Our summer vacation in mid-September was long overdue. I was ready. More than ready. I always second guess my decision to travel during shoulder season, but I am reminded every time of the perfection that accompanies it. We spent 2 1/2 days in Savannah and 2 1/2 days in St. Simons Island, GA. There were no crowds. No waiting in line at dinner. We had the beach to ourselves.
Here are a few of our favorite things....
Even though I had done a River Cruise in Savannah before, it was many moons ago, and I was anxious to take Bimmer on her first boat ride. She enjoyed it, until her fever came back. (Poor kid had been sick the 3 days leading up to our trip!) The weather was perfect, the breeze felt amazing, we got a good view of River Street, and Bimmer can check "boating" off her bucket list!
Savannah really is a walkable city. Even if the map looks intimidating, with all the squares and blocks, they're really short and it's very doable. However, with the baby, we decided we wanted to get the lay of the land and also pack in some history. So we opted for a hop-on-and-off trolley tour of the city. Bimmer loved it (since she loves all forms of transportation) and actually was pretty well behaved. She liked looking out and pointing at things along the way. Disclaimer: Make sure you have the most up-to-date map. Somehow, we ended up with a map that was a few years old, so some of the stops had changed! And since the city doesn't allow them to mark the stops with anything other than a standard bus stop sign, it got a little confusing!
When we asked the front desk of our hotel where we should go to eat with a baby, they immediately told us The Pirate House. I was skeptical... it sounded super cheesy. We tend to steer clear of anything that's too touristy in the way of restaurants. But after we drove past it on the trolley and learned all the cool history (oldest building in town, tours of the place, shanghai pirates, etc.) we decided it would be worth the risk. And it paid off. The service was phenomenal, the food was better than average, and the pina colada was perfection. We even took a short history tour around after dinner with a lady dressed as a pirate. Pretty cool!
On our last day in Savannah, we ventured a little farther outside the city limits. Those who know me well, know I am a fan of cemeteries. I know it's a bit weird, but they just fascinate me. Or well, super old ones with tons of character fascinate me. So, even though I had been there before, I knew I had to swing by and spend some time in the Bonaventure Cemetery.
It's where the "Bird Girl" statue from the cover of "Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil" was, before being moved to a museum since people were flocking to see it. I just loved strolling up and down the dirt paths, taking in the beauty of the live oaks covered in Spanish moss. Word to the wise.... pack some bug spray! I ended up with about 30+ bug bites!
Oatland Island Wildlife Refuge was a nice way to kill a little time, but I'm not sure I necessarily recommend it. There were a few cool exhibits (birds of prey and bobcats) but lots of things were off exhibit and if it's at all hot and humid, it is not the place to be. Bimmer seemed to like it though and was super excited when she got treated to some chocolate milk for the first time!
All told... our stay in Savannah was really nice. Even though I have been a resident of South Carolina for 13 years, I actually prefer Savannah over Charleston. There's just something about the downtown that I prefer. Maybe it's all the squares with the trees. Who knows. Regardless, I'm very happy I got to spend some time there with my family and show them around town. I'm sure we'll be back someday!