The Olde Pink House

 

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As I planned activities for my trip to Savannah, Georgia, one restaurant kept popping into my awareness…The Olde Pink House in the heart of the historic district. When I checked out the online menu and found a vegan burger, I made a lunch reservation for day three of my trip.

I’m glad I did. This property is so much more than a restaurant.

The Olde Pink House title

Why is The Olde Pink House…Pink?

There’s a reason for the name of this restaurant. The property began life as a house and the color was unintentional.

In 1771, James Habersham Jr began construction on an elaborate mansion on Abercorn Street in Savannah. The exterior of the house was made from red bricks, that were then covered with white plaster. It’s not known whether the bricks were poor quality or whether the plastering job was faulty, but the red from the bricks bled through the plaster, turning the house a distinct shade of pink.

Fearing he would be ridiculed for living in a pink house, Habersham continually painted the exterior white, as did many different owners over the years. Whenever the pink began to show through, a fresh coat of white paint was applied.

However, when the new owner of the house bought it in the 1920s, to open a tea room, she chose to not fight the inevitable. She painted the house pink and pink it has been since.

The Olde Pink House fireplace
One of many fireplaces in The Olde Pink House

The History of The Olde Pink House

James Habersham Jr was one of Savannah’s most important cotton brokers and a founding family of the city. He occupied the house until his death in 1799.

Habersham House, as it was known then, survived the Savannah fire of 1796 that destroyed 229 other properties. In 1812 the home transformed into Planters Bank, the first bank in Georgia.

After the Civil War, the property changed hands several times, becoming an attorney’s office, a bookstore and Alida Harper Fowlkes’ Georgian Tea Room.

Jim Williams, the famous owner of the Mercer House and featured in the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil book, purchased the property in the 1940s and restored it. By 1970, the house underwent another renovation that included upgrading the foundation. Twin fireplaces were uncovered in the basement. These fireplaces were part of the original cooking kitchen and are now a highlight of the basement tavern.

The restaurant opened in the building in 1971 and continues today with the addition of Arches Bar, located on the south side and Planters Tavern in the basement.

The Olde Pink House brick fireplace
One of 13 dining rooms in The Olde Pink House

The Ghosts of The Olde Pink House

It turns out, not only is The Olde Pink House a fine place to eat, it also makes the list of haunted locations in Savannah.

The ghost of James Habersham Jr is said to appear in the restaurant, wearing his Colonial clothes while drinking an ale. He is often seen in the basement tavern, people watching as guests enjoy what used to be his home. Some have even supposedly had a conversation with Habersham, only to have him disappear suddenly.

Employees of the restaurant see Habersham’s ghost. He’s been known to straighten table settings and push chairs into place. He is also blamed for lighting candles on tables throughout the restaurant.

Other The Olde Pink House Ghosts

A friendly Revolutionary War veteran spirit visits the bar and asks visitors to raise a glass for a toast. A sobbing female ghost lingers on the second floor.

Former servants appear wandering throughout the house. Frequently patrons get locked into the women’s restroom. And children who died from Yellow Fever can be heard in the basement, playing tricks on guests or even hitting the bartenders and wait staff.

The wait staff are very happy to share ghost stories about The Olde Pink House and encourage diners to tour the house and tavern after they finish their meals.

Check out more Savannah Ghost Stories.

The Olde Pink House basement seating
Seating in the basement tavern at The Olde Pink House

Tips for Enjoying a Meal at The Olde Pink House

The restaurant is located at 23 Abercorn Street, on Reynolds Square. Reservations are required. Click this LINK to make yours. I recommend making reservations well in advance of your trip to Savannah.

There are 13 dining rooms throughout the restaurant, in various rooms of the original house. You can also dine in Planters Tavern, which is only open in the evenings.

Casual wear is appropriate for dining at The Olde Pink House although you can also dress up if you wish.

The Olde Pink House offers southern influenced cuisine and features a large selection of fish, beef, pork and chicken entrees. Crispy flounder with apricot shallot sauce is their mainstay meal. Other favorites include fried green tomato BLT and braised pork. Their signature praline basket filled with berries is the perfect way to end the meal. They also offer a vegan burger and salads. See their menu HERE.

The Olde Pink House ballroom
The Olde Pink House ballroom, where I dined.

My Experience at The Olde Pink House

I arrived ahead of my lunch reservation so I could take photos in Reynolds Square and capture the outside of the property. When I entered the foyer, I was seated immediately in the upstairs ballroom.

I enjoyed a vegan burger for lunch along with crispy onion rings and the wonderful praline basket with berries for dessert. My waiter was attentive and full of interesting historical facts about The Olde Pink House. He also shared a number of ghost stories with me and invited me to look around after my meal. Although the basement tavern was not open yet, he gave me permission to walk around there.

It was fun to explore the house, peeking into the various dining rooms. The beautiful house structures are still there, along with time appropriate antiques and art.

There were four other people in the basement tavern when I first enter that area. By the time I explored the old wine cellars, now converted to intimate dining areas, I was alone in the tavern. As I turned to exit a cellar, something smacked me hard on the forehead. I stopped in surprise and raised a hand to my head as I peered around. No one was there. Nothing hung low from the ceiling that I’d run into. My only explanation is that one of those mischievous ghost children in the basement played a trick on me!

The Olde Pink House cellar
I had just exited this cellar when an unseen force smacked me in the forehead.

Will You Dine at The Olde Pink House on Your Trip to Savannah?

I highly recommend this restaurant in Savannah, not just for the food, but for the historical importance of the property and for the fun possibility of encountering a ghost!

It’s a beautiful house to explore and the wait staff are eager to share stories as they deliver your meal and keep your glass filled.

Next time I’m in Savannah, I intend to dine in the tavern, where live music is often performed. And this time, I’ll be watching those shadowy corners for a wee trickster ghost.

Will you dine in The Olde Pink House when you visit Savannah? Or have you enjoyed a meal here?

Intimate dining room
One of the smaller dining rooms.

