Explore Georgia: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah
Savannah, Georgia is easily one of my favorite U.S. cities. It’s lined with beautiful, historic homes and landscaped squares, has a great art culture thanks to the Savannah College of Art and Design, and is full of interesting people. Since today is Saint Patrick’s Day, and Savannah has the best St. Patty’s Day celebrations I’ve ever seen, it seems only fitting to devote today’s post to Savannah.
My friend Katy’s parents live in Savannah, and I’ve been lucky enough to tag along with her on two separate occasions to join in the merriment as the whole city turns out to celebrate its Irish roots. Savannah’s festival proudly presents a huge parade, a wide variety of live music, all sorts of street vendors, and some fantastic people-watching opportunities with thousands running about in their green attire. Two of the best costumes I saw were worn by the two large men who (I hope annually) dress up as a girl scout and a leprechaun. Priceless.
I’m also quite partial to the wide variety of animals who join in the fun and dress themselves up in green food coloring and all manner of celebratory ensembles. Anything involving happy animals will make my day, and Savannah’s St. Patty’s celebration definitely fit the bill in that department. Enjoy a few of my favorite four-legged friends below:
And, a few of my favorite parade spectacles . . .
If you’re one of the lucky few who find themselves in Savannah for this year’s St. Patty’s holiday, I envy you. If not, I would highly recommend making the trek to Georgia at least once in your lifetime to join in the St. Patty’s fun. After the parade, there are all sorts of things going on in many of Savannah’s twenty-two remaining public squares, and there will definitely be a lot of activity on River Street, a bar and music district on the Savannah River. While you’re there, stop into River Street Sweets to try some fresh pralines — they’re amazing! Also, be on the lookout for the enormous girl scout and leprechaun. Frequent sightings have occurred there!
During the rest of your holiday visit, I recommend taking a haunted pub crawl tour. With so much history in Savannah, the city’s ghost tours (like Tara’s Tours) are about much more than troubled spirits. The tour guides are full of great stories about the history of Savannah and the early years of the United States. Plus, Savannah has wonderful things called “travelers,” and city laws allow bar patrons to take a “traveling” drink with them with they leave the pub.
If you’re in the mood for some shopping, Savannah has no shortage of unique local boutiques. The Broughton Street area is full of shops where you can enjoy getting lost browsing for an afternoon. One of my favorites is The Paris Market, which reminds me a bit of an independent Anthropologie. It has everything from custom jewelry and luxury bath products to home decor and furnishings to books. Major retailers Urban Outfitters, Gap, and Banana Republic are also located on Broughton Street, as well as luxury clothiers Marc Jacobs and Kate Spade. To take home a piece of original artwork, visit the Savannah College of Art and Design’s shopSCAD, which features jewelry, decor, paintings, and many other items crafted by SCAD students. For classic southern decor and gifts, The Cottage Shop on Abercorn is worth the short drive from downtown.
For a great dinner in a fun area, try Belford’s in the City Market. Belford’s is housed in a century-old building that started out as a meeting place for Savannah’s Hebrew congregation and later housed one of Savannah’s biggest wholesale food companies for the better part of the mid-twentieth century. Their menu features a wide variety of handcrafted drinks and delicious seafood. When you’re finished, venture outside to the City Market and check out the many shops and bars in the area. You can also catch a horse-drawn carriage tour around the city. To keep from baking in the southern sun during our horse-drawn adventure, my friends Nd I added a Bluegrass twist to our Irish holiday and brought some mint julep travelers along for the ride — a great suggestion by our carriage driver and a must for any Kentuckians in Savannah!
Another great spot for a mid-day stop is SCAD’s Gryphon Tea Room on Madison Square. Daily tea specials are complimented by local food, and proceeds benefit SCAD. If you enjoy your tea, it’s available for purchase before you leave. For a stronger beverage, visit Rocks on the River at the Bohemian Hotel. From this rooftop spot, you can enjoy inventive cocktails and tapas with a panoramic view of the Savannah River around a fire pit. You couldn’t ask for a better way to spend a warm evening getting to know Savannah.
Whether it’s for Saint Patrick’s Day or just because, Savannah should be on everyone’s short list of places to visit! The people are wonderful, the buildings have so much history, and the whole city has an energy that’s second to none, especially when everyone is decked out in green and hoping for the luck o’ the Irish! Happy St. Patty’s day, everyone!
© Copyright – Amelia Adams 2015