I feel like a broken record with my continual gushing over the gorgeous scenery surrounding my Southern Roadtrip so I’ll try to control my compliments! It’s just extremely difficult to convey what I was seeing and feeling through out the trip without sounding like a tour guide/travel commercial. When I say it was all sunshine and daisies…it was literally sunshine & daisies. You just can’t quite get it across on a computer screen but I’ll try my best!
We left off as I finished up my South Carolina adventures at the Magnolia Plantation and continued south. It wouldn’t be a true road trip without spontaneous stops at a fruit stand, and a peachy cider sign begged us to pull over. I sampled the sweet peach cider buuuuuuut you know me, I left with a coffee. Old habits die hard!
Savannah, Georgia is the most historical city we visited. What really gives it the enchanting and charming character are the huge Spanish Moss trees line the streets and drape over the sidewalks.
Fun Fact: Forrest Gump is one of my all-time favorite movies, I’ve watched it a dozen times. The bus stop scene was actually filmed in Savannah, GA, at Chippewa Square, just half a mile up from our hotel. We walked through Forsyth Park, past this beautiful fountain, searching for the bench. Turns out, the movie prop is now sitting in a museum in the visitor’s center. I didn’t feel like adding a museum trip to my already-busy day so we skipped it. If the worst thing that happened on our trip was failing to sit on Forrest Gump’s bench, I think that’s pretty good.
Savannah sits right along the river just like Wilmington, and all of the buildings sit four floors up from the ground to because of the water and bridges. I got a kick out of all of these signs:
I love the old classic building style, rather than the typical city skyscrapers we see in Manhattan, San Francisco or LA. We discovered that Savannah looooves their bars, not so much coffee shops. We walked blocks and blocks looking for an afternoon iced coffee pick-me-up with no luck, but passed a couple dozen bars, taverns, breweries and pubs along the way. Priorities, haha!
Don’t you worry though, we eventually re-caffeinated at Vic’s on the River (local coffee shop # 6 if you are keeping track!) and continued exploring the River Ralk, the City Market, the memorial squares, bakeries and antique shops.
Our hotel was so eclectic that we ended up spending a good portion of the afternoon in the pool and in our room getting ready for a fun night out. The Mansion at Forsyth Park by Marriott is one of the 11 Autograph Collection Hotels in the United States, with tons of unique character. Quirky art lined the walls, fresh flowers and curtains lined the elevators, floating flowers sat in a fountain the lobby, and an entire art gallery, bar and restaurant sat inside the hotel. The pool was so refreshing after sweating in the summer humidity. We also had happy hour on the top floor while Savannah decided to throw a temper tantrum with a freak thunder storm just when we were ready for dinner.
After one too many glasses of wine, we walked to dinner at The Sentient Bean, our favorite vegan cafe in this city. If you are going to Savannah, GO TO THE SENTIENT BEAN. We ended up eating there 3 times in less than 24 hours: once for an iced coffee & afternoon snack (vegan “power bowl” with grains, veggies and avocado), then dinner (curried tofu tacos) while a local band played in the corner, and breakfast the next day (yogurt & fruit parfait). Everything was so delicious and flavorful, the staff was awesome, and the atmosphere was comfy. A favorite, for sure :)
One of the “Must See” items on my list for this trip was The Olde Pink House in Savannah. This building from 1700s is now a restaurant with a tavern and piano bar in the basement. It’s upheld its historic decor and requires reservations far in advanced, but the I highly recommend!
We started off in the tavern, which was extra crowded on a Friday night. So crowded, in fact, that we were actually seated at the piano! We ordered the skinny cocktail, sweet tea vodka and lemon juice. For dinner, we split an appetizer of “Southern Sushi” which was shrimp and grits wrapped in nori…definitely not something I’d ever seen before. For dinner, we went with a typical southern entree of mashed sweet potatoes, collard greens, and pecan crusted chicken. I am usually pretty good at passing on the bread bowl at restaurants but the mini corn bread muffins and little buttermilk biscuits were irresistible! A totally worth-it splurge :)
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Savannah! The road trip is juuuuust about over….but I’ll wrap it up later this week. :) Hope August is off to an amazing start for you! (Which reminds me, I saw this quote and cracked up laughing so I had to share: “Awesome things will happen today if you decided not to be a miserable cow.” Ha! Simple as that. Love it!
8 days, 3 states, 7 new towns, 8 local coffee shops, 2 alligator sightings, and 1,180 miles later….the Tour de South 2015 is complete :)
A couple weeks ago, I flew from California to Charlotte, NC before I rented a little Lancer and drove through thick forests, farmland, beach towns, mountain ranges and historic landmarks.
Let me tell you, “Southern Charm” is real. I have NEVER experienced the type of culture I did in the southern cities of Charleston and Savannah. The cobblestone streets, 18th century buildings, Civil War memorials, patriotic flags, water towers, lighthouses and friendly people were so drastically different from my usual Southern California lifestyle. The Spanish moss trees lining the streets in Savannah were enchanting and the plantation-style homes in Charleston were straight out of a movie set. Actually I think I was most impressed by what I didn’t see: trash, graffiti, traffic, crowds, or brown/dead land….literally EVERY MILE we covered was lush and green and vibrant. The greenery on the East coast is unbelievable!
If you’ve been reading Strong Like My Coffee for a while, you know that my home is in California but I have been dying to experience life in the country. Flagstaff was my college town but never felt like home, and my graduation present to myself was a summer roadtrip through the southern states to see if the movies and my imagination matched reality on the opposite coast. (Spoiler Alert: Yes.) Obviously I have hundreds of pictures and dozens of stories to share so I’m breaking up my trip into a few posts to share the highlights from the highway :)
I’ve been going through my pictures to pick out the best of the best and tomorrow I’ll recap my first few day in North Carolina…Charlotte, Wilmington, Wrightsville and Southport Beaches, Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains, touring the Biltmore Estate, exploring the Airlie Gardens, hanging out on Dawson’s Creek docks, shopping at The Cotton Exchange, getting caught in a summer thunderstorm and venturing through UNC Wilmington’s campus should grad school be on my horizon ;) See you here tomorrow!