Many people stop by Wright Square, the city's second-oldest square, to visit a monument that memorializes famed Native American leader Tomochichi. The 17th-century Creek leader was a key factor in mediating peace between the native population and the English settlers. Bringing together diverse groups and celebrating unity is very much the mantra of the merchants whose businesses populate today's Wright Square and the adjacent streets. Galleries (Friedman's Fine Arts and Liquid Sands Glass Gallery), first-rate confectionaries (chocolatier Wright Square Café and the Cupcake Emporium) and antique stores (Antiquities Antique Store and Wright Square Antique Mall) work together, along with the other lovely stores in the area to create a first-rate shopping experience for visitors. The merchants even throw an annual holiday open house in December to showcase their goods and services.
Just a few miles south of Downtown Savannah, Abercorn Walk is one of the city's newest shopping centers and one of the nicest. Anchored by the gourmet grocery store Fresh Market, Abercorn Walk is a woman's dream, with clothiers Palm Avenue (a Lilly Pulitzer boutique), White House Black Market, Loft, Chico's, Talbots, Coldwater Creek and Francesca's, all of which offer trendy, affordable frocks for women of all ages. Men can get their shopping groove on too at upscale retailer Jos. A. Bank, while those more interested in items for the home will enjoy browsing the goods at furniture store Nadeau and kitchen store Williams-Sonoma.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Women in search of that perfect outfit have lots of options at Abercorn Walk, home to Loft, Francesca's, White House Black Market, Chico's and more.
Amy's expert tip: Thinking of having a picnic in one of Savannah's beautiful squares? Run into Fresh Market when you're done shopping and grab some of the store's tasty and healthy prepared foods.
12 Oaks may not immediately catch the eyes of tourists, but this shopping center, anchored by Publix supermarket, has several locally owned businesses that make it well worth the trip. BleuBelle Boutique features some of the most fashionable designer clothes in town, while sister store BleuBelle Bridal Salon is a bride-to-be's dream come true. Those shopping on a budget will appreciate the vast selection and reasonable prices at women's clothing store Affordables Apparel. Longtime Savannah shoe store Globe is a must for shoe aficionados, while home chefs will drool over the insane selection of goods at Kitchenware Outfitters. And no trip to 12 Oaks is complete without a visit to the Savannah Wine Cellar, a wine store with a unique self-serve system that allows patrons to sample from up to 40 varieties of wine.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: 12 Oaks is more than just a place to grocery shop. The shopping center also houses locally owned boutiques, a wine shop and kitchenware store.
Amy's expert tip: Kitchenware Outfitters offers popular evening cooking classes with some of Savannah's best chefs. Check out the store's website for a schedule and sign up ahead of your vacation to guarantee a spot.
If you're looking to pick up some Savannah souvenirs during your visit, River Street is the place to shop. But Savannah T-shirts and magnets aren't the only reason to hit up the historic street that overlooks the Savannah River. There's something for collectors (True Grits, a shop that specializes in Civil War artifacts), peanut lovers (The Peanut Shop of Savannah, a store that sells more than 50 varieties of hand-roasted peanuts) and book lovers (Books on Bay, a bookstore that features thousands of books from the 1700s to the late 1900s). There are also lovely galleries, an open-air marketplace, a good selection of restaurants and bars, and not one, but two candy stores. So many great shopping options, plus numerous special events held throughout the year in which vendors sell their arts and crafts, make River Street a one-stop shopping destination that you don't want to miss.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: River Street is a must for visitors hoping to score cool souvenirs and Savannah-made sweet treats to take back home.
Amy's expert tip: Want to stock up on some great accessories without breaking the bank? Pop on into Fabulous Finds Under $20 and Fine Things under $20, where everything is--you guessed it--under $20.
Habersham Antiques & Collectibles Market, located in Savannah's Thomas Square Streetcar neighborhood, features an impressive selection of antiques, estate items and collectibles from more than 70 dealers. The market, which is housed in a former mid-20th century grocery store, boasts room after room of housewares, furniture, artwork, books, clothing, jewelry, accessories, Oriental carpets and more. Many details of the original grocery store remain and are repurposed, including meat hooks in the old butcher's area that are cleverly used to hang rugs. Habersham Antiques' staff goes out of its way to help customers navigate the large store, and prices are often negotiable depending on the dealer.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: You could spend hours browsing the selection at Habersham Antiques Market & Collectibles, an expansive store with a fantastic selection of antiques.
Amy's expert tip: Be sure to check out Habersham Antiques & Collectibles' impressive selection of lampshades.
