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|Amber Brooks • 3/07/18|
The Short Version: Savannah, Georgia, is one of the most romantic Southern destinations in the US — with its oak-lined streets and riverside eateries. It’s perfect for any couple hoping to get away from the hustle and bustle of a big city. The friendly community welcomes people of all ages and backgrounds, bringing folks together with good old-fashioned Southern charm. The coastal town features many historical sites, family-owned restaurants, and enchanting outdoor spaces to delight couples on a date. Whether you enjoy decadent seafood dishes or upscale cocktail hours, Savannah is a must-see destination that has a little something for everyone to enjoy.
My brother and sister-in-law got married at age 23 while they were both working on their PhDs, so they didn’t have a big budget or a lot of time to spend on their honeymoon. Buying plane tickets was out of the question, and they only had five days in the middle of summer to enjoy together. Fortunately, we live in North Florida, where a coastal paradise is just a three-hour drive away.
After a picture-perfect wedding, they spent their honeymoon in Savannah, Georgia, and had an amazing time. A quaint bed-and-breakfast pampered them in the mornings, and world-renowned seafood restaurants wowed them in the evenings. They even went on a ghost tour to satisfy my brother’s passion for things that go bump in the night.
Savannah, Georgia, is a charming Southern town where couples can stroll hand in hand under trees draped with Spanish moss. The city offers so many attractions, from historic sites to culinary sensations, that you can’t help but have a great time here. If you’re looking for things to do with a date, Savannah can excite and delight you with an array of indoor and outdoor activities. No matter what your age or interests, you can find something fantastic to do in and around the city.
“We embrace all kinds,” said Erica Backus, Director of Public Relations for VisitSavannah.com. “Everyone can and should feel welcome here.”
Savannah’s eclectic dining scene is an attraction in itself. You could spend many satisfied evenings sampling the different locally owned and award-winning restaurants in this town. These dining establishments come in all shapes and sizes and represent the diversity of the South.
Known for its Southern hospitality and hearty cooking, Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room gives diners the impression that they’re joining a big family for a home-cooked meal. The family-owned restaurant has been piling plates with fried chicken and cornbread since 1943. You and your date can indulge in local comfort foods.
“You’ll see a lot of corn, okra, and tomatoes in the dishes,” Erica said. “It’s a laid-back, family-style restaurant where you get to experience down-home Southern cooking.”
Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room doesn’t take reservations, so you’ll probably have to wait to be seated, but that gives you a chance to get to know your fellow diners who will be eating with you at the 10-seat tables.
The Grey is a retro restaurant built in a refurbished Greyhound bus depot on Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard. Since 2015, this modern locale has earned a great reputation for serving five-star dishes, including pickled oysters, pecan-crusted catch of the day, and chicken liver mousse. Be sure to save room for dessert because the snickerdoodle sundae, drenched with a generous helping of hot fudge, is out of this world.
The Olde Pink House is a popular culinary destination for Savannah visitors. Housed in one of the city’s only standing 18th-century mansions, this restaurant packs its menu with bold and classic flavors. Whether you want to sit under the chandeliers in the main dining room or listen to live music in the cellar tavern, the Olde Pink House provides a sophisticated yet casual atmosphere for anyone who stops by.
“It’s the epitome of Southern grace and charm,” Erica said. “It’s a place where good manners matter.”
If you enjoy fine dining, you can also book a candlelit table at Local 11ten Food & Wine or sit in the elegant dining rooms of the 700 Drayton Restaurant, which has a lovely view of Forsyth Park. Wherever you wander, you’ll find intimate, cozy, and romantic settings where good food and good company are just a way of life.
From its waterways to its beaches, Savannah has many outdoor scenes for outdoorsy couples to take advantage of during the day. You can pack a picnic for two and find a secluded spot under the shade of an oak tree in Forsyth Park. This 30-acre public space is a beautiful oasis in the central part of town. On the northern side of the park, a large fountain, built in 1858, provides the perfect backdrop for a photo of you and your date.
If you want more of an active date, you can rent a kayak and explore the marshlands around Little Tybee Island and Cockspur Lighthouse. Wilderness Southeast runs expert naturalist tours for eco-adventurers who want to see the sights outside of town. Whether you’re interested in bird watching or crab catching, you can book a customized tour to get your blood pumping.
You can also walk on the wild side by setting out on the trails of Oatland Island Wildlife Center. This conservation group has exhibits featuring birds of prey, wolves, deer, alligators, and other animals native to Georgia. You can learn about these creatures and have a memorable experience with a date at the wildlife center.
Additionally, the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, a 51-acre public space, offers a scenic backdrop for any date. You can bond with your partner among the azaleas, camellias, roses, and other flowers in the garden. The park benches and gazebos offer a quiet and fragrant place to reflect on the beauty of nature together.
At the top of the Bohemian Hotel, couples can escape to a romantic perch called Rocks on the Roof where they can see the Savannah skyline as they sip signature cocktails. This rooftop bar is ideally located beside the Savannah River, which sparkles with starlight and gives an air of romance to the outdoor seating. You and your date can linger for hours by the fire pits, sharing tapas and indulging in original drinks. The tallest building in the city is just five stories high, so you’ll have an unobstructed view of the surrounding area.
“You can see everything,” Erica said. “The weather is so nice 10 months out of the year that people will use any excuse to be outside and enjoy the fresh air.”
“No visit to Savannah is complete without enjoying the views and ambiance of Rocks on the River a rooftop bar overlooking the Savannah River!” — Suzanne H. in a Yelp review
Top Deck, situated atop the Cotton Sail Hotel, is another popular rooftop bar known for its American cuisine and modern digs. The bar’s naval theme emphasizes the town’s coastal history. If you love seafood and breathtaking views, you’ll love this date spot.
Of course, if you’re looking for romance, you can’t do much better than a visit to the beach. You can watch the sun rise over the ocean at Tybee Island and walk barefoot through the sand with your loved one. Tybee Island is a small coastal community just 18 miles from Savannah’s downtown area, so it’s easy to slip away with a date and soak in the sun for an afternoon.
“That’s a great spot for dolphin watching and watersports,” Erica said. “You really have so many options for a great day out on the water.”
Whether you’re celebrating your honeymoon or your 50th anniversary, Savannah is a lovely spot to spend quality time with that special someone. The artsy and eclectic atmosphere of Savannah particularly appeals to young couples seeking to get away from it all for an afternoon, a weekend, or an extended stay.
“You can’t help but be consumed by mystery and beauty of your surroundings,” Erica said. “This coastal city brings all the senses alive.”
You can stroll hand in hand through the historic district enjoying the unique sights, sounds, and smells of Savannah. The city’s Historic District is just 2.5 square miles from end to end, so you can walk from mansion to seafood restaurant to rooftop bar without too much trouble.
“With beautiful scenery, extensive history, and great food, Savannah is the perfect place for romance to bloom,” according to an article on VisitSavannah.com’s blog. “There’s nothing more romantic than taking a vacation with your significant other and packing it full of lovey-dovey activities.”