Saturday, November 17, 2012

Shop Savannah for Your Holiday and Any-Day Gifts

Savannah as a Holiday shopping destination?  Why yes, thank you.  Your end-of-year bed and breakfast getaway can double as the perfect opportunity to check off each and every name on your gift list, no matter what the occasion.  If you are tired of the same old shopping "malls" and the stores contained within, then you will enjoy shopping here, as Savannah has some truly fun and unique options, and your innkeeper host can point you to the right area if there is anything specific on your list!

The following shopping areas are generally listed location-wise from northernmost to southernmost.

Factor's Walk and River Street
East River Street is home to these historic red brick buildings, which once housed the Cotton Exchange in the 1800's (cotton was the main income industry before Savannah established itself as a seaport).  Today, these buildings are home to a number of antique stores and a few specialty shops that are worth a look if you happen to be in the area.

The remainder of River Street is home to more of the same, including bookstores, candy stores, and more.  Look for the outdoor events happening here during the year which feature local fine artists and crafters.

City Market
Between Franklin Square and Ellis Square parks lies City Market:  an outdoor market featuring a wide variety of shops, eateries, and entertainment.  This four-block destination features some truly one-of-a-kind shopping choices including All Things Georgia (items made in the state), a cigar shop, candy kitchen, and a variety of gift shops, art galleries, and even Diane's Knitting Studio which specializes in cold-weather accessories (for you visitors from the north)!

Broughton Street
Located a few streets south of the River, Broughton Street is home to some truly cool boutiques, gourmet food stores, and, okay, even a few of the 'usual' chain stores.  Some of the more notable shops that offer quality, local, merchandise include Satchel (for custom-designed and constructed leather goods), Zia (jewelry), and the Savannah Bee Company (locally-made honey varieties).  A number of Antique Stores also reside along this road for gifts from yesteryear.

The Savannah College of Art and Design produces some of the most original new creations, perfect for gift-giving.  Whether you are looking for art, pottery, photography, clothing, jewelry, or general decor, you can find it all here.  Located just a couple blocks (about 1/3 mile) north of Forsyth Park on Bull Street, ShopSCAD is a perfect destination for our bed and breakfast guests!  Product turnover is high here, and there is always something new coming from the students and alumni, meaning you never know exactly what you will find!

Abercorn Walk
The ladies love Abercorn, located on Abercorn Street near Derenne Avenue. This new shopping area has classic upscale clothing and home stores such as Williams-Sonoma, Chico's, White House Black Market, Talbots, and more.

This historic area lies just to the southeast along Truman Parkway, and is now a popular shopping destination.  Clothing, gift shops, art, toys, jewelry, and more can be found here.

A Savannah vacation is not complete without a bit of shopping, and you are now privy to some of the most popular retail destinations in the city.  With the help of this list, and with the help of your bed and breakfast innkeeper, you can acquire gifts that can only be found here in Georgia.  Enjoy your stay!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Savannah Holiday Events: Harbor Foundation Series and Holly Days

Thanksgiving is on the horizon.  That means it's almost time to enjoy two Savannah Traditions:  the Savannah Harbor Foundation Holiday Series, and Holly Days. Savannah's bed and breakfast inns invite you to be our guests for these long-standing city traditions for the entire family!

The Savannah Harbor Foundation is a volunteer-based, charitable organization, originally started in response to the events on September 11, 2001 to provide some enjoyable family events after the tragic attack on the United States.    Since then, the organization has expanded its support to local childrens' charities.  Each year during the weekend after Thanksgiving, the Foundation kicks off the annual Holiday Series of Events including:
  • Boat Parade of Lights:  Come enjoy Savannah's unique Christmas Parade on the River!  On November 24 at 5:00pm, General James Edward Oglethorpe returns to officiate the lighting of Savannah's Christmas tree, followed by a showcase of 60 vessels decorated to the hilt with lights and holiday decorations.  A fireworks display follows.  Come to the Savannah River in front of River Street for great viewing, or you can cross the river before the festivities and watch from Hutchinson Island.
  • Gingerbread Village features edible artwork by both "professional" and "amateur" gingerbread structure architects, displayed at the Westin on the north side of the river.
  • Festival of Lights:  Hutchinson Island lights up each year with 60 lighted displays along the Road Course.  After driving through the displays, join in the fun in the center of the Road Course, and enjoy the bonfire, treats, music, and more.  The activities change throughout the display, so you may want to visit more than once!  A $20 per car, or $5 walk-through cost proceeds a number of childrens' charities.
  • Holiday Concerts:  On Monday, December 3, Musical Mondays free family concerts begin at the Savannah Arts Academy.  Enjoy music to put you in the Holiday spirit!

Of course, other Savannah Holly Days events (both ticketed and free to the public) offer more great options to celebrate the Season:
  • Downtown Holiday Tour of Homes:  Historic homeowners open their doors to the public during the afternoon and evening of December 8, 2012.  See the beauty of these southern belles, decorated for the Holiday Season.
  • Victorian Tea:  Between the afternoon and evening hours of the Homes Tour, Savannah's Garden Club invites you to a formal Tea Event.  Put on your finery, select your favorite hat (long-known to be the appropriate finishing touch to any tea garb), and enjoy Victorian Tea, sandwiches, treats, and music. This year's tea location is a fully-restored Greek Revival Mansion, built in 1870.
  • Inn Tour:  Area Inns invite you to tour their property on Sunday, December 9, 2012.  Among the chosen properties for this year's tour are our own Ziegler House, Presidents' Quarters Inn, Forsyth Park Inn, and Amethyst Inn!
  • The Whiskey Barrel:  As an alternative option for the Adults, the city's first annual Whiskey Barrel taste experience takes place on Hutchinson Island.  Featuring a selection of both whiskies and craft beers, attendees will receive a sample glass, unlimited beer samples, and a whiskey tasting card for 6 free tastings.  Designated drivers are not only encouraged, they are afforded a substantial discount to the event so that they can come learn about the products.  A Military Discount on advance-purchase tickets also applies.
  • City Market offers both the annual Open House, and Christmas for Kids Celebration.  Friday, December 8 finds the market awash with lights and candles while carolers sing, Santa listens to secrets, and treats are offered in the shops.  Then, on Saturday, December 8, 2012.  Make your own ornaments, explore the petting zoo, enjoy a Cinderella Carriage tour, hear beautiful chorale music, and so much more!  Consider bringing an unwrapped toy to donate to the Holiday Hope collection box.
There is so much to do this Holiday Season that it might require an extended stay to experience it all!  Why not choose one of Savannah's historic inns as your lodging option?  We will be happy to host your vacation to one of the most beautiful cities in the United States!