As I’m writing this in our charming parlor listening to the rain hit the windows and steps of our front porch I’ve come to a sudden realization that some would think their vacation is un-salvageable once it rains. True, this could happen in some places, but this writer would like to gently remind you that Savannah isn’t just any place.
Savannah dazzles even when we have a hint of frost. Our fair city fascinates even when she’s in atrocious downpours. Savannah is captivating even when she does not shine and there are light trickles of rain on the leaves, new azaleas, and flowers of magnolia trees. Savannah is beautiful under colorful umbrellas and rubber boots as you stroll through Forsyth Park.
Think of all the things you can do when it’s rainy outside! Take advantage of exploring the antique shops throughout the Historic district and find hidden treasures from the past. Go through the Telfair museum and look at the newest collection of art or even go on a trolley tour to learn Savannah’s history. Go to the local shops along lovely Bull street or through the beautiful squares; perhaps have lunch at a local’s hangout like Crystal Beer Parlor, Six Pence, Zunzi’s, or Fire Street Food. And when you crave something a little sweeter head over to Leopold’s Ice Cream Parlor or Chocolat by Adam Tourni.
Think of the rain as a lovely symphony heard upon the roof of a private balcony overlooking the garden; the necessary white noise to quiet your mind and spirit as you nestle yourself in the arm chair of the parlor with evening wine and hor d’oeuvres. Rain is a lovely sound in the background as you read a book with tea or coffee in the early hours of afternoon.
And when the sun comes out go out and be amazed by Savannah all over again. Just because the rain is there doesn’t mean it will meddle with your vacation. Rain or shine- Savannah is the place you want to be. So, are you ready to be mesmerized?
Chosen as #5 of “19 Truly Charming Places To See Before You Die”
Well, we wanted to surprise you – but let’s face it: too many surprises around this time of year and what we really need is a nice drink and some new shoes for all the holiday parties. And some retail therapy for all the “tidings of great joy” we
have to get to share. So, if you haven’t heard already – we’ve got your ticket, er, passport.
Yup, here’s another Savannah Pajama Shop Hop update for ya’ll – the December shopping event for visitors and Savannians alike. Today we’re featuring detailed discounts from the restaurants participating in our first ever Savannah Pajama Shop Hop and details to get you and your friends shopping. As I am writing I am getting an overwhelmingly great sense of a slightly not-sober pajama be-clad drinking and shopping day, ladies and gentlemen! Please drink and shop responsibly!
THE SAVANNAH RESTAURANTS
The Pirate’s House Restaurant is giving 10% off at the gift shop (where there are more t-shirt designs than friends on your gift list) and 1/2 off an entree with any entree purchase. You might even get spooked in the haunted facilities. On the outside of 20 East Broad Street (at Broad and Bryan) it looks like just some old house. Those looks don’t deceive – it’s actually the oldest building in Savannah, and, the ENTIRE state of Georgia. Hours: 11-9:30 Sun – Th. and 11-10 Fridays and Saturdays.
Wright Square Cafe at 21 West York Street (Between Whitaker and Bull Streets right off, you guessed it, Wright Square) is offering either 20% off purchases. They have a huge selection of chocolate confections for sale, and amazing sandwiches also! They describe their business as “a casual European cafe serving only the finest and freshest”. It’s true! Hours: M-F 7:30-5:30, Saturdays from 9-5:30. Closed on Sundays.
For a restaurant championing local and organic produce, Cha Bella is your best bet. You get 10% off your meal and with December temperatures hovering high, you can still choose to sit outside on their patio, which is always sparkling with little white lights! Go to the intersection of Broughton and Broad, to 102 Broad Street to take advantage of your passport at Cha Bella!
45 Bistro at 123 E. Broughton Street has an absolutely STUNNING atmosphere. The photo ops are unlimited: you, and your friends, in pajamas. Drinking cocktails surrounded by the finery. Get a free dessert with any entree purchase with your Shop Hop passport here! The Bar opens around 5, the Restaurant around 6. Close at 9, but they say “until” because they’ll stay open when busy and close when not.
