If strolling hand-in-hand with your sweetie through urban squares shaded by Spanish-moss-draped live oaks is your idea of a romantic weekend, consider spending Valentine’s Day in Savannah. You’ll find that this Southern port city on the Savannah River offers plenty of opportunities for romance.
Mercer-Williams House — Photo courtesy of Tadson Bussey
Savannah has been known for its beauty since founder James Oglethorpe laid out the grid of city squares after landing on a bluff above the river in 1733. Seeing the historic district via horse-drawn carriage is a great way to take in the city’s lovely Federal, Georgian, Italianate, Greek Revival and Victorian architecture. For a broader view from the harbor, take a cruise aboard a paddlewheel riverboat.
For a closer look at Savannah’s past, tour some of the historic houses that are open to the public, such as the 1819 Owens-Thomas House; the Mercer-Williams House, star of the 1997 film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil; and the Andrew Low House, birthplace of Girl Scouts’ founder, Juliette Gordon Low.
Forsyth Park — Photo courtesy of Jason Riedy
Check out the Telfair Academy to see the collection of 19th- and 20th-century American and European art, which includes the city’s iconic Bird Girl statue. Take a break in 30-acre Forsyth Park, on one of the benches surrounding the two-tiered white fountain cast out of iron in 1858.
Sweets for the sweet fill the blocks of Broughton Street, the historic district’s shopping core. Find irresistible hand-crafted bonbons at the shop of artisan chocolatier Adam Turoni. For a retro treat, head to venerable Leopold’s ice-cream shop, which recalls a 1930s-era soda fountain, complete with employees who dress as latter-day soda jerks.
Raspberry Chambord Truffles at Chocolat by Adam Turoni — Photo courtesy of Lily Lewin, courtesy of Chocolat by Adam Turoni
And any gourmand would relish a box of buttercream-filled French macarons from Papillote, where you can also get tasty French fare for lunch.
Time to check into your roost for the evening, and a finely feathered nest awaits at the grand Mansion on Forsyth Park. Now part of the luxe Kessler Collection of boutique hotels, this elegant 125-room property drips with Verona marble, Lalique crystal and original artwork.
Romantic accommodations at Mansion on Forsyth Park — Photo courtesy of Mansion on Forsyth Park
After all that sightseeing, a late-afternoon spa treatment is in order. The hotel’s Poseidon Spa has just the thing: a couples’ massage followed by Champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries.
By now, dinner calls, and the Olde Pink House, built in 1789, wraps you in historic charm in its lovely rooms with white-clothed tables spaced far enough apart to foster intimate conversation. Cornbread fried oysters and she-crab soup make fittingly Southern preludes to such entrees as crab-stuffed grouper and bourbon molasses grilled pork tenderloin.
Mood-setting outdoor dining at The Olde Pink House — Photo courtesy of The Olde Pink House
After dinner, head back to the Mansion on Forsyth Park for a nightcap (weather permitting) on the rooftop terrace of the hotel’s Casimir's Lounge, before cuddling up together on your cloud-like pillowtop mattress.