her in the supermarket with a pouch marked “cock soup” and shouting “MOM, IT’S YOUR FAVORITE, COCK SOUP” as strangers look at her, I think she’s proud of who I am as a woman. She enrolled me at five years old into a local girl scout troop, and I have genuinely good memories of being a Girl Scout. Although it was something I only did for a few years, I feel that my experiences really helped me develop into a person I’m proud to be.

I grew up an only child, and I remember screaming and crying at my first girl scout meeting because I had to sit in a different room from my mother, I had to sit with all the other girls and I was not used to making new friends. Plus, the other little girls were basic bitches, and I knew from the moment I saw them we had nothing in common. (Joking. About some of them.) On that day and from that day forward however, I learned how to interact with others, initiate conversations, to rely on myself when I need to, and to be brave. The rest of my days in Girl Scouts taught me similar lessons, and I have many happy memories of creating, exploring, and learning.

I also have memories of needing to draw a scene of a jungle on Poster Board, my mom drawing the most ridiculous looking elephant in an attempt to help me out, and then making me tell me troop friends and leader that I had drawn the elephant myself, with his mighty penis looking nose. If she reads this she’s going to say it’s not true, BUT IT’S 100 PERCENT TRUE, GUYS.


Maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones, but I was touched during our tour. Our tour guide asked who had been a former girl scout and four women including myself raised our hands, and she announced, “Well, welcome home then.” Sobs uncontrollably. The guide was so kind, so many memories were resurrected, and the former scouts on the tour had permanent looks of nostalgia and excitement.

Our tour guide required the use of canes to walk due to a physical disability, but she was so proud of the work that the organization was doing to help girls with disabilities integrate more seamlessly into the program, and her part in all of the endeavors which would help these girl scouts. Our guide was funny, thoughtful, and kind. She offered me special accommodations (such as taking the elevator) as I was pregnant, and for others who had difficulty with aspects of the house, such as narrow stairs.

All of this served as a good reminder of the overall compassionate and inspirational spirit of the organization. It was an honor to learn about Juliette Gordon Low, and how she paved the way for so many women. She was strong minded and brave in a time when it wasn’t in vogue for women to break the mold and think independently. To learn her story by visiting this house, is to learn so much about how far women have come in society and how much we owe to the women who came before us. If you’re looking for a glimmer of happiness, hope, and history, please visit!


The Squares

If you’re from the 1960’s then a square is an insult. If you’re not from the 1960’s and you’re in Savannah, you know all the reasons why squares are an awesome thing. The city is divided up into very small parks, or, squares, and there are 22 squares in all. Normally, walking around a city can be exhausting and at times, un-enjoyable, especially if you are lost, or just low on energy. I can’t tell you how nice it was to have a little piece of pristine nature to sit and relax in after every few blocks or so of walking.

In many parts of the world and in my own country, parks, while relaxing, can be somewhat dangerous at night. Unfortunately, some big parks in my city are the places of rape, assault, and violence once the sun sets. I felt safe hanging out in the squares at night because you can see all parts of it at all times. Due to the high variance of them, it really beautifies the city and I love the idea of nature and respite in a “bite sized” version!

Old Town Trolley

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know by now, that exercise is among my least favorite activities. Savannah was hot, and it was humid, and I was with child (as so many of the locals liked to point out.) Not all heroes are human, sometimes, they come in the form of transportation. Trolley Tours Save Lives and Preserve Morale. While the city, even by by own admission, is definitely walk-able, the trolley was a pleasant way to see the city from a different angle, as well as hear about the history of the squares and landmarks. It’s a great way to preserve energy on a hot day!

