I had been wanting to visit Savannah for many, many years. Aside from the southern charm and of course the infamous southern cooking, I knew that the paranormal activity in Savannah was high – and I love that kind of stuff. When I found out that my stepson was going to be graduating from Army boot camp at Fort Jackson, SC, the first thing I did was google how far it was from Savannah. Imagine how excited I was when I saw that it was only about two hours! Score.
There were so many things that I loved about Savannah. So. Many. Things! Here is a recap of my personal favorites:
1. The ghost tours!
If you’re a regular around here, you may have already read about my experiences on a few of the ghost tours that Chris and I went on. While we were there, Chris and I went four different ghost tours. Two of them were trolley tours and the other two were walking tours. We heard a couple of the same stories on the tours, but since Savannah is so haunted, we heard different tales on each tour.
I love learning about the history of new places as well as searching for signs along the way that the other side actually does exist. Chris and I spent three days in total down in Savannah and sadly, we saw no paranormal activity – although, I will swear on a stack of bibles that our room at the Savannah Bed & Breakfast Inn was haunted. There was a closet door that popped open a few times, we heard several weird thumps and my phone battery drained inexplicably more than once. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was breathing down the back of my neck whenever we were in our room.
2. Eating at The Pirate House.
Our plane landed somewhere around 2 pm and by the time we got our rental car & made our way to check in at our hotel it was nearly 3 pm. Because we were in the air at lunch time, neither of us has eaten since breakfast and we were both starving. Not having a clue where to go, we thought our best bet was to head up towards River Street, which is where we had to be at 7 pm because we had reservations for our first ghost trolley tour.
Because it was about a
million 105 degrees that day, we hopped on the free shuttle bus that they have driving around the historic district and when we got off at a stop near River Street, The Pirate House was literally right in front of us. Chris suggested that we go check out the menu to see if it looked like a place we might want to eat at.
If you follow me over on Instagram, you may already know that The Pirate House is where I had my first meal in the south – Pecan Crusted Fried Chicken with sweet tea to drink, of course. We don’t have sweet tea like they do in south here in Boston, so I was planning on getting my fill while I was down in Savannah. The food & sweet tea were amazing by the way.
It was a bonus that we found out the place is super haunted while we were there. Something written on the placemat caught Chris’s eye and when he read the whole history of the building, I was really excited to find out that they not only had awesome food, but some ghosts, too. As much as I wished that one came out to eat with us, they didn’t (insert sad face here).
3. Exploring Colonial Park Cemetery.
Remember when I mentioned that some of the same stories were discussed on several of the ghost tours we went on? Each of the four tours we went on brought us to Colonial Park Cemetery.
The cemetery is absolutely gorgeous and it’s actively haunted. The real reason that Chris and I went there was because of the story they told us on the tours. There are thousands of people buried in the cemetery, yet there are only a few hundred grave markers. Apparently there are dead people everywhere.
Not only that, the cemetery used to be much larger, but as the city grew, they moved the walls of the cemetery inwards. Roads were paved and houses were built right over where people were buried. Lots of people. As you walk down many of the streets of Savannah, you are literally walking over hundreds of dead bodies.
4. Lunching at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room.
Chris and I were told that we would regret leaving Savannah without eating lunch at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. My sister & brother in law have been there several times and told us to get there early. They open the doors for lunch at 11 am, but they said that a line would be formed around the block by then. We arrived at 9 am and were the first ones in line. The next people showed up about five minutes after we did and just ask my sister said, the line was all the way down the block by the time they opened for lunch.
Once they started letting the lunch crowd in, we were directed to sit at large tables-for-ten, shared by strangers. The tabletop was already covered with platters of fried chicken and cornbread dressing, sweet potato souffle, black-eyed peas, okra gumbo, corn muffins, meatloaf, biscuits and so much more. The menu changes daily so regulars can have something different every day, but if you want a good dose of southern cooking, this is the place to eat.
Seriously, we ate like kings that day.
Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room is located at 107 West Jones Street. They are open Monday-Friday from 11 am-2 pm and the price is $20 per person (tax included).
5. Strolling through the squares.
Savannah has 22 squares today that provide some lovely green scenery to the city. At one time there was 24 squares, but two were lost due to city development.
Our Bed and Breakfast was located just off of Chatham Square, so we spent a lot of time in that particular square. All of the squares we walked through were really pretty and it was nice to be able to sit and take a break when we needed one.
6. Learning about the sordid history of Savannah.
Voo-Doo, Hoo-Doo, treachery, murder, bootlegging and even slave trading- there is definitely a dark side (or should I say “was” a dark side?) to Savannah. I find all that stuff intriguing and loved hearing the stories of true crime in Savannah’s past.
7. Exploring River Street.
Located along the Savannah River, right in the heart of historic Savannah, you will find that the century old buildings which were once cotton warehouses, have been converted to antique shops, boutiques, galleries, or grab a bite at any of 21 brew pubs and restaurants. Seriously, you’ll find everything from sweet treats to Christmas ornaments to clothing to art galleries housed inside the old restored Cotton Warehouses.
If you’re there long enough, you’ll see ships of all kinds floating down the river, horse-drawn carriage rides and a street performer or two.
In addition to the rich culture and history, River Street is a great place to eat, drink, shop or just hang out. I wish we had more time to spend there.
8. Hunting for Movie Props.
Actually, it wasn’t that hard. We wanted to see the Forrest Gump bench and found it in the Savannah History Museum (along with a lot of other cool stuff).
It’s located inside Visitor’s Center at 303 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, but if you want to see it, it’ll cost you $7 each.
9. Going on a real ghost hunt at The Sorrell-Weed House.
The Sorrel-Weed House first belonged to wealthy shipping merchant Francis Sorrel. Although Francis was married to his first wife’s younger sister, the story goes that he fell in love with one of his slaves, Molly. Those two carried on until Sorrel’s wife, Matilda, discovered their affair. Devastated by her husband’s betrayal, Matilda leaped from a second story balcony and died in the courtyard below. Just a few days after Matilda’s death, servants discovered Molly hanging from a noose in the carriage house. These days, reportedly both Molly and Matilda haunt the Sorrel-Weed House.
Chris and I were able to tour the house at night, in the dark. We were each given EMF meters and sent off to search for ghosts.
Again, I didn’t see, hear or feel anything, but it was fun just the same.
As I said, we only spent three days in Savannah and I really wish we had more time there. There were so many things that I wanted to see and do, but we ran out of time. Guess that means we’ll just have to go back.