 

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Explore Savannah’s Squares

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When I researched Savannah, Georgia for my trip, I immediately discovered that the historic downtown was built around 24 squares. Intrigued, I added “explore Savannah’s squares and photograph each one” to my things to do in Savannah list.

More than just parks for recreations, these squares are each uniquely beautiful, full of historical significance and they are important components of the Savannah community.

Explore Savannah's Squares title

Explore Savannah’s Squares

The Squares of Savannah are rightly called the “crown jewels” of the city. This grid of squares across the historic district contributes historical value and beauty to Savannah.

The grid system, established by founder General James Oglethorpe in 1733, was originally designed to serve the needs of a growing city and support military operations. Troops initially used the squares for training grounds and meetings. Public buildings, churches and residential homes surrounded each square, creating natural communities.

Of the original 24 squares, 22 remain today. I enjoyed visiting each square, sitting or walking within them, and taking photos.

Here are the Savannah Squares, listed in alphabetical order.

Chatham Square

Location: Barnard and Wayne Streets

Designed in 1847

Chatham Square is named in honor of William Pitt, the Earl of Chatham. Although the Earl never visited Savannah, he was an early supporter of the colony. The square contains a sundial dedicated to African American politician Louis Burke Toomer. This quiet green space is popular for weddings and photos.

Point of interest: Gordon Row, 15 four storied townhouses, each 20 feet wide.

Explore Savannah's Squares Chatham
Explore Savannah’s Squares – Chatham

Chippewa Square

Location: Bull and McDonough Streets

Designed in 1815

Chippewa Square commemorates the Battle of Chippewa in the War of 1812. In the center of the square stands a bronze statue of the colony’s founder, General Oglethorpe. He faces south to “protect Savannah from the Spanish in Florida”.

Points of interest: First Baptist Church, the Savannah Theatre and the Eastman-Stoddard House. This square is also called the “Forrest Gump Square” because this is where the bus stop scenes from the film were shot.

Explore Savannah's Squares Chippewa
Chippewa Square where scenes from Forrest Gump were filmed.

Columbia Square

Location: Habersham and Presidents Streets

Designed in 1799

This square is named “Columbia” as the female personification of Christopher Columbus. In the center is a water fountain from Wormsloe Plantation, an early Savannah settlement.

Points of interest: The Davenport House and the Kehoe House

Explore Savannah's Squares Columbia
Explore Savannah’s Squares – Columbia

Crawford Square

Location:  E Hull and Houston Streets

Designed in 1841

Crawford Square is named to honor William Harrison Crawford, Minister of France during the reign of Napoleon. Crawford was said to be the only politician with any influence over the French emperor. There is a pretty gazebo in the center of the square, which is the only one that is fenced.

Points of interest: basketball court and nearby antique stores

Explore Savannah's Squares Crawford
The gazebo in the middle of Crawford Square.

Ellis Square

Location: Bryan and Barnard Streets

Designed in 1733

Once lost to urban sprawl, this old square was restored thanks to a partnership between the City of Savannah and area developers. The restored square features underground parking and vast green spaces. It is surrounded by hotels and retail stores.

The square is named in honor of Henry Ellis, the second Royal Governor. It was once the location of the Old City Market where merchants sold crops and wares.

Points of interest: the square features a splash pad for summer fun and the current City Market is nearby

Explore Savannah's Squares Ellis
Explore Savannah’s Squares – Ellis

Franklin Square

Location: Bryan and Barnard Streets

Designed in 1791

Named for Benjamin Franklin, this square originally housed the city’s water tower and was nicknamed “water tower square”. In the middle of the square is the Haitian Monument, honoring the Haitian soldiers who fought for American independence during the Siege of Savannah.

Points of interest: First African Baptist Church and the square forms the west end of the City Market.

Explore Savannah's Squares Franklin
Franklin Square was the first square that I visited.

Greene Square

Location: Houston and Presidents Streets

Designed in 1799

This square honors General Nathanael Greene, a Revolutionary War hero who fought against the British in Savannah. This square was a central hub for the African American community.

Points of interest: Second African Baptist Church and the Cunningham House, lived in by the founding pastor of the Second African Baptist Church

Explore Savannah's Squares Greene
Explore Savannah’s Squares – Greene

Johnson Square

Location: Bull and St Julian Streets

Designed in 1733

Named for Robert Johnson, the Royal Governor of South Carolina when Georgia was founded, this square is one of the oldest in the city and it is the largest. It originally served as a commercial hub for the community. Now it is frequently inhabited by artists selling their work. The square has two fountains and a 50 foot monument honoring Nathanael Greene. His remains were placed beneath the monument in 1901.

Points of interest: Christ Episcopal Church and City Hall

Explore Savannah's Squares Johnson
I loved walking by busy, beautiful Johnson Square every day.

Lafayette Square

Location: Abercorn and Macon Streets

Designed in 1873

This square honors the Marquis de Lafayette, who aided Americans during the Revolutionary War. There is a fountain in the center dedicated to the Colonial Dames of American.

Points of interest: The Hamilton-Turner House, Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Low Colonial Dames House and the childhood home of author Flannery O’Connor

Explore Savannah's Squares Lafayette
Explore Savannah’s Squares – Lafayette

Madison Square

Location: Bull and Macon Streets

Designed in 1837

Named to honor the fourth president, James Madison, this square features a monument dedicated to Sergeant William Jasper. He fell during the Siege of Savannah in 1779. There is also a granite marker for the southern line of the British defense during the 1779 battle.

Points of interest: St John’s Episcopal Church, the Green-Meldrim House, The Gryphon and the Sorrel-Weed House

Explore Savannah's Squares Madison
The monument in the center of Madison Square.

Monterey Square

Location: Bull and Wayne Streets

Designed in 1847

Monterey Square commemorates the 1846 Battle of Monterey during the Mexican American War. A Savannah unit of the Irish Jasper Greens fought there. The square’s monument honors Casimir Pulaski, a Polish nobleman who was mortally wounded during the Siege of Savannah while fighting for the Americans.

