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.
  • They 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, ETC.
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.
• 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. Michelle, manager of Magnolia, goes above and beyond to ensure that all guests of Azalea Inn and Gardens who book last minute are accommodated within a 3-hour timeframe 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

 

 

April Events:
FIRST FRIDAY: Fireworks on the River, 9:30 p.m., on Historic River Street. (912) 234-0295 or riverstreetsavannah.com.
FIRST FRIDAY: “First Friday for Folk Music,” a production of the Savannah Folk Music Society at First Presbyterian Church at 520 Washington Ave. savannahfolk.org.
FIRST FRIDAY: Broughton Street is the place to be for some shopping, dining and other activities. Be sure to check out the Broughton Street Facebook page for more information.
SECOND FRIDAY: “Night Skies – Telescopes at the Tybee Pier and Pavilion” hosted by the Oglethorpe Astronomical Association at sunset. View the night sky through high-powered telescopes, weather permitting. Free. (912) 401-8634 or e-mail oaadir@kwbell.net.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY: Cannon Firings at Old Fort Jackson, 1 Fort Jackson Rd. $6.00 for adults, free for children under 6 with a guardian. 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. (912) 232-3945 or chsgeorgia.org.
FIRST SATURDAY: “First Saturday on the River” on Historic River St., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Arts & crafts, live entertainment and family fun. Free and open to the public. (912) 234-0295 or riverstreetsavannah.com.
SATURDAYS: The Forsyth Farmers’ Market, from 9 a.m.–1 p.m., rain or shine, at the South End of Forsyth Park in Historic Downtown Savannah, a variety of vendors will offer their produce and products to residents and visitors alike. The Forsyth Farmers’ Market vendors offer a variety of local goods including seasonal produce, eggs, honey, pastured meat, bread, cheese, mushrooms, fresh herbs, vegetable sauces, preserves, coffee beans, heirloom seeds and potted plants. forsythfarmersmarket.org.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY: Cannon Firings at Old Fort Jackson, 1 Fort Jackson Rd. $7.00 for adults, $4.00 for children. 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. (912) 232-3945 or chsgeorgia.org.
SECOND SUNDAY: The Bonaventure Historical Society conducts tours of the historic sections of Bonaventure Cemetery. Tours begin at 2, 2:30 and 3 p.m. and last about an hour. Free, but donations are appreciated. Signs direct visitors to the starting point. No reservations are required. Bonaventure Rd. bonaventurehistorical.org.
APRIL 9 – SEPTEMBER 7: Savannah Sand Gnats! Come enjoy a night at the ballpark and cheer on the Savannah Sand Gnats! Spend time with your friends and family at Historic Grayson Stadium, 1401 E. Victory Dr., visit with Gnate the Gnat, and of course enjoy some great baseball! Visit sandgnats.com or call (912) 351-9150 to purchase tickets today.
APRIL 13 – 19: “Get your Plaid on” The 47th RBC Heritage will take place at the Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island. Make plans now to “Get Your Plaid On!” The Northern Irishman PGA TOUR golfer, Graeme McDowell was the 2013 Heritage tournament winner. http://www.rbcheritage.com/spectators/schedule-of-events
APRIL 17 & 18: The Garden Club of Savannah invites you to the 40th Annual NOGS Tour of Hidden Gardens. Walking tour of eight private gardens in Historic Savannah, plus the Massie Heritage Center gardens which are planted and maintained by the Garden club of Savannah. Tour highlighted by a Southern tea at the Historic Green-Meldrim house. All proceeds donated to local charities. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. $40 admission. (912) 961-4805 or gcofsavnogstour.org.
APRIL 22 – 26: 2015 Tybee Wine Festival. The Tybee Post Theater will host the 6th Annual Tybee Wine Festival from Wednesday through Sunday, offering something for everyone – from wine lovers to culinary enthusiasts – amid spectacular Tybee Island surroundings. (912) 663-1099 or visit TybeeWineFestival.com.
April 25: March for Babies – Saturday, April 25, 2015 – We’re getting ready to walk in March for Babies! It promises to be a fun day out with people who share our passion for improving the health of babies. There’ll be family teams, company teams and people walking with friends – it’s a great feeling knowing we’re all helping real families. Join our event and walk with us to raise money for babies right here in our community!

APRIL 25: Annual Tybee Turtle Trot Beach Run. Join us in kicking off Georgia’s sea turtle nesting season and raising funds for Tybee Island Sea Turtle Project with our 11th annual Turtle Trot 5k beach run! April 23rd, 2015. Day-of registration begins at the pier and pavilion at 7am, the race starts at 8am! http://TybeeTurtleTrot.net

APRIL 28- MAY 3: Savannah Fashion Week is a collection of independent retailers promoting fashion within the Savannah area. SFW always donates a portion of ticket sales to a local charity. A special series of events will take place, during the week of April 28, 2013 until April 3rd http://www.savannahboxoffice.com

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