Returning to Savannah: Putting Serenity at the visitor center overnight RV parking but staying in the Andaz hotel for free

So after a mere 5 1/2 weeks of meandering through the state we have finally left Florida, signalling that we will be picking up the pace of northward travel until we reach Maine.  After leaving Gamble Rogers Memorial State Park we intersected I-95 and headed three hours north to the top of coastal Georgia.  One of the more lesser known good deals about visiting Savannah in an RV is that you can park your rig right downtown in the visitor center for up to 48 hours at only $7 per night.  We first learned of this deal when we transported The Big Kahuna from Wilmington to Florida two years ago.  Sure, its parking lot drycamping, but you are blocks from the River Street area and right in the middle of historic Savannah.   City driving in a big RV is always a touch intimidating, but the route to the visitor center was not that bad at all, and only the backing into the designated RV spots is a touch tricky.

We pulled in beside a 37 footer with a distinctive large turtle decal on the back, but unlike our new neighbors, we weren’t actually going to stay in the RV for the night.  Due to a credit card sign up offer from last year I had two free nights at any Hyatt hotel that I needed to use before expiration, and Savannah was the perfect opportunity.  We booked at the Andaz Hotel, a high end property even closer to the River Street area.  We took advantage of yet another not so well known deal from the Savannah Visitor Center and purchased a 48 hour parking pass for Loki.  At $7 per day this allowed us use not only the visitor center lot, but any municipally owned parking area throughout the city.  This saved us a good chunk of change during our stay; the hotel wanted $16 per night just for their lot!

While in Savannah Fred and Donna, friends and neighbors from our mutual time in Miami Beach, drove over from Statesboro to visit us and show us around town.  After obligatory cocktails in our hotel, we took to the streets in search of food and entertainment.  Donna pulled us towards The Lady and Sons, Paula Deen’s restaurant in town.  It was an affordable, country style buffet focusing on fried chicken and comfort food.  Though skeptical at first, we ended up stuffing ourselves pretty thoroughly.  We didn’t even have room for the included deserts, but they boxed it up for us and we had it the next morning, regretting only that we did not get to enjoy it warm and gooey as intended.

After dinner we headed out on the town, soon encountering a great classic rock band performing outdoors in one of the small parks surrounded by restaurants and boutique stores.  We watched and listened to a good portion of their set before calling it a night.

The next morning Fred and Donna picked us up and took us to the historic Bonaventure Cemetery, a beautiful oak and spanish moss dominated former plantation south of the city and next to the river.  Afterwards we found a well reviewed restaurant, Te Crystal Beer Parlor, with a great selection of local craft brews and an excellent lunch menu.  They were a bit understaffed and struggling to get us even drinks in a timely manner, but the manager came by to apologize and provided a desert on the house for the four of us to split.

We ended the weekend by strolling the River Street waterfront area, finally getting back to the honey shop we had enjoyed so thoroughly our last visit.  Mid afternoon we said our goodbyes to Fred and Donna before retiring to the hotel for a bit of luxury, TV, and free high speed internet, things no RVer should take for granted.