Bonaventure Cemetery, where Minerva conducted her midnight voodoo rituals, is every bit as beautiful and haunting in person as it is in the book — Photo courtesy of Don Teuton / Dash Tours
You read the book. You saw the movie. Now it’s time to hit the streets of Savannah and explore the spots made famous in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, the 1994 bestseller by John Berendt that was brought to the big screen by director Clint Eastwood in 1997. The Mercer Williams House Museum, where Jim Williams once resided, is open for tours — Photo courtesy of Tadson Bussey
Start your journey with a tour of the Mercer Williams House Museum, the magnificent mansion on Monterey Square once occupied by Midnight’s central character: Savannah socialite Jim Williams. The house features furniture and artwork from Williams’ private collection, including 18th- and 19th-century portraits and furniture, Chinese porcelain and more. If you want a small replica of the Mercer Williams House to take home, then stop by the museum’s gift shop, which also sells Midnight memorabilia such as Bird Girl statues, audio recordings and copies of the book. The Forsyth Park fountain was featured in the movie adaptation directed by Clint Eastwood — Photo courtesy of Jason Riedy
After your tour, head one block south to Forsyth Park, which you’ll recognize immediately from the movie. Ask a passerby to snap a picture of you in front of the 33-acre park’s impressive three-tiered, cast-iron fountain, which served as a backdrop in the film. A meal at Clary's Cafe is a must for "Midnight" fans — Photo courtesy of Clary's Cafe
When you’ve finished taking in the sites at Forsyth, walk a block east to Abercorn Street, then trek a few blocks north until you reach Clary’s Café, the eatery that was featured prominently (as Clary’s drugstore) in both the book and movie. Breakfast is served all day, so splurge on the hoppel poppel fantastic.
You can work off your decadent scrambled egg and salami dish by walking a little over half a mile to the Telfair Academy, part of the Telfair Museums. In addition to viewing the Bird Girl statue, which was immortalized on the book’s cover, you can peruse the museum’s lovely collection of 18th- to 19th-century paintings, sculpture, decorative arts and more. Greenwich Cemetery, right next door to Bonaventure, is the final resting place of Danny Hansford — Photo courtesy of Don Teuton / Dash Tours
Next, head back to your hotel, hop in your car and take a short drive to Bonaventure Cemetery, the location of Minerva’s midnight voodoo rituals. There’s plenty to see at the historic cemetery, including the burial sites of poet Conrad Aiken - whose engraved bench at Bonaventure was noted in Berendt’s novel - and famed lyricist Johnny Mercer, whose family is mentioned periodically throughout the book. When you’re done walking through Bonaventure, head on over to neighboring Greenwich Cemetery, where you can pay your respects to Jim William’s ex-lover and victim, Danny Hansford. The Lady Chablis takes the stage at Club One once a month — Photo courtesy of Club One
Grab dinner in the Historic District, then end your evening at Club One, the nightclub made famous by The Lady Chablis. Though Chablis only performs once a month (Check Club One’s website for a schedule.), you’ll still have fun watching her fellow drag queens entertain the crowd at the three-level dance club.
No Midnight trip is complete without living like a local and having a cocktail. Whether you choose to imbibe at Club One or head to another bar in nearby City Market, be sure to have at least one drink during your Midnight tour.
As Berendt said in his novel, “Rule number one: Always stick around for one more drink. That's when things happen. That's when you find out everything you want to know.”