Dueling Pianos

I’ve been to a few of these around our great nation, but this one is indeed the best. I’d like to give a HUGE shout out (on this blog that only a few people read) to the insane amount of talent radiating from the professionals behind the keys! I was floored by the musical ability of the performers; songs such as Bohemian Rhapsody and Jolene were performed with perfection. Due to the drink selection being dizzying, and babies in utero allegedly not caring for alcohol, I stuck with club soda for the night, but the bar was HUGE and I’m sure, promising. If you’ve been to Dueling Pianos, what’s different about this one is that you can “send a message” with your request, and the pianist writes your message on a giant mirror behind them. If you’ve never been to Dueling Pianos, it’s where two musicians beat the shit out of each other in the middle of the stage while also running back to their pianos to churn out requested songs. It’s wrestle-mania meets symphony. You’ll love it.


Tybee Island

In being from Long Island originally, the beach has been a huge part of my life. When I travel, my roots seek out a beach wherever I may go. Tybee Island felt like home. It was a 35 minute drive from central Savannah and it’s a classic east coast beach community. We enjoyed the sea life center and seeing small, baby, turtles which will be released once they are old enough. There’s a touch tank in the center which was cool until some random older woman kept daring me to touch the things inside, I got scared and walked away. “Touch it…no really…why won’t you touch it…just touch it.” Maybe I misunderstood and she was just impersonating Harvey Weinstein for her own entertainment, and it had nothing to do with me.

Really though, the center does a great job of showing their efforts to preserve the beach and the life that inhabits it. The beach itself is beautiful and vast, and there is a boardwalk where fishing and lounging in the sun takes place. Seafood and fried food are the meal to get at any of the restaurants on Tybee Island and there’s not shortage of places to eat and get hammered. I’m sure the woman who fell off her stool at the restaurant we ate in would absolutely agree. We only had a few hours here, but I’m already excited about visiting for a long weekend once our baby arrives! I love little seaside communities, and I’d imagine Tybee Island is a great place to have fun in the summer, it was even pretty popular in February!


Prohibition Museum

One of my most favorite places in this beautiful, small, city! I am a HUGE fan of the 1920’s and if you are too, or just a fan of fun times, you must check this out. I’m in the middle of doing an entire post on this place, so I’ll keep it relatively brief. This is the least boring museum you will ever visit. Whereas most museums are meant to be passive experiences, here you really are thrust into history and given ample opportunity to learn, using every sense, about such an edgy and exciting time in our past. The museum is dedicated to an unthinkable time in our nation’s history, a time when alcohol (the manufacturing, sale, and distribution of) was illegal. I feel faint just thinking about such blights on our nation’s timeline, but I’ll try to be brave and persevere.

In each room there is a separate “scene” which tells you, as a visitor, about a particular aspect of the prohibition era. Of special interest were rooms entirely devoted to the crime which arose during this period (a re-creation of a shoot out by notorious Al Capone and the like), a dark room which shows how moonshine operations were run, and a temperance movement protest set-up. Each room was filled with life like wax figurines, full sized cars, and a magnitude of decor which went above and beyond in surrounding the visitor in immersive scenes.

I loved it so much. I was extremely impressed with the ambiance of the museum, in both its ability to transport you back and time and its extensive collection of artifacts from the 1920’s. At the end, there is a 1920’s era speak easy where you can both indulge in the drinks of the day, as well as take lessons from a bartender! You even have to make sure you say the correct password at the door to get in. There are so many hands on opportunities, photo ops, and laughs to be had! Check out my experience here


Forsyth Park

I’m ashamed to say that I found myself originally not caring if we saw this at all. I’ve seen parks, I’ve seen a lot of parks. Who cares if I don’t see this one? Well, I’m glad my outdoors loving husband decided that HE cared if we did. Forsyth Park is immaculately manicured and exudes old world beauty, reminding me so much of Central Park. It’s a great place to relax and take in the sun.

It’s also a great place to pick up a free bible by a person who I’m sure is definitely mentally stable, or to pay $300 for a painting (albeit beautiful) created by an artist who draws inspiration from the park. The Spanish moss trees create a wonderful, romantic ambiance and it’s a fantastic spot for people watching as there is always something happening, even if it’s just pick up frisbee. Also, there were a few people filming there. If a new released film taking place in the park comes out, be on the lookout for me and all my baby weight!


