Azalea Inn & Villas (Savannah, Georgia Bed and Breakfast, Vacation Rentals and Event Facility)

My Secret Savannah

RESTAURANT RECOMMENDATIONS AND BUILD-YOUR-OWN ITINERARY SUGGESTIONS:

We will be delighted to make your reservation for any trip, tour, or dining accommodation you may desire. Just give us a call. During any special event it is highly recommended that you make dining reservations as early as possible to ensure a seat in the restaurant you want when you want it!

Dinner Recommendations (some are causal lunch places as well):

  • Sapphire Grill: – One of our ABSOLUTE favorites, every bite you take will make you think you have gone to heaven. The calamari is tender and flavorful (not rubbery as some may fear). They serve melt-in-your-mouth steaks, lamb, and pork (with five different sauces!). If you are not sure about grits, try the Arugula and Chevre-Spiked grits! For a romantic dine-alone or a quiet dinner with friends, have our staff inquire about the Wine Cellar
  • 45 Bistro – I recently dined at the Bistro with a friend (and at her suggestions) who has years of experience in the Savannah dining scene so naturally I left the ordering to her. Mind you, we opted to sit at the magnificent bar rather than in the dining room but you can opt for a more intimate dining experience if you choose. The first course was Roasted Ruby Beets – Belgian endive, praline walnuts, stilton cheese and roasted golden and ruby beets marinated in champagne vinaigrette. I LOVE beets and these did not disappoint. Next was GRILLED hearts of romaine with garlic croutons, shaved Parmesan and their house made Caesar dressing. I don’t think I will ever have an ordinary Caesar salad again – grilled split romaine is the way to go. Our final course was a shared plate of Duck Two Ways – a succulent pan-seared duck breast and confit thigh topped with whipped Yukon gold potatoes, roasted beets and natural jus reduction.
  • The Grey – Located in the old Greyhound Bus Station, The Grey is the newest restaurant to take on the Savannah dining scene – and they are killing it! My husband and I had dinner at The Grey on the eve of Christmas – as a walk-in at 5:30 we were lucky to be seated – reservations were full till 9:30 but the gracious owner, John Morisano, made it happen. Of course I like to think he was so accommodating because of who I am (LOL) but me thinks that this is a part of the service. I could go on and on about the building but I am sure you are just interested in hearing about the food. Chef Mashama Bailey delivers Southern food her way. I skipped appetizers that day and went straight for a “middle”, which is a smaller serving of a main course. My Middle was Country Pasta served with pork belly, parmesan, and cracked black pepper, which was perfect in flavor and size. I did add a side of roasted beets with a buttermilk yogurt which I intended to share with Jake, but…. Jake ordered the Pork Shank with a “mess of greens” and cornbread and a side of whole fried sweet potato with sorghum butter – which he did share with me! Our waitress helped us pick a by-the-glass wine for each of our dishes which was a heavenly match. We completed our evening with a shared dessert: Pound Cake with Leopold’s corn ice cream and caramel popcorn – every bit as delicious and different as it sounds. You can’t go wrong with dinner and drinks at The Grey – but be sure to make your reservation well in advance of arrival – you wouldn’t want to miss out.
  • Vic’s on the River – Avoid the line at Lady and Sons and come to Vic’s for real Southern Cuisine and attention to detail. Spicy Jumbo Shrimp over stone ground grits and Tasso ham gravy; or perhaps a crispy fried trio of shrimp, oysters and local flounder. I love the Fried Green Tomatoes with goat cheese and tomato chutney. Sample southern side dishes favorites of mac n’ cheese and collard greens or take a leap and try the grilled asparagus. Also open for lunch.
  • Noble Fare: A fellow innkeeper raves about this hidden gem and finally, finally I tried it and shame on me for waiting so long. I started my dinner with an amazing Ahi Tuna Tartar with avocado puree that melted in my mouth. My main course was Pan Roasted Diver Scallops with a cauliflower puree on a bed of Israeli Couscous, smoked bacon, corn with truffle oil. Divine, absolutely Divine. The next time you are in town don’t miss the sensational atmosphere that Paddy and his wife have created at the Noble Fare!
  • Jazz’d – A Tapas Bar featuring small portions of a large variety of food – great for sharing when you can’t make up your mind what to eat! Jazz band begins around 9:00. Don’t miss Thursday’s singer Trey Gurley with a voice reminiscent of Frank Sinatra. “Wine’d Down” every Monday and Wednesday, 4-7 p.m. Select bottles will be offered at just $12 per bottle! Live music six nights a week and never a cover.
  • Alligator Soul – Jake and I have been very impressed with the food offerings (very fresh, seasonal choices) and with the service! Jake had the signature gumbo and as a main course the Beef Short Ribs while I chose the Georgia Wild Shrimp Plate for my main. To die for!
  • Ampersand – Looking for live music, great drinks, and delicious food? All can be found at Ampersand, a new bar/restaurant here in the Historic District of Savannah, located on the corner of Congress Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard.. Find original drinks, craft beer, tasty bites, and local art at Ampersand’s cool environment. Stroll in from a long day shopping on Broughton Street and enjoy their fried green tomatoes, or homemade hummus and pita. Grab a craft beer, or one of their signature cocktails, such as the Smoke & Mirrors, or The Forbidden. They are just as deviously delicious as the names! If you are looking for dinner, choose from homemade soups, salads, or sandwiches.
  • Public Kitchen – A new Azalea Inn favorite (though it has been around for a year) and winner of the Smoked Salmon BLT award as one of my all-time favorite Sandwiches. It’s central downtown location makes if a great spot to lunch at during shopping splurges.
  • Sundae Cafe on Tybee Island – I have to say, I love a surprise – especially when it’s a dinner that exceeds every expectation for quality, flavor, service, and best of all, price. That night we had a Jerk BBQ salmon over sweet potato and plantain hash, a lovely strip of beef tenderloin with biscuit bread pudding, lamb chops over a creamed spinach and a raspberry port demi-glace, jumbo sea scallop with an andouille succotash with a roasted poblano pepper sauce, and dessert, a simple chocolate cake with chocolate mousse, fresh berries and two cheeses. WOW. The food was sublime, but the wildly decadent bread pudding made of buttermilk biscuits and blue cheese brought even more flavors to our palate. The restaurant’s location is deceptive – don’t be put off by the strip mall and gas station.

