Category Archives: Georgia

Tybee and Savannah, Georgia

Next up: Georgia. The welcome sign read “Welcome – we’re glad Georgia’s on your mind!” Stop it. You’re too cute, Georgia. Before checking into our hotel we drove out to Tybee Island, arriving just in time to watch a beautiful sunset on the beach. They had swinging love seats at many of the beach entrances, which was again sickeningly adorable. The beaches here are beautiful, with long wooden decks that lead over the dunes to the sandy waterfronts home to nesting loggerhead turtles.

While we’d heard great things from my parents and their friends Gail and Frank about Sundae Café on Tybee, they are closed on Sundays, so we opted instead for the Crab Shack. While a little kitschy, it was a fun experience. It was here we saw our first alligators of the trip, and tried crawfish for the first time. (My take: taste OK but a lot of work for a tiny bit of meat). We ordered a mixed shellfish platter for two that had enough food for probably four or five (corn, potato sausage, shrimp, crawfish, snow and Jonah crab, clams, mussels). We sat at a table outside, along an inland salt marsh waterway. The tables are cheap and utilitarian, with holes in the middle that allow you to throw shells directly into the trashcan underneath. I also enjoyed the cats, including one very fat cat, that wander around hoping for scraps while you eat.

I felt weirdly sick the next morning (tempting to blame the shellfish though Alan was fine and it definitely wasn’t food poisoning), so I slept off my weird little illness and sent Alan out to discover what’s cool in Savannah. Luckily I was feeling well enough to meet him around lunchtime and we grabbed a bite at Gryphon, which is a beautifully decorated restaurant situated in an old pharmacy. We continued walking around the beautiful old town that is covered with squares on practically every block, each one with statutes and a stunning collection of live oaks and Spanish moss.

We walked by the Mercer Williams House, which is seen in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. There are tons of touristy things to do centering around this book and movie. Then we headed down to River Street, a charming cobble stone road with shops and restaurants that I imagine very much cater to the tourist crowd. Praline is a big thing here and we walked into a most delicious smelling candy store that offered free samples.


We grabbed slices of pizza to go from Vinnie VanGoGo’s at city market for dinner. They were delicious and a good deal and we enjoyed them in our hotel room as we booked most of the rest of our road trip.

We were disappointed to miss eating at the Olde Pink House which came highly recommended and had a great looking menu, but the only resi available was super late and I was still feeling iffy. I was also bummed to eat zero peaches while in Georgia!

Georgia: Savannah and Tybee Island

October 27-29, 2013 (Sunday-Tuesday)

Tybee Island

We drove right past our hotel in Savannah and continued to Tybee Island where we enjoyed sunset on the beach.  This loggerhead turtle nesting haven was most mellow, though I assume the population swells in summer.

After, we had a fun dinner at the kitschy Crab Shack on an inland waterway.  Our $40 shared platter was enormous.  My crawfish skills are adequate at best.

The (Days) Inn at Ellis Square is in a nice location but I would probably prefer to stay some blocks south, say at or near the Ballastone Inn.  Jenni was sick so I walked on my own through City Market, east to Johnson Square with City Hall in the background and then I headed south on Bull Street which bisects several impossibly charming squares.

Each is filled with live oaks and a statue or memorial, and each time I think I have reached the prettiest I am soon proved wrong.  I saw another dog stalking a squirrel in the park, but unlike in Chicago this one’s owner was a hero and not an accomplice.

There are many impressive old buildings, churches and homes with wrought iron work.  On the south side of Madison Square is shopSCAD (as in Savannah College of Art & Design), well worth a visit for its creative art and home decor.  Forsyth Park is much bigger than the various squares, and not nearly as quaint.

I sought out Angel’s BBQ and Wall’s BBQ but they were closed, and Wiley’s BBQ was not walking distance.  No matter, I met Jenni for a very good lunch at Gryphon (across from SCAD) housed in an ornate old pharmacy.  It was not quite as tasty as it sounds, so one of these days I will attempt a better version of the sandwich with peanut butter, honey, home-made granola and banana.

After lunch we meandered up Abercorn Street, which like Bull Street bisects a number of squares and also a cemetery.  At the northern end we descended a steep staircase to cobblestone River Street lined with shops and bars plus a World War II Memorial.  Savannah Candy Kitchen has a huge selection of fudge, caramel apples, etc., and my free sample of praline was scrumptious.

The Olde Pink House comes highly recommended but no reasonable dinner reservation was on offer, so instead we got a couple slices at Vinnie Van Go Go’s in City Market.  This is a solid, hole in the wall type pizza joint with a counter, some outdoor seats and a little beer on tap.  The area was buzzing on a Monday night.  We laid low, did some work, watched a Red Sox victory and rested up for another long day on the road.