Bonaventure Cemetery: One of the most beautiful cemeteries in the nation, a peaceful place that is more like an open air museum than anything else! Deceased people seem to really like it here.


Not a Fan

Southern Conversation

There wasn’t much fault that I could find with Savannah. It was one of those rare cities that I loved instantly, and by the end of our stay, loved entirely. I’m usually a fan of southern charm, but too much “let me come right up and talk to you” makes me anxious. Where I’m from, that is not the norm. If someone DOES try to talk to you deeply in New York, they are trying to sell you tickets to something or they need money.

On more than one occasion in Savannah, locals (I assume locals, due to the molasses like accent) felt the need to ask me personal questions about my being pregnant and make comments about my weight moonlighting as concern for my health. My favorite included, asking me how far along I was (seven months at the time) and then telling me I’m lying and that I MUST be carrying twins. After I said that I WASN’T, being asked several more times if I was sure. Again, in New York this would be met with a “fuck off” if the conversation even got this far, and that’s a big if. Here, I felt people thought they were pretty much entitled to say whatever they please.


Food for Thought – Where I Ate:

The Collins Quarter

Let’s all thank Adventurous Kate for this gem. The CUTEST and most delicious stop for coffee and brunch! The menu is delicious and most importantly, they offer cocktails. CQ is Australian based and that means that the coffee is on point. Especially delicious are the spiced lavender mocha and Vietnamese ice coffee. Fun fact, I’ve never laughed harder than trying to get my husband to take a decent photo of me enjoying my coffee. Coffees can also be made decaf!

The Funky Brunch Cafe

A brightly colored, pop art, restaurant known for its creative take on breakfast. The cafe’s highlight is a griddle in the middle of each table where you are free to make your own pancakes with any toppings and in any shape that you want! Fun fact, your waitress might NOT think its wholesome to draw your pancake in the shape of a penis. While the pancakes were decent and you definitely get your money’s worth, we actually found the other breakfast items we ordered (such as sausage gravy & biscuits) to be of much better quality. The fresh squeezed orange juice is a must. Be prepared to roll out of here, the food is filling.

Leopold’s Ice Cream

If you don’t think Leopold’s has the best ice cream, your opinion on anything should never be trusted. There’s always a line out the door (don’t worry it moves quickly) and for good reason. The ice cream – for starters – is of the best quality and homemade. In particular, the rose flavored ice cream was refreshing in the heat. The shop itself feels vintage and from an older and simpler time, when kids in the south used to hang out in the sodey-pop shop giving each other hickeys and twerk by the jukebox to Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons. Be prepared to step into another world and don’t feel guilty about ordering more than once cone!



Boar’s Head Grill and Tavern

A restaurant located in a restored warehouse from the 1800’s on the bank of the charming riverside of the city. The rough wooden interior makes you feel as though a gaggle of old time-y sailors might come pouring out from behind the kitchen doors. After walking the picturesque riverside, this is a great place to come for some she crab soup (#feminism) and delicious seafood.


The Ordinary Pub

Confession, I’m a meticulous planner when I travel. I could completely see how this gets annoying to the people with whom I travel. I’m mostly this way when it comes to food – it irks me when I feel I’ve “wasted” one of my meals, and to avoid that-  I won’t just eat anywhere. Our first night in Savannah, we arrived kind of late, and a lot of the restaurants I wanted to eat at were closed. I pouted and shrugged off every restaurant suggestion made by my husband, Arthur, until he persuaded me that we should eat at the Ordinary Pub. Corny writer’s joke…the Ordinary Pub is anything but ordinary.

It’s an underground bar meets restaurant with live music and a metallic/artsy innovative decor and vibe. The place is spacious, loud, and a fun place to get the party started. It offers classic southern comfort food and dishes with a modern twist. I was looking for an old school southern dining experience, and was not willing to budge on that experience.