Great for Lunch:

  • Mrs. Wilkes’ Boarding House – LUNCH ONLY Monday thru Friday. No stay would be complete without lunch at Mrs. Wilkes -southern home cooking at its best. Served family style – this lunch will keep you full till past dinner. Lines begin forming at 11:00 a.m. and service stops when the food runs out – generally around 2:00 p.m. Open weekdays ONLY!
  • Zunzi’s – home of the #2 Sandwich in the entire United States – the Conquistador. Zunzi’s is a delightful mix of international cuisines reflecting the very different cultural backgrounds of the owners, Gabriella and Johnny. Enjoy the combination of South African, Swiss, Italian and Dutch every day; vegetarian options also available. Be sure to try the South African tea – Rooibos ice cold. Open six days a week 11 to 6 (making it a great place to grab a take-out bite for dinner).
  • NEW!!! Zunzi’s 2 (on Drayton just before Bay St) This New Location has the same Great Menu, but has indoor seating and a full bar…Open until 2am on weekends & 11pm on weekdays…Open by 4pm.
  • o Wright Square Café – An absolute must is this casual European style café with rich coffee, fresh breads, imported chocolates. Enjoy fresh made salads of green beans, pasta, or rice, sandwiches on fresh-made bread or wraps, muffins, bagels, and truly decadent desserts. My favorite is a baked chicken wrap with caramelized figs. The truffles are a delightfully decadent treat to finish off the lunch, or bring back to our inn to enjoy as you relax by the pool, or on your deck or balcony.
  • B&D Burgers – The name says it all…BURGERS! If you are looking for a great casual place to chill or would like to watch your favorite sporting event on the Big Screen (at night) the Patio area is a Must for you. All the Burgers have “Savannah” names & those sweet potato fries are awesome.

