How to Spend a Long Weekend in Savannah
By: Meredith Herman
Everybody loves a long weekend. It’s the perfect time to relax, get together with family, and go on an adventure. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. weekend is the ideal time to do so; it’s a few weeks after the holidays have ended and you can feel settled in the beginning weeks of the year. Savannah, Georgia, provides tons of opportunities to relax and have fun during MLK weekend and gives you a break from the cold weather. If you’re in town for the Enmarket Savannah Hockey Classic or just looking to get away, here’s how to spend a long weekend in the beautifully historic Savannah.
Day One in Savannah
After traveling down to Savannah, relax in the comfort of a good, southern meal. Grab an early dinner at Vic’s on the River and indulge in Savannah’s seafood scene. The restaurant creates a beautiful balance of southern charm and gourmet cuisine while hosting you and your party in a 19th-century warehouse. Some notable bites are the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Chef Kerry’s She Crab Soup, and the Pecan Fried Flounder. Vic’s takes reservations for up to 4 guests and has outdoor seating.
Once dinner is finished, head to the Enmarket Arena for the first two games of the Savannah Hockey Classic. The Classic features four of the south’s most exciting hockey programs, all looking to take home the Ghost Pirates Cup. The tournament has been happening since 1999, and this year features the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida State University, and the University of Florida’s hockey programs. Games start Friday, January 13, at six and 8:30 p.m. you can find more information here.
Day Two in Savannah
Sleep in on Saturday and head to The Ordinary Pub for their not-so-ordinary brunch menu! The restaurant features exciting takes on chicken and waffles, french toast, and breakfast skillets. Another great spot is Huey’s Southern Cafe, which has breakfast items with a seafood twist. Notable brunch items include the beignets, the seafood omelet, and the crabcakes benedict.
After breakfast, dive into Savannah’s history and culture! Visit The Jepson Center for the Arts to immerse yourself in contemporary art, history, and architecture. See the featured exhibition “Feels like Freedom: Phillip J. Hampton,” and see an artist’s freedom and self-expression develop in a new, creative way. For some history, head to the Savannah History Museum and travel back to 1733! The museum is in the Passenger Depot of the old Central Georgia Railway. Take a self-guided tour back to the modern day through the museum’s exhibits and activities. Or, you can take a guided journey through the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace to learn about one of the most prominent youth organizations in America, the Girl Scouts. Walk through the house and the gardens and glimpse into the movement that still empowers girls today!
Before heading back to the Enmarket Arena, grab a quick dinner at Fire Street Food, a contemporary Thai restaurant with quick but tasty bites. Some great plates include the lemongrass chicken, the Savannah sushi roll, and the red curry. Then, head back to the arena for the Classic’s last two games at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Find out who takes home the Ghost Pirates Cup!
After the games, finish your history-filled day with Savannah’s most popular way to get a history lesson, a ghost tour. There are many throughout the city, but a few of our favorites are Ghost City Tours, which visits some of the most haunted places in Savannah. Savannah Ghost Encounter takes a highly-curated storytelling approach. And Hearse Ghost Ride Tours is where you can go on the tour in a hearse!
Day Three in Savannah
Take the day slowly and experience the sights that Savannah has to offer. First, grab brunch at The Funky Brunch Cafe. They provide traditional breakfast options like french toast, omelets, create-your-own breakfast sandwiches, scrambles and grits. The cafe also offers a cook-your-own pancakes option, with griddles built right into the tables!
Then, choose your adventure with Savannah’s top sites. Head to Forsyth Park to see the beautiful Spanish moss hanging from the oak trees and the iconic fountain. Gasp at the beautiful steeples of The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist, a Roman Catholic cathedral and minor basilica. Enter the church to immerse yourself in Southern Gothic architecture and artwork fully. See the popular Bonaventure Cemetery, which was made famous by the 1994 novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt and was in the movie directed by Clint Eastwood. The cemetery covers 160 acres, making it the city’s largest municipal cemetery. It’s scenic and perfect for a relaxing stroll.
Continue the sightseeing into the evening, but from the river. Book a Savannah Riverboat Dinner Cruise reservation and float down the river while seeing things from a different perspective. Enjoy a Southern-style buffet, listening to the captain’s stories and Savannah’s historical facts. Let yourself glide down the river in total relaxation. There are lunch and dinner cruise options, and the riverboat sails rain or shine!
Day Four in Savannah
Finish the weekend and celebrate change with the 43rd Annual MLK Day Parade, hosted by the MLK Observance Day Association. The theme for the 2023 parade is “Inspiration of equality is, he himself!” It starts at 10 a.m. at the intersection of East Broad Street and Liberty Street. To find out more information, visit mlkingsavannah.com.
Before heading back home, grab lunch at The Starland Cafe. The cafe features delicious paninis, comforting soups, and fresh salads using local produce and ingredients. The restaurant is one of the founding businesses within the Starland neighborhood and strives to continue the historic preservation and development of that authentic, Southern hospitality. They are a great way to finish off a busy weekend!