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March
13

Which Season Is The Best For Selling?

It's a well-known fact that the real estate market cools off in the fall and winter and picks up in the spring, but what is really the best season to sell your property? The answer ultimately depends on your situation and location. The reality is each season comes with its own unique advantages and challenges. To help you determine the best season for selling, we'll break down the top advantage and challenge of each season below:

Selling In The Spring

Many people believe spring is the best time to sell your home, but that really depends on where you live. While spring is often the most popular time to shop, some southern states experience intense weather in late spring. Competition is also at its peak. Here are some of the benefits

  • Advantages: Warmer weather in most areas and tax refund checks mean more buyers are hitting the market.
  • Disadvantages: More buyers also means more sellers, so the competition begins to really pick up. Kids are also still in school, so moving is more difficult.

Selling In The Summer

Statistics show that late June has the highest number of closings, indicating summer is an ideal time to sell. It's also the most popular time to move, especially because school is out. However, extreme heat in some areas of the country coupled with vacation times can drag out the closing process.

  • Advantages: Longer days and warm weather means more buyers are hunting. Many buyers are also motivated to find a home before school starts.
  • Disadvantages: Weather, vacations, and busy schedules may delay closings. Plus, competition is likely still very high.

Selling In The Fall

Once school starts, there is a noticeable decline in real estate activity, but that doesn't mean fall is a bad time to sell. There are still many buyers on the market that couldn't secure a home in the spring or summer. Selling in late September / or early October has both pros and cons:

  • Advantages: Fewer listings mean less competition, and many buyers are extra motivated to close before winter. It's also easier to find home repair professionals.
  • Disadvantages: Cooler weather might keep buyers away. Those who are shopping may be more demanding due to less competition. Curb appeal also generally declines in the fall as landscaping begins to deteriorate. 

Selling In The Winter

December is often considered to be the slowest month for real estate closings. Cold weather means fewer shoppers in most of the country, but competition is probably at its lowest point of the year. If you live in Florida, Arizona, or Southern California, winter is likely a great time to sell.

  • Advantages: There is less competition, and buyers are likely highly motivated. 
  • Disadvantage: There are fewer shoppers, especially around the holidays. Depending on location, it can be a difficult time to make renovations. Many buyers are looking for a deal.

It's certainly possible to sell your home any time of the year, and so often the right season depends on your property, location, and situation. Your real estate agent is a great resource to help you assess the market and determine the best time to list your home. When you are ready to list your home, let's connect!

September
22

Little-Known Secrets to Buying a Luxury Home

Buying a home is an involved process, regardless of your price point. However, the luxury market comes with a different set of conditions. From working with a specialized real estate broker, less available inventory and a more discerning list of requirements, investing in a luxury property can be more involved than purchasing a mid-level home. Here are some of the little-known secrets of the luxury home buying process.

Work With a Luxury Broker
Working with a well-versed broker in the luxury market is key to ensuring a smooth home searching and buying process. A luxury broker will be familiar with the areas in which you're looking, will be up to speed on the latest trends, will be able to identify potential issues in properties you view and will know if a property is worth its listing price. Additionally, a luxury broker will have access to homes that might not be listed publicly or on the MLS. Many luxury listings are private to protect the seller's privacy, so only luxury brokers within the inner circle are privy to these listings.

Have a Knowledgeable Team in Place
In addition to working with a broker who specializes in the luxury market, making sure your financial advisor is involved in your purchase decision will ensure you're making an intelligent investment. Taking it a step further and arranging a meeting between your broker and financial advisor will safeguard your purchase.

Exercise Patience
Patience is the name of the game when buying luxury real estate. Because of limited inventory, the time it takes to conduct research and a discerning list of must-have features, it can take longer to find the property that is a perfect match for your specifications.

Know the Neighborhood
Familiarizing yourself with the neighborhood and its future plans is an important part of the luxury home buying process. From the school district to the area's downtown amenities to recreational opportunities, the neighborhood can be just as important as the home. Additionally, suppose you are buying a property for its views. In that case, it's important to understand any plans for the area and any possibilities of new construction that could impact any waterfront, golf course or sunset views.

Don't Discount Properties Based on Photos
Based on the photos, if you don't fall in love with a property, it's still worth an in-person visit to see the home. For example, a house may require interior updates but have one in a million waterfront views. If you discount the house based on the listing photos, you will miss out on your opportunity to own a property with those views.

Have Proof of Funds
Being able to prove you have the funds to purchase a luxury property can be more involved than if you're buying a mid-level home. Therefore, it's important you have the documentation to prove you have the funds before making an offer. You may even need this documentation before you view the property. If you're interested in buying or selling, let's connect!

March
2

The best and highest use of a property always prevails in determining market value. In a city like Savannah, with over 200 years of history, many historic buildings have endured multiple uses and transformations based on social, economic, and political changes.

Rentals are nothing new, as there is evidence significant Savannah homes were constructed as early as the mid 1800s with the distinct purpose of stacking apartments.  It wasn't until the late 1990s that utilizing one's personal home or a second home for nightly or weekly stays grew in popularity with the emergence of websites like VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner) and later Airbnb. Property management companies jumped in and hence came the strong emergence and era of Shortterm Vacation Rentals (STVRs). 

The city of Savannah responded in 2017 with proposed ordinances to cap the number of STVRs permitted. Advocates of the cap were hoping to preserve resident's quality of life by preventing neighborhoods from being overrun with additional visitors in homes and cars on streets. They limited the area in which STVR could operate to certain parts of the historic district and required owners get a permit indicating whether they'd be occupying part of the home as their primary residence. Quickly, owners scrambled to seek permits and within little time many of the wards were capped.  Supply and demand prevailed. Properties with STVR permits became sought after by investors and homeowners seeking to off-set expenses by renting all or a portion of their home. 

One might ask, does a STVR or the resulting income add value to a property?  The answer is not uniform. Valuation of an income property can be complex. It can be based on a comparable approach to similar properties (with or without the same use), based on an income approach considering return or similar measures or based on a cost approach considering the replacement cost of a property. Historic homes bode additional consideration on how to factor in intrinsic features such as pocket doors, fireplace mantels, medallions and transoms.

When considering how to diversify one's portfolio and whether a STVR will offer a competitive rate of return, it's important to consider factors such as vacancy rates, management fees, property taxes, and other likely expenses. In some cases, executive or longterm rentals yield equal or higher returns due to lower expenses and fewer upfront costs, such as furnishings.

Negotiating if items such as whether future reservations, existing marketing and advertising, furnishings, reviews, etc., convey with a sale is complex and can be closely tied to the type of financing that can be secured. Multi-family properties with more than one unit, especially if they hold multiple STVR permits are in high demand and the valuation and financing considerations become increasingly complex.

If you are interested in learning more about the STVR potential in your life, reach out an agent today!

 

September
9

Picnic in the Park is the first Sunday in October and is held at Savannah's famous Forsyth Park. This year, Picnic in the Park will be on Sunday, October 6th. Live music performances are scheduled throughout the evening at the park's concert bandshell, beginning at 3pm. Musical acts include those from local schools, the U.S. Army Band, 3rd ID, and the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra. While you can wait until the music begins before you show up, those in the know will tell you that it's better to arrive early, especially if you're looking to secure a prime picnic spot. 

Which leads us to our next tip: don't be fooled by the term "picnic." If it's one thing Savannahians can do, it's have a good time, and they do so with both flair and gusto. Groups of families and friends will gather together under tents with lavishly decorated tables, fresh flowers and chandeliers. Cold cans of craft beer keep company with cans of sparkling wine in metal tubs packed with ice. Silver trays, bedecked with doilies, are topped with tomato sandwiches, wedges of cheese, or bits of summer sausages, and flank chafing dishes of fried chicken fingers and boiled shrimp. Cakes, pies, and cookies are in abundant supply, because no party is complete without a good dessert.

Some will dress in costume according to the theme, which for this year is "Paint Your World with Music." Others will keep it simple and just add a layer of bug spray to their normal attire. Ballgowns, glow necklaces, and flower crowns are a common sight, no matter what the theme of the year may be. One can say that, no matter what the theme of Picnic in the Park is, the event will always be the quirky joy of the simple pleasures. And that is an idea that truly embodies Savannah.

September
9

Few delicacies evoke emotions quite like oysters. These magical mollusks are loved and hated, and are the subject of lore and legend all over the world. We've rounded up some of our favorite tidbits that we've learned about oysters.

 oysters

Oysters have many health benefits

Most people think "health benefits" mean "increased libido." But don't think that the way oysters can benefit your body stops there.  The bivalves pack a wallop of zinc, which is great for making you feel good and for keeping up your energy. Besides boosting your immune system, zinc can also help get rid of acne, ease rashes and build up bone strength. And yes, the increase in energy from the zinc in oysters can also help you with other activities.

There are five species of oysters

I know what you're thinking, "Only five? That number can't be right" But it's true. While there are over 100 varieties of oysters, those varieties are all derived from 5 species. These 5 species include Pacific Oysters (or Japanese Oyster), Kumamoto Oysters, European Flat Oysters, Atlantic Oysters and Olympia Oysters. The differences between these bivalves are the water they grow in, and their shells. The European Flat has a large, straight shell with fine ridges. Kumamotos and Olympias are similar in that they are both smaller than the European Flats, and their shells are rounder and paler. But, Olympias have a slightly smoother shell with a bit of iridescent coloring. Pacific Oysters are smaller with wavy casings. Last, but not least, the Atlantic species looks like a teardrop and tends to be on the larger side.

Oysters are good for the environment

In one day, an oyster filters about 30 to 50 gallons. Not only are oysters delicious, but they are good for the environment, too! And once oysters have been joyfully consumed, they are still useful. The shells are great for helping your garden flourish. The calcium in oyster shells can improve the soil's pH balance, adds nutrients to the plants and strengthens their cell walls, all of which leads to healthy produce and brighter flowers. 

In the Lowcountry, and especially in Savannah, oysters are celebrated as beloved local cuisine and enjoyed in a variety of ways, such as raw, steamed, or fried. Oysters Rockefeller are a popular preparation, and you can rarely go wrong with a fried oyster po'boy or basket. Some of our favorite places places to grab these bodacious bivalves in Savannah include Sorry Charlie's Oyster Bar, Husk, The Grey, and Chive Sea Bar and Lounge. We're also huge fans of the Lady's Island Oysters at Saltus River Grill in Beaufort, South Carolina. 

That "er" myth

The best thing about oysters is that, despite popular belief, you don't have to restrict your oyster consumption to months ending in "-er." Oysters are generally thinner in the summer because they devote their energy to reproducing. However, if the oysters are being farmed, this may not even be an issue. There are many farmed oysters varieties making oysters available year round. Your best bet is to contact purveyors and restaurants serving oysters to determine what kind they have available. So pop out today and find out what place has your favorite mollusk!

 

August
2

Coco and Moss Bar

Sushi, Bowls, and Salads, Oh My! 
Coco & Moss: The Asian-Flare Eatery trending in Downtown Savannah

Attracting locals, tourists, instagrammers, and health food enthusiasts, Coco & Moss is what's trending with the food scene in downtown Savannah. Located just south of Ellis Square, this chic eatery sits on the corner of Congress and Barnard streets and certainly livens up the streetscape. 

This boutique restaurant offers healthy gourmet food and drink options in a bright, sleek setting. It's the latest endeavor for Ele and the Chef.  This well known power team is a local restaurant group who also runs, Little Duck Diner, The Vault, Flying Monk Noodle Bar, and Shuga Bar. Coco & Moss is perfect for a light, but filling, lunch or dinner. The modern, welcoming bar also invites guests to stop by for a refreshing, after work cocktail or to try their selection of sake, beer, and wine. 

Coco & Moss Bowls

Their asian-flared menu is rather reasonably priced, and offers sushi, bowls, salads, and paninis.  Edamame is a must. The bowls are a delicious mixture of protein, veggies, rice, and other ingredients all beautifully seasoned. They offer a wide variety of sushi options that are mouthwatering good. 

Our founder and CEO, Cora Bett Thomas, is nothing short of a Coco & Moss regular. She goes by the name of "shiso salmon lady," because she orders the exact same item off the menu every time so goes. If you guessed that Cora Bett's favorite dish is the shiso salmon bowl, then... you're right!

The dishes are what millenials would call, "instagrammable." Snap a photo of your meal on white marble tables, with pretty natural light, and you're sure to share with your friends. They're colorful, and equally delicious.  

coco & moss

So where does the name of the restaurant come from? According to their website, "coco" represents the tropical paradise that raised the owners, and "moss" imbues the atmosphere within which it is set, nestled into Savannah's historically laced squares. It's the perfect "people-watching" spot! Grab a table on the sidewalk or in any of the windows, and you'll surely soak in the hustle and bustle of Savannah while enjoying a delightful meal. 

 

July
22

It's no secret that Savannah is one of the best places to visit in the South, but to really appreciate all that the Hostess City has to offer, it's important to plan accordingly. Savannah is obviously known for it's history and architecture after being spared destruction in the Civil War, but is also a city that has quirky residents, beautiful marshes, and many late nights. We've put together a list of some of our favorite places in Savannah for eating, imbibing, and taking in the sights. 

Thursday, Settle In

 
 
 
 
 
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Start off your trip by checking into your home away from home in the Historic District. Be sure to stay on Jones Street, named one of the "7 Most Beautiful Streets in America." Cora Bett Thomas Realty and Associates offers Savannah vacation rental properties throughout the Historic District. Many of these properties are located within historic buildings full of charm and amenities. Jones Street is in the heart of the Historic District, so you're within walking distance of plenty of shops, sights, restaurants and late night fun.

Happy Hour 

Savannah has no shortage of rooftop bars, but you're within easy walking distance to Perch Rooftop Bar. Perch is located on the south end of Savannah's famous Forsyth Park. Have a stroll through the park, and then settle in on one of the bar's comfy outdoor loveseats with a cold glass of rose' and watch the setting sun filter through the oak trees. 

Dinner at Local 11Ten

Hungry? Wander downstairs to Local 11Ten. Located under Perch, Local 11Ten is housed in the old Savannah Bank building. The building's renovated interior is one of casual elegance. Local 11Ten's menu showcases the flavors of the Lowcountry with seasonal ingredients. Sit back and enjoy the seafood special of the day while taking the activity surrounding Forsyth Park. 

Late Night

If you're looking to squeeze in a bit more fun on your first night, call a pedicab for an evening ride through the park over to McDonough's Lounge. McDonough's, as it's locally known, doesn't have craft cocktails or a wine list. But if you're looking to truly experience Savannah as the locals do, then this is the place to do it. Order a cold beer, people watch and pick your song for karaoke. 

Friday, Get Out and Explore

Morning Start

Before you head out of the Historic District, swing by the Mate' Factor. This cafe' features drinks made from Yerba Mate and homemade baked goods. An Egg and Cheese Sandwich and an Iced Green Drink will fuel you up for the day ahead. 

Local History 

 
 
 
 
 
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Stroll down the wide avenue flanked by majestic oaks draped in Spanish moss to Wormsloe Historic Site. The tabby ruins of Wormsloe are all that is left of the estate of Noble Jones. This is also the oldest standing structure in Savannah. Wormsloe hosts programs and events at various times throughout the year, and a nature trail is open during the site's regular hours. 

The community of Pin Point is located off the banks of the Moon River, and has been for 100 years. Experience the richness of the Gullah/Geechee culture and community, and check out the Pin Point Heritage Museum in the old A.S. Varn and Sons Oyster and Crab Factory. 

Lunch

It's time for a drink and a bite to eat, so get both at The Wyld Dock Bar. Enjoy a Frozen Pain Killer or homemade sangria at a table overlooking the marsh. If you're hungry, enjoy some scallop corn fritters, crab chowder, or steamed banana leaf fish tacos. Eat and drink, and soak in the tranquility. Or, if you're feeling a sudden burst of energy, join in on one of the corn hole games held out front.

Dinner

After returning from your day exploring, and resting up at your home a bit, enjoy an evening walk through town. Head out for a wander with a to-go cup with your beverage of choice and find a bite. There are plenty of options: Public Kitchen, Six Pence Pub, Chive, Circa 1875, CO, 1790 ... A slice of pizza at Vinnie Van Go Go's in City Market or the famous fried calamari at Olympia Café on River Street, are both classic Savannah choices.

Late Night — A Cocktail At Alley Cat Lounge

If you try to look up Alley Cat's address, Google will tell you that it's located at 207 West Broughton Street; don't fall for that. Instead, head down Barnard Street and duck down the lane right before the First Chatham Bank, and look for the door topped by the black awning — that's the entrance.  From classic cocktails, to beer, and small batch spirits to non alcoholic concoctions, Alley Cat has something for everyone.

Saturday, Wander the City

Morning at the Farmers Market

In the morning, head back over to Forsyth Park for the Forsyth Farmers Market, featuring vendors from all over the Lowcountry selling a variety of produce, meats, dairy, and homemade goods. Sample some cheese from Bootleg Farms or some Sweet and Spicy Pecans from Clark and Sons Organics. Treat yourself to a tasty breakfast at the market: a homemade danish from Gottlieb's and a bottled cold brew from Perc.

Historic District Shopping and Museums

 
 
 
 
 
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After breakfast, spend the morning the walking around Downtown. Do a bit of shopping in the Downtown Design District, not missing Custard Boutique and PW Short General Store. Then head north to Telfair Square. This square is home to two of Savannah's most popular museums. The Jepson Center is home to exhibitions of classic and modern art and is ideal for those looking to set their own pace on a tour. It also offers educational programs and workshops for adults and children.

48 hours in Savannah

The Telfair Academy is a stately two-story mansion, designed by William Jay in the Neoclassical Regency style and built in 1819. It houses nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and European art from the museum's permanent collection including paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and decorative arts. Admission to the Telfair or Jepson is interchangeable and also includes the Owens Thomas House, making it a great bargain.  

Lunch

By now you've probably worked up an appetite, and you're in luck because The Grey Market is just around the corner. This neighborhood bodega is the newest offering the team who brought us the world-famous The Grey. The Grey Market has a full menu as well as an array of snacks and beverages. Enjoy an Egg Cream or an Ice-Cream Float, or, if you're feeling something a little stronger, grab a can of wine from the cooler. 

