24 hours in Savannah, Georgia with Cheryl Day

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Today’s 24 Hours in Savannah City Guide comes to us from Back in the Day Bakery owner, Cheryl Day. As a self-taught baker, Cheryl had big dreams of opening up her own bakery. Settling in the picturesque Savannah, Back in the Day Bakery is now known as one of the best bakeries in the South, and today Cheryl shares some of that Savannah charm with us in her ideal 24 hour itinerary. Thanks Cheryl for taking us on a tour of your city! —Stephanie

Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg

Read the full guide after the jump…

24 Hours in Savannah with Cheryl DayPhoto by One West Victory

So excited to share my perfect day in Savannah, Georgia. To me, Savannah is a city like no other. It’s why I chose to move here from Los Angeles 14 years ago. Whether you are strolling in Forsyth Park, discovering the historic squares and secret gardens on a horse-drawn buggy tour, or venturing out to see what the locals do — Savannah is such a beautiful city. In fact, legend has it that it was the beauty and charm that saved it from the wrath of General Sherman when he arrived to burn it down during the Civil War. Our beautiful Live Oak trees (up to 300 years old) draped in Spanish moss make you feel like you are on a movie set all of the time. You will enjoy gorgeous architecture everywhere you turn. It reminds me that I am long overdue for one of these perfect days. So, let’s go!

Sunrise (what can I say, I’m a baker and an early riser!): My perfect day starts out at Savannah’s beach also known as Tybee Island and is just a quick 20-minute drive from the city. I recommend a leisurely walk on the beach with the wet sand squishing between your toes. The sound of the ocean is the perfect soundtrack to start my fun-filled day.

8:00 a.m: The Breakfast Club – it’s the place with the long line, and it’s worth the wait.

I am a sampler plate kind of girl so I order the pecan waffles, hash browns cooked to perfection and grits.  The spicy sausage is made in house — and it is delicious.

A big breakfast calls for big shopping. Time to hit my favorite shops.

24 Hours in Savannah with Cheryl DayPhoto by Katie McGee

10:00 a.m: The Paris Market

Visual eye candy and heavenly treasures fill every nook and cranny of this two-story boutique.  You might find something new or something old, but always something you can’t live without. There is also a lovely little café where you can enjoy a treat and catch up with friends. Frozen hot chocolate or café au lait. Yes, please!

11:00 a.m: Prospector Co.

You will go there for their signature line of personal care products made right here in Georgia, and leave with so much more. It is hands down one of the coolest shops in Savannah. It is a thoughtful shop filled with some of my favorite things from stationary and leather goods to soaps, lotions and candles.

12:00 p.m: Anthropologie located in one of Savannah’s many architectural gems and filled with lovely house wares and all of the beautiful things you have grown to love from Anthro with some extra special Southern hospitality from the friendly staff.

1:00 p.m: Whew! Let’s grab some lunch. Back in the Day Bakery is the little neighborhood spot that I own with my husband Griff. Even when I have time away, there is still no place I’d rather be—true story. Our lunch menu is created to highlight the real star of our bakery: the bread.

We have all kinds from baguettes to boules, and all made in-house every day. Try the farmwich, the bacon onion jam Panini or the Jambon and Gruyere on crusty bread just can’t be beat. After lunch, be sure to enjoy a slice of pie, a cookie, or old-fashioned cupcake. Sit for a spell and enjoy one of our really wonderful coffee drinks made with our signature handcrafted syrups like lavender-honey or brown sugar sorghum.

2:00 p.m: I love to take a creative stroll after lunch, don’t you? Check out the SCAD Museum of Art.The juxtaposition of historic charm and contemporary cool shine through in spades.

Established to enrich the education of Savannah College of Art and Design students, it is truly a gift for locals and visitors to experience the creative exhibits here. The museum showcases work by a range of highly acclaimed artists from all over the globe as well as permanent exhibits, which include the Dr. Walter O. Evans collection of over 150 years of African American Art.

24 Hours in Savannah with Cheryl DayPhoto by SCAD

3:00 p.m: Shop SCAD. This boutique marketplace nurtures the creativity and handmade designs spilling from the classrooms of the Savannah College of Art and Design. The shop combines the ambiance of a fine art gallery in a laid back atmosphere.

3:30 pm: Measure Fabric Parlor

Even if you can’t sew a stitch, you’ll find inspiration galore looking through the trimmings and notions. I love buying the vintage tulle and other trimmings for wrapping the perfect gift or pick up a snap bag made from Liberty of London fabric.

4:00 p.m: Let’s go Antiquing! You can’t leave Savannah without finding a hidden treasure to take home.

Here is where I like to look.

Clutter furnishings and interiors – This is not your grandmother’s consignment shop. It is a charming shop chock full of timeless antiques, home furnishings and accessories—from midcentury to modern.

Two women and a warehouse – specializes in “repurposed, revised and rescued” home furnishings and collectibles.

Habersham Antiques – a fun place to hunt with over 70 dealers to choose from all under one roof. You will find everything from primitive, traditional, vintage linens and clothing and at least one treasure to pack.

