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  • Writer's pictureKids Life Magazine

Escape for a Date: Savannah, Georgia

By Linda Holloway

Photography by Larry Holloway

Valentine’s Day and your anniversary are great times to escape for a date with the love of your life. Remember your family began as a dynamic duo with an adventuresome spirit. An escape is a great way to rekindle romance and teach your children your marriage is worthy of a private celebration. One of my favorite quotes is from the film, “Shall We Dance,” when Susan Sarandon’s character Beverly declares, “In a marriage, you are promising to care about everything. You are saying your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.”  Celebrate special occasions with the art of “noticing” and “witnessing” with your spouse.

My husband and I found the perfect escape where couples can take a step back in time to connect with the past in a historic city. Little wonder Savannah has been named to the prestigious Travel + Leisure magazine’s “25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South.”  Very few iconic sights and experiences leave a lasting impression like Savannah. The name Savannah evokes images of romance and relaxation where historical structures lined with cobblestone streets lead to unique attractions, shopping, and award-winning dining.  Plus, throw in a ghost or two! Since 1733, Savannah has been welcoming visitors with genuine Southern hospitality.

The Eliza Thompson House - Adults Only

Labeled one of the “prettiest streets in America,” lined with towering live oak trees and residential homes with eloquent 19th-century architecture, Jones Street Is home to the Eliza Thompson House. Built in 1847, the Eliza Thompson House is the oldest Inn in the Historic Inns of Savannah Collection. Built for Eliza and Joseph Thompson and their 7 children, the structure was the first house constructed on Jones Street. It was converted into an inn in 1977, and it is an adult-only property. The inn respects Savannah’s history of architecture and hospitality.

The Eliza Thompson House has 12 rooms in the “Main House” and 13 rooms in an adjacent “Carriage House,” which overlooks a brick-paved garden courtyard and fountain. When we entered the parlor, I noticed the subtle creaks in the original hardwood floor—just enough that you know it has character and soul. The amenities are amazing starting with a chef-prepared breakfast in the walled courtyard where the soothing sound of the fountain is pure romance.  There is an afternoon wine reception with hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and sherry each evening in the parlor. The complimentary coffee, bottled water, and soft drinks were a nice touch.   Tip: Be sure and ask about parking options. The knowledgeable concierge will help plan an itinerary detailed to your personal interests.

Reserve your room well in advance to lodge in the main house. The R. Bruce Room is considered the most romantic and elegant room.  Another popular option is the J. Stephens Room with 2 windows overlooking Jones Street and a bay window overlooking the garden courtyard. The rooms are well-appointed with vintage beds and fine linens.  I suppose I must mention the inn is rumored to be haunted….no ghosts while we were there!

Dining: Savannah is a foodie town that boasts some of the most romantic restaurants with delectable cuisine anywhere. Savannah was named “Traveler’s Choice Best Food Destinations 2023,” by TripAdvisor. I highly recommend making dinner reservations before you leave home.

Husk Savannah: Located in the heart of Savannah’s Historic District, Husk transforms Southern food and highlights the ingredients of coastal Georgia. Request a romantic banquette upstairs. Here you will find a Raw Bar—a Husk specialty. The oysters come from 10 locations including Bayou La Batre, Alabama. Try Husk Seafood Tower. For an appetizer, we enjoyed pimento cheese, collard chow-chow, and Georgia cheeses with peach chutney. Husk calls the evening meal “supper,” and I like that! Try the Georgia Shrimp and Grits and Coal Roasted Chicken.  The White Lily Biscuits, smoked black pepper, and sorghum were perfect. I can honestly say the service was the best I have ever experienced. 

The Olde Pink House: Located in an 18th Century Mansion, dining at the Olde Pink House has a reputation as being one of Savannah’s most impressive dining experiences. The home was built in 1771 for the Habersham family. It was restored in 1992 and has been serving iconic dishes for three decades.  The famous house specialty is the Crispy Scored Flounder. The fish is flash fried and served with apricot shallot chutney. It covered my entire plate and was delicious. I chose the creamy grits and collards as sides. The Low Country She Crab Soup and Lump Crab Hush Puppies are pure perfection. The restaurant offers live entertainment in Planters Tavern. It has been noted in numerous press reviews including Food & Wine – Most Romantic Restaurants in America.

Common Thread:  Located in an elegant historic 1897 house, the restaurant has   romantic ambiance and excellent cuisine. Notice the rich wood staircase and details of the 19th century craftmanship. The restaurant was founded on the commitment of serving locally sourced foods…always fresh! Try the Yellowfin Tuna, and the Tomato Salad. My husband is still raving about Richard’s Chicken, and I enjoyed the Georgia Prime Strip.