Dinner

 
 
 
 
 
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For a dining experience enjoyed by locals and visitors alike, reserve a table at The Collins Quarter. This Melbourne, Australia inspired café is in the very heart of the Historic Downtown District and features an Australian-influenced menu. The Collins Quarter has craft beer, wine, cocktails, and a coffee bar. Order up "The Perfect Fit," which pairs well with the Pan-Roasted Barramundi. The desserts and Collins Quarter change often and are outstanding to enjoy in the low-it evening atmosphere of the meticulously renovated historic building. If you are moe interested in sipping  dessert, opt for the CQ White Russian. Trust us when we say it is the best White Russian you'll ever have. On the way home, stop by The Peregrin Rooftop Bar for a nightcap and a bird's-eye view of Downtown Savannah.  

Late Night 

Pinkie Master's is a longtime local favorite of Savannahians. A couple years ago, ownership changed and the bar received a needed facelift and cleaning. Make no mistake, this is still the place to spot locals and all changes were subtle and for the good of the bar and its guests. Get comfortable and talk to some locals. Just bring cash as that is the only payment accepted at Pinkie Master's.

Sundays are for Brunching

Brunch at Hush

 
 
 
 
 
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Before catching your flight home, have brunch at Husk Savannah. In a beautifully renovated historic home-turned-apartment-building shuttered for over a decade, Husk is known for its commitment to ingredient-driven cuisines and the menu captures the essence of Southern cooking with a modern flair. Go for a fully Southern experience and try the White Lily Biscuits with Red Eye Sausage Gravy, or the Husk Hot Fried Chicken with Grits and Shishitos. You'll be heading back home with both a full belly and a full heart. 

July
22

perch

Summer is in full swing, and in Savannah that means endless days of sun and heat. But as any local will tell you, after awhile, you find ways to enjoy yourself outdoors. One of the best ways to take advantage of Savannah's summer breezes is by grabbing drink and a bite alfresco. In Historic Downtown Savannah, there is no shortage of places to sit outside and soak up the sun and fun. Depending on your mood and your proximity, outdoors or rooftop bars are usually a few steps away. 

Perch can be considered a hidden gem for outdoor drinking and dining. It is located on the roof of Savannah favorite Local 11Ten which is on the southern border of Forsyth Park. Perch is accessible any number of ways: walking, pedicab, DOT, or car. Weather permitting, we recommend a walk through the park to get to your destination. It's worth the steps, trust us. 

Perch is accessible through Local11Ten, but is also accessible via a separate outdoor entrance. The patio is open and catches natural breezes as well as those created by the fans dotting the perimeter. This space was created using raw materials such as steel and natural bamboo. The result is an area that is sophisticated and blends seamlessly with the natural surroundings. Perch features seating groups that encourages lingering conversations over drinks. This arrangements is quintessential Savannah.  

We stopped in a few Fridays ago, during a day that was unusually cooler for summer in Savannah (the highs were only in the low 80s). Perch is nestled among majestic oak trees, which provide shade and filter the rays of the setting sun. Perch offers speciality cocktails, craft beer, and wine. I ordered a glass of the house rosé, which was tasty enough but was also the coldest glass of rosé I've been served in a long time. Bliss. Perch offers a limited food menu. Offerings range from fried oysters to cheese boards to confit chicken wings. We decided on a cheese and charcuterie board which featured pepperoni made in-house. We sat on a love seat with an accompanying coffee table, facing the entry. It was perfect for people watching. The crowd was a mix of locals and visitors, and more than one group seemed to be composed of newly-made friends. Perch's atmosphere of relaxed elegance is one that echoes the atmosphere of Savannah itself. Stop in, grab a drink and a snack, and soak in a more relaxed side of Savannah. 

1110 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401
July
2

Vast Connections & Exceptional Experience

CBT Commercial

When we think of real estate, often times we direct our thoughts towards homes and residential property, but there's a lot more than meets the eye. Commercial real estate takes the cake when it comes to complexity: from the longer contracts and higher price tags, to the complicated terminology that the ordinary person might not understand.

But… That's where CBT Commercial comes in! Our boutique firm makes the intricate buying, selling, and leasing process easy and profitable for you. Commercial real estate is simply defined as property used solely for business purposes and intended for profit. This could range from retail properties, office buildings, shopping centers, hotels, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, apartment complexes, and even vacant land.

CBT Commercial utilizes its vast local connections and relationships to broker the best deals for buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants. The Commercial side of Cora Bett Thomas Realty has been around since 1995, and covers coastal Georgia and South Carolina.

Graham Sadler, a commercial real estate expert on the team says, "Our local knowledge, strong local connections, high level of service, and thoroughly experienced team make us trusted and loved in the community." Graham is just one of the many dedicated professionals that cares deeply about the relationships created.

Our expert agents have decades of extensive real estate experience in commercial investment, development, brokerage, negotiation, and management.

CBT Commercial

A very well known, standout property the team has dealt with is 25 Chatham Center South. This 5,000 square footage office space is located within The Woodlands at Chatham Center and is one of Savannah's most beautiful office parks. There are a total of eleven buildings, each uniquely designed with abundant parking and easy access. Some of the professional tenants include: WTOC, SouthCoast Health, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

The building that houses the famous Soho South Cafe on Liberty Street, and the one that's home to the delicious East End End Provisions on Broughton Street, are both well-known restaurants that CBT Commercial has helped foster transactions.

Big or small, apartment complex or office space, buying, selling, or leasing… No matter the case, the CBT Commercial team has the connections and knowledge you need to make the process rewarding.

Get to Know Our Agents Today!

June
28

As we plunge full speed ahead into summertime here in the Lowcountry, it's time to take a look at some Savannah celebrations and happenings. The most popular summertime holiday is July 4th. Savannah has no shortage of fun events for this holiday. Check out our list of upcoming events for the July 4th holiday weekend. 

By far the most popular July 4th Fun in Savannah is in Rousakis Plaza on River Street. In the heart of Downtown Savannah, River Street is home to shops, bars, restaurants, all of which will be open on July 4th. Rousakis Plaza will also be hosting food vendors as well as live music, and the evening will be capped off with a fireworks show over the river. 

If you're looking to take in the fireworks, but don't want to just stand on River Street watching, check out the July 4th Fireworks Cruise. This 2 1/2 hour cruise is hosted by Savannah Riverboat Tours and sets sail at 9pm. The riverboats have outdoor decks that are perfect for viewing the fireworks. Passengers can also music from the riverboat DJs, as well as food and beverages during the cruise. This is great way to experience Savannah, but from a different view than usual.

Another way to enjoy the show without being on River Street is at the Swingin' Savannah River Independence Day Celebration. This event is at the Westin Harbor Lawn (across the river from River Street) and will feature live music by Savannah favorite The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra. Proceeds from this event go to support Companions for Heroes, which pairs shelter dogs with wounded military veterans, law enforcement, and first responders. This event is a great way to enjoy the July 4th festivities and support a great cause.

We've mentioned The Grove before, as it is one of our favorite rooftop bars in Downtown Savannah. This year, The Grove is hosting a 4th of July Rooftop Picnic, with tickets already available for sale. The event ticket includes access to the BYOB bar — that is a Build Your Own Burger bar. The event ticket also includes 3 drink tickets. Picnickers will enjoy people-watching and fireworks-viewing, plus live music and a DJ on the second floor. 

If you're looking to head to the beach, but still want to enjoy some fireworks on the 4th, then head out to Tybee Island. Tybee will be hosting its own July 4th Fireworks show. The fireworks will begin at dark, but we recommend heading out early to snag a parking spot. This is easily one of Tybee Island's busiest days of the year, so make sure to plan accordingly. The show is staged on the pier, but you can easily enjoy the show from any of the island's eastern beaches. If you get to the Island early check out the Tybee island Bike Parade. And afterward, you can visit the National Association of Women in the Arts (NAOWITA) Jazz Festival. The festival is on Tybee Island July 4th through July 6th and will include local and international vendors. So head out to Tybee Island for a day of fun and support a great cause while celebrating our country.

There you have it, a quick list of places and parties to celebrate summer's best holiday. Wherever you end up, make sure to follow our tips for making the most of your July 4th celebration in Savannah and Tybee Island. 

River Street Celebration

Noon-10 p.m. July 4; River Street; More Info

The most popular July 4th Fun in Savannah. Fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. Free VIP military seating starting at 6 p.m. in Morrell Park.

Swingin' Savannah River

8-9:30 p.m. July 4; The Westin; More Info

The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra offers a patriotic concert with proceeds to support the Sua Sponte Foundation

Fireworks on Tybee

9:15-10 p.m. July 4; Tybee Pier & Pavilion; More Info

Show staged on pier; viewed from any eastern beach.

Tybee Island Bike Parade

11 a.m. July 4; Memorial Park, Tybee Island; More Info

Decorate your bike in red, white and blue for a family-friendly ride.

4th of July Rooftop Picnic

6-10 p.m. July 4; The Grove; More Info

Watch the Savannah Waterfront fireworks from the rooftop while you enjoy dinner & drinks. 

June
26

The Grey Market

Downtown Savannah has been in desperate need of a "little shop to grab a few things." Most of us who were born and raised in the South might equate this with a grocery store or a five and dime. But, there is a more accurate term for what has been missing in the ever-expanding Downtown Historic District: a bodega. A bodega is, at its simplest, part neighborhood diner and part convenience store. The Grey Market is Savannah's bodega.

The Grey Market 

The Grey Market is the second and latest offering from Johno and Chef Mashama, the geniuses behind Savannah's The Grey. Johno and Mashama, recently awarded a James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southeast, have taken their love of New York bodegas and created The Grey Market. The Grey Market is located on Jefferson Street and is open Monday-Saturday from 8am to 8pm, and on Sundays from 9am to 5pm. Better still, it's open 30 minutes early for coffee and pastries, which is ideal for those of us who work downtown and want a tasty treat. Besides outdoor seating, a few high top tables are scattered indoors, as well as prime spots at the diner counter. 

The Grey Market offers a bevy of baked goods, courtesy of beloved local baker Natasha Gatskill. The bakery case is filled with sweet and savory croissants, the biscuit of the day, and sweet rolls. Some of our favorites include the blueberry and cream cheese croissant and the pimento cheese biscuit. If you're looking for something  a little more substantial to start off your day, try The NYC or The Smoky Pig. The NYC is a classic breakfast sandwich on a kaiser roll. The Smoky Pig offers the same, but with pulled pork and pickle relish. The Miami is also a great breakfast option if you're looking to fuel up for the day without overdoing it. It is chicken, egg whites, and spinach wrapped on roti bread. 

The Grey Market

For lunch and dinner options, try one of Chef Mashama's take on Southern classics, such as the Blue Plate Special and the Fried Catfish Po'Boy and Fish 'n' Grits. Looking for a little snack? Grab a side of potato wedges and a "pup" of beer. The Grey Market Burger is also a must-try. It made our recently updated list of favorite burgers in Savannah. The lunch and dinner menu features daily specials, including a Melt of the Day.  We have had the Mortadella and it was fantastic. The Grey Market also comes to the rescue for at-home dinner plans. With its Daily Chicken Dinner, you get a rotisserie bird (roasted in-house daily), two sides, bread, and a bottle of red or white wine, all for $39. As stated, it will "feeds two people well."

Thirsty? Besides NYC diner classics such as ice cream floats and egg creams, The Grey Market has a selection of wine, cocktails, and beer. Canned wine and beer are available, too. Grab one to go with one of the fresh deli sandwiches available in the to-go case, and you have yourself a ready-made picnic. The Market also sells baguettes and cheese and meats by the pound. 

Shirts, hats, cookbooks, coffee cups, water bottles, are all available for sale. The Grey Market offers sundries and toiletries for the weary traveler or for the local who might have missed a trip to the store before work. The Grey Market is not one-stop shopping, but regardless of what you need, it's a stop that you definitely need to make. 

The Grey Market

109 Jefferson St, Savannah, GA 31401

 

June
14

Tips for Tree Risk Assessment and Limb Failure.

Tree Risk Assessment

While not a perfect science — given the unpredictability of nature — there are many signs to look for that could indicate the potential for tree failure. Some caused by improper pruning practices, and others occur naturally. In this article we will discuss signs and growth patterns that may indicate a trees potential likelihood for failure, along with how you — as the manager of your own little slice of our urban forest — can be educated when hiring a tree service contractor in hopes of mitigating these potential risks.

It's easy and understandable to be concerned about large trees near or over your home with the annual threat of hurricanes. As long as your house is within striking distance of a tree, there is the potential for impact if such a storm does occur; or, if structural problems with the tree go unnoticed or untreated. The goal of this article is to familiarize you with some common defects so you can be informed and are able to address potential issues. Also knowing how to identify some of these problems and understanding mitigation options will help you weed out potential "tree choppers."  These individuals may feed off of your fear of property damage and make unnecessary recommendations that can cost you significant money and oftentimes be damaging to your trees.

Tree Risk Assessment

First off, check to see if your tree is over or within striking distance to any targets. These include structures, high traffic areas, playgrounds, etc. If it isn't, move on to others. If it is, let's take a closer look:

Does the tree have any large, dead limbs? These are most easily spotted in summer when healthy limbs generally have leaves.

Do you notice a lean in the tree? Has the lean noticeably worsened over time? You could see heaving of the ground/roots on the opposing side of the lean. Are the majority of the limbs (weight) on the side of the lean, or does the canopy balance out the lean?

Now let's look at the larger branches, leads (large tree parts that grow from the truck off of which branches are attached), and trunk. Do you see any decay on these? Binoculars may be helpful. Keep an eye out for cavity dwellers: bees, raccoons, etc.. These are an obvious sign of hollow areas. Look at the "forks" of the large limbs. This is the area where the trunk branches out to smaller sized leads and limbs and often times where limbs break in high wind. The optimal fork will have somewhat of a "U" shape on the top side. Spread your fingers wide, and look at the base where they meet your hand. Notice the small webbing like appearance — that is what we are looking for in an optimal tree fork. This is the strongest growth form. If you instead see a harder, more "V" like connection, often times with swollen or discolored bark — this could be included bark.

Included bark will cause a weakened attachment of the leads predisposing them to possible failure. A supplemental support system (Cables and/or braces) may be necessary to prevent failure.

Moving on, let's look at the trunk and base of the trunk, "root flare" (Root flare is the base of the trunk where the trunk meets the roots)- do you see any cracks, cavities, loose or missing bark, conks or water Stains? Do you see flat areas as opposed to the mostly uniform roundness? Do you see any deep recesses or ridges at the lower portion of the trunk near the root flare? These are often times an indicator that the trunk may be hollow. If you don't spot any of these, let's move on to the roots.

Do you see any mushrooms or other such fruiting bodies? These could indicate root rot issues. Has there been a driveway recently installed, or other such disturbances that may have damaged the anchoring system of the tree? Do you see any lifted areas of soil or roots? Is the area a low spot? Oversaturated soil due to poor drainage could cause a tree to uproot easier in high winds and is also a breeding ground for root rot causing pathogens further weakening roots.

Risk Assessing Multiple Trees on Your Property

Now let's take a broader look at all of the trees on your property that could be a risk. Here is a list of potential hazardous trees and the risks they pose.

  1. Trees left after development. Often densely wooded lots are cleared with the exception of just a few trees. These trees are more likely to fail in high winds, given they previously shared wind load with other trees. They are usually tall with very thin trunks, low live-crown ratio, and lack a root flare. Root flare is swelling at the base of the trunk caused by added structural wood as a result of wind loading and is a desirable structural feature.
  2. Water Oaks and Laurel Oaks. These trees have a short life span and often develop decay and included bark with age. Keep in mind that just because the leaves are green and appear healthy, the trunk may still be largely hollow. Further inspection may be necessary by an ISA Certified Arborist if the tree is in a critical location.
  3. Trees that have previously been topped or lions tailed. We will dive further into this later in this article.
  4. Large limbs that extend well past the crown of the tree.
  5. Trees in low lying areas. Soil may provide poor anchoring, upping the potential for uprooting in high winds.
  6. Trees with excessive leans.
  7. Trees with low live-crown ratio - usually Pines. Live-crown is measured from the lowest limb to the top of the tree. Optimally this just be about ⅔ of the total height of the tree. The more limbs are concentrated above the halfway mark of the tree, a lever arm action is created in high winds.
  8. Bradford Pears. These are the perfect candidate for limb failure given all of the limbs generally grow from the same area on the trunk, resulting in weak attachment.

How Improper Pruning Practices May Result in Tree Hazards

Topping

Topping is the indiscriminate cutting of tree limbs to stubs or to lateral limbs that are not large enough to assume the terminal role. Often times people assume that by shortening a tree they are ensuring it is receiving less wind load or is less of a hazard because it now won't reach the target if it falls. While the immediate result of topping is just that, many more problems arise down the road. Depending on the severity of the hack job, the tree may die shortly after. Remember — trees need leaves to supply food to sustain. If the tree does survive this travesty, it will sprout out numerous shoots all from one area at the end of the nubbed off limbs. These shoots grow to large limbs over a few years and are weakly attached and prone to break much more than before. Compounding this issue is the trees reaction to topping. It will allocate all of its energy to putting out new shoots/leaves and very little energy to the sealing process, leaving the end of these limbs open for decay. The newly grown limbs will be even more prone to failure. Avoid topping trees.

Lions Tailing

Lions Tailing is when all of the inner limbs of a tree are removed, leaving only the foliage near the ends of the large limbs - resembling a lion tail. The misunderstanding is that by doing this the wind will more easily flow through the tree reducing its wind resistance; however there is actually the adverse effect. Now that all of the wind resistance is at the tip of the limb, a lever arm is created and forces are amplified. Instead of removing this interior growth, weight/limbs should be shortened. As an example, try holding a 5-pound weight with your arm fully extended. Now rest the 5-pound weight directly on your bicep. The latter is much easier. Furthermore, the tree will react to lions tailing by exponential sprouting where the limbs were just removed in an effort to replace lost leaf area. You will hire someone to do it all over again and again. Avoid lions tailing limbs.

Making Large Pruning Cuts on Mature Trees

Large limbs/leads of trees over your house or valuables can be nerve wracking. The first thought is often to remove the entire tree part (i.e limb or lead) all the way back to the trunk. This may not be the best choice. It's important to know that every cut is a wound. The larger the wound, the longer it takes to seal - if ever. Open wounds from large cuts are the perfect opportunity for decay causing pathogens to enter the tree. Instead of having large limbs removed, consider removing weight/limbs from the tip to lighten the load.

Hiring a Tree Professional

Now that you are informed, this should be much easier. Avoid "point and cut" companies. These are the ones who know little about arboricultural practices but have a chainsaw and are willing to cut wherever you point. Find an ISA Certified Arborist — preferably with a Tree Risk Assessment Qualification. They have the knowledge to guide you on what is best for both you and your trees. Yes the initial cost may be a little more, but the results will save you far more down the road. My hope is that this brief "do it yourself" tree risk assessment is helpful. Importantly, this is a very watered down version as a guide to help you spot defects and hazards and should not be a substitute for a tree professionals thorough inspection and advice.

