Savannah: Swept with the Spirit of St. Patrick’s Day

Every year over 300,000 people flock to Savannah to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day making it one of the largest celebrations in the world. St. Patrick’s Day is a few days away and Savannah is only a short drive from Jacksonville.

Earlier this month we headed there for a night’s stay to check out some great local spots. Upon our arrival it was evident that the St. Patrick’s Day spirit had already begun to sweep through the city.

St. Patrick’s Day events begin in early March in Savannah, which makes it one of the best times of year to visit. Savannah hosts one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades, this site  has all of the city’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities listed including a parade schedule.

In addition to the parade the city hosts the St. Patrick’s Day Festival which will take place this year on Friday and Saturday, March 16-17. The festival invites guests to enjoy a variety of live music, unique goods from different vendors and drinks on the Savannah River. The city also has “The Greening of the Fountain” in Forsyth Park on March 10th, where all the fountains are dyed green to kick of a week of celebrations.

Upon arriving in Savannah, the luck of the Irish was already in the air as the wind danced through the Spanish moss that dripped from the Live oak trees. We stayed at the Cotton Sail Hotel which is situated in the heart of Savannah’s Historic Downtown district.

This beautiful hotel is located in a restored historic building (in the 1800’s it was a cotton warehouse, hence the name) and it faces River Street, a location which gives guests access everything the Hostess City has to offer.

Their rooftop allows for breathtaking views of the city and it has Top Deck , a wonderful rooftop bar. One of the most memorable parts of our trip was when we were able to take in fireworks Friday night on the rooftop of the hotel.

After checking in we decided to explore the city and grab lunch. We headed towards the area that encompasses the campus of Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). The college is surrounded by eclectic restaurants and shops which cater to the hip, artistic taste of their student body. We saw some unique shops which featured a variety of SCAD alumni craftsmanship.

It was difficult to choose from the multitude of delicious restaurants in the area- which  offered everything from Thai to noodles to quick Southern fried fare. We chose Tequila’s Town Mexican Restaurant and enjoyed some delicious fish tacos and chicken flautas. The food was incredibly fresh and perfectly seasoned. The atmosphere was lively and laid back.

Friday night the city comes alive and we saw several local shops and restaurants which caught our eye as we wandered around the squares of Historic Downtown Savannah. Here are a few of note:

In Reynolds Square we recommend the The Olde Pink House, which is housed in a beautiful historic mansion and offers delicious traditional elevated Southern fare. It is the perfect place to enjoy a nice dinner out in the city.

Around the corner from Reynolds Square is a local favorite, The Lucas Theatre which showcases live performances and SCAD events. Another great spot in this area is Leopold’s Ice Cream which has award-winning, homemade ice cream in a variety of flavors.

On our walk through the squares there were a multitude of places that caught our eye- since we only had 24 hours to try everything ourselves here are just a few we’d like to mention:

The Foley House Inn is a lovely B&B that I had stayed in years before. They offer a wine and cheese hour, dessert and coffee as well as a delicious breakfast- all included. I would highly recommend the Foley House Inn to anyone looking to have an authentic and unique stay in Savannah.

The restaurant the Public Kitchen and Bar which had gorgeous decor and was already packed with patrons in the early evening hours when we walked by. Their menu features an eclectic mix of American cuisine and they serve hand crafted cocktails.

Later that evening we headed towards Madison Square which was lined with several enchanting shops and restaurants. A beautiful hotel located on the square is the Desoto which is one I made note to check out on my next stay. Madison Square is also where E. Shaver, Bookseller is located. We fell in love with this shop because of it’s wonderful selection of books, novelty items and quaint tea shop.

River Street is where visitors can take in some of the best of Savannah’s nightlife. Friday night on River Street did not disappoint- musicians played live music along the street and the bars, shops and restaurants were packed with merrymakers.

We decided to have dinner at Rocks on the River Restaurant , which is located inside the Bohemian hotel. We were greeted with lots of Southern hospitality and freshly baked bread. The service was excellent- the staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome. The restaurant offered an eclectic menu filled with a variety of southern specialties. We ordered the fried green tomatoes (a staple on most menus in restaurants in Savannah) and the pulled chicken. We finished our meal with the chocolate lava cake.

Here are some other places to check out on River Street:

You can smell the freshly made pecan pralines the minute you walk into River Street Sweets and there is no way you can say no to indulging in your sweet tooth when you are faced with options like their decadent chocolate covered strawberries and caramel apples.

River Street has a variety of lively bars and pubs that are a must stop for anyone interested in the Savannah night life. Bars like Wet Willies which has over a dozen different flavors of frozen daiquiris and pubs like Kevin Barry’s  (which is sure to be packed to the brim during the St. Patrick’s Day festivities) line River Street and city laws allow for patrons to enjoy their drinks outside along the Savannah river.

Saturday morning we decided to head to one of the most gorgeous churches in Savannah, the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. This historic church is stunning with it’s hand painted high arched ceilings and elaborate stained glass windows. We spent some time admiring the beauty and taking in the serene atmosphere.

After our visit to the church we headed across the street for brunch at the quaint Mirabelle Cafe. They serve homemade waffles with a variety of toppings that are absolutely delicious. They also have delicious coffee and specialty drinks- I recommend trying their uniquely flavored lavender latte. They also serve paninis with house made chips and savory quiches. We tried one of each, which was the perfect cap to our 24 hours in Savannah!

Every time I go to Savannah I always leave with plans for my next trip back because the enchanting city has so much to offer it’s hard to take it all in at once. March is the perfect time of year to visit the Hostess City of the South and with their epic St. Patrick’s Day festivities already underway I’m sure thousands more visitors will leave Savannah feeling the same way after the week’s end.

Featured Places:

Tequila’s Town Mexican Restaurant
109 Whitaker St, Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 236-3222

Leopold’s Ice Cream
212 E Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 234-4442

The Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront
102 W Bay St, Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 721-3800

Rocks on the River Restaurant
102 W Bay St, Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 721-3800

River Street Sweets
13 E River St
(912) 234-4608

Kevin Barry’s Irish Pub
117 W River St, Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 233-9626

Wet Willie’s
101 E River St
(912) 233-5650

Foley House Inn
14 Hull St
(912) 232-6622

The Public Kitchen and Bar
1 W Liberty St
(912) 200-4045

Mirabelle Cafe
313 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 335-7255

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
222 E Harris St, Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 233-4709

The Cotton Sail Hotel
126 W Bay St, Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 200-3700

The Olde Pink House
23 Abercorn St
(912) 232-4286

Lucas Theatre For the Arts
32 Abercorn St
(912) 525-5040

The DeSoto Savannah
15 E Liberty, Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 232-9000

E Shaver Booksellers Book store in Savannah, Georgia
326 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 234-7257

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