1790 Restaurant is giving away a free dessert or glass of wine. Their website points out that Emerson wrote, of wine, that “It gladdens the heart and stimulates all that is most generous in human nature.” Now that’s a holiday tradition I can get behind! Go to 307 E. President Street (at Lincoln and President Streets). Hours: Lunch Monday-Friday 11:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m / Dinner 5:30 – 10:00 p.m. The Lounge is open 11 a.m. to Midnight with happy hour from 4-7. WAIT. HOLD THE PHONE. Did I just say happy hour???
Cotton Exchange Tavern & Restaurant at 201 E River Street (where the intersection of River and Abercorn Streets WOULD be if there was one but you can enter right on Bay Street). If you get apps and dinner, the appetizer is $8.95 off (and most of the appetizers are in that range so it’s basically a free appetizer) OR, $4 off a cocktail. We even have a room with the same name at our Inn! Hours: 11 am until 10:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday -or- until 11:45 Friday & Saturday. Closed Sundays.
Jazz’d Tapas Bar at 52 Barnard Street (at Broughton and Barnard underneath The GAP – giving 25% off any Pajama Shop Hoppers’ purchase) is offering 25% off Tapas and a basic martini for only $6. Hours: Everyday from 4-10, and until 12 on Friday and Saturday. Happy Hour Monday-Thursday 4-7. Ladies Night every Thursday!
I mentioned Lulu’s Chocolate Bar already in the last Shop Hop update but, seriously, this place is awesome. Dessert and booze at the SAME PLACE as a reward for all the work you put into your Pajama Shop Hop shopping? What’s not to like about that? 15% off anything you buy at Lulu’s for the Shop Hoppers of Savannah. Hellooooo. GO, reserve your room or get your toy NOW to get your passport. You won’t be disappointed. Hours: Open at 5 everyday. Close at 11 Sunday and Monday. Close at 12 Tuesday-Thursday. Close at 1 Friday-Saturday.
Mirage Restaurant is a Hookah Lounge AND a Mediterranean Bar and Grill at 20 E. Broughton Street (about halfway between Bull and Drayton cross-streets). They are giving 10 percent discount to Shop Hoppers in their PJ’s! Hours: Sunday – Wednesday from 5-12. Thursday – Saturday from 5-2:30am.
So now that you’re hungry, remember that you’ll work up an appetite WALKING all around downtown Savannah’s historic district. Don’t forget your holiday shoes! Savannah Shoe Co. is featuring the “cobblestones to cocktail” shoe right now for the season – and there is no better way to hit the pavement. Stop by downtown Savannah location at 226 West Broughton Street between Jefferson & Barnard to get 10% off your new party shoes! Get your passport TODAY and shop until December 31st!
You only have until December 31 to take advantage of all these restaurant discounts, and the other shopping discounts at the 70+ participating retailers of the Savannah Pajama Shop Hop. To participate, Reserve a room at Azalea Inn & Gardens for 2 nights in December, or, we’ll trade you a Savannah Pajama Shop Hop Saving’s Passport for a new, unwrapped toy (which will be given to the Toys for Tots program). To sweeten the deal, if you get 10 stamps on your passport and bring it BACK to Azalea, you’ll be entered into our Shop Hop drawing to win 2 nights at one of the participating Savannah Inns, including Azalea Inn & Gardens.
The Savannah Pajama Shop Hop was masterminded by Azalea Inn & Garden’s Innkeeper Teresa Scott Jacobson. Look how much fun she had convincing the businesses to give YOU the discounts! Imagine how much fun you will have with YOUR friends, too! It’s so simple to find fun things to do in Savannah – and we’re your ticket, whether you’re local or you’re visiting and want a B&B to show you how to have the best Savannah vacation in our our great city of shopping and eating delights!
Travel + Leisure Magazine acclaimed Savannah as a “World’s Best City.”
The inaugural Savannah Pajama Shop Hop kickoff has happened and we’re near bursting with excitement. It’s local holiday shopping at its best in Savannah. It’s also time for you to roll out of bed and head to downtown Savannah’s historic district to finish up the last of your holiday gift list.