By Shem Kendrick
ISA Certified Arborist SO-7151A
Tree Risk Assessment Qualified
TCIA Tree Care Specialist

Coastal Arbor Care

912-272-0175
www.Coastalarbor.biz

June
5

Cora Bett Thomas Realty is a Proud Leading RE Member

When you think of Cora Bett Thomas Realty you think of the 100 mile coast and the Low Country, but did you know the agency has a world-wide connection? Cora Bett Thomas Realty & Associates is the Savannah representative for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World ("Leading RE"). As a member of Leading RE, Cora Bett Thomas Realty & Associates provides global accessibility with a local focus.

Leading RE has a global membership that spans six continents and 70 countries. Each year, Leading RE connects more than 565 firms and 130,000 sales associates who produce over 1.2 million real estate transactions. Membership to Leading RE is by invitation only, so the network of real estate professionals all uphold the highest standards and strive for exceptional experiences for all clients.

As a member of Leading RE, Cora Bett Thomas Realty & Associates provides a quality real estate experience, global marketing reach and access to top real estate professionals in virtually any market worldwide. Listing your home with Cora Bett Thomas Realty & Associates connects your for sale sign to firms all around the world, thanks to Leading RE.

Cora Bett Thomas Realty is a charter member of its Luxury Property division, Luxury Portfolio International. Your home will be featured on the very best websites and get exposure from more than 150 websites, because of this connection. Cora Bett Thomas Realty & Associates has set the standard for marketing, professionalism and growth among luxury brokers in the region.

Contact Cora Bett Thomas Realty Today for more information on what our Membership in Leading RE means for you as a buyer or seller.

June
5

Savannah Summer Fun

Hot… that's certainly one way to describe summers in Savannah! But you're never too far from the water or a good time to truly enjoy the Hostess City. We've compiled a list of Summer "Hot Spots" perfect for locals to enjoy, or for those just passing through to get a taste of Savannah.

 Savannah Summer Fun

Unwind and Sunshine

What says summer more than a trip to the beach? A 20-minute drive from downtown Savannah gets you to a little slice of paradise, also known as "Savannah's beach", Tybee Island. Feel the ocean breeze, the sand between your toes, and the time slow down just enough. If you're visiting without a car, hop on a shuttle, and it'll get you to and from the beach with ease!

A Grand Slam Experience

Conveniently located and fun for the whole family, a Savannah Bananas Baseball game is a summer must, and you don't even have to like baseball to enjoy it. Their season runs from June through August, but tickets sell out fast! It's truly just a fan-first experience: you'll be dancing and singing, eating and drinking, and truly enjoying every inning… while cheering on the home team.

Savannah Summer Fun

Ice Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Leopold's

There's no better way to cool off, than with a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Award-winning, homemade ice cream that will melt in your mouth (or on the cone, if you don't eat it fast enough). Located on Broughton Street, Leopold's Ice Cream is a perfect place to take a break from all the shopping and indulge in a sweet treat that's been a Savannah tradition since 1919.

Savannah Summer Fun

Boat Ride with a Porpoise

Soak in Savannah from its historic waterways. Hop on a boat from River Street, venture through the water towards Tybee Island, and don't forget your camera! Dolphin Magic guides guarantee you'll catch a glimpse of our friendly dolphins and leave with a rich history lesson too. What's better than a sunset cruise, dolphins, and entertainment along the way?

Good Eats & Drinks

No matter the season, Savannah has a food scene that's perfect for any palate. Fresh caught seafood, fried chicken with buttermilk biscuits, pasta dishes to die for, fried green tomatoes, and plenty of dining options for that sweet tooth. Locally sourced and locally owned Savannah restaurants are easy to come by and certainly a must. We also suggest that you "rooftop bar hop"! From Peregrin in the historic district to Top Deck right along the Savannah River, and everywhere in between… be sure to catch the Savannah sunset with a drink in hand.

May
31

Based on Rigorous Science

We have previously listed our top 5 burgers in Savannah north of Gaston, but because the dining scene in Savannah is always evolving, we try to update our list accordingly. Some things don't change though. We still realize that the best burgers in Savannah is a pretty hotly contested topic, which is why this isn't some sort of definitive ranking. This is just a new list of our favorite places to get amazing burgers based on a variety of factors such as service, atmosphere, the bun, and, of course, the burgers. Again, this list is in no particular order, so don't fret if your favorite place is near the bottom of the page. 

The People's Champs

We'll start with 3 places that according to many Savannians, arguably have THE best burgers in Savannah. On the weekend — well, just about any day really — you can encounter a lengthy wait depending on the size of your party at  The Crystal Beer Parlor and Green Truck Pub. The list of available beers are both of these local pubs is great and the food quality is excellent and consistent; and in Savannah, consistency matters. Circa 1875 is a French bistro and pub; while the bistro side is lovely, the pub is where we go to get one of our favorite burgers in town. The 1875 Hamburger Au Poivre is a treat — just be sure to order the green peppercorn brandy mustard sauce on the side, and dip your burger into it.  These restaurants have burgers ranging from simple to extraordinary and are always at the top of Savannians' favorite burger lists..

 
 
 
 
 
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Mountain Jam Burger! #localburger #localbeer #southboundbrewery #cbp#eatndrinklocal

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Simply Smashing.

Smashed burgers are some of latest, and in our opinion, greatest burgers to grace food menus. In the interest of providing quality research and informed opinions, we've tried a couple of versions of this diner classic. The Grey Market, which is the latest and greatest from Johno and Mashama of The Grey fame, is Savannah's answer to a neighborhood bodega. Among other tasty offerings, the menu at The Grey Market features The Grey Market Burger. This burger has a smashed beef patty, caramelized onions, and comeback sauce, and is served on a housemade potato bun. Belly up to the counter and order one with potato wedges and a cold beer.

Rhett is one of the newest restaurants in Savannah and is housed in The Alida Hotel off of River Street. The restaurant's sleek retro-diner vibe is echoed in its menu, especially in the Burger American. 2 double smashed-beef patties are served with cheddar cheese, red onion, pickles, and Norfolk sauce. This particular burger is incredibly delicious, but unless you're especially ravenous, I recommend sharing with a friend. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Hey baby, it's me... your favorite burger.

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Winner Winner Burger Dinner.

The Fitzroy, sister restaurant to The Collins Quarter, was recently awarded "Best Burger in Savannah 2019." The Aussie Burger is so popular that it's on both the Brunch and Dinner menus. The patty is an 8 oz. Certified Angus Beef patty. Like The Collins Quarter, The gang at The Fitzroy hand-patties their burgers. The Aussie Burger comes topped with cheddar, arugula, tomato, an over-easy egg, sweet pickled beets, bacon, pineapple, yellow onion and BBQ Sauce.  

 
 
 
 
 
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Did you hear? Our Aussie Burger won the Eat it and Like it best Burger in Savannah award!

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As with The Collins Quarter, The Fitzroy's space has been transformed from its former self. The restaurant is located on Drayton Street. While the space has been home to other bars and restaurants, they were nothing like The Fitzroy in terms of atmosphere. Dark blue walls and turquoise banquettes gives the feel of easy sophistication. The Fitzroy also features live music and an upstairs, rooftop patio. Like its sister restaurant, The Fitzroy is one of those places where if you do have to wait for your food, you don't mind too much because you can't stop admiring the craftsmanship surrounding you.

A Little Different, A Lot Delicious.

Our friends over at Fork & Dagger Eatery have recently expanded and opened a new location. Fork & Dagger Latin Diner is housed in the old Bobbie's Diner, off of Habersham. The menu echoes the visual aesthetic of the diner, but still has that Latin twist that has made Fork & Dagger so popular with locals. The Hamburguesa is a 1/3 pound beef and chorizo patty topped with pepper-jack cheese, grilled onions, Kachina Farm greens and tomato. It also comes dressed with Bravas sauce housemade Sofrito ketchup.  The result is a delightful combination of unusual and yet somehow familiar flavors. Perfect for those times when you're craving something a little out of the ordinary.

 
 
 
 
 
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#forkanddagger #forkanddaggerlatindiner #burger #savannahga #visitsavannah #dinesavannah #bobbiesdiner

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The Bottom Line

So there you have it — as I said earlier, this is by no means a definitive list of the best burgers in Savannah,  and we didn't use a set standard to judge all of the places that we've tried. Instead, we looked for what tasted good, sides offered, bun, price point and the atmosphere in which they were served. Simply put, we wanted to share our favorite places to enjoy one of our favorite foods. But don't take our word for it — get out and try these places for yourself and see what you think. Get out, eat, and decide which place has your favorite burger in Savannah.

Do You Want to Live in Historic Savannah?

Contact Cora Bett Thomas Realty & Associates today.

912.233.6000

May
24

Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market

As we've mentioned before, just because you live in Savannah, doesn't mean that you can't play at being a tourist while being at home. Our favorite way to do this is to stop in at one of the restaurants at the local hotels. Unlike the hotel restaurants of yesteryear, the new kids in the Historic District of Downtown Savannah focus on creative dishes featuring locally sourced ingredients.  

Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market is located in the ground floor of the Perry Lane Hotel. This boutique hotel is located on Drayton Street, in the heart of the Historic District, and is also home the Peregrin Rooftop Bar. The location of  Emporium makes it a hub of the Historic Downtown District. The dining space of the Emporium is usually abuzz with activity, but this makes it no less inviting. Both tables and bar seating are available, and meals can be enjoyed at the bar, too. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Who's been loving our new menu items and weekly specials?! #wesurehave #emporiumsavannah

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The Emporium serves breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week, as well as a weekend brunch. The Emporium also offers a Happy Hour menu Monday-Thursday. The menu at Emporium offers signature classic dishes such as Bouillabaisse and Buttermilk Fried Chicken. More eclectic options like mushrooms from local forager Swampy Appleseed, Duck Liver Mousse, and Grilled Octopus are also available. The menu showcases the seafood of the Lowcountry with dishes like Roast Barbecue Oysters, Smoked Fish Rillettes, Pickled White Shrimp, and the Fruits de Mer Tower.

Besides a full bar and a menu of seasonal craft cocktails, Emporium also features local craft beers and wine selection covering a variety of price points and palates. The wine list at Emporium is carefully selected to pair well with the menu. But many of the wines available can also be purchased by the bottle and enjoyed outside the restaurant. 

Besides a memorable dining experience, Emporium also offers cooking classes and wine tastings. Whatever you're looking for, whether it's brunch with some friends, a glass of wine and a cheese board, people watching or dinner for two, Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market is a place worth checking out. 

254 E Perry Street
Savannah, GA 31401

May
6

Hurricane Preparedness Week 

In the Lowcountry, we are less than a month away from the beginning of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season, and now is the time to make sure you are prepared. We have recently had two seasons with close calls and you can read what  we learned about preparing here 

The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season is an upcoming event in the annual formation of tropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere. The season will officially begin on June 1, 2019, and end on November 30, 2019. These dates historically describe the period each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin and are adopted by convention. 

While predictions right now favor average activity for hurricanes in the Atlantic, it is still important to be ready. Don't wait until the last minute to make preparations. One of the most important things you should do, and do immediately, is to check your homeowner's insurance. Most standard homeowner's insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Check your flood zone at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources DFIRM Flood Map. Then, make sure to have adequate flood insurance for your home. Flood insurance coverage usually takes 30 days to go into effect.

Make sure that you are aware of your community's  evacuation plan and evacuation route. A great way to be prepared for a hurricane and to stay informed during a hurricane is to sign up to receive local alerts and warnings.

Pay attention to local weather forecasts. Storm paths change quickly and without much warning, so listen out for local weather alerts. Also listen to local officials for warnings and instructions, such as evacuation orders. Follow the Chatham Emergency Management Agency, or CEMA, on Twitter and Facebook and check in often for updates.

The FEMA mobile app is also a great resource for hurricane preparation, and includes checklists for hurricane preparation. The FEMA mobile app also provides weather alerts from the National Weather Service and maps of open hurricane shelters and recovery centers. 

Create and review your family's emergency communication plan and make sure that your family is all aware of the contents and location of your emergency supplies. Another important way to be prepared is financially. Strengthen your financial preparedness in the event of a hurricane by collecting and securing important financial, insurance, medical, and other personal records. 

Protect Your Investment

If you have an investment and/or rental property, do not neglect it, even if it is vacant. Instead, make sure to conduct a full hurricane preparedness check on the property every year. This ensures that your property is ready to withstand the high winds and heavy rainfall that is common during the Atlantic Hurricane Season. The staff at Cora Bett Thomas Property Management are available to conduct a Full Weather check on your property, which includes:

  • Complete Roof Inspection
  • Siding and Entry Inspection
  • Window inspection
  • Comprehensive Plumbing and HVAC Check

Once the check has been completed, you can approve any work or repairs that need to be done to ensure that your property is ready to withstand the forces of Mother Nature. The peace of mind that comes from having your property ready will be worth the effort and expense.

These are just a few tools and resources that can help you and your family get prepared, and offer some peace of mind as we approach the 2019 Hurricane Season. 

April
22

Visit The Hotel Bars and Restaurants

It's no secret that Savannah is a great place to visit and and an even better place to live. Savannah's boutiques, historic architecture, restaurants and live music shows mean that there is never a dull moment. And when locals want to feel like they're on vacation, they can visit any one of the hotel bars scattered throughout the Historic District of Downtown Savannah. Read on to discover some of our favorite places to visit when we want to play tourist in our home.

Rue de Jean

Rue de Jean is located in the Embassy Suites, off of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and West Oglethorpe Avenue. This French cafe' and bar offers its take on a classic French brasserie menu. Rue de Jean is one of our favorite places to enjoy Happy Hour, as they offer some truly great wines on special, as well as a food menu that features mussels for $8 (and with 6 varieties of preparation). The Happy Hour menu also features a burger and short rib sandwich that are both equal of Saturday-night dining acclaim.

 
 
 
 
 
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Order up!

100 Mile Coast, Savannah, Coastal Georgia, Downtown, General News, Historic District, Fun, Restaurants, Savannah Restaurants, Wine
April
9

Savannah Rooftop Bars

Spring is arriving in Savannah. This means longer days full of sunshine and warm weather. This also means that drinking outside tops everyone's list. Historic Downtown Savannah has no shortage of  places to enjoy a beverage alfresco. More and more, locals and visitors alike are seeking higher ground for fun. And Savannah has answered the call with rooftop bars. Besides, of course, beverages, these bars offer comfortable seating and views. Some of the bars below offer views of the Savannah River, while others offer a view of the rooftops of the Historic District. Both are equally lovely in their own way. 

Peregrin Rooftop Lounge 

The Peregrin is located atop the luxurious Perry Lane Hotel. The hotel is on Drayton Street, in the heart of the Historic Downtown District. As such, The Peregrin provides a rich view of the cityscape of Savannah. Besides craft beer and bar snacks, the bar offers cocktails, a carefully curated wine list, and frozen beverages. The Peregrin has a dearth of seating, from barstools to comfy couches. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Our favorite color is sunset #rooftopvibes #drinkswithaview #cocktailsonice #weekendvibes #savannahgeorgia #peregrinsavannah

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The Grove

The Grove's Rooftop Bar overlooks City Market--perfect for people watching. With a full food menu and fun beverage options like the shareable The Grand Mule and the Prosecco Pop (a glass of prosecco served with a King of Pops popsicle), The Grove is a great place to kick back and enjoy observing the bustle of Downtown Savannah. Happy Hour specials are available 5 days a week and a brunch menu is offered on the weekends. 

100 Mile Coast, Savannah, The Lowcountry, Coastal Georgia, Downtown, General News, Historic District, Waterfront, weather, Fun
April
8

Jamie Sumner

Cora Bett Thomas Realty recently welcomed back Savannah native Jamie Sumner, as a Realtor. In this role, she provides guidance to sellers and buyers in marketing and purchasing property, making the process enjoyable and low-stress for her clients. 

Sumner has been working in the real estate business since 2004, and is licensed in both Georgia and Florida. She has been a Top 10 Agent for seven straight years in Savannah and the Listing and Selling Agent of the Month numerous times throughout her career. Sumner attended the Ninja Selling Class in 2010 and was previously a member of the "Distinguished Sales Society." 

During her time in Savannah, Sumner has listed and sold luxury multi-million-dollar waterfront homes, residential homes in the greater Savannah area, and unique properties in the Savannah Historic District and Islands area. 

Before her career in real estate, Sumner received a Bachelor's of Business Administration Degree and a Master's of Business Administration Degree from Georgia Southern University. She later was employed as the Chief Financial Officer of Georgia Heritage Federal Credit Union in Savannah. 

Jamie Sumner, who was born and raised in Savannah, is excited that she, her husband (Randy) and her two children (Olivia and Jett) have moved back to the place she has always considered home. She is also delighted to once again be able to help clients buy and sell real estate in Savannah, an area she knows well. "Savannah is a beautiful city and I am very proud to call it home," said Jamie Sumner. "I am ready to jump back in and represent my clients with the same high-level expertise and knowledge that I have for the past 12 years. I'm very excited to be back in Savannah and back working with the best Broker in town." 

For more information about Cora Bett Thomas Realty and Associates, visit www.CoraBettThomas.com

April
2

As the winter weather in Savannah slowly gives way to sunny spring days, more and more flowering bushes and trees appear. One of the most noticeable blooming trees in the Historic  District of Downtown Savannah is the Japanese Magnolia.  The Japanese magnolia, or saucer magnolia, opens its fat, furry flower buds in February or March before the rest of its foliage emerges. The branches of the Japanese Magnolia are covered in blooms before they leaf out in late winter, allowing these specimens to stand out in any landscape. The flowers blooming on leafless branches are particularly noticeable and add a distinctive charm to many of the squares in the Historic District.

Japanese Magnolias have a stunning natural structure that is reminiscent of a crepe myrtle. When the flowers are young, the petals are held fairly upright, giving the flowers a distinctively tulip-like appearance. As the flowers age, the petals tend to open more and lay down, creating a more saucer-shaped flower. The flowers of the Japanese Magnolia have the citrusy, musky fragrance that is associated with traditional magnolias. 

The flowers are large and showy and come in a variety of colors, such as white, lavender-pink, rose-purple, dark reddish purple and light yellow. The brightest color is on the outside of the petals, while the inner surface tends to be creamy white. The flowers range in size from about 4 to 6 inches across, sometimes larger. The Japanese magnolias generally grow to be about 15 to 25 feet tall with a spread of 10 to 15 feet.