I ate at a restaurant that was everything opposite of that – new and innovative – and felt that it was my best meal in Savannah! I couldn’t partake in diving head first into alcohol like I nearly always do, BUT, the food was off the fucking hook and they are open late! I HIGHLY recommend! Get the mac and cheese, your organs will be sorry – but your spirit will not.


Digs – Where I Stayed:

Planter’s Inn Reynolds Square – Quintessential Savannah! I’m a common New Yawka, and I truly wasn’t use to the finery of this hotel. We decided to splurge on this part of our baby-moon, and this hotel really helped us step into the feel of the city. The hotel unequivocally carried the essence of old world Southern charm, elegance, and grace. Our room was incredibly spacious and featured an adorable four poster bed.

The room was so immaculately clean that I felt trashy wheeling my suitcase onto the pristine carpet! I’M NOT USED TO SUCH NICETIES IN LIFE. Every evening, after a long day of sightseeing, the hotel offers complimentary wine and cheese accompanied by a live pianist. It was the perfect touch to such a sophisticated stay, and a romantic way to unwind while the hot sun set over the city.


What I Learned

I felt the vibe of Savannah the minute we stepped out of our car. It was the low country, swampy, “born on the bayou” type of vibe that I’d always loved about the gulf, such as in places like New Orleans. It’s unmistakably southern, but in a funky, Gothic, spooky way. It’s the kind of place that charms the hell out of you in the day, and makes you a little jumpy walking around at night – not because it is dangerous, but because it’s impossible not to feel the spirits and spooks of the hundreds of years of haunted history here. Savannah holds its own in terms of identity and nearly rivals my love for New Orleans. When do I get to come back!?




37 thoughts on “Does Savannah, GA rival New Orleans?

  1. Ah! This is making me want to head back to Savannah ASAP! I’m so bummed I didn’t get to do a Ghost Tour while we were there – it sounds like a great experience. The Prohibition Museum sounds interesting as well.

  2. Savannah is one of my favorite US cities! On my last visit, my daughter and I did a ghost tour which was fun and tried Leopold’s ice cream. As a former girl scout, I’ll have to visit the Juliette Low House on my next visit. Great post!

  3. I loved this! I have driven through Savannah but have never had the chance to stay. I would absolutely love to visit a ton of places on your list!

  4. Your guide was an Australian and the Collins Quarter is an Australian based. Are there more Australian in Savannah? I found it interesting besides all of the places you visited. I’ve been there only once, I know I have to come back and I would like to take that Beyond the Good and Evil Tour.

    1. That’s a really good question! I actually never put those two together, I’ll have to look into it! I LOVE Savannah, but I’m not sure what would be the draw for Aussies to go there specifically…very interesting!

  5. Your stories and writing style has kept me hooked on… you’re so witty… so first up #picklegate 😆 l think i just ended up doing the usual stuff on my trip to Savnnah, so I definitely need to go back!!

    1. DIVYA! You have NO idea how much this means to me. I’m eternally grateful for your support and actually reading my work, it means the world to me. Thank you for taking what has been a really rough few days and making me smile! xoxo

  6. Wow, who knew there was so much to see and do in Savannah! I have never been. Loved your story at the coffee shop, I have been there…how many photos does it take…? Thanks for sharing.

  7. Cock soup reminds me of cock stew, which was a running joke on a particularly hot and sweaty bike ride…. And moving on. I absolutely love ghost tours, especially well done ghost tours. Beyond good and evil seems spot on and I’m sure Savannah has some stories. We’d almost go to Savannah for the ghost tours along.

  8. Ahh.. Sounds like you had such a wonderful time in Savannah! I think I’ll love the Ghost City Tour and visiting the Juliette Gordon Low House too – so much history! The guides in both tours sounds lovely and entertaining too! Love your writing style, BTW.. Very entertaining read.

  9. I’ve read so many great things about Savannah and I have yet to visit. It’s so close to us, too! I never knew about the squares being a bad thing in the 1960’s so that was interesting.