To start shopping, don your favorite pajamas and stop by Azalea Inn & Gardens at 217 Huntingdon Avenue. It’s the 2-story yellow historic home with white trim and the white picket fence. Reserve a room for 2 nights in December, or, we’ll trade you a Savannah Pajama Shop Hop Saving’s Passport for a new, unwrapped toy (which will be given to the Toys for Tots program).
Even better, get 10 stamps on your passport and bring it BACK to Azalea for a chance at the Shop Hop drawing to win 2 nights at one of the participating Savannah Inns, including Azalea Inn & Gardens. Don’t think you can find 10 good gifts in Savannah? Well, we’ve done the thinking for you.
Here’s a TOP TEN Gift Guide for our inaugural Savannah Pajama Shop Hop, going on until the end of December.
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When you stay at our B&B in Savannah, we think of ourselves as your hosts, and that means we will direct you to the things and places that are REALLY worth it. Let me tell you 5 reasons why making a trip to Savannah for Black History Month is REALLY WORTH IT. Technically Black History Month is celebrated in February, but we are running a Savannah vacation special in January AND February to celebrate the unique stage our city sets for you to come learn more about the history that is unique to the African American culture. We’ve got a lot of information for you here but don’t wait too long because to take advantage of our special, travel must be completed by the end of February.
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Shortly after breakfast on July 5, a family from New York City staying with us for four days, inquired if they might use our grill, conveniently located poolside, for an afternoon cookout – a July 4 family tradition that they had to forego while on vacation. Before I could answer, they threw in a bribe – I was invited to dinner! Never one to turn down food, and most especially food I don’t have to prepare, I enthusiastically gave permission. (We have all the basic fixings for any guest who wants to use our grill from salt and pepper to paper plates). Smiling broadly, Jason and Sandy, and daughters Claire and Nicola, immediately proceeded to invite everyone at the inn to join them around 4 in the afternoon for a barbeque!
Work kept me busy till just after 5:30 and as I toured the last check-in through the backyard and pool area, I was surprised to see my New York family and six other guests gathered around the grill and table, laughing, eating, drinking, and encapsulated with plenty of good cheer. Once free, I quickly joined the party, helped myself to an ear of corn, and watched amusedly as “Chef Jason” cajoled the last check-in, a couple from Kentucky taking a slow and meandering drive home from Gulfport, Mississippi, to join us. We quickly grabbed chairs off the nearby decks and made room round the table.
Grilled corn was slathered with butter, while burgers and dogs were joyously consumed. Jason was the grill commander deftly turning the pork, chicken and steak kabobs over the heat assisted by his youngest, Nicola. Sandy made sure each new arrival had a drink (white or red wine, or beer) and quickly shooed the children to make room for the adults. The other guests came and went, on their way to dinner, but a core of us stayed despite the heat: Sandy, Trevor, Claire and Nicola from NYC (though Sandy and Trevor are from South Africa originally), Patric and Charles from Ohio (celebrating eight years together), Matthew and Allison from W. Virginia (on their honeymoon), Melissa and Patrick from Illinois (also honeymooners), and Kim and Greg from Kentucky (celebrating his return from Afghanistan).
Soon Scott West, Jason and Sandy’s Savannah connection and the person who referred the family to our inn, arrives and has gifts for the family and one for me! We passed the delicious Byrd Cookie Company treats around for all to taste, and I snuck inside to fill my tumbler with the Inn’s special Dreamcicle Lemonade (with a dash of Vodka) which I also shared around the table. Claire and Nicola entertained us (quite beautifully, I might ad) with songs they had learned from several Broadway shows and musicals as well as some songs of the old South, including a song of freedom from slavery! This prompted a lively discussion around the table, as I am sure you can imagine! As the evening’s laughter grew and life stories were shared, Jason and Greg left to purchase more beer and wine. It was at this point that I realized I had better excuse myself as breakfast duty was on my plate for the morning.
It is moments such as these when guests find kindred spirits and the feeling of family permeates the evening that I realized how blessed I am to do what I do. There is no doubt, Azalea Inn and Gardens bed and breakfast is a better way to stay*!
