The Ultimate Betches Guide To Savannah And Charleston

By Lauren Ellman | March 8, 2023
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Both Savannah and Charleston are amongst the most popular bachelorette party spots in the US.  I mean, I dare you to order a drink every time you see one walk by and see what happens. But that’s not to say you need to be part of a #BrideTribe (cringe, I know) to visit. In fact, these Southern cities are great year-round vacation destinations. Best of all, they’re just two hours from each other, so you can easily hit both in one trip. After spending time in both CHS and SAV, I’ve narrowed down the best things on my entire itinerary into one compact guide. You’re welcome.  

What To Do In Savannah

Where To Eat And Drink In Savannah

Huey’s

Transport yourself to NOLA and nab a table at Huey’s for brunch—I promise the beignets alone are well worth the wait, as are the Bloody Marys if that’s your thing. If you can, ask for a table outside for prime people-watching opps along the river as you get tipsier by the minute. 

The Collins Quarter

Another brunch staple in Sav, The Collin Quarter has two locations: One in Historic Downtown Savannah and one at Forysth Park. I’d sell my soul for unlimited quantities of their iced lavender mocha—though their fruity mimosas also hit the spot. Pretty much everything on the menu here is *chef’s kiss* from the avo toast and shakshuka to the shrimp and grits and bananas foster French toast.  

Vic’s Coffee Bar

I’m not lying when I say the baked-from-scratch cinnamon roll at Vic’s Coffee Bar is by far the best one I’ve had in my entire life. Pair it with an iced macchiato and you’re golden—or grab a spiked coffee or cocktail instead and thank me later. 

The Olde Pink House

Is it possible to come to Savannah without posting a pic of The Olde Pink House? While the food is definitely $$$ at this pink-hued establishment, you should at least come for a round of drinks ~for the ‘gram~. 

Leopold’s Ice Cream

Pretty much everyone I spoke to about Savannah recommended stopping at Leopold’s Ice Cream—but nobody warned me about the 45-minute line. Spoiler alert: It was worth it. Mint chocolate chip is a personal fav (topped with hot fudge, ofc). If you’re trying to avoid the crowds altogether, plan on arriving right as they open at 11 AM: Ice cream for breakfast? Say no more.

Wet Willie’s

I’d never heard of Wet Willie’s before my trip, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that my life has been forever changed. They literally have a wall full of different flavored frozen daiquiris to choose from. It’s just as magical as it sounds—despite the nasty hangover the following day. (Hey, that’s what Advil’s for.) 

Jen’s and Friends

Think of Jen’s and Friends as a candy store for adults (read: with alc). This downtown hotspot is famous for its impressive ‘tini offerings—there are, I sh*t you not, hundreds to choose from. Flavors range from birthday cake and cookie dough to nostalgia-inducing sips like Milano cookie, Twinkie, and Hostess Cupcake. 

Where To Stay In Savannah

The Alida

The Alida is located in Savannah’s Plant Riverside District, just a few minutes from Sav’s best bars, restaurants, and coffee shops. The aesthetic here is design-forward and contemporary with a twinge of mid-century modern flair. Order a drink at the rooftop bar, or snag a lounger by the pool if the weather’s warm enough.

Perry Lane Hotel

Part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection, this is def where your mom would stay when she comes to town. Not only is it in the heart of the city’s Historic District, but it’s also home to a fantastic year-round rooftop pool and bar and, ofc, ultra-luxe rooms and suites. Get your zen on and sign up for rooftop yoga or enjoy a round of bocce ball with a cocktail in hand. 

Mansion at Forsyth Park

This 19th-century-era-mansion-turned-luxury hotel is especially popular amongst couples. For a romantic AF stay, spring on a room with a soaking tub, sign up for an on-site cooking class, indulge in high tea (pinkies up, ppl!), and surprise your partner with a massage at the spa. 

Thompson Savannah

Boasting beautiful river views, stunning rooms and suites, and an effortlessly cool ambiance, this sleek hotel makes a great—and chic—home base for exploring. Take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool before hitting up one of two beautiful bars, including one on the rooftop.  

What To Do In Savannah

Take a Walking Tour

The best way to explore Savannah? On foot, ofc. So, bring your comfiest kicks and embark on a walking tour—Genteel & Bard has a great two-hour history one that’s actually fun and not at all boring (rly). 

Shop Away

Both Broughton and Bull Streets are prime shopping spots, and you can v easily spend the entire day popping in and out of stores. Expect dozens of trendy boutiques selling home decor, accessories, clothing, furnishings, and (so) much more. 

Go On A Ghost Tour

Savannah is considered one of—if not the most—haunted cities in America. So, if you’re up for the thrill, sign up for a ghost tour and try not to sh*t yourself. A handful of tour operators even have nighttime excursions, which are even creepier. 

Meander Through Forsyth Park

This leafy 30-acre park is the perfect spot to stroll, sip coffee, and enjoy a ‘gram-worthy picnic lunch (DIY it or, if you’re feeling extra AF, book a fancy one with Savannah Picnic Co.).