 

TOUR SAVANNAH:

Trolley Tours:
Our go to trolley is Old Savannah Tours – www.oldsavannahtours.com, is a home-town company that goes above and beyond in customer service. Our guests rave about the tours, the tour guides and the service. May we suggest you try “The Savannah Experience.

Walking Tours:

  1. Old City Walks – Delight in Savannah’s indelicate truths, the lechery, treachery and debauchery …. Savannah Style! Some stories will make you blush others will make you grin, but all will entertain. From Savannah’s Women to Civil Rights, this is a must-do walk! We love it.
  2. Historic Savannah by Foot with Jack Wray – Jack offers customized tours of Savannah that are sure to make you fall in love with our city. www.historicsavannahbyfoot.com 912-596-2950
  3. Jonathan Stalcup – a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design with a Master of Architecture degree, offers the best Architectural Tour of Savannah, you will not be disappointed. Please see his website at www.architecturalsavannah.com
  4. Savannah Dan Walking Tours – Take a leisurely stroll through picturesque squares with a Southern Gentleman. Hear the history of Savannah in the language of the South. www.savannahdan.com

Black Heritage History:
A mesmerizing journey beginning with Day Clean Soul Tours. Dey-Kleen is the Gullah-Geechee philosophy of life that “each day is a new day, each day starts anew; no matter what occurred yesterday – today is a new day!” Jamal Toure’, a renowned lecturer, author and living history performer, will guide you through Savannah’s black history with stops at the Beach Institute, Laurel Grove Cemetery South, the Ralph Gilbert Marks Civil Rights Museum which will open eyes to the courageous acts undertaken to ensure equality of all. Take a few steps along the Underground Railroad with a stop at the First African Baptist Church, the oldest black Christian congregation in America followed by a visit to the Haitian Monument also located on Franklin Square. Jamal will fill your 2-1/2 hour journey with enough tidbits to compel one to learn more about our black history.

GHOSTS! In American’s Most Haunted City

Here is a list of our most highly recommended downtown Savannah ghost tours:
• Cobblestone Tours – a candlelight walking tour – ghostsavannah.com
• Blue Orb Tours – http://blueorbtours.com/
• Savannah Walks – www.savannahwalks.com – also great Civil war tours!

Horse Drawn Carriage:
Historic Savannah Carriage Tours…our preferred provider. Public rides daily from City Market. OR…. Let us book you a Private ride from the inn to dinner (or perhaps from dinner back to the inn).

Romance and History – what’s not to love? Here are our favorite must visit houses and museums:

  1. Telfair Museum Foundation: Visit three museums for the price of two:
    • Owens-Thomas House and slave quarters
    • Telfair Museum
    • Jepson Art Center
  2. Juliette Gordon Lowe Birthplace

MOTORIZED OPTIONS:
• SEGWAY! – The hottest craze to hit town: So Much Fun…Coordination is not a requirement  Tour the city on a Personal Transporter. Tours begin promptly at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily. www.segwayofsavannah.com
• MOTORINI Savannah – Not a guided tour but a fun way to get around Savannah and Tybee; conveniently located at 236 Drayton Street, a short ten-minute walk from our inn. www.vespasavannah.com/acatalog/Scooter_Rentals

THEATRE
Savannah Theatre – Live professional performances at The Savannah Theatre, matinee and evening performances available. “Jukebox Journey”, “Back to the 50’s” and “Christmas on Bull”. To learn more, please visit their website at www.savannahtheatre.com.

