A long weekend in Savannah
One of the most beautiful towns in America is now a short, and cheap, flight from BWI.
Allegiant Air, a discount airline that I’ve previously flown from Hagerstown to Sarasota without a problem recently launched six* non-stop routes from BWI, including Savannah. The flights depart and return on Sundays and Thursdays making it a nice long weekend trip.
(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
I punched in dates for mid-September on the Allegiant website and at $98 per person, round trip, it’s a steal. Driving to Savannah takes approximately nine and a half hours, and with I-95 always under some form of construction, you can bet that drive time is even longer. Believe me, I did the drive last spring and got caught in several mystifying late night traffic jams. It’s miserable.
That said, Allegiant isn’t known for their on-time accuracy but hey, it’s basically a Megabus with wings so as long as there aren’t any multiple hour delays, it shouldn’t be a big deal. And while I hate the adage, “you get what you pay for,” Allegiant is priced low for a reason, so keep that in mind when you show up to the airport. Chances are you’ll depart and arrive on time, or close to it, but it’s best to be prepared.
Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is located just a short distance outside of the downtown area, and a ride on the 100x bus to downtown is $5 one way, $8 for round trip fare, making the bus – or a taxi if that’s your kinda thing – the only transportation you’ll need for the weekend. You’ll obviously need a car if you plan to do some exploring outside of the city but I recommend you stay in town, so bring some comfortable shoes because Savannah is very much a walking city. And what better way to sightsee than with an adult beverage? Alcohol consumption is allowed in downtown Savannah so long as the beverage is consumed from a 16-ounce cup, which naturally makes this a party town, as evidenced from the many bachelorette parties you’ll see, not to mention St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah is supposed to be legendary.
Some of the watering holes I visited were Treylor Park, a homey bar with a patio out back and great pub grub. Then there was Jen’s and Friends where a seemingly endless menu of martinis made this a favorite for those bachelorette parties I mentioned earlier. Rocks on the Roof, a rooftop bar (duh) on top of the riverfront Bohemian Hotel offers slightly higher prices, but comes with great views of the Savannah River and surrounding area. For an upscale cocktail visit the Perch Bar located just south of Forsyth Park which is an excellent green space in town surrounded by sprawling southern homes.
But don’t just come for the drinking scene, this is a gorgeous city that will waste no time seducing you. Spanish Moss trees grow everywhere here, giving one ample shade from the blistering sun while exploring – and explore you will. Just wandering around the city looking at the houses is a pastime here. There’s also dozens of “squares” or mini-parks located throughout the city. One of them might look familiar; Chippewa Square was the filming location for the park bench scenes in Forrest Gump. There isn’t a bench there now, but the surroundings will look familiar to any fan of the film.
The food in Savannah was also very good, rounding out the triumvirate of scenery, drinks and food that make any city stand out. I never made it to Zunzi’s for a sub but I will make it my number one food destination when I return. We dined on the seasonal menu at Local 11 Ten after getting that drink atPerch Bar, and you can order any of their 300 wines by the glass – a rarity. Perhaps the city’s most famous dining establishment, The Olde Pink House was a unique dining experience that lived up to its reputation (ask to sit in the wine cave if possible) and I can’t say enough about that bar snacks at Treylor Park. Breakfast at Clary’s hit the spot and may also look familiar to movie buffs, being as a scene from Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil was filmed here among other places throughout the city. The film is based on a book of the same name, which was based on a real-life murder that took place here too. You can’t come to Savannah without hearing about the book or movie so you may want to brush up on one — or both — before you arrive to be ahead of the game.
So there you have it. Book your trip to Savannah and enjoy the freedom of drinking while walking and taking in the lovely sights of one of America’s small city gems.
*The other Allegiant Air destinations from BWI are Asheville, Cincinnati, Lexington and Tulsa.
Sean is a Baltimore native whose love of the Orioles and Ravens is rivaled only by his love for travel. He’s been to over twenty countries including off the beaten path destinations such as Portugal, Croatia and Montenegro. Sean is a Destination Expert for Baltimore on Trip Advisor and currently lives in New Market, MD.