Day two in Savannah! It was a bit more active than Day One in the sense that we partook in more activities than just laying on the beach and eating. Not that I have anything against laying on the beach and eating. In fact, I really enjoy both of those activities! But there is a lot to see in Savannah, so we wanted to make sure we had time to see some of the city.
We started out with brunch. I can’t remember a notable Sunday in recent history that has not begun with brunch. Initially, when we outlined our plans for the trip, we had planned to go to Paula Deen’s restaurant, Lady and Sons, for brunch on Sunday. Luckily, though, we realized before getting there that Lady and Sons doesn’t actually serve brunch – just lunch. We debated still going, but ultimately decided against it. I have to say, I think this was the right decision. The main draw in going to Lady and Sons is obviously the Paula Deen factor. But if you take Paula Deen out of the equation, there is just no way that any of us would still want to eat there. Heavy southern comfort food is just not really my cup of tea and I think Allison and Andrea feel the same way. Combine that with the fact that we all love brunch, and it was kind of a no-brainer to change our plans.
We ended up doing a little online research about good brunch spots in Savannah but I couldn’t help but notice that brunch does not appear to be as prevalent in Savannah as it is in other cities I’ve been to. A high percentage of restaurants that we looked into did not have a brunch menu. We ended up walking around for a while to see what the options were and decided on a place we had seen online called Papillote. I think they more specialize in grab-n-go orders, but they did have some seating in the restaurant. The food was good, but the overall atmosphere of the restaurant was only okay. But, like I said, it was delicious food, and it felt great to sit down and get out of the heat. Papillote is also in a great, central location, so it was a great jumping-off point for the rest of our plans for the afternoon – shopping on Broughton Street!
Savannah has a ton of cute little shops and boutiques, so we set aside Sunday afternoon to walk around the shops in the downtown area. There were a ton of cute stores including the Salt Table, the Savannah Bee Company, which specializes in different varieties of honey, and then some cute clothing and home goods stores like Villa, Copper Penny and Paris Market.
We all especially liked the Paris Market, which was an adorable french-themed home goods and gift shop.
I had not planned to buy anything on this trip…no wait, I had actually planned to NOT buy anything on this trip…but some of the stores had some really great stuff, so I didn’t quite stick with my initial plan. After exhausting our budgets, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for our extremely exciting plans for the night – a HAUNTED PUB CRAWL!
Yes, that’s right. A pub crawl to some of the haunted bars in Savannah. Apparently, Savannah is one of the most haunted cities in the country, so there are a lot of ghost tours to choose from. Even if you don’t believe in that type of thing, it’s still kind of a fun thing to do. Plus, you actually end up learning some history of the city in the process. We chose the pub crawl ghost tour because it sounded like it would be pretty lighthearted and silly rather than spooky and serious.
The tour was set to kick off from a bar that was right by our hotel, Moon River Brewing Company. We were supposed to meet our group there at 8, so we went over at 6:30 to get some food before the tour. Moon River Brewing Company has two sections – the outside beer garden and the inside, which is more of a regular pub. We sat outside because it was an absolutely gorgeous night!
The food was nothing special, really, but it wasn’t bad. We had burgers and brats that were served on paper plates. Andrea noted that it really wouldn’t be a good Labor Day weekend if we didn’t eat burgers and brats on paper plates at some point, so really we were just celebrating appropriately :) It actually was a really fun place to hang out, though, because there was live music and the beer was pretty good.
Another cool thing about Savannah is that there are no open container laws. When you want to leave a bar, you can pour whatever is left of your drink into a plastic cup and take it with you. After we finished eating, we ordered to-go beers and headed out front to meet up with our tour group to begin the pub crawl!
None of us really knew what to expect from this pub crawl, but I think we were hoping it would be light-hearted and fun. We were told that we would have no trouble finding our tour guides because they would be carrying lanterns and wearing colonial attire, so right away I was thinking that this might actually be kind of weird. Thankfully, I was wrong!
Right away, our tour guide, Jamie, instructed those members of the group who did not already have drinks to go get some beer from inside Moon River Brewing Company and meet us back outside. Once everyone had drinks, Jamie led us back into Moon River and down into the basement where he gave us a brief history of the building and recounted some of the ghost stories that have come from there.
It turns out, that while we were blissfully eating our burgers and brats upstairs, we had actually been hanging out in one of the most haunted places in the country! I don’t know how much I really believe in ghost stories or hauntings (…but it’s a lot), but Jamie’s stories had me convinced that something weird was going on in this building.
Essentially, the building that is now Moon River Brewing Company used to be a hotel in the 1800’s. There were several famous acts of violence associated with the hotel, including a murder and a fist fight that made the front page of the New York Times. Eventually, the hotel closed and the building sat empty for years and years.
Then, in 1996, someone decided to revive and repurpose the building. The plan was to have a brewing company on the first floor and turn the upper floors into something else. The first floor was successfully converted and has been running as Moon River Brewing Company ever since. But the contractor could never get anyone to finish the second and third floors.
Apparently, the contractor went through three different construction companies, but each refused to finish the job. They couldn’t get the workers to stay on site as they kept reporting having weird experiences. Apparently, the workers reported hearing people whisper their names right in their ears only to turn around and find that they were along, feeling people brush up against them and things disappearing. The nail in the coffin (appropriate figure of speech…) was when one of the workers wives came to the building to meet him for lunch. As she was walking down the stairs to leave, she felt an “icy presence” just behind her. She turned to look, but no one was there. As she continued down the stairs, she felt it again. When she looked behind her, again seeing no one, she reported feeling a cold “hand” on her back that forcefully pushed her down the stairs.
That was when construction was abandoned. I know this all sounds like a crock. But we actually got to see the second floor of the building and based on what we saw, I have a hard time believing that reviving that space would have been given up lightly. It is an absolutely gorgeous space – high ceilings, original doors that Jamie said would be worth around $24,000 each, and original finishes. Plus, the building is right in the heart of downtown Savannah. The space would be absolutely amazing, were it finished. So for that reason, I actually do believe that, whether it’s legitimately “haunted” or not, something weird is going on there. So on the first stop of the tour, I was pretty hooked.
We continued on and ended up going to see four or five places. Some we went in to get drinks, some we just walked past, but for each, Jamie had a great story. As we walked, Allison, Andrea and I were chatting with Jamie at the front of the group and he was telling us some “unofficial” stories and anecdotes. We were highly intrigued.
Our tour ended at one of the haunted bars we had been in. We had consumed several beers and shots and we decided to stay for a while. We also decided to invite Jamie to hang out with us, too…ya know, just three girls and a 40-something-year-old man in colonial garb. Normal Sunday night.
As weird as this all sounds, we ended up having a GREAT time with Jamie. He talked about living in Savannah, his own personal experiences with ghosts and spirits and told us more stories. We literally stayed until the haunted bar closed and then went to another! This may or may not be one of my top ten most random and potentially creepy things I’ve done in my life, but it ended up being a ton of fun.
So, our last night in Savannah was a successful one. When we woke up the next day, we were so sad to have to leave! At least I was headed up to Hilton Head for a week at the beach, so that helped ease the pain quite a bit. All in all, our girls weekend was a HUGE success! On our way to the airport, we were already plotting for the next one so hopefully this will become a tradition!
Stay tuned for a recap of Hilton Head Island and try not to be too jealous of our new bestie (Jamie).