In between praline-dipped beignets at Huey’s and strolls under the Spanish moss in Forsyth Park, discover why Savannah has become one of the hottest destinations in Lowcountry for design enthusiasts. Set aside a day for exploring one-of-a-kind shops while getting a taste of the design-savvy coffee houses and new cutting-edge craft cocktail bars in various neighborhoods throughout the city.
Here’s a guide to six places to shop and sip:
Broughton Street Shopping District
The Shot: Get in a Savannahian state of mind by fueling the day with an horchata latte or Mexican mocha at The Coffee Fox, the darling of the local bean scene. Students from the Savannah College of Art and Design — which operates ShopSCAD, a popular, well-curated gallery worth visiting — are often seen caffeinating with their sketchpads, inspired by a quirky environment that celebrates the city’s creative side. Snap a selfie with a giant gilded deer head and get up close to the wall that doubles as an ever-evolving interactive exhibit on the art of decoupage.
The Shop: Located across the street from The Coffee Fox and a five-minute walk from Hotel Indigo Savannah, The Paris Market ranks as the crown jewel of Broughton Street. The 5,000-square-foot space has an authentic French flea market flair with an industrial twist and is the handiwork of owner Paula Danyluk, a world traveler and speech pathologist-turned-interior design doyenne. Wandering through the bric-a-brac-packed store, it’s impossible not to fantasize about revamping your home with a few easy upgrades, be they velvet pillows, a locally crafted chandelier or a vintage set of blue and white Spode Camilla-patterned china.
Liberty Street District
The Shot: Housed within a restored landmark building dating from 1896, The Artillery is one of the newer additions to Savannah’s coterie of craft cocktail movers and shakers. The speakeasy-style bar embraces a modern aesthetic with sleek Luigi Bormioli glassware, equine-influenced art from local artists like SCAD graduate Mary Hartman and plush furniture from Atlanta interior design company Dixon Rye.
The restored Gothic façade and romantic late-19th-century architecture pay homage to the structure’s history as an artillery vault for the famous Georgia Hussars troops, who first organized in 1736 and continue to serve in the Georgia Army National Guard. Order the Artillery Punch — a deliciously potent concoction of rum, gin, brandy, black tea and sparkling wine — served in a golden pineapple goblet (that you’ll wish you could take home), or ask bar magician Cal Momyer to stir up something bespoke to match your mood.
The Shop: A great place to start in the Liberty District is Mamie Ruth, where the merchandise is made in America and the Southern bohemian vibe puts you in a refreshingly slow groove. Here you’ll find one-of-a-kind pieces like sliced agate and cognac leather necklaces, locally cut and hammered brass cuffs, and handmade wood sunglasses by local Ana Barragan.
The Starland District
The Shot: After exploring the original Victorian mansions of the oft-overlooked Starland District, you’ll want to head to The Vault Kitchen and Market for lunch and libations. Built inside a charming old bank building, this Asian fusion restaurant has quickly become a favorite among locals for its inventive menu and mise en scène.
While indulging in duck dumplings and cilantro mojitos, enjoy the fun decorative touches, from the actual vault you can dine in to the bar made of safe deposit boxes to the art made of old locks. And make sure to look down: The men’s room floor is covered in nickels, while the main dining area’s black and white geometric pattern is reminiscent of Dutch graphic artist M. C. Escher’s tableaux and will have you Instagramming a photo with #ihavethisthingwithfloors.
The Shop: Award-winning artist and self-taught graphic designer Lara Neece founded Forest and Fin, a year-old under-the-radar studio and pop-up shop. Neece creates eco-friendly apparel and cleverly designed goods — from a bicycle wrap skirt to a unisex hip pouch — for the minimalist outdoor lover. Her winter pop-up will also showcase affordable handcrafted wares by talented local artisans, from Waypost’s cross-body leather bags and clutches to Eny Lee Parker’s whimsical ceramic vases and candlestick holders, objects meant to “echo humanity in character, emotions and even physicality.”