24 Hours in Savannah with Cheryl DayPhoto by Katie McGee

6:00 p.m: Time to contemplate the terrific time we had making memories today. Mint Julep anyone? For libations, may I suggest The Parlour at Soho South.

Perch at Local 1110, which is nestled literally amongst the treetops. You will find an extensive menu of creative handcrafted cocktails.

7:30 pm: Dinner reservations

What a day and now we have to choose from the city’s finest. Decisions, decisions…

Elizabeth at 37th or The Pink House Tavern (downstairs) – both quintessential Savannah, charming and delicious.

We are very excited to welcome Chef Hugh Acheson’s The Florence located in the brand new One West Victory opening in May. It’s a Southern-Italian hybrid with a rooftop bar and artisanal coffee shop right in my neighborhood.

Great places to stay on your visit…

Mermaid Cottages – Cozy cottages and historic homes away from home on Tybee Island.

 The Andaz Hyatt Hotel – Located smack dab in the middle of the Historic District. It is a blend of urban vibe and new southern sophistication.

Also check our Airbnb  and take advantage of the opportunity to stay in wonderful historic, private residence right in the middle of the city.

 

  1. ginny branch says:

    YAY CHERYL! I adore Back in the Day bakery and Cheryl + Griff are two of Savannah’s best treasures. Her guide is spot on and I hope anyone visiting will print this out and plan their itinerary to the letter!

  2. Tina Hoffman says:

    Thanks for sharing your perfect day in Savannah! We love you guys!

  3. Rita Marie says:

    Savannah is one of my favorite places… I just love it. Love Tybee Island and St. Simon’s Island. I think my husband and I should plan a mini trip there soon! Thanks for the guide.

  4. Nadine says:

    What perfect timing! Drove down to Miami from the frozen tundra of ny last week. I will be stopping in Savannah on my way home Thursday. Totally visiting ‘Back in the day Bakery’ for some deliciousness. Look for two old dazzed and confused NY tourists trying to sneak in their little dog! Thank you Cheryl and thank you Design Sponge for making the trek back home something to LOOK forward too. YAY

  5. Ramona says:

    I’m holding on to this piece for my next trip to Hilton Head. We often spend a day in Savannah and I want to stop by the bakery and some of the other spots!

  6. Steph says:

    What a fantastic guide! My husband and I were just reminiscing about our recent trip to Savannah, one of the most beautiful cities we’ve ever visited. Can’t wait to go back and grab at bite at Back in the Day Bakery! :)

  7. Ed Chapman says:

    So many places so little time, we ALWAYS go to four places when in Savannah, a lot more, but always these 4, Back in the Day when we first get to the city #1 stop, LuLu’s Chocolate Bar, for drinks and to see our now adopted family member, Jill, best Server/Bartender in the whole city, and Vinny Van GoGo’s Pizza the best pizza South of NYC and East of Chicago, and have breakfast every morning at Goose Feather’s, simply stated, OMG, Sweet Potatoes is a must with the peach glazed BBQ Chicken, skip the big names after you’ve been once and find some of the small places, they are great

  8. Margot Meyerhoff says:

    Thanks Cheryl! I grew up in Savannah, but live in NYC now – those are my favorite spots to visit when I go home to visit. And if anyone needs a tour guide while visiting this gorgeous city – call my mama! http://www.savannahsites.com

  9. Katie says:

    I love the DS city guides! We were just in Savannah two days ago. It was our first time and we used your old guide as a reference, going to Public for lunch and stopping into Savannah Bee for a mead tasting. Both were fantastic, and the city was just beautiful. I can’t wait to go back and check out some of the places on this list.

    This summer we’re moving from central PA to Boulder, CO. I’ve been using the DS Boulder guide as I tour our new home online. Thanks for the great resources!

  10. Talitha says:

    I went to SCAD as a grad student. Savannah is one of the most beautiful cites in the country in my opinion. I would add the Mellow Mushroom for great sweet water dough pizza, and don’t forget to visit E. Shaver Bookseller on Madison Square, Molly McPhearson’s pub for some delicious Scottish fare, and my personal favorite, Gallery Espresso on Bull Street. SCAD’s Gryphon Tea Room is a wonderful place to stop for some afternoon tea and scones with oodles of Southern charm. Really, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Savannah. Plenty to keep the busy bodies art lovers, and antique hunters happy, a foodie’s paradise, and a beach bum’s dream come true. The best of everything!

  11. Libby says:

    We were just there last week and I posted a few images and thoughts: http://www.libbywilkiedesigns.com/2014/03/friday-flowers-in-savannah.html
    How I wish SCAD had been around when I was going to college! Savannah is one of our most favorite places for oh so many reasons. Thanks for ALL these great suggestions: we’re going back end of May.

  12. Sandie says:

    Arriving March 20th. Looking for a job. :) I can’t wait to make Savannah our home. Our son deserves to have oppertunity and to live in differnt parts of the US. I will stop by..