Points of interest:  Mickve Israel Temple, Comer Jefferson House and the Mercer-Williams House, made famous by the book and film “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”

Explore Savannah's Squares Monterey
Explore Savannah’s Squares – Monterey

Oglethorpe Square

Location: Abercorn and Presidents Streets

Designed in 1742

This square is named for the founder of Savannah, James Oglethorpe. In the center of the square is a marker honoring the Moravians who arrived in Savannah in 1735, from the current day Czech Republic.

Point of interest: the Owens-Thomas House

Explore Savannah's Squares Oglethorpe
Oglethorpe Square honors Savannah’s founder.

Orleans Square

Location: Barnard and McDonough Streets

Designed in 1815

This square honors the heroes of the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. The fountain in the square was dedicated in 1989 by Savannah’s German Society to recognize the contributions of the city’s early German immigrants.

Point of interest: the Champion-McAlpin House

Explore Savannah's Squares Orleans
Explore Savannah’s Squares – Orleans

Pulaski Square

Location: Barnard and Macon Streets

Designed in 1837

This square is named after Count Casimir Pulaski of Poland, the highest ranking foreign officer to die in the American Revolution. He fell during the Siege of Savannah in 1799.

Point of interest: Francis S Bartow House

Explore Savannah's Squares Pulaski
Explore Savannah’s Squares – Pulaski

Reynolds Square

Location: Abercorn and St Julian Streets

Designed in 1733

Named for Georgia’s first Royal Governor, John Reynolds, this square features a monument dedicated to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism and the Anglican minister to the colony in 1736.

Points of interest: Lucas Theatre and The Olde Pink House

Explore Savannah's Squares Reynolds
I enjoyed sitting in this park while waiting for my reservation time at The Olde Pink House.

Taylor Square

Location: Abercorn and Wayne Streets

Designed in 1851

Formally known as Calhoun Square, it was originally named after John C Calhoun, a South Carolina statesman and Vice President under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. It has been renamed Taylor Square in honor of Susie King Taylor. She was born enslaved and she was secretly educated by her freed grandmother in Savannah. Susie became the first black teacher to educate African Americans in Georgia and served as a nurse during the Civil War. She later opened a school in Savannah for African American children and published a memoir about her experiences with the 33rd United States Colored Troops.

This is the only square that still has all of its original historic buildings.

Points of interest: Massie School and Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church

Explore Savannah's Square Taylor
Explore Savannah’s Squares – Taylor

Telfair Square

Location: Barnard and Presidents Streets

Designed in 1733

Originally named St James, this square was renamed in 1883 to honor Edward Telfair, a three time governor of Georgia and patron to the arts.

Points of interest: Trinity United Methodist Church, Telfair Museum of Art and Jepson Center for the Arts

Explore Savannah's Squares Telfair
Benches in Telfair Square

Troup Square

Location: Habersham and McDonough Streets

Designed in 1851

This square is named in honor of George Michael Troup, a senator and governor of Georgia. In the center stands the Armillary Sphere, an astronomical device that shows the relationship among the celestial circles.

Points of interest: the Unitarian Universalist Church and the McDonough Row Houses

Explore Savannah's Squares Troup
Explore Savannah’s Squares – Troup

Warren Square

Location: Habersham and St Julian Streets

Designed in 1733

Warren Square honors General Joseph Warren who was killed in the Battle of Bunker Hill during the Revolutionary War.

Point of interest: the Spencer-Woodbridge House

Explore Savannah's Squares Warren
Pretty Warren Square.

Washington Square

Location: Houston and St Julian Streets

Designed in 1790

As you might guess, this square honors our first president, George Washington. Some of Savannah’s oldest houses reside on this square. The land was once the site of the Trustees’ Garden.

Points of interest: International Seamen’s House, The Brice, A Kimpton Hotel

Explore Savannah's Squares - Washington

Whitefield Square

Location: Habersham and Wayne Streets

Designed in 1851

Whitefield Square, also pronounced and spelled “Whitfield Square”, was the last of Savannah’s squares. It honors Reverend George Whitefield, founder of the Bethesda Orphanage, the oldest orphanage in the US. A gazebo sits in the center of the square.

Points of interest: the First Congregational Church and Victorian architecture houses

Explore Savannah's Squares Whitefield
Whitefield Square is one of my favorites.

Wright Square

Location: Bull and Presidents Streets

Designed in 1733

This square is named for Sir James Wright, Georgia’s third and last colonial governor. The monument in the square honors William Washington Gordon, an early mayor of Savannah who established the Central of Georgia Railroad. A large boulder marks the grave of Tomochichi, the Yamacraw Chief who welcomed General Oglethorpe and the first colonists to the area.

The square is also the site of Savannah’s most infamous hanging, of Alice Riley who supposedly murdered her husband. Her ghost is said to haunt Wright Square.

Points of interest: Lutheran Church of the Ascension and Old Chatham County Courthouse

Explore Savannah Squares Wright
Explore Savannah’s Squares – Wright

The Two Lost Squares

Liberty Square, located at Houston and McDonough Streets, was designed in 1801. It was named to honor the Savannah patriots “Liberty Boys”.  They set the stage for Georgia’s involvement in the American Revolution. The square was paved over during the construction of the new Chatham County Courthouse.

Elbert Square, located at Houston and McDonough Streets, was designed in 1801. It honored Samuel Elbert, a Revolutionary War hero and Georgia governor. A small grassy section of this square remains. (See photo at end of post.) The remainder disappeared under the Savannah Civic Center and its parking lot in 1974.

How many squares have you seen?

I loved my daily strolls, finding the beautiful and interesting Savannah Squares. One could dedicate half a day to finding all of them at once. However, I planned my four days in Savannah around the squares, visiting them and points of interest in the area and eating at restaurants nearby.

The Illustrated Map of Savannah that I used has all of the squares clearly marked and I used that map frequently to keep track of where I was. (Read my post on my other blog: Walk with a Map.) Set up on a grid, the squares are not hard to find. Once you discover one, you can map out the rest.