What To Do In Charleston, South Carolina

Where To Eat And Drink

167 Raw Oyster Bar

Arguably Charleston’s best seafood joint, 167 Raw is famous for its oysters—but their ceviche, lobster rolls, and crab dip also won’t disappoint. Tip: Arrive early to put your name down (there are no reservations, sry) and head to sister spot BAR167 to sip on a drink (the spritzes are 10/10) as you wait. 

Amen Street Fish & Raw Bar

Amen Street Fish & Raw Bar doesn’t get nearly enough hype as it deserves. They’re known for their thick, steak-cut fried calamari—though their raw bar is equally excellent. Come for lunch and cure your hangover with an order of fried green tomatoes, hushpuppies, or shrimp corndogs (it is the South, after all). If you can stomach more booze, try the frozen peach bellini, spicy Bloody Mary, or the “Sin-A-Bon” (Cinnamon Toast Crunch bourbon, banana brown sugar, walnut bitters). 

Miller’s All Day

Think of Miller’s All Day as a trendier version of your fav NYC diner but with a southern twist. The interiors—modeled after an old-school pharmacy—are practically designed to be Instagrammed. While you can’t go wrong with anything on their menu, which features a mix of sweet and savory specialties, the cinnamon roll made with biscuit dough is life-changing. 

Carmella’s Cafe and Dessert Bar

Think of Carmella’s as one-part bakery, one-part coffee shop, and one-part bar. Pair your pastry, cake, or gelato with one of their signature cocktails (three words: Thin Mint Martini) as you sit outside and pretend you’re Southern Charm’s newest cast member. 

The Citrus Club

Located on the eighth floor of the luxe Dewberry hotel, The Citrus Club is the city’s highest rooftop bar. Here, you’ll find a handful of citrus-inspired cocktails such as spritzes, specialty mojitos and margs, daiquiris, and Mai Tais—plus light bites like crispy Brussels and lobster rolls. 

The Gin Joint

Known for its craft cocktails and expansive spirits collection, this cozy bar is almost always buzzing at night for ~the vibes~. However, you can—and def should—come for happy hour (Monday through Friday from 5 to 7pm) to take advantage of $7 cocktails (including daiquiris and ‘tinis), snacks, and beers.    

Where To Stay In Charleston

Hotel Bennett

Live out your rich mom dreams by booking a room at Hotel Bennett along Upper King Street (AKA the city’s Design District). After a night of one too many cocktails, treat yourself to a massage at the spa followed by afternoon tea at Camellias (yes, you’ve seen it on IG, but even those pics don’t do it justice). 

Emeline

Emeline has it all: Top-notch vibes, a great location on Church St., stylish rooms and common spaces, amazing food (the ‘za at Frannie & The Fox is, dare I say, *almost* on par with one you’d find in NYC), and incredible staff (I did not know Southern hospitality was a real thing before staying here). In the mornings, score a seat on the couch by the outdoor fireplace as you sip on almost-$7 ube lattes from the hotel’s coffee shop as you prep for the day ahead. 

The Vendue

This artsy hotel is housed across two historic buildings in Charleston’s French Quarter. With 200 pieces of original works on display, The Vendue feels more like an art museum than a traditional hotel—though the rooms and rooftop bar are sure to wow, too. 

The Ryder Hotel

The Ryder is a design lover’s dream come true with both boho-chic and contemporary touches. Rooms feature a handsome neutral color palette plus light woods, woven rugs, and woodwork. By day, guests flock to the retro-inspired Little Palm to lounge by the pool; come nighttime, the space transforms into a buzzy cocktail bar. 

The Loutrel Hotel

This boutique hotel is perfectly situated between Church and State Streets in Charleston’s historic district. Each of the 50 rooms and suites here feels like it belongs in a Southern Living spread thanks to its elegant furnishings, gorg decor, and plush linens. The garden-inspired rooftop lounge serves innovative craft cocktails in a colorful setting. 

What To Do In Charleston

Stroll Along Waterfront Park

This scenic eight-acre park is home to the IG-famous Pineapple Fountain, so be sure to post it on your IG story so everyone knows where you are. If you’re lucky, you may be able to spot dolphins here, too. 

Visit Folly Beach

An easy Uber from downtown Charleston, this buzzy beach town boasts a bunch of bars and restaurants where fresh seafood and frozen drinks are always on the menu. You can also walk along the namesake pier or take a dip in the ocean. 

Hit Up King Street

King Street is massive, and it’s home to hundreds (!)  of shops, restaurants, bars, galleries, and more. Speaking of the former, you’ll find everything from mom-and-pop antique stores and indie booksellers to posh name-brand boutiques (looking at you, @Gucci and @Golden Goose) and beyond.

Go Shopping in Charleston City Market

This historic market dates back centuries and spans four city blocks. Today, local makers, artisans, and vendors occupy the space—and it’s probs the best place in town to buy unique tchotchkes for your apartment. 

Snap a Photo of Rainbow Row

Did you actually walk by Rainbow Row if you didn’t Instagram it? (Asking for a friend.) These pastel-hued historic homes are seriously stunning. 

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