Even for One Night Savannah is Enchanting By Charlene & Richard Mixa
Living in Florida, when heading north out of state, we basically have two choices I-75 through Atlanta or I-95 by Savannah. For us traveling I-95, is especially enjoyable with the numerous cities or islands to stop in along the way from Fernandina to St. Simons Island to Savannah. A favorite stop is Savannah with all its intriguing charm, restaurants, history and activities. Plus it’s just far enough north for a comfortable day of driving. A visit to Savannah can be several nights or just an overnight before heading back on the interstate. Sure, we could stay at a hotel on I-95, but the Southern charm of Savannah beckons us into this enchanting city. Even for just one night, Savannah provides a delightful respite from road travel and Savannah always promises something new in this ever changing southern town.
On this chilly December evening, we pull up to the newly opened Andaz Savannah hotel. Touting a “New South Sophistication,” the Andaz definitely presents a fresh, new hotel experience. As the valet, quickly assists with our car, we are in the lobby with its artful décor and bold sleek style. At the reception desk with Southern hospitality, I am graciously handed a glass of wine to assist in transitioning from a day of driving to an evening of enjoyment. Our king room is an ultra-modern and a large window offers scenic views of Savannah’s Ellis Square and Savannah’s Historic District. Comfort is paramount with fine linens, a walk-in shower, a large flat-screen TV, and wireless Internet. A welcoming feature is the mini bar with complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. After freshening up it’s time to head out and explore. Ready for a nice “stretch of the legs” we grab a handy map of Savannah. Location, location, location! The Andaz is located on Ellis Square, Savannah’s newest old square, in the Historic District near the City Market, Broughton Street, the Savannah River and the Historic Savannah Theatre. Shopping, dining and popular attractions are just a few steps away.
Tonight is a leisurely walk to the Crystal Beer Parlor, a little off the beaten path. A favorite gathering spot for locals and visitors, it is Savannah’s second oldest restaurant having opened in 1933 during the Great Depression. A comfy casual eatery, we are seated in a cozy booth. Burgers! Burger choices are many on the menu and Richard is thrilled with his hearty open face burger with creamy mashed potatoes and gravy. I go to partially healthy with a fried chicken salad of crispy fresh greens topped with crunchy chicken tenders. The historical paraphernalia on the walls is fun to look at as we dine. Chatting with the waiter, he recommends a fun stop for the evening is Jazz’d for drinks and music.
The cool evening air is refreshing as we stroll the streets and squares of Savannah alight with Christmas decorations. On the fringe of Ellis Square, we spot the sign for Jazz’d Tapas Bar. Wow, it’s a sultry underground hot spot. Stepping into this spacious below-street-level gathering place, Jazz’d has a swank and sophisticated style. Seated at the sleek, shining serpentine bar for drinks, it is definitely a most unique style for Savannah. Sipping our drinks of a delicious Matchbook Chardonnay and a Dead Gun Rogue Beer, we relax to the live entertainment of a singer crooning the classical vocals of Frank Sinatra. A truly delightful and relaxing evening.
Up early we are off to Huey’s on the Savannah’s historic River Street. Open from morning ‘til night, Huey’s serves up authentic New Orleans cuisine and is one of the very few restaurants open this morning on River Street. Walking along Savannah streets in the morning all is quiet. We arrive just as Huey’s opens. With views of the scenic Savannah River and waterfront, we enjoy delicious breakfasts of Eggs Benedict and a tantalizing French Toast. Returning to the Andaz Savannah, we easily check out and retrieve the car from the Valet. Driving to the interstate to begin the trek to North Carolina, we both remark on what a fun evening we had. So much better than just staying at an Interstate hotel. As always, Savannah makes any visit short or long enchanting. If you go: We highly recommend the Andaz Savannah with its great central location. ANDAZ SAVANNAH, 14 Barnard Street, Savannah, Georgia, USA, 31401 Tel: +1 912 233 2116 http://savannah.andaz.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html