How many of the squares have you seen?

Elbert Square
What remains of Elbert Square

 

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Solo Travel to Savannah

 

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Savannah, Georgia is a beautiful, historic city full of southern charm. It landed on my travel list immediately after my first trip to Charleston, as there are similarities between the two cities.

I enjoyed checking this destination off of my list last fall.

Have you wondered about solo travel to Savannah? Wonder no more! I have all the info about exploring this city on your own.

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Preparing for Solo Travel to Savannah

As with any solo adventure, begin with research.

What are the best areas to stay in? Does the city have a historical downtown? What activities are most important to you? What public transportation does the area have? Do you want to take any tours?

I started with a notebook and Google. In researching the best accommodations, I looked for a unique hotel in the historic district. A map, either online or a paper version, was valuable for pinpointing the accommodations and seeing what’s of interest in the area. I also read hotel reviews and blog posts by other solo travelers who have visited Savannah, to see what they recommend.

Hotel Indigo perfectly fit my needs. You can read about this fun hotel HERE.

Once I knew where I was staying, I made a list of activities I wanted to experience, tours I wanted to take part in and restaurants that offer vegan options. I booked three tours before I traveled. And carried my list of intended activities and restaurants to try with me.

Solo Travel to Savannah hotel indigo
Solo Travel to Savannah – Hotel Indigo was perfectly located

Safety Tips for Solo Travel to Savannah

Is Savannah safe for solo travelers…and especially female solo travelers?

The simple answer is yes! I found the city very safe and never felt afraid or uncomfortable, exploring on my own.

Use the following safety tips for your solo adventure to Savannah.

Know the City

Use the map to get familiar with the streets, squares and landmarks near your hotel. I took my fave illustrated map of Savannah with me. Although I had practically memorized it before I traveled, I still studied it every night as I planned the next day. Actually walking in the city helped me to clarify what I could see on the map.

I selected my hotel based on its location to River Street and the historic district. And I chose the restaurants based on their location to the hotel.

I took an Uber from the airport to the hotel. My driver asked if I was traveling alone or meeting someone in the city. When I shared I was a solo traveler he gave me some advice. “Stay within the historic district and DO NOT cross Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard and you’ll be just fine.” And he was right. I was.

Solo Travel to Savannah river street
River Street was half a block from my Indigo Hotel.

Make Use of Public Transportation

My first day in Savannah, I rode the hop on/hop off trolleys. These tours are valuable for two reasons. They provide historical insights about Savannah and they give a wonderful overview of the city. The hop on/hop off trolleys cost a minimal amount. You can pay to ride for one day or up to three. One day is usually enough for me.

The rest of my stay in Savannah I explored on foot. Or, if time was tight and the distance I needed to cover was great, I rode the free trolley that Savannah provides. My illustrated map included these trolley routes. I also picked up a schedule from the visitor center.

I didn’t require a taxi or Uber while in Savannah, until my ride back to the airport. However, I’ve used these to get back to my accommodations after dark in other cities.

Solo Travel to Savannah hop on hop off trolley
Solo Travel to Savannah – making use of the trolleys

Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Get Where You are Going

Speaking of time, give yourself plenty to get to your activity, tour or restaurant, especially when walking.

I did a trial run, walking to the location for a night time ghost tour. I wanted to make sure I arrived on time to board the tour bus. But also, I wanted to be familiar with the route since I’d walk back to the hotel in the dark. Familiarity eases fear and reduces stress so note landmarks. And I arrived early for my lunch reservation at the Olde Pink House so that I could explore Reynolds Square and take photos without feeling rushed.

Solo Travel to Savannah olde pink house
I enjoyed lunch at the Olde Pink House.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings at All Times

Awareness is important. I’m not talking about paranoia here. Rather, use common sense and your other senses to stay aware of your location and what’s nearby and who is nearby.

Keep your head up as you explore, rather than head down with eyes on your phone, unless you are using GPS. Note landmarks and read street signs. Also, obey any signage that you see.

If something makes you nervous, move away from it. Carry a cross body bag with your phone tucked into it or an under the jacket security bag.

If you are out after dark, walk in well lit areas and join a group of people walking in the same direction, if possible.

My only after dark activity was the ghost tour. I familiarized myself with the location of the start and stop point, which was on River Street. I walked back to my hotel completely at ease. River Street is busy in the evenings so it is well lit with many restaurants and shops lining the street. Because it is 40 feet lower than Bay Street, where Indigo Hotel is located, it’s necessary to climb stairs to reach the upper street. Thankfully, on a trolley ride, the driver “just happened” to point out an outdoor elevator that goes between River and Bay Streets. It was well lit at night and kept me from having to climb steep stone steps in the dark.

Solo Travel to Savannah river street
Solo Travel to Savannah – River Street

Trust

For me, trust is a big part of solo travel. Thoughts are energy and what we think draws more of the same. I trust that all will go well and that I am safe. And I do not allow myself to give in to fear.

I have a couple of wonderful examples of how trust and following my intuition helped me in Savannah.

My first morning, as I walked to the Visitor’s Center to catch the hop on/hop off bus, I approached MLK Jr Boulevard. I remembered what my Uber driver said. Suddenly I felt I should turn left at the corner rather than walking on to the boulevard.

Immediately I spotted a kiosk for the hop on/hop off trolley! It was stop number three and it turns out it was located a block and a half from my hotel.

And on my last full day in the city, I enjoyed a long walking tour of Bonaventure Cemetery. The tour guide picked up guests at their hotels, which is a wonderful service. After the tour, I knew I wanted to see the last few Savannah squares on my list. I also knew those final three squares were far from my hotel. As the tour guide headed back into Savannah from the cemetery, he turned to me (I was riding in the front of the van with him) and asked if he could drop me off somewhere other than my hotel.

Wow! I felt so grateful. Tim dropped me off close to one of the squares and from there I easily found the other two AND had time for a leisurely walk down beautiful Jones Street.