One of our favorite squares in the Historic District, Troup Square, is home to several Japanese Magnolia trees. Though these trees are smaller in size, especially compared to traditional magnolias, they are no less striking. The blossoms of the Japanese Magnolia provide a welcome wash of color to the winter landscape and signal to Savannah that spring is just around the corner. 

March
26

A Musical Rite of Spring

Every spring, the Savannah Music Festival arrives. Held in various venues throughout Downtown Savannah, the 2019, Savannah Music Festival will be from March 28th to April 13th, and will feature a variety of performers who will playing at all hours of the day

Established in 1989, the Savannah Music Festival is a non-profit organization that is responsible for educational initiatives and musical arts programs throughout Savannah and six surrounding counties, and also includes educational activities such as theater field trips, in-school lessons, and public library performances.

The venues that serve as hosts for these performances are scattered throughout Historic Downtown Savannah, and include the Johnny Mercer Theater (at the Savannah Civic Center), the Lucas Theatre, the Ships of the Sea Museum, the Rousakis Plaza (located on River Street) and Trinity United Methodist Church.

This year is the festival's 30th anniversary, which will be celebrated on March 23, 2019 at the Metal Building at The Trustee's Garden with a cocktail buffet, remarks, and live Gypsy Jazz music.

New for the 2019 Savannah Music Festival

This year, the Savannah Music Festival's Lineup Spotlight is "A Bluegrass Lover's Paradise."

In addition to the myriad of acts making up the Savannah Music Festival, 7 different bluegrass acts will be featured during the festival. These acts include The Punch Brothers, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, and a double-feature of The Del McCoury Band and The Steep Canyon Rangers. Whether you are a devoted bluegrass fan, or just looking to check out a different sound, any one of these bands will fit the bill.

[caption id="attachment_2170" align="alignnone" width="640"] Fatoumata Diawara; Performing Thursday, March 28 at 8 pm North Garden Assembly Room at Ships of the Sea Museum[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2169" align="alignnone" width="640"] John Medeski's Mad Skillet; Performing Saturday, March 30 4:00 PM at the North Garden Assembly Room at Ships of the Sea Museum[/caption]

 The Savannah Music Festival will feature acts from all over the world and from all genres, including SMF favorite and Associate Artistic Director Daniel Hope, Asleep at the Wheel, Fatoumata Diawara, and Jeff Tweedy. Those looking to do a little dancing while listening should check out the the Late Night Jazz Jam or the Latin Dance party featuring El Septeto Santiaguero.

The Closing Night Party will feature a performance by renowned saxophonist Maceo Parker. Maceo Parker has developed and honed his own sound while performing with the likes of Prince, George Clinton, and James Brown. This is one funk-dance party that you don't want to miss, and is a great way to close out the 2019 Savannah Music Festival.

For More Information Visit the Savannah Music Festival website.

March
6

Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens

Savannah is a wonderful place to explore, especially historical homes and architecture. For those who appreciate history and architecture, The Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens is a perfect way to take in the beauty of Savannah's historic homes and gardens.

The Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens affords visitors and locals alike a rare opportunity to appreciate the beautiful architecture, interiors, and gardens of Savannah's Historic Landmark District and Historic Ardsley Park.  Participants of the tour can visit private homes and gardens that are usually not open to the public.

Home & Garden Walking Tours are self-guided and feature a different historic neighborhood each of the four days.  Each Home & Garden Walking Tour offers five to eight homes and/or garden sites.  What each homeowner has offered to share is different. Some sites are one floor of the home or only a garden. Other sites might include multiple floors and a garden.  Occasionally, businesses are included in the tour. But they are typically in addition to the homes and gardens, and are listed as a Point of Interest on the Tour.

Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens

Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens

Each guest will receive an Official Tour Guidebook with their tickets.  The address of each site is included in the Guidebook and marked on a color-coded map. Volunteer Street Guides will be on hand to assist with direction. These guides will be located throughout the neighborhoods and can be identified by their red sashes. Each Home and Garden Tour site and Special Event has a sign and balloons to mark the entrance. Docents will be greeting participants at each tour site. Docents will have additional information about the home and furnishings.  

The Tour is presented by the Women of Christ Church Anglican, in cooperation with the Ardsley Park-Chatham Crescent Garden Club. The 84th Annual Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens will be held Thursday March 28, through Sunday, March 31, 2019. Whether you're visiting Savannah or a local, The Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens is a great way to see some of the most beautiful homes in Savannah.

The 84th Annual Savannah Tour of Homes & Gardens

Thursday, March 28 – Sunday, March 31, 2019.

Tickets are on sale online now.

March
5

Azaleas Mean Spring in the Lowcountry. 

Azaleas

The South is known for its variety of flora, and few flowers say "Savannah" quite like azaleas. This evergreen shrub thrives in areas with partial sun making it common underneath trees. It is an ideal inhabitant of the squares in Historic Downtown Savannah. Azalea bushes can be pruned to smaller sizes, or can be larger, covering areas of quite a few feet. Smaller azalea bushes can be spotted along Savannah sidewalks, while larger versions inhabit the squares of the Downtown area.  

Botanically, azaleas are members of the Ericaceae (Heath) family. The Heath family includes blueberries and mountain laurel. Several species of azaleas are native to Georgia and the Southeast. Their flower color ranges from white to pink, yellow, orange, scarlet or crimson, with several shades in between. Plant size is also variable, ranging from 3 feet to more than 20 feet. Although native azaleas are considered more adaptable and more hardy than introduced species, it is important to approximate their native growing environment if they are to be grown successfully.

Most people associate blooming azaleas with spring, but several varieties bloom in summer and fall. This means by selecting certain varieties, it's possible to have azaleas blooming all year long. Azaleas can be grouped by whether they bloom early, mid-season or late. Early flowering types generally bloom from mid-February through March, mid-season types bloom in late April and May, and late-flowering types bloom from June through October. 

Looking for tips on growing and caring for azaleas?

Here's a great article on Southern Living

The larger azalea bushes can be found in the medians of Liberty and Oglethorpe Streets in Historic Downtown Savannah. Azaleas of all sizes and colors can also be found in many of the squares, including Columbia Square and Monterey Square. But, azaleas are not exclusive to the downtown area. Their vivid displays of color can be appreciated in Forsyth Park and in Bonaventure Cemetery

Looking to Buy or Sell a Home This Spring?

Contact Cora Bett Thomas Realty Today!

March
5

During Springtime, Savannah Comes Alive With Bursts of Color.

springtime flowers

Visitors to Savannah come from all over the world to admire the charm of the city. The appeal of Savannah's historic architecture draws admiration from tourists and locals alike. Savannah's elegant homes and cobblestone streets are enhanced by the botanical beauty that abounds in the Historic District of downtown Savannah.

As the the weather warms up, the natural beauty of Savannah awakens. The budding and blooming flowers infuse the squares and sidewalks of Historic Downtown Savannah with bursts of color. While many of the springtime flowers in Savannah are not unique to the South, there is something about them that is undeniably Savannah. Better still, Savannah's springtime flowers tend to start blooming at the beginning of the year, giving the feeling that spring is just around the corner here in the Lowcountry.

Camellias are one of the most distinctive flowers in the South, occupying many of the squares in the Historic District. These shrubs feature glossy leaves and large blooms. Some of the most popular camellia flowers in Savannah are white, pale pink, and ruby red. 

Savannah's springtime flowers

Azaleas are also distinctively southern plants. Like camellias, azaleas are shrubs of varying sizes. Also like camellias, azalea bushes burst into a profusion of colorful blossoms. Azalea blooms are also colorful, and it is not uncommon to see groups of different-colored azaleas bushes in yards, medians, and squares of the Historic Downtown District. One of our favorite places to enjoy azaleas is Bonaventure Cemetery.

Japanese magnolia trees may not be shrubs like camellias and azaleas. But, this tree puts out blooms at the same time that camellias and azaleas begin to blossom, and the flowers of this delicate tree are no less striking. The most common shades for the flowers of  Japanese magnolia trees put out blossoms are deep glossy fuschia, or white with a deeper purple center. 

The beauty of Savannah's springtime flowers is by no means restricted to these 3 flowers. But, they bloom around the same time to herald the approach of spring. And these plants are often spotted throughout the Historic and Victorian Districts, as well as popular spots like Bonaventure Cemetery and Thunderbolt. It is nearly impossible to see camellias, azaleas and Japanese magnolias and not think of springtime in Savannah. 

Looking to Buy or Sell a Home This Spring?

Contact Cora Bett Thomas Realty Today!

February
21

2019 Savannah Antiques and Architecture Weekend

Visitors and local Savannah residents appreciate the unique and storied architecture of our city. The Savannah Antiques and Architecture Weekend is the perfect way to enjoy a bit of Savannah's sophisticated past and present. Set for the last weekend in February 2019, the events of the Savannah Antiques and Architecture Weekend celebrate the history of some of the most famous Savannah families and how their homes contributed to the architecture that has made Savannah famous.

The first annual Savannah Antiques and Architecture Weekend was created in 2017. The Savannah Antiques and Architecture Weekend was first created to focus on the fascinating connections between the Andrew Low and Green-Meldrim Houses, and the families who occupied them. It was conceived by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Georgia (NSCDA-GA).  The Savannah Antiques and Architecture Weekend aims to foster and promote interest in our nation's history through the study of the buildings and objects that are part of our cultural inheritance. The Savannah Antiques and Architecture Weekend also provides education on historic preservation. 

The NSCDA was founded in 1891 and is an unincorporated association of 44 Corporate Societies with more than 15,000 members. The National Society of Colonial Dames has been a leader in the field of historic preservation, restoration, and the interpretation of historic sites since its New York Society first undertook the preservation of the Van Cortland House in 1897. The Society headquarters is located at Dumbarton House, a Federal period house museum in Washington, D.C.  The association currently owns or operates more historic properties than any other organization in America other than the Federal Government. 

Don't be fooled into thinking that this is a group of the same old Savannah walking tours. The events making up this special weekend include lectures, tours, and live jazz music. The Special Event of the Savannah Antiques and Architecture Weekend includes a Private Tour celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Armstrong-Kessler mansion.  The magnificent mansion ushered the Jazz Age in to Savannah, and is the inspiration for the title of the 2019 Weekend: "Antiques, Architecture and All That Jazz!"  

Thursday, February 28

Cocktails and book signing with world-renowned Interior Designer, Carleton Varney

Decorator to the stars such as Joan Crawford and to U.S President Jimmy Carter along with many other prestigious clients, Carleton Varney is also the President and Owner of Dorothy Draper & Co. and carries on the amazing legacy of Draper's iconic work in the '30s and '40s.  Author of several books on decorating and great houses, he also hosts a wide line of products on the Home Shopping Network and his regular appearances on the show always sell out!

Friday, March 1

Lunch & Learn Keynote Speaker: Carleton Varney, President of Dorothy Draper & Co., Inc. Dorothy Draper and the Jazz Age followed by book signing

Dorothy Draper was a woman way ahead of her time, taking on huge corporate work for hotels around the world when women were supposed to be at home raising families!  Her work for The Greenbrier Hotel, the Quintandhina in Brazil, the Hampshire House, the Carlyle Hotel and many others in the jazz era is iconic and instantly recognizable.  Her protégé, Carleton Varney, continues her work today as owner of Dorothy Draper & Co..  Like Draper, Varney uses big bold patterns, tons of color and rejects all things drab, uncomfortable and impractical.  

Friday, March 1

The Gala

The glittering Gala honoring our Sponsors, Speakers and Appraisers is always a highpoint of the weekend. Topped off by an exciting Silent Auction, it will be held in the splendid surroundings of the historic Green-Meldrim House.  An evening to remember!

Saturday, March 2

What's in Your Attic? 

Back by popular demand is the "What's In Your Attic?" event with TV Celebrity appraisers and experts in decorative arts and antiques, Lark Mason, Amanda Everard, and Jane Mullino. They will help you Jazz things up at your house when you discover the value of your own treasures. 

2019 Savannah Antiques and Architecture Weekend

Saturday, March 2

VIP Historic Tours

The VIP Historic Tours are being jazzed up as well this year. They will include colorful costumed reincarnations of the Andrew Low and Green-Meldrim families who will bring life to the stories of their lives and times.

The 2019 Events will celebrate the Architecture, Design, and Music of the Jazz Age, so grab your friends and come Jazz It Up in beautiful Savannah, Georgia, February 28 – March 2, 2019!

February
21

Savannah Vacation Properties Investments Are a Win-Win

by HEATHER BOOTH

Picturesque, charming, historic, inviting, far from ordinary, the list goes on and visitors agree … there's nothing quite like Savannah. Tourism is nothing new to Georgia's "first city," for the past several years tourism records have continued to soar. This year seems to be no exception, as Savannah made the list for Travel + Leisure's top places to visit in 2019.

The living is easy in Savannah. Most visitors want to come and live like a local. They want to feel that sense of home. Because of that, many choose to stay in a vacation property within the landmark historic district, instead of a hotel. They are smart travelers, many are millennials, who understand and trust the concept of Airbnb.

From the Savannah River to Gwinnett Street, and from East Broad to Martin Luther King Boulevard vacation rentals are in high demand and can be found on just about every block. Most of the homes in the area have about a 70-80% occupancy rate, and when you compare that to the hotels in the area, they're doing just as good — or even better!

In Savannah, purchasing a home to use as vacation property is a successful investment, but there are realities to note, before buying.  First of all, it's really important to work with a lender, preferably local, who understands the nuisances for lending.

Secondly, the City of Savannah issues a permit for each vacation rental in order to limit and maintain a balance of full time and rental properties across the area. This is a blessing and a curse because they look at each ward and designate no more than 20% to be used as a vacation rental.

High Demand For Savannah Vacation Properties

Vacation properties in the hostess city are so sought after that almost every ward is currently full, and there's a waiting list to receive new permits. Any home sold with a permit, is considered some of the most marketable property in the historic district. That's because, if you purchase from someone who's home is already permitted, you don't automatically get the vacation rental permit, but you can apply and almost be at the top of the list.

There are also a large number of people who want to use their garden home or carriage house as a rental, to allow them the opportunity to get into a neighborhood or a home that they might otherwise not have been able to afford. Those lucky homeowners are able to share their space with visitors without necessarily qualifying under the city's permit cap, as long as it's considered their full-time residence.

Annually,  Savannah sees 7 million tourists. Each tourist is attracted to Savannah for a different reason, whether it be the walkability of the city, the European feel, the to-go cocktail atmosphere, the southern hospitality, the delicious and eclectic fare, the perfectly manicured squares, the Spanish moss shaded streets, or the proximity to the waterways… But no matter the case, each one of these visitors needs a place to stay, hence the success of vacation rental properties.

Want to Learn More?

For more information on vacation rentals visit www.corabettvacationrentals.com and for additional details on vacation sales please contact Heather Booth directly at hbooth@corabettthomas.com or 912-401-9401.

February
15

A Southern Beauty for Over 200 Years

Savannah doesn't lack for natural beauty. A number of varieties of flowers and plants make the Historic Downtown District sparkle. None so much as the camellia embody the genteel beauty of Savannah. These evergreen shrubs boast large and colorful blossoms and adorn Downtown Savannah like jewels.  

Camellias have been a part of the southern landscape for over 200 years. The plants were first introduced to the United States by way of Charleston, South Carolina in 1786. Camellias can serve several functions in landscape planting. They are staples in most of the squares in the Historic District. Camellia bushes can be used for foundation plantings, screens, accent plants, background groupings and hedges. 

The colors of the camellia blossoms found in Savannah range from snowy white to deep ruby red. Camellia bushes can grow to a height of up to six feet tall and two feet wide. Some of the most beautiful variations of camellia blossoms include pale pink blossoms with darker pink stripes. The broad, glossy dark green leaves of the camellia contrast beautifully with the lush and fragile blossoms of the camellia's blossoms. When the camellias come into full bloom in the winter, their stately and refined elegance call to mind the Southern belles of Savannah's history. 

Some of our favorite squares to admire these Savannah belles are along Bull Street: Chippewa Square and Wright Square. Both of these squares are dotted with artfully spaced camellia bushes. Calhoun Square, on Abercorn Street also hosts photo-worthy camellia bushes. Although these bushes in this square are a bit shorter than their sisters in Chippewa and Wright Squares, they are no less stunning.

The natural beauty afforded by the camellia shrubs and blossoms is something that Savannah visitors and locals alike can enjoy. The camellia blooms add a dash of color to our occasionally gray winter days, and remind us of the promise of warmer weather just ahead.

February
13

The 12th Annual Savannah Book Festival will continue to celebrate nationally-recognized and local authors through their contributions to literacy, ideas, and imagination. Festival Saturday is a free and open to the public event that features solo author presentations in seven venues around Telfair, Chippewa and Wright Squares in historic downtown Savannah.  Our headlining authors events, featuring some of the biggest names in the book world, are ticketed at a nominal fee.

Savannah Book Festival celebrates books and the written word and brings authors from around the country to Savannah. The authors will present their work to audiences of book lovers eager to hear what they have to say. The guests include bestselling authors of popular fiction and non-fiction, as well as historians, lifestyle experts, and other critically acclaimed authors.

The festival's annual Festival Saturday will take place on February 16, 2019 at venues in and around Telfair Square in beautiful downtown Savannah. The Festival, which runs from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., is free and open to the public. On Saturday, Author Silas House brings his novel Southernmost To Savannah Book Festival. The novel Southernmost begins with a flood of biblical proportions. The aftermath is set in a Southern Appalachian town where a fundamentalist preacher struggles with his rigid beliefs. 

Savannah Book Festival Children's Tent

SBF and Live Oak Libraries (LOPL) are pleased to announce the SBF Children's Tent event, which is taking place on Sunday, February 17 from 1-4 pm in Reynolds Square. The SBF Children's Tent will feature author appearances, activities and book-signings. For more information, please click here.

"...Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in twelve minutes..." 

You may recognize those words as part of Robert Shaw's monologue in the movie "Jaws," but a new book exposes what really happened that day. Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the 50-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man. The authors, Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic, will present the closing address on Sunday, February 17. Indianapolis is the culmination of years of research and tells the story of — and those surrounding — what is arguably the United States' most famous naval warship. There was a great interview with authors Vincent and Vladic on GBP's "On Second Thought" that you can listen to here.

For More Information Visit 12th Annual Savannah Book Festival website

January
29

Make Your Plans for Super Museum Sunday!

Super Museum Sunday

Georgia, and Savannah in particular, has an impressive variety of museums and historical markers. On Sunday, February 10th, Georgians and visitors alike can experience our state's rich history and cultural life. Historic sites, house museums, art museums, and other points of interest in Savannah and throughout Georgia will open their doors to the public, providing an exceptional opportunity to experience the history in our own backyard.

