Well, for the third and final guide, you get little ole me. I'm going at this with a wide-angle lens to try to cover the bases, so bear with me...
1. To go big but still feel homey, I recommend Marshall House, which is right smack in the middle of downtown on Broughton Street. This 68-room inn was built in 1851 as Savannah’s first true hotel, but was soon seized by troops for use as a hospital during the Civil War. So, look out for ghosts! It has the beautiful old-fashioned architecture, and end-to-end porches (with rocking chairs!) But it’s also surrounded by great shops, fun bars (see #7), and is just a 5-minute walk to the Savannah River. (Look, even Jamie stays there.)
2. For breakfast, I love the greasy spoon spot Clary’s Café, which was made legendary in “The Movie” (as we call it.) French toast, eggs Benedict, you really can’t go wrong. Tip: I do recommend eating outside if you can (save yourself the “Eau de Deep-Fryer” smell that can linger on your clothes all day.)
3. For a mid-morning activity, I simply recommend putting on some comfortable, flat shoes and taking a long walk. For the love of God, do not pay to get on a trolley, a horse-drawn carriage or a Segway. Just walk. Savannah has 21 extant squares, each with its own unique story and ambiance, perfect for sitting and people watching, or reading along in a guidebook. My personal favorite is Chippewa (not because Forrest Gump was filmed there) because it has wonderful, curved stone benches that are cool and welcoming on a hot spring day. Not to mention: it’s surrounded by coffee shops that serve up a delicious sip or two to go.
4. For lunch, you cannot miss Papillote on Broughton Street. The Crab and Mango Tartine is quite literally one of my favorite meals… Ever. They have stunningly beautiful and equally tasty food, plenty of sparkling soda imports and authentic French macaroons for dessert to boot. A tad pricey for a café, but I promise you will not be sorry.
5. Savannah is full of museums, and if you are a history nerd like me, you won’t be disappointed. The Telfair is a great way to dip your toes in the local art scene. Its three-way ticket can get you into the modern Jepson, the original Telfair Museum, and historic Owens-Thomas House. If you feel like heading out for a drive, Fort Pulaski is a fun visit, as is Wormsloe Plantation and Bonaventure Cemetery.
If museums aren’t your thing, there’s plenty of good shopping in town. As my fellow tour guides have said before me, Paris Market is a must-see. Other personal favorites include One Fish Two Fish and ShopSCAD, but you can’t go wrong by popping in the boutiques and antique shops as you go. (Here’s a great guide.)
6. Dinner! How to choose? I'm going with my gut on this one. If you want an authentic "eerie" Savannah dining experience, you cannot do better than The Olde Pink House. The food is great, the cocktails are even better, and the whole place has been around since 1771. Bam!
7. I'm not much for bar-hopping myself, but I will recommend a cocktail or two at the more adult spots like Circa 1875, Rocks on the River, or Avia. You also can't beat a quick late-night cone at Leopold's ice cream. (The line is always long but it moves fast.) End the night with some people watching and chatting with friends outside. That's the life for me...
An Honest Assessment: Paula Deen's restaurant is not worth it. Mrs. Wilke's definitely is. Ghost tours are - in fact - fun. The horses pulling the tour carriages are depressing and sad, and their treatment should probably be illegal. Please say no. Extra Tips: Wear flat shoes all day every day. Carry bug spray, always. Don't ever touch the Spanish moss. Remember that real people live in the houses you are taking pictures of. Be mindful of their right to privacy. This is a real city, so stay safe and watch out for speedy commuters (including me - ha!) when using crosswalks. Take a cocktail to go, just because you can. ;)