Solo Travel to Savannah whitefield square
Whitefield Square was one of the last squares that I saw.

Don’t Hesitate to Go and Do

Just because you are traveling solo, don’t miss out on activities, tours and dining out. Go alone. It boosts confidence to set out alone, eat alone or join a group tour as a solo.

People talked to me on the hop on/hop off and the ghost tour and I talked to them. I got invited to join a table of ladies for a meal so I didn’t “have to eat alone”. I thanked them, assuring them that I enjoy dining alone.

A woman, or man, who dines alone or goes to movies and other activities alone can accomplish anything! Trust me. And go do the thing you want to do…alone.

Solo Travel to Savannah meal for one
Meal for one at the Olde Pink House.

Savannah is Safe for Solo Travel

If you are thinking of a solo trip to Savannah, I encourage you to go for it! Do your planning, follow the safety tips, trust that all is well and that you are capable and then, have fun. Go see what you want to see and do what you want to do.

Take lots of photos. And as with any travel, have a contact person at home that you stay in touch with, so your family knows you are doing well.

Do you have any questions about solo travel to Savannah? Ask in the comments below.

Solo Travel to Savannah

 

Vegan? Check out Vegan Eats in Savannah

 

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Hotel Indigo Savannah

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

I first stayed at a Hotel Indigo on my first trip to Scotland. My cousins and I started our exploration of that country in Glasgow and we were all impressed and pleased with our accommodations.

When planning my recent trip to Savannah Georgia, I searched for accommodations in the historic district, within walking distance of River Street. When Hotel Indigo Savannah popped up, I knew I had found my place to stay. And, it was steps away from River Street and the riverfront.

Discover why I appreciate this hotel so much and see my favorite amenities.

Hotel Indigo Savannah title

About Hotel Indigo

Hotel Indigo, a part of IHG Hotels & Resorts, is a chain of boutique hotels scattered around the world. Because this brand typically locates in neighborhoods at the heart of cities, Hotel Indigo offers lots of distinct personalities.

Hotel Indigo prefers to repurpose an existing local building, keeping the original architecture as much as possible while celebrating the stories and traditions of the people in the neighborhood.

You’ll find inclusive environments, art from local artists, ingredients sourced from local producers and events that partner with the community they are part of.

Rooms are comfortable, with plush bedding and elevated touches. Bathrooms are roomy with walk-in showers and well lit vanities and mirrors. They also offered community rooms for creativity, collaboration and celebration and bars and restaurants for gatherings over drinks or meals.

Complimentary wifi, 24 hour business centers and 24 hour fitness centers make a stay here perfect.

Hotel Indigo Savannah lobby
Hotel Indigo Savannah lobby

Hotel Indigo Savannah

Since each Hotel Indigo is unique, the one in Savannah looked very different from the one in Glasgow, although both offer comparable amenities.

Known to locals as the Grand Lady on the Bay, the Hotel Indigo Savannah building originally belonged to 19th century merchant Simon Guckenheimer. The warehouse stored dry goods and some of the South’s best products such as canned peaches and tobacco. During the 1940s and 50s, a grocery store and the city’s first coffeehouse occupied part of the first floor.

This charming boutique hotel is located in the heart of the historic district, on the corner of Bay and Barnard Streets. River Street and the river front are steps away along with City Market, Ellis Square and many restaurants, bars and shops. Learn more about the hotel HERE.

Hotel Indigo Savannah exterior
At night lights illuminate the artistic panels on the hotel.

My Favorite Hotel Indigo Savannah Amenities

I carefully research accommodations before I travel, so I had a good idea of what to expect at Hotel Indigo Savannah. I was not disappointed.

These are the amenities, in no particular order, that I especially appreciate about this hotel.

Location, Location, Location

As a long time realtor, I know the importance of location. And as a female solo traveler, who explores on foot, I knew I wanted a hotel located in Savannah’s historic district, close to the riverfront, restaurants and squares.

Hotel Indigo Savannah ticked all those boxes. The riverfront really is just across Bay Street. And I could easily walk to squares, restaurants, shops and stop number three for the hop on/hop off trolley and stops for Savannah’s free trolley system.

Using my Illustrated Savannah Map each evening, I planned out where I wanted to go the next day and did not have any issues at all getting around.

Hotel Indigo Savannah desk
Hotel Indigo Desk where I studied my map every evening.

Extremely Comfortable Room

I booked a premium double queen room that included a mini fridge and a coffee/hot tea maker.

Up on the 4th floor, I had a great view toward the riverfront. I found the bed super comfy and the room and bathroom pretty and most importantly, clean.

I only turned on the large screen tv twice. Interestingly, when I turned it on the second time there was a show on about…Savannah! Because I was there in October, the show highlighted Savannah’s haunted reputation.

The sink is located in the room across from the bathroom. I loved the lighted mirror. A hairdryer, ironing board and iron and toiletries are included. My first morning there I discovered that the hair dryer didn’t work. A call to the front desk resulted in a new hair dryer delivered to my door in minutes.

Hotel Indigo Savannah room
Very comfortable Hotel Indigo Savannah room.
Hotel Indigo Savannah bathroom
Walk in shower in the bathroom.
Hotel Indigo Savannah vanity
I loved the lighted mirror. At night I could turn it to nightlight.

Dog Friendly

Hotel Indigo Savannah is dog friendly, allowing pets to stay in the rooms.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a good thing or a bad thing, especially when I first walked into the lobby and saw MANY dogs with their humans.

However, I can happily say that I never heard a dog bark or shared an elevator with one even. Perhaps all guests with dogs are grouped on the same floor. In the lobby pup snacks are available along with fresh water.

Hotel Indigo Savannah dog friendly
Hotel Indigo Savannah welcomes guests AND their dogs.

Free Business Center

I didn’t fly with my laptop and it turned out I didn’t need it. However I was glad to know that Hotel Indigo Savannah provides a business space with computers if a guest needs one. That is such a convenience.

Hotel Indigo Savannah biz center
Convenient biz center off of the lobby.

