By Christy Swift
Photography by Diana Albritton and Cindy Sebring Adams

All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl, so let’s put responsibilities aside and tag along with our publisher, Cindy Sebring Adams, and her bestie Diana Albritton for a girls’ weekend in Savannah, Georgia!

It’s only a six and half hour drive from Sebring to Savannah. Called “the Hostess City of the South” for its antebellum hospitality and charm, Savannah marks the spot in 1733 when the 120 passengers of the good ship “Anne,” led by General James Oglethorpe, landed on a bluff high along the Savannah River and created the 13th American colony. Savannah is known for its beautiful landscapes, well-preserved architecture, and vibrant history. Cindy and Diana were only there for the weekend, but they packed in a lot of fun.

The Hamilton-Turner Inn

Why stay in a hotel when you can stay in a mansion? And you can stay in a mansion in Savannah! Cindy and Diana booked the 17-room Hamilton-Turner Inn, once a private home and now one of the most historic inns in the city. The French Empire-style mansion was built in 1873 by Samuel Pugh Hamilton, known as “The Lord of Lafayette Square.” Today, with its interior steeped in southern romance and charm, the Hamilton-Turner Inn is the epitome of a historic boutique hotel. It was the first residence in Savannah to receive electricity in 1883, was nearly destroyed during the great Savannah fire of 1898, and has had several owners since. The inn is one of those listed on Savannah’s “haunted sites” list, but if there were ghosts lurking around their historic boutique hotel, Cindy and Diana didn’t notice. They were too busy enjoying the amenities, including a daily, chef-prepared southern breakfast and afternoon and evening refreshments served in the opulent dining room and parlor. Not to mention being in the heart of the historic district.

The Trolley Tour
The Inn’s concierge booked Cindy and Diana on one of the ubiquitous Old Town Trolley Tours. Billed as the best way to see the city, these open-air trolleys offer a one-day price where guests can “hop on and hop off” at their leisure at different stops and enjoy a live narrated tour full of historical facts and colorful anecdotes. Here are just a few of the stops:

Franklin Square, a testament to Benjamin Franklin and site of the First African Baptist Church—the oldest Black church in North America.

Forsyth Park, the largest park in Savannah, picturesque and teeming with Parisian flair.

The peaceful Colonial Park Cemetery, with its quiet walkways winding through mature oaks and thousands of graves (most unmarked) dating as far back as 1753.

The Waving Girl statue, on River Street, depicting Florence Martus as a young girl waving her handkerchief at the passing ships.

The Davenport House Museum, which provides a glimpse into 1820s domestic life in the urban port city.

And more! There are so many sights to see in downtown Savannah, it’s impossible to list them all. Ghost tours aren’t Cindy and Diana’s thing, but Savannah is called America’s most haunted city for a reason. There are options for all “scream” levels, from family-friendly tours to darker, more macabre versions. There’s even a Ghost City Haunted Pub Crawl!

The day after their tour, Cindy and Diana used the bikes provided by their hotel to further explore the historic district. They even went looking for the famous Forrest Gump bench in Chippewa Square, but it wasn’t there. They discovered it had been moved to the Savannah History Museum. However, a local took pity on them and played the theme song to the movie for them as a consolation prize. Three cheers for southern hospitality!

Restaurants and Night Life

We’ve all got to eat (and drink), and there’s no shortage of restaurants and bars in Savannah where a couple of tourists can find refreshment. Cindy and Diana enjoyed a gorgeous view of the Independent Presbyterian Church of Savannah from the rooftop bar, Peregrin, at the Perry Lane Hotel. If you ever make it there, they recommend the signature Ruby Nectar drink (prickly pear vodka, hibiscus, lime, and orange bitters) and the laarb (a wrap made with ground chicken, lemongrass, fish sauce, lime juice, cilantro, mint, and basil).

Another afternoon, Diana enjoyed the Moroccan scramble for brunch at the Collins Quarter downtown location, with scrambled eggs, ground lamb, garbanzo beans, and avocado smash. They also sampled the PB&J wings at the Treylor Park’s Hitch location on Drayton Street. And then there were the Bloody Marys at Huey’s On the River. There’s nothing better than snacking and sipping all day as you hop from cobblestone to cobblestone (leave the heels at home!). And when the sun goes down, the fun doesn’t stop.

Thanks to the vibrant nightlife scene, there are plenty of activities to enjoy after dark. Savannah allows its visitors to “bar-hop” with a to-go cup as they explore the lively historic downtown and River Street. Try open mic night at the Wormhole Neighborhood Pub on Bull Street, go dancing at Club 51 Degrees on W. Congress Street, or catch a sunset view at Bar Julian on Port Street. On a friend’s recommendation, Cindy and Diana hit up Smiley’s Dueling Piano Bar for a fun night of music and laughter. Then it was back to the inn for port and cookies. And still not a ghost in sight!

Riverboat Cruise
While Savannah is the perfect place to relax in the shadow of history and Spanish-moss-draped oaks, there are some exciting modern additions to the city as well. Cindy and Diana booked a Riverboat Dinner Cruise down the Savannah River, giving them a view of the newly revitalized Plant Riverside District. With a staggering $375 million investment, this project turned the former 1912 Riverside Power Plant site into a 4.5-acre cultural hub boasting over a dozen restaurants and bars, an art gallery, live music spaces, and a Martin Luther King, Jr. park, not to mention the sprawling three-building J.W. Marriott Savannah. (If you’re looking for a ghost-free hotel, this is a good choice!)

On Monday, it was time to pack up and reflect on the trip during the drive home. Diana’s favorite part was the Savannah hospitality. “I felt safe, I felt like people were happy I was there, and they were pleased to have me.” She also loved riding bikes, navigating with a paper map, and soaking it all in with her best friend. She was happy to be in a season of life where she can do these things.

Cindy loved having a home away from home at the Hamilton-Turner. Relaxing in the fancy parlor with her BFF, enjoying refreshments every evening, being able to borrow bikes, and all the little touches made the girls trip extra special for her. “I just loved the atmosphere, and it was very nice walking downstairs early in the morning and having a private chef cook you a home-cooked meal.”