  13. Jimmy says:

    We will be honeymooning there in 6 weeks and already have reservations for Pink House!! This sounds like a perfect day :)

  14. Charla says:

    Although I hail from the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee and now live in Atlanta, visiting Savannah always feels like going home. I spent five wonderful years there and I miss it every day! Cheryl is one of my favorite locals. No trip to Savannah is complete without a stop at Back in the Day Bakery to pick up an old-fashioned cupcake. Aside from Back in the Day, here are some of my top picks for a day in Savannah:

    Bonaventure Cemetery: There’s nothing like a stroll through Bonaventure on a sunny Spring afternoon. Bonaventure is incredibly peaceful, serene, and mysterious, and although one would expect it to be a morbid place, I find it to be quite the contrary! Pack a lunch and your sketchbook and go meander amongst some truly magnificent sculptures and gargantuan live oaks.

    Alexander Hall (SCAD): On particularly hot days, a stroll through this SCAD building is both a welcome break from the heat and a visual delight. Alexander Hall houses the college’s painting department. Here, you’ll see everything from stunning ceramics to breathtaking portraits painted in extreme realism.

    Terra Cotta: This charming boutique offers a wide variety of bath products, stationery, apparel, and accessories. Look no further for the perfect gift or some fun window shopping!

    Soho South Cafe: Soho is a delightful spot to eat lunch. It’s part gallery, part bookstore, part cafe! I recommend the crab & artichoke quiche and an Orangina. The servers are always superb!

    B. Matthews Eatery: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are offered at B. Matthews, and they never fail to impress. My personal favorite is the black-eyed pea cake sandwich. Fun fact: the bar top here is the oldest in the country.

    Zunzi’s: If you’re looking for a unique lunch experience, then look no further! You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but I love the Fisherman’s Deck and the hummus (with an African sweet tea to go). Make sure to ask them what their catch phrase is (although I’m sure you’ll know it soon enough upon walking in)!

    Lafayette Square: This is (in my opinion) the most beautiful square in Savannah. I love to sit on a bench here with my sketchbook and people watch!

    Peddler Jim’s Antiques: It can be tricky to catch them when they’re open, but Peddler Jim’s is a treasure trove of antiques and knick-knacks. You never know what you’ll find! Chances are, you can find something fabulous for under $5.

    And of course, I agree with Cheryl’s choices, especially Tybee and The Paris Market!

  15. Steven says:

    We love Back In The Day and it’s presence in the Starland District! If you’re visiting, you should definitely check out the First Friday Art March, every first Friday of the month! It’s a great opportunity to explore local galleries, entertainment, and businesses outside of the normal “touristy” Savannah. Best of all, it’s an evening of free fun, and there’s even a trolley to get you from one location to the next! http://artmarchsavannah.com. I also recommend Zunzi’s for lunch and Foxy Loxy or the Coffee Fox for some great coffee and baked treats (and an amazing Sunday brunch).

  16. Having previously had no real opinion on Savannah I now find myself with a burning desire to visit, so very well done!

  17. Carmina (Cali Girls) says:

    Thanks Cheryl we love Savannah I want to go back and visit. We had a great girls trip when we went and loved meeting you. We always talk about our trip because it was so much fun.

  18. Kendra says:

    I went to school at SCAD and spent 4 wonderful years in Savannah (I even sold work at ShopSCAD). I go back as often as I can and have a million favorite places. I agree with Charla, lots of great places to visit on her list. I’d like to add Gallery Espresso and Foxy Loxy/The Coffee Fox (two locations of same locally owned coffee shop). I could go on and on… but I’ll spare you.

  19. Well done Cheryl. Love the pictures and descriptions. Savannah captured my heart several years ago and I try to go back as much as possible. The last trip that I took with a friend, we made it all about healthy food options http://smileandtravel.com/staying-fit-and-eating-healthy-in-savannah-georgia/ and exercising (walking everywhere) as much as possible. Turned out great but I am ready for some more!

  20. Laura says:

    We usually stay at the Seastar on Tybee’s north end (http://blog.tybeejoyvacationrentals.com/seastar). Don’t forget the Savannah Music Festival, too.

  21. Julie says:

    I visited Savannah for the first time last weekend for the music festival and fell in love. What a gorgeous city! I popped into Back in the Day Bakery after reading this post, and though most of the treats were gone by afternoon (busy day!), the cupcake I had was delicious, and the atmosphere was charming. Love, LOVE this city and hope to return soon.

    Also, the D*S city guide to Chattanooga was my first internet introduction to the city…and now I live here. I owe this site a lot. :)

  22. Joann says:

    lived in Richmond Hill. Southwest of Savannah for 6 years, left for 2 and a half years and came back for good. I love this charming city filled with so much history and charm. There is so much to do here. And the southern hospitality is the best! Thanks Cheryl for this guide. After reading it as well as the comments, there is still so much to do! I love Back in the day bakery. My personal favorite is the Sammie with a cup of honey lavender latte and a lavender cookie. The place is nostalgic and charming. I get excited every time family and friends visit. A trip to this bakery is always our first stop!

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