Our four perfect (and non-relaxing) days in Savannah and Charleston.

Vacation recaps are not my personal favorite posts to read, so I’ll keep this one (relatively) short and sweet.

The Husband and I decided to go to Savannah and Charleston on our first ‘babymoon’. (Yes, we are taking two! I mean, why not?!)

In my mind, this was going to be a super-relaxing trip in which we would walk around, enjoy the sunshine, eat an ice cream or two, maybe get a massage (for me), read some books…

hamilton turner inn savannah

I pictured myself wearing this for the majority of the vacation. FAIL.

It’s like I forgot who I was dealing with (myself) when I pictured this vacation.

I am incapable of relaxing on vacation. I’ve always been that way, I just can’t help it! The exception are beach vacations. Give me a beach (or cliffs, as the case may be in Jamaica) and a tropical drink and a book and I can relax for a week on end. However, when I’m in a new city, I get overwhelmed by how much there is to see and any notion of relaxing goes right out the window.

Here’s how we spent our days:


We flew into Charleston and then drove the 2 hours to Savannah on Thursday morning. We checked into the lovely Hamilton Turner Inn, which is a haunted bed and breakfast in the heart of historic Savannah. It is actually located right next to Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home! Our room was small, but comfortable. Plus, we had our own entrance from the outside, which I really enjoyed!

hamilton turner inn savannah

The B&B we stayed at in Savannah!

We dropped our things off at the B&B and spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the 22 squares in Savannah. We saw Bay St along the river. We saw fountains. We walked through Colonial Park Cemetery (I am obsessed with old cemeteries, for those of you who don’t know). We also walked around Forsyth Park and watched all the action going on there.

two martinis tourist savannah

For our first dinner on vacation, we ate at the Olde Pink House and my dinner was out-of-this-world delicious. We had delicious homemade rolls (including cornbread, of course), calamari, seafood entrees, and some sort of crazy-good pecan and vanilla dessert.

After we awoke from our food coma on day two in Savannah, we went on a quick jog and then rewarded ourselves with breakfast at the Inn. Then we were off on a day of touring! We started with a trolley tour around the city. It was definitely informative, although it was a lot of information to take in all at once, and to be honest, I’m not sure I remember much of it!

We then drove to Bonaventure Cemetery for a walking tour of the cemetery, which was amazing. It’s a beautiful cemetery and I loved hearing the stories about the prominent and well-known citizens of Savannah! It was such a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

bonaventure cemetery savannah

Once we were all toured out, we drove to Tybee Island in search of even more seafood! We stopped at a little seafood restaurant and ate the most delicious shrimp & artichoke dip as well as some she-crab soup. Mmmmm was it good! (I always know a meal is good when I remember what I ordered at a place days later without needing to look at photos!)

We finally declared ourselves done eating our way through the Savannah area, so we drove to Charleston. Actually, I drove to Charleston. This is how you know the Husband was tired from all the touring in Savannah – he actually let me drive!


We reached Charleston on Friday night (still the second day of our trip). We checked into the very gorgeous and fancy (in my opinion) Harbor View Inn, which is located (as you can imagine!) right on the harbor in the historic part of Charleston. We had just enough time to grab some gelato next door and walk around a bit before heading to bed. (Also, this hotel offered cookies and milk in the lobby each night – they were delicious and I took full advantage… often. Multiple desserts are very, very necessary on vacation.)

On Saturday we woke up and went on another jog. Running is (without a doubt) my favorite way to see a new city! Unfortunately, this baby does not love running and the exercise left my hips and legs and abs quite sore! Or perhaps my body was sore from all the walking. Either way, I was quite worn out and could only run for about 30 minutes.

two martinis jogging charleston

My form is way off and I’m annoyed at being photographed and I’m moving quite slow… but you get the general idea!

After our run, we had room service delivered (complimentary with the hotel stay!) to our room and enjoyed a nice little breakfast in bed. Then we went for brunch #2 with the Husband’s cousin and his wife and new baby at Red Drum in Mount Pleasant. I had the best french toast and we had amazing conversation!

breakfast in bed harbor view inn charleston

A bit of breakfast before brunch! Because that’s what vacation is all about – dual breakfasts.

We all spent a few more hours visiting, and then off the Husband and I went on a walking tour of Charleston with Charleston Sole (can you tell I love my historical tours?!). We had a fantastic tour guide and we learned soooo much about the city in just a few hours. Charleston is so small compared to Chicago! (And Savannah is even smaller!)

rainbow row charleston

Rainbow Row in Charleston.