WATER:
• Dolphins abound the waters in the right season. For more information on what to do on the water visit www.tybeeisland.com/dolphin-tours.shtml.
• Or perhaps the sea and you, one on one – in a kayak! Visit www.tybeeisland.com/kayaking.shtml.
• Coastal Journeys – www.coastaljourneys.com (912-308-6050) Glen Gartner will take you into the marshlands surrounding our coastal area on an ecology/nature-based cruise. Explore an uninhabited barrier island, hunt for old bottles or shark’s teeth along Savannah’s river channel, or perhaps bird watching inspires you. Glen will customize a trip for you, your friends and family.
• Wilderness Southeast Nature Tours – www.wilderness-southeast.org Explore pristine beaches or river swamps; discover habitats and exciting wildlife on your own private nature tour.

DEEP SEA FISHING:
• A classic about town – www.missjudycharters.com
• www.coastalrivercharters.com
• www.savannahfishingcharters.com

COOKING:
• www.chefjoerandall.com/calendar.htm – Watch Chef Randall as he prepares a full course of delightful dishes – no tiny samples here – a full on tasting experience!
• www.kitchensonthesquare.com – Classes include a generous tasting of all the dishes prepared with a beverage, copies of all the recipes and 10% discount on all items bought in the store on the day of the class.
•www.mansiononforsythpark.com/leisure/cooking-school/ – Join the Executive Chef in a variety of interactive programs in a state-of-the-art, full size kitchen with in-depth discussion and explanation of culinary technique and simple tricks that make cooking a very approachable form of art.

DAY SPA:
Enjoy pampering that is unsurpassed by any other. Teresa always books her massages, facials, and mud baths with Magnolia Day Spa. The manager of Magnolia Spa goes above and beyond to ensure that all guests of Azalea Inn and Gardens who book last minute are accommodated within a 3-hour time-frame of their requested hour! Call us to book or contact Michelle directly at 912-373.2039

GOLF:
Southbridge Golf: Conveniently located within a few minutes of Savannah Georgia’s historic district, Southbridge is a Savannah jewel – a treat for both the eye and the golf game. Southbridge has long been the most highly acclaimed golf course in the Savannah area. Legendary architect Rees Jones’ chose to design this fine masterpiece through a tract of dense woodland in south Georgia. http://www.southbridgegolfclub.com/

MORE:
Visit www.savannahvisit.com for more ideas on what to do and see in Savannah.

CAT Shuttle:
CAT Shuttle: follow this link for more information on the free historic district shuttle.

Monthly Events:

June Events:
June 1-30 Savannah Live and Juke Box Journey. Admission is $35 adults, $17 children. Call (912) 233-7764 or visit savannahtheatre.com.

June 2: Acoustic Tuesday Live acoustic music by local and regional musicians, performed in the Foxy courtyard! Every Tuesday.

June 2: Wetlands Day at Oatland Island Wildlife Center 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Free (912) 395-1500 or oatlandisland.org.

June 5-7: First Friday & Saturday on the River featuring Blues & Jazz live music all weekend and Fireworks.

June 6: First Friday for Folk Music

June 5-7: Savannah Blues Weekend with events like Blues on Broughton, Blues Jazz & BBQ on River Street.
June 14: Alley 3, Tybee Island, Tybee Floatilla “Float for a Cure”.  There’s no better way to cool off than to float leisurely down the rivers of Tybee Island in an inner tube. No worries and no time constraints allow you to truly clear your mind and relax. It’s a great way to spend time with friends and family and it’s fun for everyone from age 5 to 105

June 20:  8:30 pm;  204 5th Street, Tybee Island.  The return of summertime fun with Movies in the Park start in June! Every third Saturday evening during the summer months at Memorial Park a family friendly movie will be projected on the side of the Tybee Gym compliments of the City of Tybee Island’s Development Authority / Main Street Program and Partners.
July Events:
JUL 1-JUL 29: Savannah Live and Juke Box Journey (912) 233-7764 or savannahtheatre.com.

