We’re spilling some of our favorite details from my Mom’s birthday celebration in Savannah today!
Truth be told, when we started planning a trip to celebrate my Mom’s 70th birthday, I assumed it would take a quick Google search to find all the recommendations we needed.
While I found lots of ideas for bachelorette weekends, wedding party getaways, and girls’ trips in Savannah, none of the posts really captured the kinds of plans we wanted to help celebrate my Mom’s special day.
As a result, my sisters and I started heavily researching everything from hotels to restaurants to activities to customize our own experience.
It took a few months before we had a solid itinerary, so I wanted to share some of the highlights in case you’re planning a visit to Savannah too.
Here’s a look at a few of our favorite places and activities to make a birthday celebration in Savannah a memorable one…
Birthday Celebration in Savannah: Places to Eat…
Elizabeth on 37th:
We held one of my Mom’s birthday dinners at Elizabeth on 37th and it was hands down our favorite meal and dining experience of the entire trip. Both the service and the food were amazing.
It’s definitely a place you want to dress up so be sure to bring something extra special and make a reservation in advance.
The Paris Market Café:
We dedicated an entire day to a makeup consultation and shopping, so we stopped at The Paris Market Café for lattes, pastries, and croissants before the activities began.
The store was beautiful (see more below) but I have to say the tiny café totally stole our hearts. It literally felt like you were eating in a different country.
The café fills up fast but there is also seating outside. We were really surprised to see people start lining up about 15 minutes before the store and café even opened so be sure to get there early.
The Olde Pink House:
We couldn’t get a reservation to The Olde Pink House before we left. Thankfully, the staff told us there were specific times during the day they take walk-ups.
We had to eat outside at bistro tables because all the indoor tables were booked but honestly, it was fine because they had heaters. Plus, it gave us another opportunity to take in the city.
The food was fantastic, and the service was fabulous too.
The Collins Quarter:
We had brunch at The Collins Quarter based on a fellow blogger’s recommendation and it did not disappoint!
They also have indoor dining and bistro tables outside with heaters. Reservations are recommended as it’s another place that fills up fast.
Eli was our waiter, and he could not have been nicer! We’re still talking about the Bloody Mary’s, Mimosas, avocado toast, breakfast sandwiches, and bananas foster waffles.
There are 2 locations in Savannah, and both are beautiful. This one is right across the street from the Juliette Gordon Low House and super convenient if you’re a Girl Scout fan and plan to take a tour.
Mirabelle’s Coffee Shop:
The day we left to come home it was cold and rainy, so we decided to forgo a big breakfast or brunch and pop into Mirabelle’s Coffee Shop.
Mirabelle’s is another small establishment but don’t let the size fool you. The specialty hot drinks and waffles were just what we needed on a wintery day.
Plus, the way they had everything decorated was super cute, warm, and inviting.
This one did not make the original itinerary but was a great surprise!
Dubs was actually the last stop on the dessert tour (see more below) which ended with the best pimento cheese I’ve ever had. According to our tour guide, Rudy, pimento cheese is the official dessert of Savannah.
The atmosphere feels like a cozy pub meets sports bar and was the perfect way to end the night after eating so many sweets!
Savannah Seafood Shack:
I was on the fence about sharing the Savannah Seafood Shack but only because we all live in coastal towns so we’re very partial to our own style of Florida seafood.
We wanted to get the fried shrimp cone, but they had sold out by the time we got there for dinner. They were also doing repairs on the building, so it felt kind of weird to eat alongside the pounding of hammers, nails, and cordless saws.
Still, the place was packed. It was very laid back (no white tablecloths) and it was just as much fun to dress down for dinner as it was to dress up.
Other Dining Places Worth Checking Out…
Birthday Celebration in Savannah: Places to Stay…
Given we had such a hard time getting reservations at several of the restaurants in Savannah, it wasn’t a surprise to have a hard time booking a hotel.
Sure, the holiday weekend was a factor, but it was also parent weekend at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design).
In addition, according to our trolley driver, the city was also gearing up for a movie to be shot downtown.
Our first choice was the Hamilton-Turner Inn but we’ve also stayed at JW Marriott, DoubleTree, and Embassy Suites (booking directly with the hotels) which were all about a 15-20 minute walk (or less) to downtown shopping, dining, and other activities.
We also heard good things about the Marshall House while we were there.
Birthday Celebration in Savannah: Things to Do…
Old Town Trolley Tour:
It’s definitely a touristy thing to do but taking a trolley tour around the city is the easiest way to get the lay of the land. Savannah is set up in a grid system. Every market, district, and square has its own personality and charm.
You can buy tickets for the Old Town Trolley Tour in advance for around $40 each. There are 15 stops, and you can get on and off virtually all day with the last ride taking place around 5 pm.
The Paris Market Shop:
After we got finished eating at the Paris Market Café (see above), we shopped around The Paris Market.