By the time we were done with our walking tour, it was time to grab some wine (for the Husband) and cheese (for me) in the hotel lobby before heading to dinner at Poogan’s Porch. Dinner was delicious, although not especially memorable, I must say. Maybe it’s because I don’t eat meat and am limited to seafood options, but while I found the food really delicious, I wasn’t as blown away as I was hoping I’d be. I still can’t think of what we had for dessert… but I know I loved it!

poogans porch charleston

Once again, a food coma set in and we slept in really late on Sunday. The sleep was very, very necessary, as we were exhausted from all the activity of the prior three days. We didn’t get out of bed until 11am, and then we walked around town before stopping at Sweetwater Cafe in the French Quarter for breakfast/brunch. It was a rainy day and we enjoyed sitting and chatting and drinking sweet tea. I had a grilled cheese and she-crab soup and it really hit the spot, let me tell ya!

Then back to Mount Pleasant we drove to spend the afternoon with our cousins! It was so nice being able to talk to the Husband’s cousin’s wife about her birth experience with little Lucy (and, of course we finally got to meet Lucy who was born in mid-December). Christina had such a positive labor and delivery experience and I can only hope for the same for myself in about 15 weeks or so! Plus, she answered my thousands of nosy questions. 

We loved spending time with this (our) family!

For our last dinner in the south, the Husband and I went to 82 Queen. What a way to end the trip! I had the best she-crab soup and then shrimp and grits of my life. I wish I had taken a picture of them but I was a little too eager to dig straight in. Then we split a piece of pecan pie for dessert. I basically licked both forks and the plate clean. I wish I were joking, but the Husband actually called me out for licking the forks, so I guess I wasn’t that sneaky! I was letting none of that pie go to waste.

Finally, we headed back to our room and retired for the night.

And just like that, our vacation was done.

On Monday morning we woke up before 5am and drove to the airport to take the first flight out back to Chicago. (Because we were dedicated to work yesterday, darnit! Someone needs to make the money to go on these trips!) I was less than thrilled when I got off that plane and it was 19 degrees outside. Luckily, it’s supposed to warm up this week – thank goodness.

Enough about the weather, though. The point is, our weekend away wasn’t quite as ‘relaxing’ as I had intended, but it was perfection.

The Husband and I spent a lot of quality time together. We had time to talk about life and explore new places and eat delicious food…

It was honestly everything I could have hoped for in a mini-getaway!

Now we just have to get back into the swing of this ‘real world’ thing. Wish us luck!


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41 Responses to Our four perfect (and non-relaxing) days in Savannah and Charleston.

  1. It sounds like such a great trip! I’m definitely bookmarking some of the places you ate because the food sounds so delicious! Have a good Monday!

    • Lisa says:

      If you ever find yourself in Charleston and/or Savannah, definitely eat at some of the places we tried! I promise, you won’t be disappointed πŸ™‚

  2. Your trip sounds like SO much fun. I am the worst at relaxing too, there is just so much to do and see on vacation. Yay. I am glad you’re back!

    • Lisa says:

      Ohhhh it was too much fun, really! I hate coming back to the ‘real world’. I agree, I need a beach vacation to truly relax, otherwise I’m running around like a maniac trying to do EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD.

  3. I grew up going to Edisto Island every summer and fell in love with the days that we would go to Charleston. Looks like you two had an amazing vacation.

    • Lisa says:

      Ohmygoodness how awesome! I bet you did so much fun stuff there. We had the most perfect trip and I cannot wait to visit that part of the country again (hopefully soon)!

  4. What wonderful pictures! Looks like a great time!

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks!! We really did have the best time. It wasn’t relaxing, but we totally enjoyed ourselves and I was so happy to be visiting two new cities!

  5. Steph Gregerson says:

    I can’t wait to get to that part of the country. This sounds like a perfect weekend πŸ™‚

  6. happy baby moon! I’m heading out to Charleston next month so these recommendations are perfect!

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks, friend! Are you headed to Charleston for any special reason?! Definitely email me if you need any additional recommendations! Where are you staying?!

  7. Amanda says:

    This looks awesome! I actually just told Cal the other day that I want our babymoon in Savannah too! Good luck:)

  8. Kaitlin Rose says:

    Running in Charleston will hurt your hips until you’re used to the funky streeks! Since it was built on top of marsh land and it’s an earthquake area, the ground is unstable and tends to shift quite a bit, making for a very uneven city! (I had to take geology and an honors course about the city when I was at school there). Poogan’s Porch everyone makes a huge deal of but I just never fell in love. 82 Queen is the bomb though!

    • Lisa says:

      It’s true, the streets are definitely not the same as in Chicago! I really think I must have ordered the wrong thing from Poogan’s Porch, because everyone raved about it and I just didn’t see it. But 82 Queen?! YEP. I loved loved loved it.

  9. This is why my vacations are always at a beach. I want to be bumming it! But all those yummy eats and a haunted mansion!! So fun!

