Pip’s first Road Trip to Savannah Georgia, Tybee Island, and South of the Border!
Savannah, Georgia is known for a lot of things, it’s one of the most haunted places in the United States, which is why you’ll find ghost tours offered all over the city. Some are walking tours, some are trolley tours, and some are even in the back of a hearse. It also allows drinking in public, which means almost all the bars offer to-go cups and allow you to take your drink with you as you walk through the city. Oh and there was that famous murder there. Savannah will always be known to some for being the home of John Berendt’s “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”.
It is also one of the most pet-friendly places in America. Due to its warm, temperate climate there are almost daily opportunities to do something outside, which means almost all the cafes, bars, and restaurants offer some sort of outdoor seating that allow dogs or cats. And in this case, it really is both! We saw two other cats out and about in the city while we were there over Christmas break. And Leopold’s even told us they had just had a bunny rabbit visit the day before us. If you love to take your animal with you on a trip, Savannah is the place to go!
In no particular order, these are all the places that Pip got to visit! We were there over Christmas 2018, so as you’ll see it can be quite warm even in December. We used the city’s official tourism website to help us find dog-friendly options, as well as the most popular places visitors like to frequent for photographs. And since we’ve actually been to Savannah several times, and we were tight on time, we didn’t squeeze in any tours. But, we highly recommend going on some of the ghost tours in town, they have really cool stories that give you a look into Savannah’s very interesting history! We’ve actually done them all. If you are with older kids, the hearse ride is awesome, if you’re with all adults the walking/drinking bar crawl one is great, and if you are a family of mixed ages the more traditional walking tour or horse and carriage ride is best.
And remember you can always contact us or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about Pip and his adventures. Oh! And don’t forget to follow us on any and all social media @ImFeelingPipsy on Instagram and TikTok or Pip the Beach Cat on Facebook!
We started Pip’s day here at Forsyth Park, a local hub of people-gathering. Whether you are a tourist coming to check out the beautiful Forsyth Fountain, actually dyed green during Savannah’s huge St. Patrick’s Day celebration, or a local coming to read, relax, picnic, sun-bathe, or people-watch, this is the most well-known park in the city. With plenty of room for a jog, it’s also a great spot to go on a little walk with your dog. For more info visit The Gallivanter!
The Mercer-Williams House
Originally called just Mercer House, this building is a must-see for anyone that is a fan of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” It was in this house that Danny Handsford, Jim Williams’ assistant, was murdered. The house is actually now owned by Williams’ sister Dorothy and is open for tours. It’s original name comes from the house being designed by songwriter Johnny Mercer’s great-grandfather. And it wasn’t the home of just one death, there’s actually been three in this home, “Before Hansford’s death, as retold in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, the house had already been the scene of two deaths. In 1913 a previous owner tripped over the second floor banister, fractured his hip, and suffered a concussion, dying three days later. In 1969, a boy chasing pigeons on the roof fell over the edge and impaled himself on the iron fence below” (Wikipedia).
The Casimir Pulaski Monument
Pulaski is a Polish and American war-hero, whose name you can find on memorials across both countries. What’s interesting about this one is that it was constructed and placed very close in Monterey Square just next to where Pulaski actually died during the Siege of Savannah. The monument reads, “Pulaski, the Heroic Pole, who fell mortally wounded, fighting for American Liberty at the siege of Savannah, October 9, 1779.” It’s also important to us, because Pip’s dad (human) and sisters (cats) are all from Poland themselves!
Savannah itself was built in squares, and each one contains a bit of history. So, not only does it make it super easy to get around the city without getting lost, there also always something to learn in every square you visit!
Lafayette Square and the Semiquincentenary Fountain
We happened to be on our way to get some ice cream, and passed through Lafayette Square as we stopped to see the Cathedreal of St. John the Baptist. Pip made a little wish in the fountain, and we all had a quiet moment. There are lots of fountains around Savannah, including a pet-friendly drinking fountain (see later). If you love fountains, Mary Ann Fiebert highlights several here.
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Pip stopped by to marvel at this beauty right next to Lafayette Square, which has the tallest twin peaks in downtown, designed by Francis Baldwin. As we said before, every square is full of history, you also have the Andrew Low House here; as well as, the Hamilton-Turner House. More on this square here. I promise Pip is in the picture, his little paws are hanging out of his carrier!
Built in 1921 the Lucas Theatre still sits at its original location on Abercorn Street. The theatre holds both stage shows and film showings, while also giving tours. It has partnered with the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), forming a bond that ensures the theatre will be enjoyed for generations to come.
Charleston, South Carolina isn’t the only southern city with a Rainbow Row! Savannah has its own too. Brightly painted historic houses, some available for rent, line East Bryan Street. Pip put on his preppy best and tried to blend in! Look at that Eddie Bauer vest!
Leopold’s Ice Cream
For all the years I’ve been coming to Savannah, over 28 at this point, I never once had Leopold’s Ice Cream, so I think the city’s official website for pointing us in this direction. Leopold’s has been making their ice cream since 1919, and it shows. The recipes are classic and perfect. I had pistachio, Jack had vanilla, and little Pip got his very own Pup-Cone! Of course anytime he gets one of these we actually call it a Pip-Cone! He wasn’t too fond of the dog bone, so we gave it to a little furry friend that was sitting nearby. Again, Leopold’s is just one of the many places that welcomes furry visitors to their establishment. In a matter of 24 hours they had served many dogs, at least one cat, and a bunny! Plus the pet-ice-cream is free!