With more than 100 stores, a number of restaurants, a food court and free children's play area, the Oglethorpe Mall is the number one place for indoor shopping and dining in Savannah. Those looking to restock their wardrobes with the latest styles will find plenty to choose from at Savannah's oldest shopping mall. Anchor stores JC Penney, Macy's and Sears have a fine selection to fit every budget, while Belk has stepped it up, offering prestigious brands such as Kate Spade, Joe's Jeans and Ugg Australia. Clotheshorses will enjoy favorites such as Gap, Old Navy, The Limited and Express, while parents will have no trouble finding duds for their little ones at Gymboree, Justice, Crazy Eight and Children's Place. The Barnes and Noble, the city's largest bookstore, is a breath of fresh air on the weekends, providing a quiet escape from the mall chaos.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Oglethorpe Mall's 100-plus stores have everything you need. Visitors will especially enjoy perusing the goods a Belk, a department store known for its Southern style.
Amy's expert tip: Trip rained out? Restless kids? The Oglethorpe Mall is a good place to let them burn off steam if you're feeling cooped up. Between the free children's soft play area, the carousel and train ride in the food court, and Build-a-Bear Workshop, kids will have plenty to keep them entertained for hours.
City Market is a favorite among visitors and locals alike. An ode to the original City Market, which was used by farmers and traders in the 18th century to sell their goods, the open-air market has a little bit of something for everyone. City Market is home to several art galleries, including the A.T. Hun Gallery, Jim Pennington Fine Art, Raffine Galerie, Signature Gallery, Stephen Kasun Gallery and Thomas Kinkade Gallery, along with several smaller galleries and artists who have space in the market's Art Center. There are several gift shops that boast an array of Savannah souvenirs and other goodies, among them All Things Georgia, Trolley Stop Gifts and Cinnamon Bear. Specialty retailers include Twinkle, which features fun fashion accessories, perfumery Scents of Savannah, bookstore Savannah Prose and Poetry, and Savannah Cigars. In addition to great shops, City Market also has a number of places to grab a light snack, sweet treat or hearty meal.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Nestled in the heart of Savannah's Historic District, City Market has cool souvenir shops, awesome art galleries, and drool-worthy cookie and candy stores.
Amy's expert tip: Be sure to stop by Savannah's Candy Kitchen for a free sample of its world-famous pralines.
The Savannah College of Art and Design has not only breathed life into Downtown Savannah, it has also produced some of the most talented artists and designers in the country. ShopSCAD, a retail store operated by the college that features jewelry, decor, paintings, pottery, photography, apparel and other gift items designed by the college's students and alumni, is the perfect way to take a piece of the college home. Several items available at shopSCAD have been featured in prestigious magazines, including Vogue, Lucky and Woman's Day. With brand new items arriving daily, you may want to peek in a few times during your trip.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: You're guaranteed to find something unique at ShopSCAD, a store featuring items crafted by Savannah College of Art and Design students, alumni and faculty.
Amy's expert tip: Check out ShopSCAD's Facebook page for photos of the latest merchandise.
Historic Sandfly, a neighborhood near Isle of Hope, has quickly become one of the trendiest shopping destinations outside of Downtown Savannah. Norwood Market on Skidaway Road features several unique shops, among them the clothing and accessory boutique the Pink Door, skincare shop Nourish and gift shop Summer Home. Nearby Newton's Corner on Ferguson Avenue is home to trendy clothing boutique James Gunn and eclectic gift shop Sweet Tea Home & Gifts. Just a half a block down on Ferguson Avenue is the Sandfly Five Oaks Shopping Center, which features toy store Four Kids, women's clothing shop Ej Scandals, and Sandfly Market Place, a hidden gem with antiques and collectibles from multiple vendors. The area also has several outstanding restaurants, among them Driftaway Café, Sandfly Bar-B-Q and Fiore, making Sandfly the perfect spot to spend an afternoon.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: The trendy neighborhood of Sandfly features three shopping centers with fantastic boutiques, gift shops and other charming locally owned businesses.
Amy's expert tip: After hitting up the boutiques and restaurants in Sandfly, use your GPS and travel a mile-and-a-half to Bluff Drive in Isle of Hope. The historic street, with its massive oak trees, stately mansions and incredible view of the Intracoastal Waterway, is one of the city's most breathtaking residential areas.
Hip boutiques, popular chain stores, galleries, unique gourmet shops and some of the city's best restaurants contribute to Broughton Street's reputation as one of the city's most popular shopping destinations. Two century-old, family-owned businesses anchor Broughton Street--Levy Jewelers, which features an impressive collection of diamonds, watches, jewelry and giftware, and Globe Shoe Company, one of the city's best stores for high-quality footwear and accessories. Broughton Street also boasts upscale retailers Marc Jacobs (the label's only company store in the South outside of Miami) and Kate Spade, along with Urban Outfitters, Gap and Banana Republic. But some of the best shopping can be found in Broughton Street's many locally owned businesses, among them jewelry store ZIA Boutique, skincare shop Sugar Works, handbag boutique Satchel, furniture store 24e Design Co., and the Savannah Bee Company, a retail shop specializing in Savannah-made honey.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Broughton Street's unique locally owned businesses and chic national retailers make it the perfect destination for a day of shopping.
Amy's expert tip: Be sure to cap off your trip to Broughton Street with a visit to Leopold's Ice Cream, the city's oldest and best ice cream parlor.