It was on my bucket list this summer to visit a new city, and I was able to cross it off in July. While visiting Hilton Head Island with a friend of mine’s family, we took a day to go explore Savannah for the first time. It was such a beautiful city, and we were lucky to be able to see most of it in just a few hours.
From our house on the island, it was only about an hour drive to the city. We got up early, got ourselves all ready to go, and headed to start our day. We really wanted to hit as many spots in Savannah as we could, and we only had one day to do it so we figured the earlier we got out, the better.
First thing first, we wanted to find a cute spot for breakfast. Rather than plan it out, we parked the Jeep at Forsyth Park and took a walk to see what we could find. We had done a little prior research on places we wanted to visit, but also planned to keep the day pretty free and spontaneous and just go wherever caught our eye. Right beside the park, on East Park Avenue, we found The Sentient Bean, a tiny cozy little coffee shop. We decided “Why Not?” and stepped in to get some breakfast to start our day. The Sentient Bean had a mostly vegetarian menu and tons of coffee options, and the inside was inviting and covered in art.
I knew I’d most likely be having multiple coffees later on that day as we explored, so I opted for a spicy chai for my morning caffeine, and it really hit the spot. Their egg and cheese croissant was amazing as well.
After our breakfast, we stepped just across the street into historical Forsyth Park. I couldn’t have thought of a better way to spend the early morning. It wasn’t too hot outside yet, the trees were covered in beautiful spanish moss, and we were all revved up to explore a brand new place.
I think one of the most well-known spots in Savannah is the Forsyth Park fountain, and it most assuredly lives up to the glory.
The fountain seems like a favorite morning spot for Savannah natives, so we made sure to sit on the benches for a few minutes and soak up the atmosphere. We already felt like city locals since we had been greeted with a friendly “Hi, Neighbors!” from a guy we passed on our walk in the park that morning.
I requested that we walk historical Jones Street next, to take a look at the old houses. We had gotten to the city early, so we had plenty of time for leisurely walks before any stores opened for the day.
One of the houses had their very own secret, gated garden, which just completely enchanted the four of us.
A lot of our morning was spent just walking the sidewalks, but it wasn’t boring in the least, considering all of Savannah is absolutely beautiful.
Like I said, we had gotten an early head start that morning, so we were ready to start shopping before most stores were even open. We happened across E. Shaver, Booksellers, and decided that would have to be our first stop. It opened at 10:30, so we still had to waste a little time. Lucky for us, we found a hotel patio with plenty of empty rocking chairs for us to claim while we waited it out.
Finally, it was 10:30, and we got to be some of the first ones in E. Shaver. If you know my friends and I, you know our idea of fun is always a good book store.
I seriously think E. Shaver was the most perfect place I’ve ever stepped into, and that’s not an exaggeration. There were rooms upon rooms of every kind of book you can imagine, with sections of classics, fashion and photography books, and works by local authors. Not to mention the displays of beautiful greeting cards, canvas tote bags, and pins and buttons. I felt so at home and honestly had a hard time not leaving with half the store.
I can’t neglect to mention perhaps the most magical part of E. Shaver: the bookstore cats. Yes, the bookstore cats. My opinion is now that you simply haven’t lived unless you’ve shopped for books alongside a few resident cats.
I will say that I spent more than my fair share in that shop, but who can blame me? I came home with a new book (that Haley found and picked out for me), an iris-printed greeting card for my mom, a new bookmark, and a set of personal library labels for my book collection at home.
after we (painfully) dragged ourselves away from our new favorite store, we set our sights on our next adventure: shopping on Broughton Street. I have to say, we did a pretty commendable job of navigating ourselves around the city (with the help of Apple Maps, of course).
Our first venture was into a random boutique, where I found a shirt for the Greta Van Fleet concert (which you will read all about in an upcoming blog post). This boutique was not only adorable, but it also had a really unique little secret.
Haley and I were the first to spot the secret. While looking around the store, we saw a sign that read “Vintage Speakeasy” and directed you back past the dressing rooms. We practically ran to the back of the store, past the dressing rooms, and through two more doorways and a beaded curtain, ending up in a little back room filled with vintage-themed clothing and decorations.
Riley and Brooke eventually found us back there, after realizing we had disappeared. It was such a cute spot and I had never seen anything like it before. We enjoyed the mystery and secrecy of it all.
After the boutique we stopped in a few more beloved stores, like Urban Outfitters and H&M, before making our way to one of the most exciting stops of the trip: The Paris Market.
Back when I was planning a senior trip to Savannah, I had desperately wanted to visit this curated, French-style market and bakery. I never got to make this senior trip, but the Paris Market remained at the top of my list to see. I couldn’t wait to finally visit it.
The store itself was completely covered in every kind of clothing item, book, gift, etc that you can imagine. It was nearly impossible to take it all in, but we certainly tried.
Of course we could not pass up the in-store cafe. I am not kidding when I say I think about this cafe nearly every day. The only thing I regret is the fact that I couldn’t try every single thing on the menu in one go. They had an extensive coffee menu, as well as two pastry cases filled with some of the most beautiful pastries I’ve ever seen. I’ve never been to Paris, but I’m choosing to believe this was like the real thing.
After some painful deliberation, I decided on two of my classic favorites: a cafe au lait and an almond croissant. Simple, but always a good choice in my experience. They definitely did not disappoint.
After our little coffee break, I bought a bag of coffee grounds, a mug, and a little postcard to bring back home with me. (Side note: the coffee was incredible). After finishing up souvenir shopping, we walked a few stores down to Savannah Bee Company.
The Bee Company was just as amazing as I could’ve imagined. It was covered wall to wall in honey and honey products. They had honey made from every kind of flower you could think of, honey-based body care, and beekeeping supplies and literature.
My favorite part of the experience was the honey tasting they offered; you could sample any of the products you wanted to try, and of course we had to. I bought a tiny jar of their chocolate whipped honey because I use honey in my coffee every morning and the worker mentioned that it would make an incredible mocha. I also bought a little postcard because the store makes me think of my Aunt Gloria from Louisiana who keeps bees and makes her own honey.
We checked a few more stores off of our shopping list, including an Anthropologie and Earthbound Trading Co. We ended our jam-packed Savannah day walking River Street and eating dinner at River House Seafood. There was no better way to close out the day than with shrimp po boys 🙂
Savannah was an absolute dream of a city, and I’m so glad we got to spend that day exploring it. I can’t wait to go back again and hit all of my favorite spots and maybe see some new ones.
Thank you all for reading, and I hope you enjoy. Stay tuned for some more exciting tales from this summer and fall content as well 🙂
Stay sweet, Sophia 🙂