Shopping on Broughton Street
If you like to shop then Broughton street is the perfect place for you! Tons of local shops both on the street and just off of it, intermix with a few big names like Urban Outfitters, J.Crew, and Banana Republic. We highly recommend stopping in every store, but our local favorites are The Paris Market, The Salt Table, and Savannah Bee Company.
Savannah Bee Company
We’ve been buying Savannah Bee Company honey since they first opened, and now you can buy it here in Pip’s hometown, at the Fenwick Island Harris Teeter, just north of Ocean City. Back to Savannah though, this isn’t just a honey shop. Not only can you sample all their honeys, all their beauty products, you can even stop at the bar to do a mead tasting- something we definitely recommend. Or at least take home some mead with your honey because they are both awesome products. Our favorite though is the Winter White (also known as whipped honey).
I think it’s safe to say that Pip is a bit honey-colored himself! He just blends right in! Also aren’t their bottles beautiful!
And they even have a water bowl for their pet visitors.
The Paris Market
Another one of our must-stop places is the Paris Market and Brocante. This place has it all, a perfect cafe to sip European sodas and coffees and snack on treats. And a home decor store with literally everything you could want for your home. While Pip wasn’t allowed inside for long, they served him on the patio and he enjoyed the winter sunshine. If you’ve ever shopped at Anthropologie, this store is very similar in style.
Pip trying to look Parisan…
And now to the fun stuff!
Moon River Brewing Company
Great food. Great beer. Need we say more? This place has a huge outdoor patio with plenty of room for dogs and cats. We made some furry friends, and some human ones too. The environment of the outdoor area is super welcoming, and the staff is super friendly as well. Get the beer flight, then follow it up with a full pint of your favorite!
River Street Bar Crawl
Remember how we said all the bars offer to-go cups? This is one the best places to use them! Especially if you have a dog or other pet with you. You can hop in any bar, grab a beer or cocktail, and take it on your walk along the river! We usually stop by Bernie’s to get a bucket of oysters to shuck, but they don’t have seating that allows animals so we had to skip it this time. We did however stop in several other places.
Their slogan says it all, “Coldest, Cheapest, beer in town!” We’re not sure if they are pet-friendly, but they didn’t mind Pip in his carrier. Again, there’s so many places to sit and drink outside on River Street that worst case scenario you can just grab the beer to go and take it out with you!
Again, their official pet-policy, is a no-go but their cups are automatically to-go, and we personally always stop in to get their souvenir cup for the year! If you like slushie-type drinks this is the best place to go, it’s literally 20+ different frozen concoctions! Some of them mix four or five flavors! And if you want to sit at a Wet Willie’s with you furry friend, just skip their River Street location and head over to their new one on City Market! It’s got a full outdoor patio that allows dogs and cats, or ferrets and bunnies.
See souvenir cup below:
Sitting atop River Street gives Tubby’s one of the best views in town. And their patio seating overlooking the river from their tables and at the bar, allows your pet friends to sit right alongside you! Their drink selection was extensive, and the food was delicious. Pip had a great time too, and he says, “Two Paws Up for the shrimp! Or 4! whichever means it’s awesome!”
Snack Stop: River Street Sweets
It wouldn’t be a trip to Savannah without a praline! This delightful treat is pretty much pecans and butter, so how can you go wrong! There are lots of other treats here (we always get bear-claws too), but the pralines you sample on your way in are a Savannah delicacy.
Treylor park is a recent addition to our favorite places in Savannah list as it just opened in 2014. We liked it so much we went twice! The staff was awesome, they had an outdoor bar/beer garden for Pip (if he had been awake either time we were there), and they served delicious food (try the nachos that are made with waffle-fries). I mean you really can’t beat a cool setting, waffle fries, and Coors Banquet on draft! This is Pip in the beer garden right before he fell asleep!
Another outdoor area perfect for you to stroll with your pet! In fact, there was more than just one cat on a leash in this open space. Surrounded with restaurants, bars, and shopping, all with outdoor seating, it’s easy to see how Savannah is known to be so pet-friendly when you’re in this district. There is even a pet-only water fountain nearby!
The Georgia Tasting Room
This was our first time here. We stopped by since their sign said pet-friendly, and we grabbed one moonshine and one wine slushie. They had wine tastings and other things going on. It was definitely a party in there!
Snack Stop: Savannah Sweets
Similar to River Street Sweets, you are given a praline sample on your way in, and we again encourage you to go for the Savannah classic. Heck, you might as well buy one from here and one from River Street Sweets and have your own taste-test as to which one has the best praline!
So I think its suffice to say that Savannah is pretty pet-friendly! Now onto the rest of our trip….
I am the target text.
While the beach is not pet-friendly, there’s many places in town that are. We spent Christmas Day on the island so none of them were open, but we’re sure you can find more than a few on your visit! What we did get to do was visit with fellow author Anna Marlis Burgard, who recently published “The Beachcomber’s Companion” and follows Pip’s adventures in Ocean City from Tybee Island! They’ve just released notecards inspired by the book as well!
And it seems that in the off-season they aren’t as strict about animals on the beach, but do that at your own risk.
I am the target text.
South of the Border
And of course, it wouldn’t be a road-trip from Maryland to Georgia without a stop at the infamous South of the Border! If you can carry your pet, it’s allowed in the shops. (Thank goodness because Pip needed to try on sombreros). And they even have a special pet-toilet (lol. It’s a fenced in grassy area covered in dog poop! But it’s better than nothing!) You’ve got to stop to at least buy a 5 cent sticker and get some gas right?! AND obviously we bought two sombreros- so let us know which one you like best!!!!!
And finally, the last thing we learned on this trip is that Pip prefers to be carried around like a prince!