Check Out the 2019 Super Museum Sunday Printable Map

An impressive list of Savannah's Museums and cultural heritage sites for showcasing knowledge and education will be free to the public from noon to 4 p.m. The Coastal Heritage Society's five museums will participate in the 2019 Georgia History Festival's "Super Museum Sunday" on Feb. 10th. Those sites include Georgia State Railroad Museum, Old Fort Jackson, Pin Point Heritage Museum, Savannah Children's Museum, and Savannah History Museum. Guests can enjoy free interactive exhibits and engaging tours at each site through hands-on, immersive activities that illustrate the narratives of Savannah's past.

In addition to the museums that are part of the Coastal Heritage Society, the Telfair Museums will open all three of their sites — the Owens-Thomas House, the Telfair Academy and the Jepson Center. However, because of the crowds that are expected for Super Museum Sunday, you might want to go ahead and get that visit  to see the French Impressionism exhibition Monet to Matisse taken care of before February 10th (which is also the last day of this unforgettable exhibition).

Super Museum Sunday

Pin Point Heritage Museum, located in the old A.S. Varn & Son Oyster and Crab Factory, is your chance to experience the Gullah/Geechee culture firsthand. For nearly 100 years, the community of Pin Point was quietly isolated on the banks of the Moon River just south of Savannah. Now, you can explore the refurbished museum complex and experience multimedia presentations, exciting exhibits and unparalleled views of the marsh. If you are looking to have a more adventurous  Super Museum Sunday, you can also kayak to the Pin Point Heritage Museum. 

We Love Super Museum Sunday.

Many museums participating on Super Museum Sunday plan to offer free guided tours and live reenactments for the special occasion. The free admission provides the opportunity for those who otherwise  cannot afford the chance to visit one of their local community museums. It is also an affordable way to explore a museum in your neighborhood that you may have never considered visiting before. Below is a list of participating Chatham County Museums. If you won't be in Savannah on Super Museum Sunday, visit the Georgia Historical Society website for more information and the complete list of participating museums, parks and historical sites throughout Georgia.

Super Museum Sunday Chatham County

  • Bloomingdale History Museum & Visitors Center
  • National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force
  • Andrew Low House Museum
  • Beach Institute African American Cultural Center
  • Bonaventure Historical Society
  • Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens
  • Congregation Mickve Israel
  • Davenport House Museum
  • First African Baptist Church
  • First Bryan Baptist Church
  • Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home
  • Fort Pulaski National Monument
  • Georgia State RailRoad Museum
  • Girl Scout First Headquarters Museum and Program Center
  • Green-Meldrim House
  • Harper Fowlkes House
  • Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, National Historic Landmark 
  • King-Tisdell Cottage
  • Massie Heritage Center
  • Mother Mathilda Beasley Cottage
  • Oatland Island Wildlife Center
  • Old Fort Jackson
  • Ossabaw Island
    Call Ossabaw Island for ticket/wait list information.
  • Pin Point Heritage Museum
  • Savannah Children's Museum
  • Savannah History Museum and Battlefield Memorial Park
  • Savannah-Ogeechee Canal Museum & Nature Center
  • Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum
  • St. John's Church
  • Telfair Museums' Jepson Center for the Arts
  • Telfair Museums' Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters
  • Telfair Museums' Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Thunderbolt Museum
  • Tybee Island Light Station and Museum
  • UGA Marine Education Center & Aquarium
  • Webb Military Museum
  • Wormsloe State Historic Site
January
25

A Few of Our Favorite Places for Date Night.

Valentine's Day

Eating is always a good time in Savannah. Most Savannahians will use any special occasion or holiday as an excuse to go out and good meal. Valentine's Day is no exception. Before you know it, Valentine's Day will be here, so it's not too early to start planning. Read on to discover some of our favorite places to enjoy a meal with that special someone on Valentine's Day (or any other day, for that matter). 

The Hot Spots

The Grey 

This beautiful space occupies what was once a Greyhound bus station. The menu, lovingly crafted by beloved chef Mashama Bailey, offers sophisticated dishes such as foie and grits, king mackerel, and smoked collards. These offerings feature the best local meats and produce, and are a nod to Chef Bailey's Southern roots. If you're looking for just a bite and a drink, check out the Diner Bar. The Diner Bar is cozy and nostalgic and offers a pared-down version of The Grey's menu. Whether you decide to go all in and make reservations in the main dining room, or stop in for a quick sip at The Diner Bar, you will definitely enjoy time spent at The Grey

Collins Quarter

Collins Quarter is located in the heart of the Historic District of Downtown Savannah. The menus is simple, and many dishes give a nod to owner Anthony Debreceny's Australian heritage and travels. But, every dish is designed to showcase fresh and local ingredients. A carefully curated wine list and cocktail menu, as well as an invitingly intimate dining space make for a memorable meal. And we challenge you to find a restaurant with more romantic lighting than an evening at CQ.

Husk

The Savannah location of this Charleston-based restaurant group does not disappoint. Husk Savannah is located on Oglethorpe Avenue in a renovated historic mansion. Husk prides itself on working with local farmers and purveyors to get the freshest ingredients and showcase them in dishes that are elevated versions of Southern classics. The Warm Octopus Salad and the Bear Creek Farm Beef with Bone Marrow are 2 of our favorite dishes. Husk's raw bar is also amazing, and you know what they say about oysters ...

The Classics

Noble Fare 

Locally owned and operated by husband and wife team Patrick and Jenny McNamara, this restaurant is ideal if you're looking to get away from the crowds. Noble Fare is in the rapidly-expanding North of Gaston (NOG) neighborhood, and is a favorite spot for locals to grab a meal that is a much more than ordinary. The menu at Noble Fare changes on an almost daily basis, but some of the more popular dishes include Diver Scallops and the Braised Beef Short Rib. 

Elizabeth on 37th

Elizabeth on 37th, located between the Historic District and Ardsley Park, has long set the standard in Savannah for fine dining. The 1900s Southern mansion oozes refinement. And romance. The sense of elegance is echoed in the hospitality and efficient service of the dedicated staff, as well as in the dishes offered in the Southern coastal menu. 

Garibaldi 

One of our personal favorites. Locals go way back with Garibaldi — Cora Bett herself has used the restaurant's busy bar to network on may occasion. It's no surprise that Garibaldi, with its dimly-lit dining room, filled with tufted leather banquettes, is a popular romantic dining spot. The menu at Garibaldi features seafood and pasta dishes. Furthermore, the daily specials really are, well, special. The Diamond-Scored Flounder is always a popular dish, and pasta lovers relish the Lobster Rabini. 

The Non-Traditional

Atlantic 

This popular neighborhood eatery has an extensive wine selection (and a knowledgeable staff), and a menu that never fails to disappoint. Atlantic doesn't take reservations, and it has a laid-back, albeit effortlessly elegant, vibe. If you're looking to enjoy a great meal without the special occasion expectation, Atlantic is the place. Here, every meal is a special occasion, so there is no pressure. 

1540 Room 

Ditch tradition and the idea of "couples only" and grab a group of friends for family dinner. Head over to the 1540 Room (located in The DeSoto) and grab one of their large family tables. An extensive menu of shareable plates and sides make for great evening of tasting and passing plates. Show up early — or stay late — and get a cocktail at the bar at Edgar's Proof and Provisions and have a toast an evening among friends.

And of Course ...

Lulu's Chocolate Bar 

This dessert bar has been a downtown staple for over 10 years. One visit and you'll know why. Lulu's normally doesn't take reservations but makes an exception for Valentine's Day. You cannot go wrong with any one of the homemade desserts, such as the Strawberry Suspension Cake (pictured) or the Triple Chocolate Mousse Tower. Or, keep it simple and opt for Hand-Dipped Chocolate Strawberries. The bar offers a selection of dessert martinis and champagne cocktails for liquid refreshments. Whether you begin here with a cocktail, or end the evening with a coffee and slice of pie, you'll leave feeling satisfied. 

These are only a few of our favorite places to visit for Valentine's Day dining in Downtown Savannah. Each are special in their own way, and each and every one of them are worth visiting, again and again. And, each of them fully embrace the idea of enjoying good food and fun, that spirit which is the heartbeat of Savannah.

January
18

Plantation Carriage Company

One of the first things visitors to Historic Downtown Savannah notice are the horse-drawn carriages. Some carriages are canopied. Some carriages are bedecked in flowers and ribbons. The horses in front are a variety of colors. But, they all share the privilege of being a staple of Historic Downtown Savannah.

The horse-drawn carriages provide a unique mode of transportation for special events. Or, for Savannah visitors, these carriages are a way to tour the Historic Downtown area. Most locals are used to sharing the roads with these proud horses and their carriages. But, just like the folks you may see every day in passing and never really know, most Savannahians know little about the horses and their carriages. So, we sat down and talked with Jennifer Thompson of Plantation Carriage Company to learn a little bit more about our four-legged friends and their jobs. 

Contrary to popular belief, walking on paved roads is not harmful to the horses and is actually easier going for them than dirt paths. In fact, the first paved road in Georgia was in Savannah, and it was created to make the going easier for the horses. All employees at The Plantation Carriage Company are professionals with experience in working with horses.  The staff includes a team of farriers who routinely trim/balance the horses' hooves and shoes. The Plantation team has built deep connections with each horse in the stable.

Draft horse breeds such as Belgian, Percherons, and North American Spotteds are used to pull carriages. These are all breeds of work horse used to pulling heavy loads for long periods of time. Most of the horses at Plantation Carriage are in a second phase of their "careers" now. Many of them have spent the early years of their lives doing work for logging companies or on Amish farms. Now, these horses are able to enjoy a more leisurely schedule and far less strenuous work. These horses usually live into their 30s, but normally work until they are into their 20s. Plantation Carriage conducts general fitness evaluations everyday and more extensive evaluations monthly. 

The company rotates the shifts of the horses to ensure that they are able to take breaks and get plenty of rest, even during the busy season. If you have seen horses on a farm on rainy days you know they don't huddle in the expensive barns. Instead, they play in the rain. So if you see horses out in the rain do not be concerned. However, in the event of storms, tours are cancelled due to the threat of lightning. This means that the team at Plantation Carriage diligently keeps an eye on weather radar forecasts, so as not to put the horses, drivers or tour groups in any danger due to lightning. 

Besides a pretty sweet work schedule, routine medical evaluations and care, and vacations, the horses also get treats. Lots of treats. Of course, the horses get apples year round. But, they also get seasonal treats. In the colder months, the horses are given soft peppermint candies as treats. In the summer, they are given watermelon, which provides much needed hydration. The horses also get their fetlocks on some Guinness a treats. Sound crazy? It's not — the beer helps replenish the B-vitamins that the horses lose through their sweat. 

One of our favorite horses at Plantation Carriage is Cinder. Cinder is a sassy little Percheron, and proof that each of these horses have their own unique personality. Cinder has Arab blood, which, according to Jennifer, is part of why she is so feisty. Everyone loves Cinder. When she passes other horses on the street, they will whinny at her. And Cinder loves Cinder, too — she has been caught more than once staring at her reflection in a window or puddle and giving herself a whinny. 

horse carriage tours

Jennifer and her team at The Plantation Carriage Company do a fantastic job of caring for these horses. They also do a fantastic job of providing hospitality to Savannah visitors, acting as carriage drivers and as tour guides. City ordinances restrict where horse-drawn carriages can pull over. So, if you see them out and about while in your vehicle, be patient and do your best to indicate your direction. The carriage drivers and horses have no desire to hold up traffic, so show these 4-legged ambassadors of Savannah some love. They may be pampered, but they are working just as hard as any of us to make Savannah a great place to visit and to live.

Plantation Carriage Company

Plantation Carriage Company is a wonderful source for carriage rides around Savannah's historic district, weddings, and other special occasions. Tours depart daily from the southeast corner of Ellis Square.

Find out more information or book a tour online here 

(912) 659-9005

info@plantationcarriagecompany.com

January
14

Another year older, another year wiser...

parking

As we jump into 2019, we are all about fresh starts and resolutions. While New Year's resolutions can vary wildly from person to person, we have one that appeals to all Savannahians. This year, let's resolve to make it through with no parking tickets. To some, this seems a simple feat, but local Savannahians, especially those living and/or working in the Historic Downtown District, can attest that this resolution sometimes seems nearly impossible to keep.

In recent years, the City of Savannah's Parking and Mobility Services has expanded the zones covered by parking meters. Parking Services has also extended the hours for paid parking to run from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Note: These are approximate times — check out the links provided for specific hours/zones) And while paying to park feels like a huge hassle, let's face it, paid parking is a pretty common thing in most cities now. 

Lucky for us, Parking Services has made strides in making the process paying to park pretty darn easy. The simplest way is to download the "Park Savannah" app to your phone. The app allows you to pay your meter through your phone and eliminates the need to revisit meters to add more money/time.  

Residential Benefits

Another way to avoid parking tickets as a resident of the Historic District is to have a Residential Parking Decal. Savannah residents living in metered zones can apply for a Residential Parking Decal to be used for on-street parking near their home. These decals are not a pass for free parking in the entire Downtown Savannah area. But, the decals are useful nonetheless. 

Those dealing with on-street parking in the Downtown Savannah area are also familiar with the street sweepers. Check posted signs for sweep times. Then, make sure that you are not parked in a sweep zone during the posted time. Residential Parking Decals do not override sweep zones. Also, tickets received for sweep zone violations cannot be appealed.

When it comes down to it, parking in Downtown Savannah can be easily handled by utilizing the resources that Parking Services has made available. 

Savannah Parking Services

Website

100 E Bryan St. 

Savannah, GA 31402

Office Hours 

Monday - Friday 

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Meter Information and Maps

For information on Savannah's DOT Downtown Shuttles, click here.

December
27

Historic Homes - Are They Your Calling?

Historic homes

One of the biggest draws to living in the heart of Savannah is the Historic District. Originally the historic district was the 2.2 square mile area that runs from East Broad Street to Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., and from the Savannah River to Gaston Street. Savannah's historic district is one of the largest in the country and there are many people involved in preserving its legacy. There are more than 1,100 historically and architecturally significant buildings, including examples of Federal, Victorian Regency, Greek and Gothic Revival, and Italianate architecture. Savannah is well known for its diversification of residents. We have everyone from teachers and students to dignitaries and millennials working to live where they choose, so it's no wonder people are choosing to live in this area.

Why a Historic Home?

Historic homes offer a few characteristics that more modern homes do not – the most prominent being character itself. Homes from different historical periods showcase a variety of architectural trends that may not be featured in the newer home builds today. The charm of historic homes include high ceilings, crown molding, archways, and original flooring and windows.  

Another enticing feature of a historic home is the location. Historic Savannah is home to several local shops such as City Market and all of the shops along Broughton Street. Residents are also able to enjoy restaurants such as Garibaldi Café for fine dining and Crystal Beer Parlor for burgers and beer. The town is set up to for the ease of walking from place to place or you could always jump in a pedicab. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the people you meet and the conversations you will have as you stroll through any of downtown's 22 squares. Historic living is the best living, but hey we may be a bit biased.

However, don't rush into buying your dream historic home until you know what you may be up against. You always need to remember the context of the time when these houses were originally built. While we may love the details and considerations of a certain time period, we also have to keep in mind that an ensuite bathroom did not gain popularity until the 1950s. The indoor kitchen was much smaller than we are accustomed to today. Large walk-in closets were unheard of, people used armoires instead. And though we may rave about the original hardwoods, we are not as often excited by the thought of original electrical or plaster walls.  

Not to fear, this lack of luxury can be overcome! Savannah is home to many talented artisans who can help bring your vision to life. Savannah is not just a place to live – it is a way of living in the real South.

December
17

Holiday Shopping Along the 100 Mile Coast.

The holiday season has officially begun, and many folks have already started their holiday shopping. The 100 Mile Coast  is filled with shops and boutiques. These places offer unique gifts, and create a shopping experience that is as enjoyable as giving the gift itself. We've asked the Cora Bett Thomas Realty & Associates team for their favorite places to do their holiday shopping in Savannah, Bluffton, and Beaufort. Check out our list of our top shops in Savannah. 

Satchel.

A leather-goods shop located in the heart of Historic Downtown Savannah, on Liberty Street. Satchel. is locally owned and operated and offers both ready and custom made leather bags and accessories. The studio is no longer taking orders for the 2018 holiday season. But, there are still plenty of dazzling bags  in a number of styles, hides and colors available for purchase.

One Fish, Two Fish 

This boutique is located in the Downtown Design District and is practically a one-stop shop that sells jewelry, accessories, clothing and home decor. One Fish, Two Fish is an ideal place to pick up a gift, whether it is a necklace or an oyster shell Christmas ornament. Don't miss the other shops in the Downtown Design District either!

PW Short General Store

Owner Scot Hinson wanted to recreate the feeling of a small town community meeting place where you could find everything from French copper pots to smart phone chargers with utilitarian design in mind. This shop has a great selection of goods to furnish your home bar and is also a great place if you are looking for unique gear for a picnic in the park. The vibe is eclectic with a good dose of Midcentury Modern.  

The Paris Market   

This elegant market and brocante is located on Broughton Street. One part boutique, one part flea market, and one part museum, this shop is an ideal place to stop in and "take a look." But if you walk out of The Paris Market empty-handed, then you weren't looking hard enough. Lower levels feature home decor and furnishings, including custom-made lighting. The upper level features all manners of treasures and troves, including perfumes, jewelry, and paper goods. 

Smith Brothers Butcher Shop

Smith Brothers Butcher Shop 

One of our favorite places to get both gifts and holiday dinner supplies. Smith Brothers is located on Liberty Street in Historic Downtown Savannah. An affordable wine, deli, and fresh meat selection make for fuss-free holiday party planning. Better still, Smith Brothers offers unique and local gifts such as handmade oyster knives and etched glassware from local artisans. 

Le Chai 

Speaking of planning for parties, no party in Savannah is complete without the perfect bottle. Le Chai galerie du vin is located off of Forsyth Park. This wine shop is a local favorite and truly embodies Savannah. The polished facade of Le Chai belies the accessibility of the wines it houses. Le Chai does specialize strictly in Old World wines, but these wines are available in every price point and for every palate. We recently stopped by to get owner Christian Depken's recommendations for wines this holiday season.

E. Shaver, Book Seller 

Savannah's oldest bookstore, located on Madison Square in Historic Downtown Savannah. E. Shaver has seven rooms devoted to all things books, including local and regional topics. If you can't find what you are looking for at E. Shaver's, then they will be happy to order it for you. E. Shaver also offers non-book gifts, such as bags, mugs, stationery and journals. E. Shaver also houses The Savannah Tea Room. The Savannah Tea Room sells tea by the cup, as well as prepackaged tea and handmade mugs. 

