Savannah, Tybee, & Georgia Islands

We had a little change of plans with our big summer girl’s trip, and I ended up going back to Savannah last week! I was honestly so excited to return- if you read my last post, you know that Ry and I were only there for a few hours and had more to see.

I went with five friends from college that I hadn’t seen (besides a quick dinner or FaceTime) since graduation in May. It was so fun to meet up and connect- it felt like a college reunion, learning what everyone has been up to! We all flew in (well, I drove haha) from different places around the East Coast and met up in Savannah on July 3rd, and were there until the 12th. It was a long trip and exactly what I needed to recharge- I had six days off work, there was new scenery that was different than my little apartment after months of WFH, and I was surrounded by friends…I loved every second!

Lodging 

We stayed at Hotel Indigo in the historic district- it’s located right next City Market and it’s honestly the perfect location. I booked it risk-free on Booking.com (this isn’t sponsored, I’m just a huge fan) and found a really reasonable price for two rooms for a week.

I can’t give a full review as some parts of the hotel weren’t fully functioning due to COVID-19, but here’s the summary:

  • pros- great location, comfy beds, bathroom mirror had amazing lighting (this was actually really important when you have 3 girls in a hotel room trying to do makeup at the same time), price was cheap. 
  • cons- parking was ridiculously expensive- they were charging $28 a night for a garage that wasn’t even open 24 hours if you needed your car (I’m told it was slightly different than usual due to COVID-19), the rooms are very small, the rooms did not have a fridge and the ice machine kept breaking (I packed a cooler for the beach and almond milk for my coffee in the morning and was very disappointed).

We were also at the Westin on the riverfront, which has an amazing view of Savannah and a wonderful pool and outdoor bar, with a splash area for children and a hot tub. However, it’s a ten minute drive over the bridge if you want to be back in Savannah. It’s definitely worth a night or two for use of the pool, however- it feels like a resort at the beach.

Transportation and Parking

I rented a car for the trip (living that car-free life is not always ideal haha) and drove, as Savannah is about four hours from Atlanta. We definitely needed the car the entire time we were there- Tybee beach is about 30 minutes away, and we ended up all over the other islands around Savannah. 

Parking can be hard in Savannah and very expensive- as I mentioned before, our hotel was charging $30 a night for parking. I did some research after gasping at the price after the concierge told me it, and you can save a lot of money on parking in Savannah by parking in other garages and street parking. We parked in the Whitaker Street Garage most nights, which is one block away from Hotel Indigo and $16 a night. Other nights, we did street parking around City Market at night. There is definitely more risk to street parking as your car isn’t in a garage, but we didn’t have any issues and it’s way cheaper because street parking is free from 8PM-8AM. So, if you pay the meter until 8PM and run back out at 7:45 AM, you can park overnight for <$5. However, do not wait to pay the meter- I ended up taking too long in Starbucks one morning and showed up to my car around 8:20AM and had to convince the meter maid to rip up my ticket, haha. One final note on parking- make sure you are not street parking on a street cleaning day- the signs will tell you, and fines are very expensive if you are parking on those days.

Bars and Restaurants in Savannah

In my last post, I mentioned Treylor Park, the Grove, and Huey’s on the River, two of which we went back to this trip!

Here are our other highlights:

Collins Quarter- a great brunch in Savannah. There is a location near Chippewa Square near the Juliette Gordon Low House and the Forrest Gump “bench”, and a location in Fosyth Park. 

Little Duck Diner- A fun dinner of fancy grilled cheeses, tomato soup, and popsicle duck drinks! It’s a fun spot with friends (they also have a really large menu if grilled cheese isn’t your thing).

Sorry Charlie’s- This is a great rooftop bar located right by City Market, and there is a Tiki Bar located on a lower level of the building that we never actually made it to, haha! 

Vice Lounge + Mojito Bar- A fun upscale club (we ended up with a table and bottle service).

Wet Willie’s- A Savannah classic with frozen drinks in every flavor. Get the souvenir cup to be a true tourist. 😉

Tybee Beach 

We spent most of our days at the beach and explored Savannah in the evening once the weather had cooled down. It worked out well as Savannah isn’t a huge town and we had a lot of days to explore! Most days, we drove down to Tybee Beach, which is the closest beach to Savannah. 

It’s a large beach that’s not as secluded as Saint Simons (and the sand is a bit rougher), but it was perfect for a girls trip as it has more of a party vibe. It also happens to be the beach and pier that was featured in The Last Song (we even stalked the house haha). We parked at a spot near the pier when we were there, which has a bar, bathrooms, and snacks (bring cash- they don’t take credit cards). I was happy to get a hot dog for lunch on the Fourth of July, haha, but they also have ice cream, a full bar with fun frozen drinks, and burgers. 

We went to dinner one night in Tybee at the Deck Beach Bar & Kitchen, which is a great place for drinks or dinner right on the beach. It has seafood and great drinks, and the beach view is incredible. It’s actually owned by the same people that own Collins Quarter, which is neat.

We also stopped by Fort Pulaski in Tybee at the request of a certain history buff in our group- we gave her a limit of 15 minutes to visit, haha. It wasn’t my thing, but if you’re interested in history it’s worth a stop. It was used during the Civil War by the Union Army to test cannons, which proved that brick forts were obsolete. It has a pretty view but it is a GA state park, so there is a fee to go.

Colonel’s Island and St. Catherine’s Island

The highlights of our trip were the two days we spent boating to St. Catherine’s Island from Colonel’s Island. We hired a private captain to take us on his boat, and had the best time. St. Catherine’s Island is virtually untouched- the interior is not open to the public, and is used for conservation efforts for different animals. It felt like being a castaway when we showed up and there were no buildings in sight, and we were the only boat there.

The beach is untouched- we would walk along the beach and see full grown crabs, conches crawling, and at one point there were dolphins six feet away from our boat! I’ve never experienced any beach that remote. If you can find a private charter to take you, do it. We did ours through a friend, and they were my favorite days of the trip.

On our last night after our boat ride, we stopped for fresh seafood at Sunbury Crab Co. and I had the best grilled shrimp I’ve ever had in the U.S. I also had a few crabs (and asked for Old Bay- once a Marylander, always a Marylander!) The crabs are so fresh- the restaurant catches their own crabs! If you are in the area, it’s worth a stop for dinner. It’s the best post-boating dinner as it’s a casual, local spot with beachy vibes and a great view of the marshes.

We had such a great girl’s trip- it was so special to catch up with everyone over a year after graduation. I’m glad I got to see more of Savannah, and the trips to Saint Catherine’s were a definite highlight! Let me know if you’ve gone to any of these places, or recommendations of your own, in the comments!

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