Restaurant, Bar and Cozy Seating Areas

Hotel Indigo Savannah makes get togethers easy with its restaurant and bar, Five Oaks Taproom. Taking inspiration from the building’s days as a grocery store, the taproom’s booths resemble wooden crates.

They use locally sourced ingredients and drinks, serving only brews from Georgia. Beyond the taproom, attractive, comfortable chairs are grouped to encourage lively conversations or a place to enjoy a snack while reading a book.

Full confession. I stayed SO busy during my time in Savannah that I only took photos in this space before heading up to my room after full days. In the evenings, this space was alive with people enjoying drinks and meals.

Hotel Indigo Savannah seating area
Such a fun gathering place in Hotel Indigo Savannah.

Outdoor Gathering Area

You can take the fun outdoors at Hotel Indigo Savannah. Reached from the interior, this outdoor space holds high top tables and chairs. Surrounded by flowers and plants it is a great place to enjoy mild temperatures while having a drink.

Again, I never utilized this space, but I liked that it existed. Outside this area are benches for waiting for an Uber or a pick up from a tour guide. The attendant on duty always offered me free cold bottled water if I exited the building this way.

I also appreciated the water container in the lobby, for filled water bottles. And a small store right off of the lobby made it easy to grab bottled drinks, a snack or a toothbrush.

Outdoor space
Pretty outdoor space.

Have You Visited Savannah?

If you are planning a trip to Savannah, I highly recommend this unique hotel.

Checking in and out is a breeze. And the staff is helpful, attentive and quick to respond.

I look forward to a return stay at Hotel Indigo Savannah and discovering more of this brand’s locations in cities I want to visit.

Need help planning a trip to beautiful, historically rich Savannah? I’d love to arrange your travel. Fill out this form and I’ll be in touch!

More Posts About Savannah

Fun Things to Do in Savannah

Ghost Stories from Savannah

Vegan Eats in Savannah

 

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Fun Things to Do in Savannah

 

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Looking for a beautiful city to visit with a walkable historic district?

After visiting Charleston and enjoying my stay there, I added Savannah to my travel list. I’ve discovered that I love exploring cities with a lot of history and the colorful stories that contribute to that history. And if it’s easily walked, that’s even better, as I usually fly to my destinations and prefer not to rent a car.

Savannah did not disappoint. I spent four nights and parts of five days there as a solo traveler and created wonderful memories.

Check out these fun things to do in Savannah and plan your trip.

Fun Things to Do in Savannah title

Ride the Hop On Hop Off Trolley

There are ample historical tours to choose from in Savannah. However, my favorite way to get to know a new to me city is to ride the hop on hop off trolley, if there is one.

My first full day in Savannah began with hopping on the green and orange trolley at stop number three, which happened to be two blocks from my hotel.

The Savannah Hop On Hop Off Trolley offers a 90 minute narrated tour of the historic district, passing by 100 points of interest and making 15 stops. I made a complete circuit before beginning the “hopping off and back on” part.

It’s a great way to get an overview of the city and learn interesting facts and historical stories about Savannah. A trolley comes by about every 15 minutes so you can get back on the next one or explore for a while and catch a later trolley.

One or two day passes are available.

Fun Things to Do in Savannah tours
Fun things to do in Savannah – hop on hop off trolley tour

Ghost Tour

In addition to a historical tour, I enjoy a ghost tour too. You hear different stories on a ghost tour and learn about the darker events that shaped the community.

For atmosphere, I like to do night time ghost tours, although many companies offer daylight times as well for families.

In the most haunted city in the US, I chose to do the Savannah Ghosts & Gravestones Trolley Tour. It is informative and very entertaining. The tour lasts about 75 minutes and includes two stops: the Andrew Low House and River Street’s Perkins and Sons Ship Chandlery.

The guide boards the trolley in costume and shares stories with wonderful dramatic effect. Our guide, Helena, was both funny and dramatic.

Fun Things to Do in Savannah ghost tour
Fun things to do in Savannah – ghost tour

Find Savannah’s Squares

One of Savannah’s unique characteristics is that the city was designed around 24 squares. Today, 22 of those squares remain, spread in a grid across the historic district.

Each square is different. Some have monuments or statues at their centers, others water features and at least two offer gazebos to sit in. All contain shady live oaks, plants, flowers and benches to people watch from. Gorgeous old homes and buildings containing businesses, shops and cafes surround the squares.

I used this illustrated map of Savannah to navigate through the city, finding and photographing each square. The hop on hop off trolleys drive by many of them as well.

Watch for a future post about the Savannah squares and their unique stories.

Fun Things to Do in Savannah squares
Explore the 22 squares in Savannah. This is Crawford Square.

Forsyth Park

This 30 acre park, named for Georgia’s 33rd governor, is a beautiful spot to take a break from exploring.

The city’s most famous fountain is here, installed in 1858 and modeled after the fountains at the Place de la Concorde in Paris. Benches surround the fountain and you’ll find artists, musicians, families and dog walkers clustered around it as well.

Further into the park are children’s playgrounds, a concert and event space and a fragrant garden for the blind. Continuing south the park opens up into large grassy areas for playing, napping or sunning. Basketball and tennis courts hug the southern edge while another strip hosts the Saturday Farmer’s Market. You can also find Brighter Day Natural Foods there and the Sentient Bean, serving coffee and delicious treats.

Forsyth Park is conveniently one of the trolley stops. Or you can walk there although it is about a 20 minute walk from River Street.

Fun Things to Do in Savannah forsyth park
Fun things to do in Savannah – Forsyth Park fountain

River Street

River Street is Savannah’s waterfront destination for fun, food and nightlife. It runs along the broad Savannah River with shops, art galleries, cafes, bars and hotels lining the opposite side.

Musicians play along the waterfront, Artists sell their work. People sit to watch the huge barges go by, loaded with colorful containers.

In the 1700s, Savannah’s port exported cotton from River Street. The huge cotton warehouses there were eventually converted into the hotels and shops that occupy those spaces now.