The Book Lady Bookstore

The Book Lady, located on Liberty Street next to Satchel., is a local favorite. The book Lady has been offering new and "gently used" books to Savannians since 1978. They have every genre you can think of as well as a nice collection of harder to find and first editions. This is a cozy shop with a great selection of Savannah based literature and rare finds to spend an afternoon exploring. This is one of Cora Bett's favorite shops and you can find several tomes from the Book Lady on her shelves at home. 

This list is some of the holiday shopping that can be done in Downtown Savannah. See a list of some of our other favorites places to shop in the 100 Mile Coast below. Shopping at these stores will not only support local merchants but will also prove to be a pleasant shopping experience for you and put you at the top of the "Best Gift-Giver Ever" list. 

Beaufort Favorites

Don't let the size and serenity of Beaufort fool you — there are some places that you absolutely have to visit, and there's a good chance that you'll enjoy one so much that you might not make it to the others in one go. Here are some of our favorite places in downtown Beaufort, and we think you'll love them too.

Scout Southern Market
M Home & Garden & Interiors
Carolina Me Crazy
Grayco Hardware and Home
Island Lavender Company

Bluffton Favorites

It's common knowledge that Bluffton is a great place to live. It turns out, it's a pretty great place to shop for gifts, too. 

Markel's Card & Gifts
Corner Perk
Gigi's Boutique 
Bluffton General Store
Al-Harry Furniture Design
May River Excursions
May River Gallery

Happy Holidays!

December
17

Savannah's New Luxury Residential Community

[caption id="attachment_2051" align="alignnone" width="640"]Upper East River Patrick Malloy, of Patrick Malloy Communities, with Cora Bett Thomas.[/caption]

Patrick Malloy Communities recently announced their partnership with Cora Bett Thomas Realty on the new Upper East River luxury residential community. Upper East River is the single-family, luxury residential neighborhood at Eastern Wharf, a world-class, mixed-use development on the Savannah River. Eastern Wharf's $600 million mixed-use commercial community, is expected to open by Spring 2020. It includes more than 300 apartments, 40,000 square feet of dining, entertainment, service and retail space, about 80,000 square feet of Class A office space, and a 200-room boutique hotel.

Upper East River

Upper East River homes are located on the last piece of waterfront property along the Savannah River. In the residences of Upper East River, Architect Jeff Hamilton is reclaiming Savannah's heritage, the 18th, 19th and early 20th century architectural styles at the heart of Savannah life and lore.

"I am proud to be a part of creating and selling the ongoing history of Savannah. It's an honor to have the exceptional reputation and expertise of Patrick Malloy joining our community," said Cora Bett Thomas, CEO/Founder of the Savannah-based luxury real estate firm of the same name. "This project will bring more homes to a highly desirable area of Savannah with pedestrian-friendly access to downtown. When the project is complete, I know that it will be a vibrant addition to our beautiful city."

Upper East River Vision

Five distinct but patently blended residential sectors honor the Upper East River waterside legacy with 156 homes offering singularly elegant, high-style, entirely modern living in a walkable community; from stacked-flats with concierge service to multi-level brick homes with two-car garages and most homes with elevators. The entire neighborhood has access to the Geo. Meyer House on the river with a pool, fitness center, bar and space for socializing. This maintenance free living with rooftop piazzas, classic courtyards, city squares, Savannah's famous river walk, all carefully and thoughtfully developed, is all just steps away from historic Savannah's premier shopping, dining, and entertainment.

More details about the Upper East River community are expected in early 2019. For more information Click Here.

December
11

E. Shaver, Bookseller is Savannah's oldest bookstore. The store is located in the heart of the Historic District in Downtown Savannah, off of Madison Square. The shop includes 7 cozy rooms chock full of books. Note: at any point, these rooms may also include a cat. Rest assured, the felines are non-territorial and non-intrusive. E. Shaver's is full of cozy nooks, good lighting, and plump sofas that just beckon to bibliophiles. 

E. Shaver's manages to achieve coziness, without sacrificing cleanliness. It is a store that beckons one to plop into a sofa or beanbag chair, without being concerned that the seat may still have a bit of residue of a white chocolate latte. A tiny corridor leads to a cul-de-sac of delights in the form of stationery, journals, bags, and socks--basically, ideal gifts for bibliophiles. But, these gifts are not books. 

Step farther back, and find books of all kinds (organized, of course, if you are reading the signs), interspersed with non-book items. E. Shaver's leaves no section neglected: sci-fi/fantasy, kids, food/beverage, nonfiction, local authors...everyone gets love at this shop. Better still, if you can't find exactly what you are looking for, the staff will gladly help you order what you want or offer recommendations. 

E. Shaver, Bookseller also shares space with the The Savannah Tea Room. This beloved Savannah staple was once located on Broughton Street, but has found a suitable roommate with E. Shaver. The shop still sells tea by the cup (or pot) during regular business hours, and its space is the perfect retreat to cuddle up with a warm beverage and a good book. The Savannah Tea Room also sells prepackaged teas, as well as handmade mugs, kettles, and gift bundles. 

Whether you have a particular tome in mind, or simply looking to pass some time with the printed word, E. Shaver is the ideal place to stop in for a visit, again and again. 

E. Shaver, Bookseller

326 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401 

(912) 234-7257

December
9

Eat, Drink and Be Merry.

We are pushing full speed ahead into the height of the holiday season. That means it's time to get the bar fully stocked up and ready for the festivities. We all want our holiday parties to be full of fun and good food and drink. You may be the host serving up glasses of vino, or the guest bringing a bottle. Either way, it's important to make sure that good wine is a part of the party. We checked in with our one of our favorite wine shops, Le Chai galerie du vin. Read on for owner Christian Depken's suggestions for wines. We've included 2 each of bubbles, whites, and red, from affordable to "holiday splurge." 

Bubbles

Domaine de Nerleux, Brut Rose Cremant de Loire "La Folie des Loups." This sparkling rosé wine is made with cabernet franc grapes from the Loire Valley. The wine is dry and clean, with a slightly earthy yet fresh taste. A sparkling wine that is as easy on the palate as it is your pocketbook.

Splurge: Roger Coulon, Heri-Hodie Premier Cru.  This is what is considered a "proper" champagne. A blend of 50% Pino Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir, and 25% Chardonnay. The resulting flavor is one that is fresh and floral, but still full-bodied. If you are a lover of true Champagne, this is the bottle for you. Christian described this one as "badass."

 

Reds

Iuli Rossore. This red wine is derived from 100% Barbera grapes, and hails from the Piemonte region of Italy. Rossore, named after the color Barbera puts in your cheeks, has a fruit forward palate, but is not sweet. Rounded, medium-bodied, and a crowd-pleaser for red drinkers, especially those on a budget. Buy one or two for a party and maybe one for yourself!

Splurge: Lopez Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva. This wine is considered a blend, but it's mostly Tempranillo. The finish is long and refined, with clean flavors. But make no mistake — this is a "serious" wine. It is full-bodied, and as such, should be paired with a meal.

Our Favorite: La Coartada. One of our favorite red wines. This comes from the Alentejo region of Portugal and is a blend of Aragonez (Tempranillo), Alicante Bouschet, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. A complex wine that somehow manages to be elegant and rustic at the same time. Best enjoyed with food, and definitely worth a try if you're looking for a new red. Beyond the taste, the bottle's shape and label are unique and make it a great looking bottle to bring to dinner.

Whites

Tegerneseerhof 2017 Durnstein Federspiel Riesling. If you're averse to sweet wines, don't be put off by "Riesling," especially in this case. From the Wachau region of Austria, this wine is bone dry, with a high acidity and minerality. Pairs perfectly with turkey, pork, or goose.

Spend: Kozlovic Malvazija. This white wine comes from the Istria region of Croatia. It is highly aromatic. While this wine is fruitier than Riesling, it is still dry and has both a sharp acidity and a mineral complexity that makes it mouth-watering. Hands down, this is a wine to be enjoyed with food.

December
6

Hand Made Leather Goods

Savannahians love accessories. True Savannahians pick quality over quantity, and love supporting local artists. Many stores in Savannah embody this ideology. But, few do it with the panache of Satchel. This leather-goods boutique is located on Liberty Street in the heart of Savannah's Historic District. Satchel. is owned by SCAD alumni. The shop is  run by a group of effortlessly chic designers and sewers. Satchel. is a shopping staple for visitors and Savannahians alike.  

satchel

The store is, in and of itself, a delight. The layout of Satchel. is an open floor plan. Visitors can peruse any number of ready-made selections on the sales floor and have a full view of the production area. The atmosphere has all the welcoming intimacy of a home studio. The walls of Satchel. are adorned with all manner of bags available for sale, as well as paintings and prints from local artists. 

Satchel. has a catalog of designs for bags, but the Satchelettes are by no means restricted to those designs. Existing designs can be customized with different leathers, linings, and hardware. The ladies of Satchel. encourage custom design work and enjoy collaborating with customers to create the perfect accessory. Styles such as cross-body, clutch, carry-on are displayed throughout the shop. Bags are available in hides such as pebbled ostrich hide, metallic acid-washed cowhide, and python. And the colors! The color and texture possibilities are endless. Shades range from rose gold to lipstick pink, and of course classics such as camel, oxblood, and navy are all available. 

Satchel. also offers cuff bracelets, tassel keychains, wallets, and passport covers, as well as coasters and koozies for both cans and the ubiquitous to-go cup. For gifts that stand apart from the rest of the pack, and will also stand the test of time and trends, Satchel. is the easy choice. 

Satchel.

4 E. Liberty Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401
(912) 233-1008

Website

November
30

Walking into the dimly-lit interior of the bar at Circa 1875 is an escape from the outside world. At both the front and the back of the space, plump banquettes beckon and encourage long conversations and lingering glances. The smell of fresh bread softly permeates the air, as does the melody of jazz and French music.

A glass of Cotes du Rhone, from the Famille Perrin, drinks easily, pairs well with almost everything on the menu, and is affordable enough that 2 or 3 glasses won't break the bank. A bread basket's bundled napkin is opened to reveal slices of rustic French bread and warm brioche rolls. A side of herb butter is provided but seems almost unnecessary. 

Circa 1875

The Plateau du Chef, literally a platter of meat and cheeses, can serve as an appetizer or as a meal in itself. The flavors may vary based on seasonal availability, but some of the favorites include pork rillette, saucisson sec, Port Salut, and Red Dragon. Accompanying the meat and cheeses are more bread and fresh preserves. This is a platter made for sharing, as one finds it easy to engage in conversation, or even just thought, while savoring the flavors.  

An order of the Foies de Poulet is a perfect blend of Paris and Southern cuisine, as fried chicken livers are served atop brioche and topped with apple demi-glace and caramelized onions. The meat is tender and juicy, while the brioche manages to absorb the demi-glace without ever becoming unattractively soggy. 

Ordering a burger in a place like Circa 1875 may seem, to the uninitiated, like a rookie move. Rest assured, it is quite the opposite. The 1875 Hamburger Au Poivre is one of the best hamburgers in Savannah. This burger is cooked to perfection and covered with a green peppercorn brandy mustard sauce. The decadent  flavor of the burger is enough to have it serve as the final course of the evening. Follow it up with a digestif, or one more glass of wine, and suddenly you're fortified enough to face the evening once again. 

Circa 1875

48 Whitaker St,

Savannah, GA 31401

November
15

Circa Lighting

Lighting can make all the difference in the space you inhabit. And while the right amount of light can infuse you with a good mood, the right amount of light from just the right light fixture will make your good mood great. A truly stylish home focuses on the details, and lighting is one of those inherent details that must always be just right.

Circa Lighting was founded in Savannah in 1998 by Gale Singer. Gale had a vision for a curated lighting selection presented in a boutique-like showroom. Through the first showroom Gail reached out to interior designers, architects and builders to have a similar experience locally and online with well curated offerings.

Located in Savannah's Downtown Design District, Circa offers lamps and fixtures of all kinds, for both interior and exterior lighting uses. Floor lamps, table lamps, and ceiling lamps are all available, as well as wall-mounted lighting fixtures. Circa Lighting also offers fans, also for both interior and exteriors. And to help keep the air circulating in your home or business, fans and floor fans are available too.

Floor to Ceiling

Ceiling lamps include chandeliers, flush mounted lamps, lanterns, hanging shades, and linear lamps. A ceiling lamp is a great way to make a statement with your lighting, without sacrificing living or surface space. Both table and floor lamps are divided into 2 categories, decorative and task. Table and floor lamps come in any number of shapes, sizes and materials. In most cases, the only limitation to what you can have is either what you can afford or what can fit into your home.

Wall-mounted lighting fixtures include decorative, bath, task and picture lamps. Most wall-mounted lighting is more functional than fun, but the pieces at Circa still, nonetheless, have pizazz. The same goes for fans, which are more of a necessity than a luxury in Savannah. The fans at Circa can very nearly be considered art, and can add panache to any dwelling. 

Whatever style of lighting you are looking for, Circa has it. Understated, overstated, modern, traditional, dramatic, if you can think of it, Circa has something that will fit your description. Better still, if you are struggling to come up with what exactly you do want, Circa can help with that, too. Circa Lighting's expansive and beautifully designed showrooms are full of inspiration, and their knowledgeable staff are there to help you. 

Circa Lighting |  Savannah Showroom
405 Whitaker St
(912) 447-1008

November
12

Christmas in Savannah

It seems like not so long ago, the months of November through February signaled a quieter time in Savannah.  That has since changed. It's time for the holidays in Savannah and there is no shortage of things to do, beauty to behold and places to go. So as we enter this season, let's take a look at what the season has to offer to residents and visitors alike. 

Holidays in Savannah — Walk and Shop

The fun is about to start in a matter of days. On Thursday, November 14th is the East End Holiday Block Party. This is a charity event supporting 2 great causes: Coastal Pet Rescue and Second Harvest Food Bank. The event will be from 5pm-8pm and will offer food, music, shopping and cocktails, as well as raffles.

On November 15th, head on over to the Liberty Street Holiday Block Party. Don't miss one our favorite shops in town, Satchel. Then, head next door to vintage clothing store East + Up, which will also be hosting a pop-up shop from local boutique Mamie Ruth. Once you get tired of shopping, head across Liberty to Edgar's Proof and Provisions. This bar is located in the DeSoto Hilton and will be featuring live music, nibbles, and drink specials.

Few things get the holiday spirit going like gingerbread ... unless it's Christmas lights. The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa can easily help you get your holiday fix on with its Gingerbread Village and the Savannah Boat Parade of Lights. The hotel is located across the Savannah River from Historic Downtown Savannah. If you don't feel like driving, grab an Uber or hop on the free ferry. 

Another much-anticipated event for local Savannahians in the know is the Design District Holiday Walk, on November 29th. This is a great way to visit the shops of the Design District, support local Savannah merchants, and enjoy the holiday vibes. Many shops will have complimentary cocktails on hand, and this year Big Bon Pizza will be serving delicious, made-to-order pizzas in the Annex.

If you're out and about in the Bluffton area on December 8th, check out the Bluffton Coffee and Chocolate Fest. This event will be held at The Cottage in Bluffton, SC and will host yummy offerings from local vendors, including gourmet coffee and scrumptious desserts. Those sticking closer to Savannah can also check out Picker Joe's Annual Christmas Party, also on December 8th. 

See Something Pretty.

People come from all over to take in the architecture and natural beauty that makes Savannah so special, so you can bet that we take our Christmas decorations seriously. To behold the glory that is Old Savannah bedecked in all its holiday finery, behold the majestic solemnity of Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, a candlelit tour of  The Davenport House, or the refinement of The Owens-Thomas House; all are open to the public and available for tours.

Another great way to experience the elegance of the Historic District during the holidays is The Holiday Tour of Homes; while a tour of Savannah's historic inns is available, the most popular tour is that which includes 8 (count 'em, EIGHT) private Savannah homes and 2 museum houses in the Landmark Historic District. Word of warning: if you aren't already in love with the historical houses of Savannah before this tour, you will be after.

Enjoy A Show.

There's just something extra special about catching a holiday show, and Savannah offers something for everyone when it comes to holiday entertainment. Those hardworking performers over at The Savannah Theatre will be presenting "A Christmas Tradition," a 2-hour extravaganza of music, dance, comedy, and a little bit of audience participation. The renowned Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra will be returning with its 8th season of its "Holiday Pops" show, beloved by Savannahians and visitors alike. 

There is so much holiday fun to be had in Savannah and the Lowcountry, and this is just a bit of it. Get out, have fun, and enjoy the holiday spirit. Happy Holidays!

October
16

Take Time to Experience Savannah's Brew Scene

Celebrating beer in October didn't originate in Savannah, but that is no reason to not celebrate this month here in the Lowcountry. Savannah breweries offer unique beers and locales that embody the eccentricity of the city. With the weather becoming more pleasant there is not a better time to visit Savannah's imbibing experts. Here is a nice walking itinerary to get started. 

[caption id="attachment_1941" align="alignnone" width="640"]Savannah breweries Photo Credit: Moon River Brewing Company[/caption]

Start the afternoon off at Moon River Brewing Company. Moon River is one of the oldest brewpubs in Savannah, opening in 1999. Moon River's beer list runs the gamut from porters to pale ales to specialty and seasonal selections. Moon River offers a large food menu and don't miss the large, pet-friendly, beer garden. Also, this centrally located brewery makes for a good spot to grab a to-go cup of local brew. Those looking for a little Halloween fun can also take a nighttime tour of Moon River's building. The building was built in 1821 as the City Hotel and is, according to both guests and Moon River employees, haunted.

[caption id="attachment_1943" align="alignnone" width="640"]Savannah breweries Photo Credit: Service Brewing Company[/caption]

With to-go cup in hand, head towards Service Brewing Company, a veteran owned and operated brewery that has become a favorite of local Savannahians since its opening in 2014. Opening at 4pm Wednesday through Friday, and at noon Saturdays, Service Brewing is a great spot for Happy Hour. Favorite year-round Service brews include the Ground Pounder Pilsner and the Compass Rose IPA. Seasonal brews such as Gun Bunny Witbier and Lincoln's Gift Oyster Stout are always highly anticipated among Service Brewing's loyal following. The large, open, tasting room, located on Indian Street in Historic Downtown Savannah, is designed as an homage to service, and is an ideal venue for the live music the brewery often hosts. 

