How to Spend a Weekend in Savannah: Hockey Edition
By: Meredith Herman
Savannah is widely recognized for its illustrious landmarks and lovely coastline. The inclusion of the Savannah Ghost Pirates hockey team has resulted in the city being affectionately referred to as a hockey haven!
Hockey in Savannah has evolved from a small, four-team college tournament to a professional home team hosting the ECHL All-Star weekend. There’s fun for everyone, whether you want to catch one game or watch them all! Here’s a guide to making the most of Hockey Week in Savannah while keeping your hands nice and toasty!
Once you touch down in Savannah, we suggest checking out PS Tavern or Spanky’s to get a taste of the local scene. With amazing chicken tenders, sandwiches, nachos and more, plus a chilled-out atmosphere, you’ll feel right at home with a cold one in hand. Don’t forget to feast your eyes on Kim’s Cafe, Crystal Beer Parlor and Collins Quarter for some genuine Savannah eats. It’s sure to be a memorable weekend.
After grabbing a bite, head to the Enmarket Arena for the first two hockey games of the weekend in the Publix Savannah Hockey Classic. This tournament features the South’s most exciting collegiate hockey programs. Get ready to watch the University of Florida and the University of Tennessee hit the ice at 6 P.M. followed by the University of Georgia playing Georgia Tech at 8:30 P.M.
The first Savannah Hockey Classic was titled “Rumble in the Rink” and took place on January 8 and 9, 1999. In its 24th year, teams will be battling to win the Ghost Pirates’ Cup. Tickets can be purchased here.
After a fun-filled night of hockey, don’t forget to sleep in! Once you’re up, make sure to pop into Clary’s Cafe for breakfast. With autographs of celebrities on the walls and an old-fashioned pharmacy from the 1900s as a building, Clary’s is one of Savannah’s most iconic restaurants (made even more famous by the 1997 movie, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”). The menu is full of classic breakfast options, from cheddar cheese omelets with grits to the famous corned beef hash. Clary’s atmosphere is so warm and inviting, you may feel like you’re right at home. Other must-try breakfast and brunch spots in Savannah include Mirabelle Savannah, Java Burrito Company, B. Matthew’s Eatery, and Toast! All Day.
Once you’ve had breakfast, make sure to grab a ticket to the Massie Heritage Museum. This museum showcases Savannah’s diverse cultural heritage and offers an engaging and interactive exhibit. The museum aims to create immersive and enduring experiences that stimulate curiosity. Don’t forget to visit the classroom where you can experience a glimpse of the original Massie School!
Then, swing by the Le Cafe Gourmet for an afternoon snack. The cozy French bakery features coffee, freshly made crepes, sandwiches on fresh baguettes, and salads. Locals and visitors alike love it!
After finishing your crepe, return to the Enmarket Arena for the final two games of the Classic, with the 3rd and 4th place teams hitting the ice at 5:30 p.m. and the 1st and 2nd place teams battling for the Ghost Pirates’ Cup at 8:30 p.m.
If you want a tasty Sunday brunch, The Collins Quarter is worth checking out. Book a table ahead of time as it is usually busy. This restaurant offers two different spots, each with unique dishes. The Bull Street location has an Avocado Smash – a gourmet avocado toast with heirloom tomatoes, goat feta, beet hummus, and a poached egg. Or, go to Forsyth Park for the Crab Cakes Benedict. Other brunch options include The Public Kitchen & Bar, Treyor Park and The Pirates’ House.
If you plan to visit the beautiful Forsyth Park, take a delightful stroll around the 30-acre park. Feel the breeze as you walk among the Spanish moss and giant oak trees. Admire the iconic Forsyth fountain, built in 1858, and appreciate the works of any local artists or musicians who might be nearby. Why not relax, sit on the bench, take a deep breath, and savor the breathtaking view? Let yourself unwind and enjoy the magnificent scenery.
Get ready for the hockey madness to continue! The 2024 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Gulfstream is back at the Enmarket Arena, along with the exciting Fan Fest Day from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. This is an opportunity for the ECHL to showcase its best players and highlight the host city’s history and landmarks. And Savannah has a lot to offer! The Fan Fest Day is a perfect family-friendly event with live music, games, skating, meet & greets, and a chance to see the legendary Stanley Cup!
Continue to treat your family and friends by grabbing a classic burger and fries at Betty Bombers, a traditional American restaurant with a great retro flair. Make sure to get a milkshake, too!
Wake up late, and then grab breakfast at the Double Wide Diner. They serve breakfast all day and are known for their unique breakfast dishes. Notable bites are the Hot Chicken & Waffles, the Shrimp and Grits, and the PB&J wings!
Take the day slowly by immersing yourself in Savannah’s art, culture, and history! See some contemporary art by visiting the Jepson Center for the Arts. Dive into Savannah history at the Savannah History Museum. Get transported back to 1733 through the exhibits and interactive fun. Tour the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace and see where Girl Scouts and those irresistible cookies got their start! A self-guided tour also takes you through the house and the beautiful gardens.
Before the weekend’s last game, grab some pizza and cocktails at Graffito Pizza, an excellent industrial Neapolitan pizzeria in Plant Riverside District. People can’t get enough of the Margherita pizza. Grab a slice while enjoying beautiful river views before heading into the game!
The 2024 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Gulfstream is the last event for the weekend. At 7 p.m. the Savannah Ghost Pirates will go up against a squad of ECHL All-Stars from the other teams in the association, and the 16th ECHL Hall of Fame class will be officially inducted. No matter if you’re a veteran or novice hockey supporter, it’s certain to be an enjoyable day!
So, embrace the newest hockey city in the South – Savannah, GA. Whether you’re attending all the games or just one, there will surely be fun for all viewers!