by F. Andrew Taylor
Chain restaurants abound, but when in the most historic city in Georgia, you should go to Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room (pictured left), a former boarding house at 107 W. Jones St., where guests sit at communal tables of 10 with friends and strangers enjoying traditional Southern cooking or The Olde Pink House (pictured above), originally a Georgian mansion built in 1771. Now one of the finest establishments in town on historic Reynolds Square, it serves shrimp & grits to filet mignon. Many establishments have spectacular views of the river, including Churchill’s, 13 W. Bay St., with three floors topped with a rooftop open-air terrace. The pub offers British dishes and food with a southern spin, such as Low Country Oysters Rockefeller topped with collard greens.
The River Street Inn (pictured right), 124 E. Bay St., is right across the river from the SCC. Built to store and grade cotton in 1817, its conversion to a hotel kept much of the old charm and hardwood floors while adding modern amenities. For those who want a more corporate hotel experience while still in the historic district, The Hyatt Regency, (2 W. Bay St.) offers modern construction, including 30 suites. For visitors who seek a taste of the supernatural, there is Marshall House, 123 E. Broughton St. The former Civil War hospital has been named one of the South’s Most Haunted Hotels.
Savannah is known as one of the country’s great walking cities, but the Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour or the Land & Sea Combo: City Sightseeing Trolley Tour with Riverboat Cruise are recommended. There are many museums, including the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, the Owens Thomas House & Slave Quarters and the American Prohibition Museum. The latter includes a secret speakeasy. Nearby, the Alley Cat Lounge, a nearly hidden basement bar, serves more than 100 craft cocktails. For film buffs, there are tours based on Forrest Gump and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
This story originally appeared in the Jan./Feb. 2021 issue of Exhibit City News, p. 38. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_jan-feb_2021