FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Southern Hospitality in Savannah

by Donna Tabbert Long

Aug 1, 2019

© SEAN PAVONE – DREAMSTIME.COM

August 2019

ANTEBELLUM MANSIONS, secret gardens, ancient oak trees draped with Spanish moss: Savannah fairly drips with Southern charm. As rich in history and beauty as it is in its culinary offerings, the bewitching city’s hospitable roots run deep. There’s a reason it’s called the Hostess City, after all.

With a pace as relaxed as its drawl, most visitors to Savannah enjoy strolling through the city’s 22 public squares, each “prettier than the next,” locals like to say. Features of a historic district that is one of the country’s oldest, largest and most intact, each square boasts its own distinct character and ambience. The same could be said of the city’s abundant restaurants, loaded with delicious food and drink options — and often located in all kinds of repurposed properties.

The much-acclaimed and chef-driven Grey, considered one of the most coveted dining reservations in town, serves food and wine lovers in a building that originally housed the 1938 Art Deco Greyhound Bus Terminal. Its newest spinoff, called Grey Market, offers diner-type counter seating backed by shelves lined with jars of its pickled vegetables and bottles of wine for sale. Cotton & Rye, another popular eating venue with a cool and sophisticated vibe, is housed in a refurbished 1950s bank. A favorite watering hole, the French-inspired bistro and gastropub Circa 1875 (in a building of the same age), offers a fantastic worldwide selection of wine.

Savannah’s great variety of mansions — ranging from simple Colonials to gingerbread-accented Victorians — represents another of the city’s charms. The architectural gems have not only been made into bed-and-breakfast lodgings like the Hamilton Turner Inn and The Gastonian, but numerous others also have been transformed into the city’s most popular dining destinations. Elizabeth on 37th, filled with elegant antiques and marble fireplaces, is renowned for its seafood and impressive wine list. Overlooking Reynolds Square, the beloved Olde Pink House dishes up authentic Low-country cuisine in an 18th-century Georgian mansion.

For a late-night bump at a Savannah institution, however, nothing beats The Original Pinkie Masters, the longtime neighborhood dive bar where Jimmy Carter famously announced his bid for the presidency, way back when.

That’s Savannah for you — a tantalizing mix of historic and hip, spiked with lots of Southern soul.

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