They had so many fabulous things to choose from like unique jewelry, specialty teas, candles, books, perfumes, and an entire floor dedicated to housewares.
It’s one of those stores you want to go really slow in because you don’t want to miss anything!
Makeup Consultation at Blue Mercury:
In the weeks leading up to the trip, my Mom kept saying she felt like her foundation was orange so we thought it would be fun to surprise her with a makeup consultation at Blue Mercury.
The makeup artist was fantastic and helped my Mom switch to products that were closer to her skin tone. She also shared tips and tricks about the importance of good skincare and using the right tools too.
Clothes Shopping on Broughton Street:
Up and down Broughton Street and the surrounding areas, you’ll find tons of clothing stores from big box stores like H&M and Anthropologie to cute boutiques like Dress Up, Copper Penny, and The Impeccable Pig.
We were a bit shocked the antique shopping in Savannah was almost non-existent and some of the prices were more than triple what we pay at home.
Unfortunately, we waited until Sunday to shop the antique stores which was our mistake because most of them were closed.
Antique Shops of note in case you’re interested…
- Jere’s Antiques
- Picker Joes
- Merchants on Bee
- The Antiques Attic (the least expensive and packed with all kinds of things. Especially, jewelry)
- E Shaver Bookseller
Juliette Gordon Low House:
My Mom was both a Girl Scout and a Brownie, so we knew in advance we had to tour the Juliette Gordon Low House. It was so much fun to see her relive a lot of her favorite childhood memories.
The house and courtyard are both really beautiful and our tour guide (who was also a former Girl Scout) made it extra special because she was so passionate about raising up the leaders of tomorrow.
I’m totally on the fence about the tour of the Mercer-Williams House which feels kind of scandalous given the history of the book and movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is synonymous with Savannah.
We could only tour the downstairs areas and no photography or video was allowed.
Our tour guide was certainly knowledgeable, but the tour was mostly based around the life of John Williams which wasn’t what I expected at all.
Other tours to consider…
- The Davenport House
- Andrew Low House Museum
- The Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters
- First African Baptist Church
- Pin Point Heritage Museum
- SCAD Store and Museum
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist:
Thankfully, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist was one of the stops on the trolley. Even if it weren’t we still would have sought it out though.
It was recommended to us so many times and for good reason!
While we were allowed to take photos, in the end, it’s still a place of worship where hundreds of people are gathering throughout the day to pray and light candles.
The energy and presence inside are truly hard to describe, it’s really breathtaking.
Southern Flavors Walking Dessert Tour:
My Mom is one of those people who has a hard time making her mind up when we go to restaurants. She’s usually trying to decide between 3 or more items because they all sound so good.
When my middle sister found a walking dessert tour in Savannah, we knew it would be perfect for her. My Mom has a serious sweet tooth, and she likes to try a lot of different things!
The tour costs around $40 per person and you buy your tickets in advance. The groups are intentionally kept small which is nice.
All six desserts were full-size servings. Rudy was our tour guide and he did an excellent job weaving in the history of Savannah with the culinary experience of each sweet treat.
It was definitely one of the highlights of our birthday celebration in Savannah trip!
Leopold’s Ice Cream Shop:
Going to Savannah and missing Leopold’s is like going to San Francisco and missing the Golden Gate Bridge.
It’s simply a rite of passage.
The staff at Leopold’s do a great job getting people in and out quickly. Just a heads up, there is always a line. In fact, the night we went it was 39 degrees and there was still a line!
The ice cream is totally worth it though. I got the Savannah Socialite, and it was really good.
Birthday Celebration in Savannah: A Few Things to Keep in Mind…
- Most of the parking is street parking so don’t forget to feed the meter. There is also garage and public parking around town for a daily/hourly fee available as well.
- Savannah is made up of ballast stone walkways, concrete paths and asphalt streets so be sure to bring comfortable shoes – you’ll be doing a lot of walking.
- Make meal reservations for as many places as you can prior to your arrival. We were able to get into most of the restaurants on our bucket list at just the right time, but they all asked if we had made reservations in advance.
- Purchase trolley and other tour tickets in advance when possible. That way, you aren’t waiting in longer lines than necessary.
- Create an itinerary with flexibility where possible. Some of the home tours definitely look longer than we anticipated.
- Savannah currently has an open container law.
- They also currently have a mask mandate for all government buildings. A lot of the restuarants, shops, historical homes and tours had them in place as well.
- If you’re going to Savannah for a celebratory weekend, don’t forget to pack swag bags. We surprised my Mom with everything from matching robes, to mud masks to mini bottles of champagne to emergency kits.
- My sisters and I also kept a journal of all our adventures while in Savannah. We presented it to my Mom the night of her birthday and she loved it.
Whether you’re going for a romantic weekend or looking to get away to decompress, Savannah has something for pretty much everyone.
We had such a great time celebrating my Mom’s special milestone birthday and we hope these tips have helped!