I spent my first evening in Savannah wandering along River Street. My first meal was at Olympia Cafe there. And my last walk before I left for the airport was along the waterfront, watching the sea gulls circle overhead and listening to the sounds of the river.

Fun Things to Do in Savannah river street
Stroll, dine, grab a drink, shop and have fun on River Street.

Savannah City Market

City Market is a four block area containing 19 restored warehouses. Those buildings house unique shops, art galleries, cafes and pubs. It’s a colorful spot to have a cup of tea and a scone or a pint of ale, purchase gifts for family back home or browse through art by local artists.

From morning wake up coffee to afternoon entertainment to dinner dates, City Market has lots to offer every day.

The trolley stops here, for easy access to all the fun.

Fun Things to Do in Savannah city market
Fun things to do in Savannah – City Market

Jones Street

One of my favorite activities in Savannah was exploring the city. Walking along cobblestone streets, sitting in the squares, looking at gorgeous houses and buildings, fills my soul with incredible joy.

While out walking, be sure to stroll along Jones Street, considered the most beautiful street in Savannah.

Stretching a mile long, in the center of the historic district, Jones Street is lined with houses and buildings constructed in the 1850s to 1880s. Live oaks shade the homes and overhang the wide street.

It’s an idyllic street to wander down, to really appreciate Savannah’s architecture.

Fun Things to Do in Savannah jones street
Wander down historic Jones Street, with camera ready.

Bonaventure Cemetery

Visiting this old cemetery is a must, while in Savannah. It’s filled with gothic monuments and statues, towering live oaks, and stately headstones. And of course, so much history.

Bonaventure Cemetery was formed from 70 acres of the original Bonaventure Plantation when cemeteries in the city neared capacity. It was designed as a traditional Victorian cemetery with grassy areas for families of the deceased to gather for picnics.

Many notable people of Savannah are buried here including musician and singer Johnny Mercer, little Gracie Watson who died as a child, Oscar Wilde and city officials.

Scenes were shot here for the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

I enjoyed the tour with Bonaventure Cemetery Walking Tour with Transportation. The cemetery lies outside the city, making it too far to walk there. This tour company provides pickup at your hotel, which was so convenient. Plus Tim, the owner and guide, is extremely knowledgeable about Bonaventure.

Fun Things to Do in Savannah bonaventure cemetery
Bonaventure Cemetery is a must see.

More Fun Things to Do in Savannah

There are so many fun things to do in Savannah that I didn’t get to all of them.

Savannah has museums, historic houses open for tours such as the Mercer House, made famous in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil book and film, beautiful churches to peek inside of, river cruises, Tybee Island and many other points of interest. The variety of restaurants, pubs and shops is tremendous and every building, every park has a story and usually a ghost or two haunting it.

Savannah is a fascinating city that I will certainly return to, soon.

Have you explored Savannah? What was your favorite fun thing to do?

The Olde Pink House
The Olde Pink House, the oldest house in Savannah, now a restaurant.

 

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And as a travel agent, I make a small commission when you purchase a tour through my Viator links, also at no extra cost to you.

 

 

 

 

 

Ghost Stories from Savannah

 

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Savannah is a beautiful, fascinating, historic city in southern Georgia. Home to 22 squares, cobblestone streets and a bustling river front, Savannah is filled with southern charm and hospitality. It is also considered one of the most haunted cities in the US. Savannah claims so many haunted locations, in fact, that I had a difficult time narrowing my stories down to five.

Check out these ghost stories from Savannah. And discover the possible reasons for the city’s haunted reputation.

Ghost Stories from Savannah title

Why is Savannah so Haunted?

Savannah was Georgia’s first city and it has a long, and often somber, past. According to historians and paranormal researchers, the following reasons contribute to the high number of hauntings in Savannah.

Many catastrophic battles occurred in the area. From the Siege of Savannah in 1779 to Sherman’s capture of the city during the Civil War, battles left behind energetic residue and hundreds dead around the city.

Yellow Fever epidemics in the 1800s decimated the population in Savannah, leaving restless spirits clinging to their former homes.

Deadly fires swept through the city in 1796 and again in 1820, destroying almost 900 houses and buildings and resulting in many untimely deaths.

Savannah was heavily dependent upon slave labor and the port played a part in the horrific Atlantic slave trade.

And, Savannah has known its share of mysterious murders, from the death of Danny Hansford in the Mercer House to the controversial deaths of three sisters in a house near Taylor Square. Souls who met such unfair deaths often stay earth bound.

Now, five of Savannah’s most haunted locations.

Ghost Stories from Savannah moon river brewing company
Ghost Stories from Savannah – Moon River Brewing Company

Moon River Brewing Company

Today a place to grab a hand crafted beer or dine on excellent food, Moon River Brewing Company resides in what began as the first hotel in Savannah. Built in 1821, by Elazer Early, over the years the building also offered the first post office in the city, served as a warehouse for lumber and coal, housed the dying during Yellow Fever epidemics and eventually became a supply store with a printing press. It is estimated that hundreds of fever patients died on the upper floors of the building.

The building then sat empty until the mid 1990s, when it was renovated and turned into the brew pub. Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures have shot episodes here, helping it to develop the reputation as the most haunted building in Savannah. Moon River Brewing Company boasts so many ghosts that I’ll take the building floor by floor, sharing some of the stories.

Moon River Brewing Company Basement

Toby is one of the most well known ghosts in the building and he prefers to haunt the basement. This ghost prowls the underground space and likes to brush up against people playing in the basement billiards room. Sometimes he gives more of a hard push! Patrons and staff report sudden cold spots in the basement, bottles falling off of shelves or flying across the room and being touched and then realizing no one is near.

Moon River Brewing Company Main Floor

A man named James Stark was shot and killed on this floor by Dr. Minus. His angry spirit makes bottles fly and he is deemed responsible for more violent acts such as grabbing, hitting and pushing people.

