Georgia’s first city (est. 1733) is embracing all things modern—and you can experience the best of it over a single weekend.
Start your visit at the recently renovated and expanded SCAD Museum of Art. Part of the venerable Savannah College of Art & Design, and housed in an 1853 train depot, it showcases artists ranging from Salvador Dalí and Annie Leibovitz to Oscar de la Renta and André 3000. Then make your way to the up-and-coming Starland District, where shopkeepers and gallery owners are reclaiming a once- decaying neighborhood. The kaleidoscopic Back in the Day Bakery has display cases filled with fresh-baked breads, cupcakes, and fork-ready pies. Try the sandwich with house-made pimento cheese and apple-smoked bacon—which should leave you just enough room for the signature banana pudding. Down the block, NOLAJane is a bright and airy boutique owned by husband-and-wife duo Nicholas Witchel and Jenny Jaquillard that carries chambray button-downs, Turkish towels, and furniture built by Witchel himself. Begin cocktail hour at the rooftop Perch at Local 11 Ten Food & Wine, just off Forsyth Park,with a perfect Hemingway Daiquiri. For dinner, head to the hottest table in town: the Grey (entrées $23–$33), a former Greyhound bus station restored to its Art Deco glory, where chef Mashama Bailey serves 21st-century Southern food (pecan-smoked collards, catfish tagine, squash terrine). Bed down at the vibrant Brice Hotel (doubles from $199), which stands out for amenities like complimentary red bikes and a daily wine happy hour.
After fueling up on a seasonally inspired omelette in the Brice’s light-filled Pacci Italian Kitchen & Bar, wander the design-forward shops in the historic district. At Satchel, look for clutches and totes handcrafted in distressed leather and metallics. The new Smith Brothers Butcher Shop stocks artisanal foodstuffs like Savannah Bloody Mary Mix and pickled jalapeños from Phickles, based in Athens, Georgia. The apothecary-like Prospector Co. trades in indie cool with its beard oils, herbaceous soaps, and shaving creams. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Chocolat by Adam Turoni, where the bars are veritable works of art. (Tip: Go for the dark chocolate filled with sourwood honey from Savannah Bee Co.) Take an Uber 15 minutes out of town for sunset paired with a locally brewed Southbound IPA at the Wyld Dock Bar, which overlooks the Herb River. Back in town, get a taste of Italy by way of the Southern larder at the Florence (entrées $9–$32), from Hugh Acheson, known for its wood-fired pizzas and pasta dishes loaded with bottarga and Georgia shrimp.