B. Matthew’s Eatery: Before a day of roaming along the River Front, go by B. Matthew’s for Brunch, which is served from 8 am – 3 pm, and dinner begins at 5:00 p.m. The locals eat here! Start with fried green tomatoes. Brunch favorites include Shrimp & Grits or Biscuits & Gravy. Hungry? Enjoy the Lumberjack Omelet.  If it is a burger you crave, enjoy the Bourbon Bacon Burger. The Blue Crab Cakes is a signature dish at the restaurant along with Lemon Caper Brown Butter Salmon and Roasted Chicken Pot Pie. We loved the casual atmosphere.

Exploring Savannah

Forsyth Park: You simply cannot go to Savannah without a visit to the famous Forsyth Park and fountain. The park is only a 2- minute walk from the Eliza Thompson House.

  Dating from 1851, it is one of the oldest and prettiest urban parks in the U.S. It is home to one of Savannah’s most photographed sights: the Forsyth Fountain. Installed in 1858, the fountain has always been one of Savannah’s favorite spots. Here, couples steal a kiss, become engaged, wed under the giant trees, and hold hands…saving one hand to make a selfie of course. You will find musicians and artists throughout the park as well.  Call ahead and request the Savannah Picnic Company to prepare your favorite picnic delights, and choose a romantic spot along this 30-acre park. 

One of our favorite pastimes is to wander through 22 park squares complete with benches, lush landscapes, giant monuments, and restored homes dating back centuries. We could spend hours in the Spring along the squares dotted with glorious Azaleas, where boutique shops and restaurants are conveniently located. There are 5 squares you can walk to from the Inn. Ellis Square features a Johnny Mercer statue. Monterey Square is where you can tour the famous Mercer-Williams House--a centerpiece in the best-selling book and film, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Chippewa Square was made famous by scenes from the film Forrest Gump. Forrest’s iconic bench scene took place here, but the bench is now housed in the Savannah History Museum. Lafayette Square is located between the Andrew Low House Museum and Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home.

An excellent way to begin your touring is to take a trip on Old Town Trolley Tours of Savannah. The sightseeing tour has 15 stops, and you can depart and board as often as you like. Another popular tour is the Ghosts and Gravestones with nighttime entry into Andrew Low House and Perkins and Sons Ship Chandlery. Savannah Bike Tours, are popular with active couples where your guide will lead you to famous sites. Visit the historic Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters that was built in 1819.

With Savannah being such a hub for artists, the Telfair Museums are the place to visit with a variety of mediums. Take a 15-minute drive outside of the Historic District to Wormsloe State Historic Site. Here, hike nature trails and explore historic ruins. Are they playing your song? For nighttime entertainment, enjoy Savannah Smiles Dueling Pianos along Williamson Street. Take a pen, napkin, and jot down your favorite tunes; then, slide them to the board behind the pianist. Request your “date song.” The musicians will transport you back to the days of young love.

Along the River: Stroll along the waterfront’s cobblestone streets at River Street, where there are restaurants, entertainment, and shopping galore. Shop jewelry, candles, and gifts at Seaside Sisters. Tybean Art and Coffee Bar serves hot espresso and flaky pastries. River Street Sweets and Savannah’s Candy Kitchen can satisfy your sweet cravings. There is a plethora of hotels here with nightly entertainment.  Come night, sit on a bench, to watch ships go by and enjoy a sunset while relaxing. Tip: Wear comfortable shoes—cobblestone and high heels do not mix.

River Street Market Place is an open-air celebration that includes shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. Finish the evening with a walk to the Waving Girl at Morrell Park. This statue depicts Florence Martus in the act of waving to passing ships. She greeted each ship entering the harbor by waving to them with a handkerchief by day and a lamp by night for 44 years. Legend has it she was waiting the return of a lost love. This a perfect spot to be intentionally grateful that your spouse is standing next to you.

Day Trip to Tybee Island: Located 20 minutes east of Savannah, Tybee Island is the perfect day trip. There is nothing more romantic than watching a sunrise walking along the beach together.  You can rent motor scooters or bicycles to explore the island or hang out at the beach all day.  Be sure to visit the Tybee Island Light Station.

  If you are energetic, climb all 178 steps for a spectacular view. Schedule a tour with Sea Kayak Georgia tour company for a kayak, canoe, or SUP trip out of Little Tybee Island.

Now that you have re-set, re-started, and re-focused your life as a couple, go back and enjoy your kids. The truth is…they probably have not even missed you. Grandparents are awesome.

For Eliza Thompson House Reservations, visit

For tourist information, visit



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