[caption id="attachment_1942" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo Credit: Ghost Coast Distillery[/caption]

For something a little less hoppy, end the walk at Ghost Coast Distillery. Ghost Coast is located just a few blocks down the street from Service Brewing. This distillery currently offers varieties of rum, vodka and whiskey, all distilled in house and with locally sourced ingredients. Stop in for a free tour of the production area, and stick around in the cocktail room for one of the craft cocktails from Ghost Coast's head mixologist Sidney Lance. Sid has concocted an impressive list of hand-crafted cocktails made exclusively with Ghost Coast products. You will often find small batch spirits here that are not available anywhere else.

While the spots mentioned above are within walking distance of each other, and make for a lovely afternoon of exploring, don't forget about our other beloved Savannah breweries: Southbound Brewing Company, Coastal Empire Beer, and Two Tides Brewing. All have great tasting rooms and are just a quick Uber ride away. And you can always find our local beer in shops downtown like Smith Bros. Butcher Shop and Johnnie Ganems

 

October
7

But the World Goes On...A Birthday Celebration

For lovers of talented singers and musicians, the Sip, Savor and Song Cabaret is not to be missed. Roger Moss and Kim Steiner host an evening of song, music, and stories at Lot 33, below East End Provisions. We had the pleasure of attending one of their shows a couple weeks ago, and it did not disappoint. Good wine, good food, and some magnificent performances of the songs of Duke Ellington made for an excellent Saturday evening.

Roger Moss Sip, Savor and Song Cabaret

One of my favorite things about this show? Its location, at Lot 33 of East End Provisions. Exposed brick walls, soft lighting and dark wood furniture create a spot of quiet sophistication and is the perfect setting to enjoy the sounds of Steiner and Moss.

Lot 33 offers a pared-down version of the menu of East End Provisions for the show. The menu includes appetizers such as wings, calamari, crab cakes, and pork fondue. I recommend the crab cakes, as they are some of the best that we have had in Savannah. The dinner menu also includes East End classics such as the The Entelman and East End's Wood-fired Chicken Sandwich. Diners can begin ordering food and drink at 6pm. In addition to food, guests can also order cocktails and wine at Lot 33, and beverages are available from the bar throughout the show. 

Roger Moss is one of Savannah's most beloved singers. As co-founder of the Savannah Children's Choir, he delights in sharing his love of song. Kim Steiner, a Broadway veteran and teacher at SCAD, accompanies Moss on piano. The easy camaraderie that these two share makes listening to the beautiful sound that they create all the more enjoyable. 

This Saturday, Sip, Savor and Song will be hosting a special performance in honor of Roger Moss's birthday. Roger and Kim will be performing songs from Fats Waller, Hoagey Carmichael, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, and more. 

For more information and ticketing, click here.

What
Sip, Savor and Song Cabaret

When
Sat, October 13, 2018, 6PM – 9PM

Where
East End Provisions
420 East Broughton Street
Savannah, GA 31401

September
27

Picnic in the Park is the first Sunday in October

Picnic in the ParkPicnic in the Park

As summer and its memories fade into the past, Savannahians turn their attentions to the pleasures of the fall season. October beckons in all its autumnal glory and brings with it the promise of diversion. Locals flock to the Historic Downtown area of Savannah to revel in some of Savannah's most-beloved gatherings, such as the Savannah Greek Festival and the Shalom, Y'all Jewish Food Festival. Heralding this season of festivity is Savannah's Picnic in the Park.

Picnic in the Park is the first Sunday in October and is held at Savannah's famous Forsyth Park. Live music performances are scheduled throughout the evening at the park's concert bandshell. Musical acts include those from local schools, the U.S. Army Band, 3rd ID, and the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra.

Do not be mistaken by the term "picnic." If it's one thing Savannahians can do, it's have a good time, and they do so with both flair and gusto. Many families and groups of friends will gather together under several tents fully dressed tables, fresh flowers and chandeliers. Cold cans of craft beer keep company with cans of sparkling wine in metal tubs packed with ice. Silver trays, bedecked with doilies, are topped with tomato sandwiches, wedges of cheese, or bits of summer sausages, and flank chafing dishes of fried chicken fingers and boiled shrimp. Cakes, pies, and cookies will also be available, because no party is complete without a good dessert.

Some will dress in costume according to the theme. Others will keep it simple and just add a layer of bug spray to their normal attire. Ballgowns, glow necklaces, and flower crowns are a common sight, no matter what the theme of the year may be. Perhaps one can say that, no matter what, the theme of Picnic in the Park will always be the quirky joy in the simple pleasures. And that theme is truly Savannah. 

September
26

savannah downtown design district

Unique Shopping in the Hostess City

Savannah's Downtown Design District is tucked in the Southern portion of the Historic District between Liberty and Gordon Streets, and between Whitaker and Drayton Streets near Forsyth Park and Historic Jones Street. This charming cluster of locally owned shops and boutiques are within walking distance of the rest of Downtown Savannah yet are just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Downtown Savannah shopping and traffic to allow for a relaxing day of strolling and shopping. For those who work up an appetite, Savannah's Downtown Design District is also within walking distance of the famous Ms. Wilkes Boarding House, the Diplomat Luncheonette and The Gryphon Tea Room. 

One Fish Two Fish is housed in an elegant stucco building and is perfect stop for those looking for something a little beyond the usual tchotkes. The shop offers upscale souvenirs, as well as home decor, jewelry and accessories. It's all too tempting to pick up a little something to dress up the house, and then something to dress up yourself at this store.

Next door to One Fish Two Fish — is Circa Lighting. With antique reproductions, vintage modern lights, and eye-catching fixtures, Circa Lighting is the place to grab a little something to brighten your home and make it truly stand out. The Annex, which is located across the street, houses overstock and reduced priced fixtures from Circa, as well as resort clothing and accessories from One Fish Two Fish.

savannah downtown design district

The art of letter writing has never really gone out of style, as La Paperie can attest. This charming little shop is ideal for custom-designed invitations and stationery. La Paperie also sells a number of pre-designed notecards, cocktail napkins, and assorted gifts. 

A local favorite for unique jewelry is Custard Boutique. Custard embraces the concept of helping every woman embrace her best self and highlight what makes her unique. With an emphasis on eco-friendly, fashion-forward clothing and accessories that are locally and regionally made, Custard strives to help women appreciate their uniqueness. 

Savannah's Downtown Design District

Don't miss out on the PW Short General Store. Owner Scot Hinson wanted to recreate the feeling of a small town community meeting place where you could find everything from French copper pots to smart phone chargers with utilitarian design in mind. This shop has a great selection of goods to furnish your home bar and is also a great place if you are looking for unique gear for a picnic in the park. The vibe is eclectic with a good dose of Midcentury Modern.  

Savannah's Downtown Design District

Check out Savannah's Downtown Design District for unique housewares, a variety of jewelry, art, and more. Many of the stores feature goods created by locals, have a decidedly Southern flare, and all have a cared for and carefully curated presentation.

September
18

Fall Festival Fun in Savannah

As October approaches, locals flock to the Historic Downtown area of Savannah to revel in some of Savannah's most-beloved gatherings, such as  the Savannah Jazz Festival, Picnic in the Park, the Savannah Greek Festival, the Shalom, Y'all Jewish Food Festival and Tybee Island Pirate Fest. 

 

The 37th Annual Savannah Jazz Festival has already begun, as it runs from September 23rd to September 29th. The festival will include performances from both local and globally-renowned musicians at venues throughout the Historic District of Downtown Savannah. See the schedule here.

Picnic in the Park is the first Sunday in October and is held at Savannah's famous Forsyth Park. Live music performances are scheduled throughout the evening at the park's concert bandshell. Musical acts include those from local schools, the U.S. Army Band, 3rd ID, and the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra.

 The Savannah Greek Festival is held over the weekend of October 11th to October 13th at the Hellenic Center in St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church. The festival, steeped in 68 years of tradition, is a celebration of Greek heritage, featuring homemade Greek food, Greek music, dancing, and tours of the church.  

The Shalom, Y'all Jewish Food Festival is held in Monterey Square (of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" fame) on October 28th, from 11am to 3pm. The festival features a variety of traditional Jewish dishes and is a great way to get out and enjoy the natural beauty of Savannah and celebrate the spirit of community. 

Those looking for something a little closer to the ocean can enjoy the raucous good times offered by the Tybee Island Pirate Fest. This annual event is a good-natured celebration of the scoundrels of the seas, and includes a parade, live music, and arts and crafts vendors. This year Pirate Fest will be October 4th-7th. 

August
28

Savannah Craft Brew Fest

One of the most anticipated summer events in Savannah is the Savannah Craft Brew Fest. SCBF is takes place every Labor Day weekend in the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. Those choosing to drive over from Savannah will find ample parking on Hutchinson Island. However, those looking to leave the keys behind can easily Uber over or take the free Savannah Belles Ferry from River Street. Find out more here

The Savannah Craft Brew Fest focuses on quality, not quantity, and to that end no alcohol is sold on the premises. Instead, attendees are allowed two ounce samples of craft beers from all over the world. Aside from pretzel necklaces, which are a huge hit with veteran SCBF attendees, no outside food is allowed into the festival.

The Savannah Craft Brew Fest has both indoor and outdoor craft beer gardens, so that you can enjoy the views of Historic Downtown Savannah and the Savannah River while sampling craft brews. With an emphasis on the education and appreciation for craft beers, the Savannah Craft Brew Festival also offers a variety of educational sessions and the Samuel Adams Brew University. The Savannah Craft Brew Festival will also have an Import Garden, Cider Garden, Mead Garden, and Mixology Garden featuring craft beer cocktails. Those looking for activities to accompany the beer sampling can enjoy a Cornhole Tournament and a Silent Disco, as well as live music. 

In addition to the festival itself, local Savannah establishments such as The Crystal Beer Parlor in Savannah's West NOG neighborhood, Atlantic and Green Truck Pub will also be celebrating the Savannah Craft Brew Fest. There will be tap takeovers, featured menus and special craft beer nights turning the Savannah Craft Brew Fest into more of Savannah Craft Brew Week! Don't miss out on your chance to support local breweries, see what your favorite restaurant is offering, educate yourself about craft brews, and enjoy a great holiday weekend in Savannah. 

July
18

Husk Savannah

Few restaurants have been greeted as eagerly as Husk Savannah. The work that has gone into remodeling the restaurant's space at 12 West Oglethorpe was enough to pique the neighborhood's interest. Add to that the notoriety of Husk's founder, Sean Brock, and the rapidly improving and evolving Savannah food scene, and you have all the ingredients for super high expectations. And believe me, the results were worth the wait. The building was beautifully restored, especially the upstairs level featuring a large u-shaped bar and high ceilings. Conveniently, Husk's raw bar is also on the second floor.  

We decided to pay Husk a visit on this weeknight for a round of celebratory drinks and to try a few of the menu's offerings. We had been waiting to visit Husk after it first opened — mostly due in part to the previously mentioned expectations — and  also we had heard that there were some adjustments occurring internally. We are glad we waited. Upon arriving we were greeted by a number of familiar Savannah faces. We opted for seats at the bar and I immediately remembered that it was Negroni Week. Husk decided to take simple yet sophisticated approaches to their takes on Negronis: the classic Negroni and a frozen Negroni slush. I opted for the classic, which did not disappoint. The hubs elected to try one of Husks's original cocktails, the Boogie Shoes, a tequila-based drink featuring egg white, melon liqueur, Chartreuse and shiso. Let me state that the beverage program at Husk is on point. 

Husk Savannah

Husk Savannah

We started our  menu sampling with some offerings from the raw bar, with, of course, raw oysters (that were delightfully delicate and briny). The oysters were accompanied by the some of the best homemade cocktail sauce that I've ever had. We also decided to sample the swordfish crudo — after the rave review of our bartender Eric — which is topped by peaches and padron peppers. Divine, especially with the Cava we had with the course. 

Next we tried General Tso's pork belly lettuce wraps, which did not disappoint. We also tried, again at Eric's suggestion, the Carolina ham with pepper biscuits. This ham is cured and served in paper-thin strips, much like proscuitto, and the biscuit was dense yet still fluffy — just the way I like them. We also discovered that rosé pairs really well with this ham and the peppery biscuits. 

For dinner we decided to share an entreé: the duo of beef with peas, sweet peppers and horseradish. Both cuts of beef were cooked perfectly, and the glasses of Slovenian red wine enhanced the flavors of the beef. A couple of amari, and slice of buttermilk pie, and we headed out into the Savannah twilight with full bellies and an air of satisfaction.

Husk Savannah

12 W. Oglethorpe Ave.

Savannah, GA 31401

912.349.2600

July
6

Be Prepared for Bidding Wars.

Bidding War

Summer is traditionally a busy season for real estate. Buyers come out in force and homeowners list their houses for sale hoping to capitalize on those buyers who are looking to purchase before the new school year. This year will be no different!

Buyers have already been out in force looking for their dream homes and more are on their way. The challenge is that the inventory of homes for sale has not kept up with demand, which has led to A LOT of competition for the homes that are available.

A recent article by the National Association of Realtors touched on the current market conditions:

"Realtors® in areas with strong job markets report that consumer frustration is rising. Home shoppers are increasingly struggling to find an affordable property to buy, and the prevalence of multiple bids is pushing prices further out of reach."

Realtor.com went on to explain why buyers are flocking to the market in such big numbers:

"A booming economy and stable employment in most parts of the country have created a new generation of eager home buyers – and led to fevered price battles spilling over into some unexpected, smaller markets."

Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research for Realtor.com had this to say about competition:

"Multiple-offer scenarios are no longer reserved to the usual big, fast-moving markets…demand for homes has spilled outward into secondary, smaller markets, and more buyers are gearing up to face fierce competition in more places around the country."

Realtor.com looked at the number of homes that were selling above asking price to determine which markets were heating up. Below are the Top 10:

  • Akron, OH
  • Worcester, MA
  • Lexington, KY
  • Irvine, CA
  • Greensboro, NC
  • Sioux Falls, SD
  • Madison, WI
  • Louisville, KY
  • Tacoma, WA
  • Little Rock, AR

Bottom Line

Contact us to discuss our exact market conditions so that we can help you create a strategy to secure your new home in this competitive atmosphere. We're here to help you get into your dream home. 

Contact Cora Bett Thomas Realty & Associates today.

July
3

Two Cora Bett Thomas Realty Listings Featured on HGTV Ultimate House Hunt. 

HGTV.com editors recently chose not one, but two Cora Bett Thomas Real Estate listings as finalists for its online contest, the Ultimate House Hunt.

The month-long contest, held now through July 17 features 88 homes from around the world in eight different categories. Visitors to the site are asked to vote for their favorite for a chance to win $10,000.

Both listings, one in Savannah and one in Beaufort, are featured in the Homes with History category. Editors selected these homes based on striking photographs of their extraordinary features and inspirational design. Other categories include Amazing Kitchens, Curb Appeal, Extreme Homes, Global Homes, Modern Masterpieces, Urban Digs and Waterfront Homes.

Voters can vote for one house in each category once per day at www.HGTV.com/househunt

"I am so honored the editors at HGTV.com chose both of these beautiful, historic homes," said Cora Bett Thomas. "I am excited for the world to see the beauty and charm of Historic Savannah and the South Carolina Lowcountry and how we preserve nostalgic classic architecture without sacrificing modern conveniences. Please go out and vote for our beautiful homes!"

This is the seventh consecutive year HGTV has aligned exclusively with Cora Bett Thomas Real Estate's global real estate network Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® and its luxury marketing division Luxury Portfolio International® to host the Ultimate House Hunt, which is one of the most popular contests on HGTV.com.

The Savannah finalist is a Federal-style townhome in the desirable Jones Street neighborhood. Built in 1853, the three-story, brick home has housed a number of high-profile individuals, including August Coppola, brother of director Francis Ford Coppola.

The 4,000-square-foot home has several unique features including high ceilings, six fireplaces, exposed brick walls, and stained glass windows, combined with a recently renovated and thoroughly modern kitchen. The first floor, with its own private entrance, can function as additional bedroom space or be rented as an apartment, vacation rental, or business. A second-floor balcony overlooks a private courtyard complete with a fountain and an iron gate that leads to three parking spaces in the rear lane.

The Beaufort finalist is the Robert Smalls House, a National Historic Landmark built in 1843. The house is named for Robert Smalls, an enslaved African American man who commandeered a Confederate ship and delivered its passengers to freedom during the Civil War. Smalls later returned to Beaufort, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and bought the house, which had been owned by his slave master.

The two-story, antebellum home features a wood frame structure, gable roof and two porches. Palmetto and magnolia trees shade sitting areas and brick walkways in the formal front garden. Around the back of the house waits a two-story guest cottage with a full kitchen, one and a half baths and a loft. The 4,264-square-foot house features six fireplaces, hardwood floors, crown molding, built-in bookshelves, a butler's pantry and a recently renovated modern kitchen with a large island, granite counters and a green subway tile backsplash.

About Cora Bett Thomas Realty

Cora Bett Thomas and Associates has more than 35 years of experience helping clients buy and sell, both residential and commercial properties in Savannah and its surrounding areas, Beaufort, Bluffton, Hilton Head Island, Palmetto Bluff and the Lowcountry. 

June
21

Protect Your Dog on Hot Pavement.

Dog on Hot Pavement

Summertime is nearly here in the Lowcountry. This means longer days full of sunshine, which is great if you're at the beach, but not so great if you're trekking across hot pavement. It's always fun to go shoe shopping for summer sandals, but don't forget about your four-legged friends' feet. Sure, shoes are available for dogs, but those can be uncomfortable (and hot!) in the summer. A cheaper and more comfortable option is a paw protection wax . 

Paw protection wax is an all-natural product that forms a barrier on dog's paws. Formulated with vitamin E to moisturize, help soothe wounds and keep paws healthy paw wax is nontoxic, hypoallergenic, and easy to apply. The wax is absorbed into the paws and forms a semipermeable shield, which allows perspiration to escape through the toes. In addition to snow, ice, and hot pavement, paw protection wax also protects from irritants such as sand, salt, and rough terrain. 

Paw protection waxes are made from food-grade waxes that are non-toxic and non-allergenic, so it's ok if your dog licks their paws after an application of the balm. You can even use it on yourself as a protective balm against windburn. 

One of our favorite paw protection waxes is Musher's Secret, a dense, but breathable wax originally developed in Canada for sled dog races and it's ideal for protecting your dog's paws from extreme temperatures — hot or cold. While any paw protection wax will need to be reapplied depending on your dog's activity, a little bit of the product goes a long way. Just a small amount on each paw is good for a week's worth of walking.

Make the most of the summer days in Savannah for you and your pooch, and keep their paws protected. 