    • Lisa says:

      YES, see, that’s why we started planning beach getaways, so I wouldn’t go nuts trying to cram 18 things into each day! I can’t even imagine what our Europe trip is going to be like…

  10. I’ve never been to Charleston, but I love Savannah! It’s so pretty!

    • Lisa says:

      Charleston is definitely worth the trip! I thought Savannah was absolutely gorgeous, though. I could have spent a few more days in that area.

  11. Erin says:

    You two are SO stinkin’ cute!! I’m so glad you had a great getaway and ate what sounds like massive amounts of delicious food!!! πŸ˜‰ I visited Savannah for a couple days as a kid but don’t remember a ton about it… now I really want to go back!!!

    • Lisa says:

      Awwww, thanks, Erin! I really did eat massive amounts of delicious food – my midwife even commented (yesterday) that my weight took quite a jump over the last few weeks – whoops! I guess southern food and ice cream will do that to a person πŸ™‚ You should DEFINITELY take a trip back to Savannah if you ever get the chance!

  12. Haha, it sounds like you and I could be travel buddies! I’m the same way- I’d love to relax, but if there is too much to see and do, I’m go-go-go. Savannah and Charleston have been high up on my travel list for quite a while. Last year someone poo-poo’d my idea of Savannah saying it was a disgusting city, but she seems to be the only person who has had that opinion, so I’m choosing to ignore her.

    • Lisa says:

      I cannot believe someone said Savannah was disgusting! It was seriously so gorgeous and I cannot get enough of the gorgeous squares and Spanish moss everywhere… Either one (or both!) of these cities is well worth the cross-country trip.

  13. Amberly says:

    You don’t even look pregnant in that running picture, but I’m impressed you look like you’re running uphill! I could barely walk around in San Fran because of the hills!

  14. How fun! I say you take as many baby moons as you can squeeze in! haha

  15. Ashley Angle says:

    Amazing vacation. Two of the US’s most gorgeous cities. I hope to get to them someday!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    *100 Books to Read in a Lifestime Giveaway happening now!*

  16. Yay for a fun babymoon! We are going to Charleston for our anniversary in July so I made sure to take a few notes πŸ™‚ We’ve never been so I’m super excited!

    • Lisa says:

      Ohmygosh you are going to LOVE Charleston! This was our first time there, too, and it exceeded expectations for sure. Definitely hit me up for some more recommendations when you need them πŸ™‚ Where are you staying?

  17. I LOVE Savannah! I love all the history and sights. I love the small, old town feel. My aunt, uncle, and cousins used to live on Tybee island so we visited them a lot but I haven’t been back in a long time. You make me wanna go! lol I’ve never been to Charleston but it looks absolutely amazing as well! And I totally cannot relax on vacation either. It’s a blessing and a curse!

    • Lisa says:

      I totally agree, Charlene! Savannah is so underrated and I could have easily spent a few more days there just wandering around. I’m confident you would LOVE Charleston. It has great food, a lot of history, a waterfront, gorgeous houses… definitely worth a trip!

  18. WVUGrad07 says:

    Charleston and Savannah are two of my favorite cities! I live in Charlotte so they are easy weekend getaways! 82 Queen is amazing and such a cute place. I’m so glad you went to Poogan’s Porch too. I’ve never had dinner there but their brunch is out of this world. My boyfriend and I went to Savannah this fall (I was the one who recommended Savannah Dan on your Instagram!) and we had dinner our first night at the Olde Pink House restaurant too! AMAZING. I loved the historical aspect of dinner as well; the waiters were so informative. I’m obsessed with historical tours in new cities and Charleston and Savannah are both so great for that! Glad you had fun on your first babymoon!

    • Lisa says:

      Ohmygosh I totally wish we would have done a walking tour of Savannah, I think it would have been way better than the trolley tour – mainly because I could listen to someone tell stories FOREVER and I’m also obsessed with historical tours! I’m seriously still dreaming of all the good food we had… I need to go back!

  19. Sounds like a great trip! I loved visiting Savannah. It was so beautiful there and magical with all the Spanish moss hanging. There were so many sights to see that I don’t blame you for not being able to resist walking all over town. Have you ever read/seen Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil? It is set in
    Savannah, and one of the tours may have pointed out the house the real person used to live. Can’t wait to read the recap of your 2nd babymoon:)

    • Lisa says:

      It was indeed a great trip, Kari! I’m glad you loved Savannah, too! I think it’s so underrated and it was just so so beautiful there! I’m glad we went in the spring before it gets overwhelmingly hot and humid! I have not seen read the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil but of course now I want to read it because it was alllll over the place there! Have you read it and was it worth the read?!

      • I have read it and seen the movie. I thought the book was better than the movie, but both were good. Not the best book I’ve ever read, but definitely an interesting read. I would recommend it:)

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