  10. We have visited Savannah two times in the last couple of years. We absolutely love the town, especially Forsyth Park on the weekends. We even made our way to Tybee Island, it is one of the most peaceful beaches we have ever visited.

  11. I’ve heard so much about the Ghost Tours in Savannah and that it is everyone’s favorite thing to do. I’m definitely going to have to do that even though they aren’t really my thing. I have to see what all the intrigue is about. Also, I laughed at your section on not being a fan of Southern Conversation. I’m from Alabama and it’s funny at how different things are around the US and because of that, interpretations of what it means. When I moved to LA, I would smile at everyone walking down the street and say hi if we met eyes. People would look at me like I had lost my mind. So I learned to look down at the street and speak to no one like everyone else. NYC is the same way. At first, I thought these are the most un-friendly cities ever. While there is a lot of truth in some of that, it isn’t entirely that-it’s just what people are used to. I love both cities, but I keep to myself there except for my friends. Likewise on what people think they have a right to ask. Yep, I can definitely see how someone in the South would accuse you of having twins instead of a single and not knowing how far along you really are. Conversely, outside the South (countless times) I’ve been asked how much my house cost, what my annual salary is and what the size of my center diamond in my engagement ring is-3 things southerners would never be caught dead asking! So fascinating isn’t it? 🙂

    1. Thank you SO MUCH for a genuine comment and interaction. I love writing my posts and the biggest reward is readers like you who actually engage with them, so a million thank yous. Totally agree with everything you have said, especially the part about asking about cost, that is TOTALLY a thing where I’m from! So many people are concerned about status, keeping up with the Jones, and will often ask those questions to evaluate where they stand in society! It’s weird, I can recognize how absolutely flawed NY can be, but I can’t leave it! Maybe when I go to buy a house soon, I’ll change my tune LOL. Taxes and cost of living are bonkers! Hope you enjoy your day!

  12. I’ve always been afraid of Ghost tours as well, there were quite a few offered on a recent trip to NOLA – but I chickened out. I’m so happy to hear you had a pleasant experience in Savannah! It’s high on my bucket list to discover more U.S. cities, and I’m quite sold on Savannah after this post!

  13. Ok, seriously, loving your sense of humor. Running through the grocery store after your mum screaming about cock soup? Delicously funny. And high praise for the ghost tour … thanks to your guide I suspect. No matter where we have gone on a tour in the world, some good, some really bad, it is the guide who most often as made the difference.

    1. Michael – thank you so much!! Cock soup is just one of the ways I brighten mom’s life, just wait LOL. She’s a good sport. Yes, I agree, the guide is the one who makes or breaks the tour. Thank you so much for your praise and engagement. I love writing these posts and having people genuinely interact with my writing means everything to me!

  14. What a warm, vibrant and engaging account of a city still on our list to visit. We nearly made it in 2016, but Memphis and Mississippi happened instead. Your anecdotes have absolutely brought Savannah to life, from the unfortunate incident of the barstool to an Aussie with a gift of the gab, the Prohibition password and (just sayin’) #picklegate. Thanks for brightening up my morning and inducing a clear case of Savannah-envy.

    1. THANK YOU so much, Bernie!! Your support and thorough reading of my post means so much. I love writing these posts and to have people actually read them is worth more than anything to me. Enjoy your day!

  15. Sounds like Savannah is a hit! You did so much and everything seemed lovely! I went on my first ghost tour in Austin and loved it so I would be signing up for that for sure. It is interesting to understand a bit of the regional American differences. Love how the Southerners just come up and start a conversation!

  16. I love your joke with the squares, it immediately made me think about Uma Thurman drawing out the shape with her fingers. But all the article is sprinkled with the kind of humor I appreciate. Keep it up!

  17. I want to go to Savannah to roam around Forsyth Park and a few of the other squares and have long leisurely brunches every day. The Ghost City tour also sounds like fun, but I may have trouble sleeping again after 😀

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