On day two of Savannah, we started the day by heading to the Collins Quarter for brunch. Referencing a chic Melbourne district, Collins Quarter is a light-filled space with red leather banquettes, marble tables, and exposed brick walls. It’s a restaurant that takes its coffee as seriously as its dishes. While the Australian restaurateurs tapped into the global coffee scene for their menu (think Vietnamese iced coffee and Brooklyn cold brews), they also invented their own concoctions, such as the instagrammable Spiced Lavender Mocha. Brunch dishes are delicious and artisanally displayed – everyone leaves happy.
Collins Quarter was also the meeting point for Genteel & Bard’s Walking History Tour of Savannah. As a family, we tend to explore cities on our own. But Savannah is a city with a storied past and so many colorful personalities that we really benefited from this two-hour tour. Owner T.C. Michaels masterfully weaves the stories of the artists, musicians, civil war personages, and politicians who have given Savannah its distinct character. Everyone receives individual audio headsets that allow reception up to 200 feet away. The audio plays music from Savannah – from jazz to the songs of Johnny Mercer – to create a full experience.
The tour ends close to Broughton Street, the main shopping thoroughfare in Savannah. The Paris Market & Brocante is a charming two-story store on Broughton that carries beautiful glassware, chandeliers, stationery, and children’s toys and clothing. There’s a cute little cafe offering macarons, pastries, and a full espresso and tea selection. Mia and Ethan favored the Savannah Bee shop, where they sampled the specialty honey, while I perused the honey-based beauty products.
For another sweet treat, locals and visitors love Leopold’s, an ice cream parlor that began in 1919 and is the creator of the Tutti Frutti flavor. Our favorites included Lemon Custard and a seasonal delight, Japanese cherry blossom.
In the afternoon, we headed to the Telfair Academy established in 1866 as the first public art museum in the South. William Jay designed the neoclassical Regency building for Alexander Telfair in 1819. It houses 19th and 20th century American and European art in ornate period rooms. We then headed one block away to the Jepson Center for the Arts, a contemporary art museum. Architect Moshe Safdie designed the marble and glass building that opened to the public in 2006. The third level contains the ArtZeum, an interactive-kid friendly exhibit. Admission for the Jepson Center for the Arts includes the Telfair Museum, and the Owen-Thomas house & slave quarters, valid for one week.
We went to Husk for dinner. The Husk team combed through 19th-century cookbooks and journals to find recipes drawing from the ingredients of this coastal Georgia region. Housed in a restored mansion, the restaurant has many configurations of space, including a gorgeous horseshoe bar with leather chairs. We dined in one of the smaller formal dining rooms – cozy in their neutral tones, wood floors, and fireplaces. The menu is varied and changes daily.