In the main floor dining area, guests report being touched when no one is around. Women complain about getting locked in stalls in the restroom or of feeling extreme cold there.

Moon River Brewing Company Top Floors

The top floors in the building are considered the most haunted. A full body apparition, known as the woman in white, appears here. She is referred to as Mrs. Johnson.

The third floor is the site of the yellow fever hospital. Many, many children died here of the disease. Workers and visitors report hearing children talking and playing on this floor or running up and down the halls. This floor is so haunted that construction workers do not like to work here. Some have complained of being pushed on the stairs. One said his wife was pushed so hard she fell all the way down the stairs. He quit that day.

There is also a dark energy that permeates the fourth floor, at the top of the building. More fever victims died here and perhaps their feelings of hopeless and despair remain behind.

Ghost Stories from Savannah kehoe house
Ghost Stories from Savannah – Kehoe House

Kehoe House

This Queen Ann mansion was built on Columbia Square in 1892 by William Kehoe. This enterprising Irishman made his fortune in iron and became one of Savannah’s most prominent businessmen. His home showcased his iron trade. Much of the exterior details are made of iron.

The Kehoes had ten children. It is reported that two of those children, twin boys, died in the house, possibly of yellow fever. Later the mansion became a funeral home and it was owned for a short time by football player Joe Namath. Today it is a popular bed and breakfast that does not hide the fact that it’s haunted.

Guests and staff report the sound of ghost children playing in the house. Several staff members tell of hearing a boy’s voice in an empty room, asking for someone to come play with him. A guest in the front sitting room heard a disembodied voice whisper in his ear as the room suddenly grew cold.

Other paranormal phenomenon  includes  the scent of perfumes from ages past wafting through hallways and bedrooms, lights flashing on and off, doors locking and unlocking, shadows flitting by and the doorbell ringing when no one is there. Guests also report feeling someone touch them, waking them from sleep. Others wake up feeling someone unseen sitting on the bed and noticing an indentation appear on the bed.

Ghost Stories from Savannah colonial park cemetery
Ghost Stories from Savannah – Colonial Park Cemetery

Colonial Park Cemetery

Called one of the most haunted locations in Savannah, locals nicknamed this cemetery Paranormal Central.

The oldest burial ground in Savannah, Colonial Park Cemetery opened in 1750 and within its six acres lie more than 10,000 bodies…not all of them at rest. Visitors walking past the cemetery at night report shadowy shapes and ghostly figures moving among the gravestones and a greenish mist hovering around vaults.

Visitors report strange or dark energy in the area. Before the cemetery began to close its gates at night, voodoo practitioners performed ceremonies there. And grave robbers disturbed graves to obtain human bones. Before it was outlawed in Savannah, duelists squared off on cemetery grounds and the surrounding area. Often the duels resulted in one or both men dying. All of these occurrences created low vibe energy that contribute to hauntings.

Ghost hunters using recorders pick up ghostly voices and sounds from within the cemetery, especially in the northeast corner.

Ghost Stories from Savannah sorrel weed house
Ghost Stories from Savannah – Sorrel-Weed House

Sorrel-Weed House

Located on the edge of Madison Square, the Sorrel-Weed House is stunning. Built in 1841 in the Greek Revival style, the house was constructed by Francis Sorrel and later passed to his son, Moxley.

When Francis’ first wife passed away he married her younger sister Matilda AND continued an ongoing affair with a young slave girl named Molly. Francis even moved Molly into special quarters he made in the carriage house.

When Matilda found out about Molly, she leapt to her death from the house’s second floor balcony. Two weeks later, Molly hung herself in the carriage house. There are many reported paranormal occurrences in this house.

Matilda and Molly haunt the house, appearing as dark shadows walking through rooms or caught as reflections in mirrors. Visitors report the sensation of nausea or chocking while on the property and others enter the house with a fully charged phone and leave with a dead battery. People claim to hear voices coming from the empty living room at the front of the house. The voices stop when anyone enters the room.

Another contributing factor to this location’s haunting is that the Siege of Savannah, a very bloody American Revolution battle, took place here leaving more than 1000 dead. Some believe there are fallen soldiers buried beneath the house. Passersby at night claim to hear the sounds of that long ago battle and feel a dark energy.

Ghost Stories from Savannah andrew low house
Ghost Stories from Savannah – Andrew Low House

Andrew Low House

Andrew Low built his house in 1848 for his wife and growing family. Unfortunately, his wife died just a year later, in childbirth. Andrew remarried three years later and remained in the house until his death.

William Low inherited the house and he and his wife Juliette lived there until she caught him with his mistress. After the divorce, Juliette kept the house and lived there until her death in 1927.

The ghosts of the Andrew Low House are considered the friendliest in Savannah.

Andrew loved his home and roams it still. He is often spotted in a rocking chair in his study, slowing rocking back and forth. Some visitors only see the chair rocking on its own. Staff members in the house have heard the sound of someone coming up the basement stairs and then continuing on throughout the house. Except, no one can be found.

Visitors sometimes see Juliette lying peacefully on the bed in the room where she died. And Tom, the faithful family butler, can be heard walking down the hall, checking doors and rooms. He is known to move items around or put furniture back where it once sat, when he was alive.

Guests to the house also report catching ghostly images reflected in mirrors.

Would You Visit Savannah?

With its reputation as one of the most haunted cities in the US, would you visit Savannah?

For me, that was one of the draws to Savannah…the hauntings and the history. It is a beautiful old city, full of charming ambience and perhaps, characters from the past.

Don’t let that stop you from exploring all that Savannah has to offer. As a solo traveler, I did well there. And yes, I had a few ghostly encounters of my own. I’m an intuitive however, sensitive to spirit, experiencing unusual things wherever I go.

I know this…I will most definitely return to this city.

Andrew Low Study
Andrew Low Study

Check out the rest of this year’s ghost stories:

The Ghosts of Peel Mansion

Bigfoot Stories from Blue Ridge GA

 

And, check out my favorite map of the Savannah Historic District. I used this fun map EVERY day while there.

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.