JUL 3: Tybee Fireworks Tybee’s annual celebration of America’s birthday. Come early and plan to stay late as this is one of Tybee’s busiest days of the year and the island fills up fast. The show starts around dark thirty (around 9:15pm). The fireworks are staged on the pier, but they are easily viewed from any of Tybee’s eastern beaches. Starts at 9:15 pm

JUL 4: Fireworks on the Savannah riverfront: free and open to the public. Starts at 9:00pm on the riverfront.
JUL 10: Waving Backwards’ Book Launch Party 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM  You’re invited to a launch bash for the Savannah novel ‘Waving Backwards’ by V.L. Brunskill. Hors d’oeuvres, cake, cash bar, book signing & live music. Learn to make Savannah’s famous palm roses! Savannah Mariott Riverfront. Admission: Free. Phone: 912 756 5014
JUL 12 :Tybee Floatilla “Float for Friends” will benefit The Tybee YMCA. Theres no better way to cool off than to float leisurely down the rivers of Tybee Island in an inner tube. No worries and no time constraints allow you to truly clear your mind and relax. It’s a great way to spend time with friends and family and it’s fun for everyone from age 5 to 105
JUL 18 10:30 PM – 11:30 PM The Dirty Dolls Contemporary Burlesque Revue returns to The Guild Hall, 518 Martin Luther King Junior Blvd, (844) 694-8453 www.TheDirtyDolls.com

AUGUST :

AUG 1: First Saturday Arts on the Riverfront

AUG 7: First Friday Fireworks on the Riverfront
AUG 7 & 8: Dog Days of Summer. 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Calling all canines! Listen up pups because this event is just for you! Get ready for the Dog Days of Summer on August 7 & 8! Pups bring your leash, grab your owner and get ready for some dog-gone fun on River Street! Enjoy doggy vendor booths, gourmet treats and the following activities to keep both pets and humans entertained: Pet Portraits with your owners; Cool off at the misting station OR go for a swim in the pup pools; Sign up to strut your stuff in the “Dog Days of Summer” pup parade and costume contest on Saturday, August 8 at 11 a.m. Free to enter.
Phone: 912-234-0295

AUG 2-16:: The Savannah VOICE experience A festival of great singing through opera & song. Legendary Baritone and most recorded American singer of all time, Sherrill Milnes, brings his legend and artistic excellence to this festival.

AUG 22: Old Fort Jackson’s Annual Auction & Low Country Boil (live music, great food and cannon firings)

SEPTEMBER:

SEPT 3 – 5: Savannah Craft Brew Fest On Saturday, Saturday, September 5, from 1-5pm you can hang out on the banks of the Savannah River as you sample craft beers from around the country with friends and strangers (who will just become new friends anyway!). This is the 6th year the Craft Brew Fest has been up and running. Attendees number upwards of 5,000 – so you know they’ve got to be doing something right!
SEPT 4 – 6: That’s right bacon lovers, we said it — BACON FEST is happening on River Street! The 2nd annual event will take place September 4-6! Get ready because select local restaurants will be serving up their mouthwatering bacon creations all weekend long! Bacon Fest will kick-off on Friday, September 4 from 4-10 p.m. September First Friday Fireworks presented by Wet Willie’s will begin at 9:30 p.m. The festivities will continue on Saturday, September 5 from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday, September 6 from 10 a.m.-5
SEPT 6: Tybee Island Labor Day Beach Bash. Tybee Pier. 7pm
SEPT 19: Dirty Dolls Burlesque Revue 10:30 PM – 11:30 PM The Guild Hall, 518 Martin Luther King Junior Blvd Phone: (844) 694-8453 www.TheDirtyDolls.com The Dirty Dolls Contemporary Burlesque Revue returns to The Guild Hall.
SEPT 20-26: Savannah Jazz Festival. The Savannah Jazz Festival is one of Savannah’s most beloved music festivals, presented by the Coastal Jazz Association. This week-long event features free Jazz concerts in multiple historic district locations, including Forsyth Park.

