If you have been pondering a family trip to the charming hostess city of the South, but are not sure if it is really the spot to pack up the kiddos to visit then today's post is for you, friends. :)
Since my first visit to Savannah nearly 10 years ago, this city has been close to my heart.
I have been drawn in by it's history and colorful past.
It's old buildings and homes- a hodge-podge of gorgeous architecture from Gothic to Federal to pure Georgian.
It's people who genuinely embody the very essence of Southern hospitality.
It's family of stately and elegant oaks draped with swaying Spanish moss that seem to wave you into the city and gesture for you to stay a while.
I knew at some point I would have to share this beautiful city that I had fallen in love with all those years ago with my now growing family.
With this trip being my first time traveling there with a husband, a teenager, and a toddler in tow, I did a little research from home and started searching for deals for family friendly activities we could do while in Savannah that all of us would enjoy and love...
One deal I stumbled upon via livingsocial was for a walking tour of the city from The Savannah Walks, Inc. They offer a variety of themed walking tours from gardens to haunted to Civil War, but we decided on the Savannah Stroll- a 90 minute stroll through the city highlighting sites of important historical mention (as well as those deemed gossip-worthy ;) ), popular attractions of the city, and just a general overview of the layout of the historic district of Savannah. I cannot recommend doing a walking tour like this enough, especially on your first day visiting the city. It is the best way to get your bearings because much of what you will be doing and going to is best accessed by walking. Plus, the kids loved it- both toddler and teenager. If you have a little one (baby-toddler), I would suggest bringing a carrier of some sort because the walk could be a bit much for little legs and strollers can get in the way and be rough when you hit any cobbled roadways or walkways.
And P.S., if you do decide to take the Savannah Stroll from The Savannah Walks, but sure to ask for Jasmine. We ended up having a wonderful walking tour with her and the girl knows her stuff for sure. :)
Our stroll of Savannah ended at Ellis Square close to City Market. After 90 minutes of walking in the Georgia sun, the fountains and splash pad there were a welcome sight to baby girl. ;) It is the perfect place to let the kiddos (or yourself) cool down after exploring the city.
And speaking of fountains, no trip to historic Savannah is complete without a visit to Forsyth Park to see the Fountain there. Forsyth Park is also happens to be home to the largest open green space in the historic district. There is plenty of space for the kids to run around, and the park also boasts a few age-specific playgrounds.
If you are looking for a tasty and fun spot for dinner that the entire family will appreciate, then you cannot go wrong with The Pirates' House located at 20 East Broad Street. I will admit that when the staff at the Presidents' Quarters Inn first recommended The Pirates' House to us for dinner, I was pretty skeptical. It just sounded gimmicky and touristy to me, and the foodie in me wasn't convinced. And while the restaurant and building itself are very tourist-centered, the food itself was amazing. I will say that the menu is a little on the pricey side, but we decided to go with a tapas-style family dinner and ordered 4-5 appetizers to share. We saved money and got to sample a little of everything The Pirates' House menu had to offer. ;)
The building itself has a very checkered & haunted past that my husband and son enjoyed exploring while we were waiting for our food.
Baby girl was thrilled with the girl pirate walking around the restaurant and insisted that my husband track her down just so she could get a photo with her. In fact, she still talks about taking a picture with the girl pirate to this day and often asks when we can go there for dinner again! It is a definite must-do while visiting Savannah.
Another favorite of baby girl's (and mommy & daddy's) was the Savannah Bee Company. The Savannah Bee Company stores in Savannah sell local, natural honeys and products made from those honeys. We visited two of the three Savannah Bee Company stores in Savannah (the above photo was taken at the River Street location), and both stores boasted a fun play area for the kiddos to keep them entertained while the parents taste test and shop. I do recommend visiting the main store on West Broughton Street if you can only make it to one of their stores on your visit. The Broughton Street store is now offering mead tastings. ;)
My teenage son and I carved out a little mom/son time one afternoon while the little one was napping and visited the Savannah Coffee Roasters Cafe located at 215 West Liberty Street. It was nice to take the short walk their from our inn and have a little down time. Plus, the coffee is amazing! They have been roasting coffee there for over 100 years, so they must know what they are doing. ;) I may have brought home a bag or two of their coffee...
Another must-do and can't-miss in Savannah is to spend a day along River Street. Not only will you see spectacular views of the Savannah River and Talmadge Bridge (which we were crossing when I took the first photo in this post), but there is lots for the kids to do, as well as shops and restaurants to explore.
One of our favorite shops along River Street was River Street Sweets. Not only do they sell every candy imaginable, but they make many of their famous signature sweets right in front of you- like their saltwater taffy (pictured above) and their pralines.
And you must spend some time exploring the steep stairways and cobblestone walkways above River Street. The history here is amazing. River Street is apparently where colonists first started building Savannah, and many of the rocks found here were hand laid hundreds of years ago.
Other places definitely deserving of a mention here are the Soda Pop Shoppe and Leopold's Ice Cream.
The Soda Pop Shoppe located at 114 Bull Street is great budget friendly option for grabbing lunch on the go while exploring Savannah. Seating is very limited in the shoppe, so I definitely recommend finding a bench in one of the many nearby squares to enjoy it or taking it back to your hotel or inn room. They offer tasty hot dogs and a variety of deli style sandwiches... and of course, soda pop in bottles. ;) It does get very busy since it seems to be quite popular with the Girl Scouts making their pilgrimage to the organization's founder's house just right down the street, but the owners take the time to talk to every patron like they are their only customer at the moment. I appreciated how they were able to do this and yet remain so efficient with getting customers their orders. Everything we ordered was delicious and much cheaper than if we had opted for a sit-down restaurant instead.
Leopold's Ice Cream has been a mainstay in Savannah since 1919. Sadly, we did not get to visit Leopold's during this trip as baby girl wasn't feeling well our last afternoon in Savannah, and we opted to head back early to Hilton Head instead. I had visited Leopold's on one of my prior solo visits and loved it. They make all of their ice creams on premise and have plenty of flavors to choose from. It will definitely be on the top of our list the next time we visit the city of Savannah.
Have you visited Savannah before? What is your favorite family friendly thing to do while there?
What do I need to add to my list for our next visit to this beautiful city?
Planning a trip to Savannah soon and need a recommendation for a family friendly place to stay during your visit? Be sure to check out my review of the Presidents' Quarters Inn...