*“better way to stay.” is the grassroots campaign of the Professional Association of Innkeepers (PAII) dedicated to helping travelers discover the B&B experience.
I was so pleased to see the Savannah Book Festival selected by Southern Living magazine as one among many reason to visit Savannah. Actually, the book fest is one of the magazine’s top five reasons “why we love Savannah.” No surprise to us.
We were the delighted hosts for Roy Blount Jr and his artist wife, Joan Griswold, at this year’s past festival, and our inn guests got quite the surprise to see this prolific writer seated at the breakfast table over the weekend. In fact his presence inspired one couple to extend their stay to attend this world class event. Roy is known as a humorist, reporter, actor, author (of 12 books), and interestingly, a musician with the Rock Bottom Remainders – a band of writers who believe they are also musicians. Dave Barry is quoted as saying the band can play “as well as Metallica writes novels.”
Did you know that Savannah was home to these literary greats: Flannery O’Connor, Conrad Aiken and James Alan McPherson? Flannery O’Connor lived at 207 East Charlton Street her entire life, short as it was, and you can tour the home daily from 1-4 pm, excepting Thursday. Conrad Aiken was born in Savannah and died in Savannah, but raised by a family member in Massachusetts following the tragic deaths of his parents, one by murder and the other by suicide, which undoubtedly influenced his life’s work. Finally, James Alan McPherson, born in Savannah, the first African-American Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction.
Southern Living listed seven great reasons to visit Savannah and frankly, we can list a hundred. Maybe we should, one a day until we reach our number one reason to visit. Or, you can visit our Historic Savannah Georgia inn and read our list from the comfort of your bedroom or a tree-top balcony as the sounds of the fish pond water feature and the chirps of birds leave you lost for just a bit in the charms of the old South.
Call today to secure your place in an historic Savannah inn around the literary table of next year’s Savannah Book Festival. The 2012 festival is scheduled for February 15-19, 2012, but why wait? Visit Savannah any time your heart desires, you are sure to be enchanted.
Join us this Friday and Saturday from 10 to 4 for the 2011 NOGS Tour of Hidden Gardens- a private glimpse into eight beautiful gardens that are not normally accessible to the public. These hidden gardens are north of Gwinnett Street (NOGS) in the historic district of Savannah and proceeds go to support the charitable works of the Garden Club of Savannah. Recently, WJCL interviewed Pat Ryan of the Garden Club and Teresa Jacobson of Azalea Inn and Gardens for a sneak preview of what garden enthusiasts can expect (click here to see the interview).
We think you will be amazed at the growth the produce gardens have achieved since the filming two weeks ago! Tomato plants are now 2 to 3 feet tall and some are setting blossoms; cucumbers are climbing and setting buds as are the cantaloupe and Galia melons. The herb garden has taken off as have our blueberry bushes and strawberry plants. Adam Mentzer of Adam’s Farm came by last week and erected the climbers for tomato plants, cucumbers, melons and pole beans, so the visual is a bit amusing as you see a sea of white strings delicately holding up the tips of so many of our plants. The snake gourds have taken hold right next to the four Georgia blueberry bushes and delicate blue and pink trumpet vines scale the lattice at the front of the produce garden.
Azalea Inn has been at the forefront of the eco-friendly sustainability model for downtown Savannah bed and breakfast inns being the first inn to champion recycling several years before the city provide curbside service. It seemed logical to continue the trend by adding low volume drip and micro-drip irrigation throughout the two gardens, and to expand last year’s 12×15 produce beds to encompass the entire back yard of the inn’s neighboring plot. The amazement of our guests upon seeing the “mini-mini farm” we have sustained in the middle of an historic downtown city has been the source of inspiration for many.
Join us this Friday and Saturday and show your support for the many wonderful causes of Savannah’s Garden Club. Tickets are $45 per person or $40 each for a group of ten or more. For further information, please visit their website at http://www.gcofsavnogstour.org/.
View Azalea Inn and Gardens’ accommodations in historic Savannah, itinerary suggestions, the best of area restaurants, and more.