OCTOBER :
OCT 2-4 – Oktoberfest on the Riverfront open and free to the public Friday – Sunday
OCT 4: Wiener Dog Race (Yes, some inns are pet friendly!)
OCT 11 – Picnic in the Park – An evening of live music, family and picnics big and small!
OCT 8-11 : Tybee Island Pirate Fest Tybee Island Pirate Fest is your ultimate destination for Columbus Day weekend entertainment. Warming up for our Friday and Saturday night headliners, several bands will keep the crowd moving throughout the afternoons and early evenings. Daytime entertainment includes live music, pirate performers, street performers, magicians, puppeteers, weaponry demonstrations, and a few surprises in between. http://tybeepiratefest.com/.
OCT. 9-11 Savannah Folk Music Festival – A showcase for the quality and diversity in musical talent found among members of the Savannah Folk Music Society, in performances that will span the range of Traditional, Old Time, Blues, International, Folk Revival and Contemporary music “To promote the enjoyment, preservation, and continuation of the living art of folk music.” Visit. http://www.savannahfolk.org/festival.htm

OCT 25: Shalom Y’All Jewish Food Festival Held in Forsyth Park, one of Savannah’s largest and most charming public areas. The festival draws about 10k attendees annually. Participants of all ages will enjoy a taste of ethnic Jewish cuisine as well as family entertainment ranging from music and dance to magic and puppet shows.

OCT 24-31 – Savannah Film Festival During the festival our city is crawling with movie stars. Over 40,000 people attend the Festival every year, and I hope you are one of them. Aspiring filmmakers and accomplished movie-makers alike gather together for competition film screenings, special screenings, workshops, panels, and lectures.

OCT 30 – NOV 1. – 27th Annual Christmas Made in the South Craft Fair This is an event like no other. Amazing craftspeople, outstanding art, unique, gourmet food and diverse entertainment to whet and satisfy every demanding appetite. Handmade, one of a kind designs populate booths that fill the festival: silk wearable’s to fabric bags, dichroic glass jewelry to close-up photography of nature’s funniest and fiercest creatures all await and more.

NOVEMBER:
NOV 6-7: Harvest Fest: Celebrate at the First Friday & Saturday celebration this fall season. Enjoy local and regional craft beer tastings, arts & crafts exhibitors and live country music on the Arbor Stage all weekend long. The Hopped Up On Georgia Brews craft beer tasting featuring over 20 Georgia Breweries takes place on Sat., 1-5 p.m. Weekend festivities will kick off on Fri., 4-10 p.m. with First Friday Fireworks presented by Wet Willie’s at 9:30 p.m., and continue on Saturday 10 am – 10pm.
NOV 7 – Rock and Roll Marathon. A 26 mile marathon through the city of Savannah. There will be music venues at every mile marker with party for the participants in the evening in Forsyth Park.
NOV 8 -15– Savannah Food & Wine Festival . Celebrating a week of wine and culinary excellence in Savannah, Georgia, with wine dinners, tasting events, festival and more.
NOV 28 Boat Parade of Lights. Enjoy a Christmas parade Savannah Style! The Savannah Harbor Foundation hosts the Boat Parade of Lights as approximately 50 lighted vessels parade both sides of the waterfront, accompanied by live music performances, a tree lighting ceremony and a fireworks extravaganza. Savannah Pipe & Drum opens the ceremony with a proclamation by General Oglethorpe. Live music and the holiday party continues until the Cannon fires to signal the Boat Parade and concludes with a fireworks extravaganza. savannahharborfoundation.com.

DECEMBER:
DEC 4-5 – Christmas on the River First Friday Fireworks on the River
DEC 5 – Enmark Savannah Bridge Run
DEC. 13 Annual Holiday Tour of Homes gives you a glimpse into the present-day people who call Savannah their home. You’ll hear the history of the home, get a feel of what life is really like in the city, and maybe even get inspired by some decorating ideas to bring back to your place. Hours: 11-3, Holiday Tea 2-4 and Evening tour 5-8pm. Look for more information about this event
DEC 31 – New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the River
DEC 31 – Up the cup countdown

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