Where to Find Paw Protection Wax

Locally, find paw protection wax at Woof Gang Bakery locations. But just call ahead to make sure paw protection wax is in stock at your nearest location because of its popularity. Find your nearest store here.

You can find Musher's Secret online at Amazon.

And don't forget to pick up a travel dog bowl to keep your pal hydrated too!

May
11

Savannah has quite a lot to offer to both residents and our guests from out-of-town and Savannahians love to share their knowledge of what to do, see, eat, and of course, drink. Here's a list of some of our favorites. Consider this a starter course and be sure to find your own favorites!

Where to Stay

In Savannah, the possibilities are endless: there are dozens of B&Bs, such as The Gastonian, The Ballastone, The Kehoe House, and The Eliza Thompson House, as well as hotels such as The Brice, The Cotton Sail, and Andaz, not to mention any number of rentals available on Cora Bett Thomas Vacation Rentals. The most important thing to consider is location — we recommend staying in the Historic District — most everything on this favorites list will be in walking/biking/pedicab distance and you get to immerse yourself in history. 

Where Should I Get Breakfast?

The Mate' Factor, on Habersham Street, is quite amazing. When we last talked about this place, it was still fairly new. Now, it is a beloved neighborhood staple. It is still a cozy little den that can calm even the most agitated spirit, but now we've been able to enjoy the menu offerings even more. The egg and cheese sandwich is a thing of beautiful simplicity: 2 eggs, a healthy drape of cheese, and on a fresh made roll. Come the hotter months, an iced green drink is the beverage of choice, but in the cooler temps, an Old St. Joe will satisfy your coffee cravings.

Fork and Dagger is a no-frills place that is serving up some of the best breakfasts you've ever seen (hint — lox and cream cheese bagels featuring authentic NY bagels). A personal favorite of Cora Bett herself is Collins Quarter. A beautifully appointed and delicious Southern take on an Aussie style coffee bar and restaurant. Looking for a quick sugar high or a delicious biscuit? Check out Rise Biscuits and Donuts on Broughton Street.

The Coffee Fox

Great Cup of Coffee?

In Savannah, there is no shortage of good coffee right now. We're lucky enough to have a lot of folks with a passion for coffee, and we get to reap the benefits. For us, The Coffee Fox is near the office, so that's where we often go. They serve locally roasted Perc coffee, and they have a delicious horchata latte that is great to treat yourself. We're also pretty much now 100% devoted to the Coffee Fox and their Espresso Tonic.

On the weekends when taking long morning walks hit up either The Sentient Bean or Gallery Espresso — both have great coffee and have been serving up caffeine fixes and small bites for a while. We've also had coffee at Savannah Coffee Roasters and at The Foundry, and enjoy and recommend both of these places. Honestly, you can't go wrong with any of these businesses, but be aware: some of them have pretty simple coffee menus, so if you're looking for a Hazlenut Latte or a Toasted Almond Frappucino, these places might not be your cup of ... yeah. 

Brewery?

Two Tides Brewery is the new kid on the block, and we've heard nothing but great things about them, their beers, and their brewery. We've yet to visit, but since we are often entertaining beer-loving friends and family, all signs point to us visiting Two Tides. Stay tuned. As for Service Brewing and Southbound Brewing, well, they are still killing it. And of course, Savannah's old standard, Moon River. All of these places keep churning out more and more beers, and engaging the community with events. We can't say enough good things about our local breweries.

Art Scene?

In Savannah you can hardly take a step without bumping into great art, but if you're looking for a specific venue, the Telfair Museums is a well-known group of museums that includes the Jepson Center for the Arts and the Telfair Academy, and the SCAD museum is also a great place to visit. We recommend stopping in at Blick Art Materials on Broughton Street, and check out the works by Panhandle Slim. There's also the Art Rise First Friday Art March in Starland, which is on the first Friday of every month. It's a great way to check out local vendors and artists in one night. Also, check out the recent addition of Roots Up Gallery, located in the Downtown Design District, which showcases a number of local artists.  

Farmers' Market or Food Market?

The Forsyth Farmers' Market is great — it's one of the first farmer's markets to implement the use of EBT (or tokens) as a form of payment. Not only does the market serve great locally-grown food and flowers every Saturday from 9am-1pm, but the Market is also working to bring fresh produce to urban areas that are unable to access such goods regularly. Do yourself a favor and buy fresh, local food and at the same time support community outreach and education. Win win. The FFM is still rocking and rolling, with more and more vendors every month. Not only is the FFM a great way to support local farmers AND mingle with your neighbors, but they are also engaging in initiatives to bring healthy eating to lower-income families via urban gardening and fresh-food truck deliveries.

Barbecue?

We recommend Sandfly Bar-b-q at the Streamliner Diner. The building alone is worth a visit, but the food is worth sittin' a spell. While the regular menu is good in and of itself, hope that you show up on a night when the "Daily Special" is the "Pulled Pork Quesadilla with Ghost Pepper Cheddar." Enjoy with any of the craft beers listed (but ask for the draft specials first), and finish it up with whatever homemade dessert is perched serenely under the plastic dome of the cake stand at the bar. You also cannot go wrong with Wall's B-BQ, tucked a away in a lane in the Historic District. The crew over at Wall's serves up  delicious Southern smoked meats, but leave room for the variety of amazing scratch-made sides.

Savannah Locals Guide

Hottest new dinner spot?

There are a number of new places opening their doors and receiving a lot of attention, such as Savannah's iteration of the Charleston favorite, Husk. But if you want to find the locals, Atlantic is the place. This place is so good. Perched on the corner of Drayton and Victory (which makes it a challenging drop off for Uber drivers, so be prepared to give them some coaching), this neighborhood eatery/imbibery is a local favorite. The lot formerly housed a gas station, so the dining room is small, but there is outdoor seating available. Atlantic does not take reservations, but again, the patio makes it worth the wait. Small plates ideal for sharing and reasonably priced, as well as a well-curated wine list, is what makes this place truly Savannahian, as it is ideal for any and every occasion. We also highly recommend El Coyote, which is just down the street from Atlantic. This Mexican-based restaurant is long on style and substance. You can taste the difference in the food and cocktails, but your wallet won't feel the sting.

Best cocktail bar?

Alleycat Lounge. No question about it. This place is always packed by locals and tourists who have been let in on the secret. This lounge has a menu that can take an entire night to read, but if you leave unsatisfied in your drink order, then it is your fault. These guys know their business, and their business is cocktail-making. Strike up a conversation with anyone on the Alleycat crew and they will help you choose the perfect cocktail if need be. 

Live music?

The live music scene in Savannah just continues to blossom. This year, the Savannah Music Festival held its first outdoor, all-day, multiple-band finale, and it was amazing. If you miss that, you can still catch classic acts such as the funky Voodoo Soup and our homegrown outlaw country band, Damon and the Shitkickers. You can hear Damon and the guys just about every Saturday happy hour at the Jinx. El Rocko Lounge and the Worm Hole feature a constantly rotating lineup of new musical acts. 

Where to Stay Out Late?

It's pretty easy to get a little inebriated in Savannah — that's the price you pay for allowing people to leave bars with to-go cups. But as far as specific places go, The Rail Pub, recently named the country's best dive bar, is a wonderful place to stop in for happy hour or a no frills beer and a shot experience. Or if you're really thirsty, you can grab a 40-ounce Miller Light for $5 (just remember that you should tip at least a buck or 2, so handing over a $5 bill isn't advisable). McDonough's is where people often end up at the end of the night, whether they intend to or not. This dive is actually pretty large and well-lit, but trust me — it's a dive, and all kinds of trouble can be found here. Including karaoke seven nights week as well as one of the few late night kitchens. 

Late-night eats spot?

Our new favorite is The Diplomat Luncheonette. Don't let the name fool you — they are open for lunch (and they deliver!), but this place also reopens at night (usually around 10pm or so). The sandwich shop is located beside local favorite, The Original Pinkie Masters, and serves up delicious gigantic sandwiches on fresh homemade bread, accompanied by some of the most magnificent sides (I'm looking at YOU, charred broccoli with feta). 

Beach day?

Tybee Island, of course. South Beach is great to avoid crowds, but there will usually be just enough folks around to take up the few parking spots at that end. North Beach has more parking, plus you can walk up to the bar at North Beach Grill and get a drink. The most important thing is to not set up right by the pier and pavilion if you are looking for a little more of "chill" day at the beach. Instead, set up at either end of the island and then walk around. Fannie's on the Beach has a deck that overlooks the beach and pier, so if you have an aversion to sand, grab a drink and a chair and watch the waves from there. After the beach, stop at Huc-A-Poo's before leaving the island for a slice of pizza. The "Poo" is a great local hangout and they have been doing it right for years. 

Most underrated spots in the city?

The Frali Gourmet, which is located on Liberty Street across from the Savannah Civic Center. The family run operation has been selling fresh pasta and sauces for years, but they also have a full dining menu, and it is amazing. The family has a connection to one of Savannah's most famous but closed Italian restaurants of the past as well. The menu features a variety of fresh pastas, your choice of homemade sauces, and you can add proteins to your liking. Call ahead for larger parties and the crew will gladly make arrangements. 

In Vino Veritas is a wine bar that we have mentioned before, and most people visit for the wines on tap. But locals stick around for the shareable drink specials, such as ½ off bottles and BOGO bottles late night. The wine bar currently offers small cheese and charcuterie plates, but rumor has it that a partnership with another local favorite is in the works for some killer brunch and daytime food. Stay tuned.

Daytrip?

Bluffton, South Carolina. It's only a 30 minute drive, and it's a scenic one — lots of palmettos and oak trees and of course the drive over the Talmadge Bridge. Bluffton has its share of shops and eateries, and it's an easy jaunt. Plus, you get to travel to another state and back in less than a day. One of our favorite restaurants in the area for breakfast and true Southern fare is Cahill's, which is right outside of Old Town Bluffton. This restaurant-slash-market has been around forever and serves up some of the most delicious breakfast food. It is hands down the BEST chicken and waffles we've ever had, especially the spicy chicken version. The larger than average fresh squeezed orange juice mimosas don't hurt, either.

May
4

May is the Best Month to Sell Your Home

According to a newly released study by ATTOM Data Solutions, selling your home in the month of May will net you an average of 5.9% above estimated market value for your home. This makes May the best month to sell your home.

For the study, ATTOM performed an "analysis of 14.7 million home sales from 2011 to 2017" and found the average seller premium achieved for each month of the year. Below is a breakdown by month:

May is the Best Month to Sell Your Home

ATTOM even went a step further and broke their results down by day.

Top 5 Days to Sell:

  • June 28th – 9.1% above market
  • February 15th – 9.0% above market
  • May 31st – 8.3% above market
  • May 29th – 8.2% above market
  • June 21st – 8.1% above market

It should come as no surprise that May and June dominate as the top months to sell and that 4 of the top 5 days to sell fall in those two months. The second quarter of the year (April, May, June) is referred to as the Spring Buyers Season, when competition is fierce to find a dream home, which often leads to bidding wars.

One caveat to mention though, is that when broken down by metroATTOM noticed that while warmer climates share in the overall trend, it turns out that they have different top months for sales. The best month to get the highest price in Miami, FL, for instance, was January, and Phoenix, AZ came in with November leading the charge.

If you're thinking of selling your home this year, the time to list is NOW! According to the National Association of Realtors, homes sold in an average of just 30 days last month! If you list now, you'll have a really good chance to sell in May or June, setting yourself up for getting the best price!

Bottom Line

Contact Us Today! Let's get together to discuss the market conditions in our area and get you the most exposure to the buyers who are ready and willing to buy! 

From KCM

April
23

Savannah's New Tex-Mex Spot

Many people may recognize the location of El Coyote as the former home of The Florence, which was a place that Savannah either loved or barely regarded. These 2 restaurants have shared a building, and that is where the similarities end.

El coyote savanna

El Coyote is brought to you by the team that has been providing delicious food with a view at the Wyld Dock Bar the past several years. El Coyote's interior is nicer than that of your typical Savannah Mexican restaurant, but not so nice that you feel underdressed in shorts and a T-shirt. Think large, open dining room with the over-popular exposed-filament-edison bulbs, dark and distressed wood and stone. This along with Tex-Mex curated knickknacks and a retro, 70s-style multicolored graphic  visually tie it all together. Nothing terribly original, but it works well, giving the space a livelier feel than the previous inhabitant. And to be honest, I prefer a restaurant with less emphasis on style and more on the delicious food rather than vice versa.

An extensive list of tequilas and mezcals dominate half of the drink menu. The Mezcal Old Fashioned is not be missed. Those looking for something milder can indulge in a glass of Spanish wine or choose from a nice selection of Mexican beers. Margaritas and craft cocktails are of course, also available. I will say that the $8 I paid for the best paloma I've recently had the pleasure of drinking, was well worth it. 

El coyote savanna

Many of the appetizers are in the $3-$10 range and feature classics such as corn elote (aka street corn) and queso fundido. Another must-have appetizer are the Sappelo Bay Clams. For $15, you are served a heaping mound of clams in a michelada broth flavored with chorizo and sofrito. Also not to be missed is the Philli Relleno, El Coyote's cheeky take on a chile relleno and consists of a local blistered poblano pepper stuffed with cheesesteak and topped with mushroom mole.

The street tacos are $4 each and are served a la carte, mostly because there is no need for these tacos to be accompanied by a heap of gluey beans or dry rice. For those with larger appetites, traditional and seasonal sides such rice and black beans — or charred spring onions — are available and they are neither gluey nor dry. A tasty and unexpected side dish is Pam's Hot Pickled Mexican Carrots — for $2, you get a spicy condiment that tastes great with anything else on the menu.

The fajitas, a classic Tex-Mex dish, was hands down better than anywhere in the city. The steak version was an actual grilled steak, cooked medium rare and then cut and served on a hot cast iron plate. Accompanied by roasted poblanos, onions, portabella mushrooms, blistered tomatoes and house made tortillas, this was a welcome return to steak fajitas' roots.

We see El Coyote becoming a local favorite and a new staple for many in Midtown and Downtown Savannah. The cost of grabbing a delicious taco and a cold beer at El Coyote may not be the cheapest taco and beer you've ever seen, but it is without a doubt among the tastiest in Savannah.

El Coyote

1 W Victory Drive

Savannah, GA 31405

www.elcoyotesav.com

April
13

Rosemary Cocktail

While some herbs and spices might be considered trendy, there is no denying that rosemary is one herb that stands the test of time. Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region, but the temperate climes of the 100 Mile Coast have also provided a place to flourish to this hardy member of the mint family.

If you venture out into the Historic District of Downtown Savannah, you'll spot rosemary tucked into window boxes and dominating flower boxes along weathered sidewalks. The rosemary plant is an attractive evergreen and can be easily shaped. Besides having pretty blossoms, the rosemary plant also has a pleasant smell.

Perhaps one of the best things about rosemary is its versatility. The ease of growing the plant is appealing to horticulturists new and old alike. But a green thumb is not necessary to appreciate all of the uses of this herb. Rosemary is used in a variety of cosmetic and culinary applications.

Rosemary essential oil is believed to aid any number of maladies. Common uses of rosemary essential oil include thickening hair, improving memory function, and aiding with digestion. The fragrance of rosemary is used in household products such as shampoos, soaps, and candles.

Rosemary is also widely used as a flavor-enhancing herb in both food and beverages. With warmer weather very nearly upon us here in the Lowcountry, we are always looking to expand our recipes with local ingredients that are easily found here in Savannah. So of course, this being Savannah, when we started thinking  about using Rosemary in the kitchen, we immediately thought about a rosemary cocktail.

We contacted our good friend — and cocktail and spirits expert — Jason Owenby, over at Alley Cat Lounge. He happily recommended a gin and rosemary cocktail using a Rosemary simple syrup you can make easily at home. 

The syrup requires minimum effort to make, but the payoff is worth it, since this syrup will elevate any cocktail without the hassle of muddling or straining your cocktails. Best of all, the rosemary syrup lends an aromatic, woodsy flavor that is evocative of the South. So, cheers!

Rosemary Gin Fizz

It's super simple.

2 oz London dry gin like beefeater

.75 oz rosemary syrup (recipe follows)

.75 to 1oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

Cold soda water

Add the first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Short shake everything and strain over fresh ice in a double rocks glass, and add soda.

Garnish with fresh blueberries and a rosemary sprig

Rosemary Simple Syrup

Bring 1 cup of water, 10-12 long stalks of rosemary and one 1 cup of white sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove heat and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Make sure that the stalks stay totally submerged. Cover and let sit for up to 12 hours, but at least for 2 hours. Strain the mixture before using. Refrigerate any extra syrup for up to two weeks. But we cannot imagine it will last long!

April
3

Choose From Savannah's Best Real Estate Team!

Savannah's Best Real Estate Team

How do you select the members of your team who are going to help make your dream of owning a home a reality? What should you be looking for? How do you know if you've found the right agent or lender?

The most important characteristic that you should be looking for in your agent is someone who is going to take the time to really educate you on the choices available to you and your ability to buy in today's market.

As the financial guru Dave Ramsey advises:

"When getting help with money, whether it's insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman."

Do your research. Ask your friends and family for recommendations of professionals they've worked with in the past and have had good experiences with.

Look for members of your team who will be honest and trustworthy; after all, you will be trusting them to help you make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life.

Whether this is your first or fifth time buying a home, you want to make sure that you have an agent who is going to have the tough conversations with you, not just the easy ones. If your offer isn't accepted by the seller, or they think that there may be something wrong with the home that you've fallen in love with, you would rather know what they think than make a costly mistake.

According to the Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report:

"Buyers from all generations primarily wanted their agent's help to find the right home to purchase. Buyers were also looking for help to negotiate the terms of sale and to help with price negotiations." Additionally, "Help understanding the purchase process was most beneficial to buyers 37 years and younger at 75 percent."

Look for someone to invest in your family's future with you. You want an agent who isn't focused on the transaction but is instead focused on helping you understand the process while helping you find your dream home.

Bottom Line

In this world of Google searches, where it seems like all the answers are just a mouse-click away, you need an agent who is going to educate you and share the information that you need to know before you even know you need it. 

Contact Savannah's Best Real Estate Team Today!

March
30

Neighborhood Eatery and Imbibery

Few places have so rapidly earned the love of local Savannahians like Atlantic. Located at the corner of Victory and Drayton Street, this cozy neighborhood restaurant appeals to residents of Ardsley Park and Historic Downtown Savannah alike.

Large windows add the impression of a large dining space, when in reality the entire is building is quite small. Don't be fooled, though — all of the available space is efficiently used and none is wasted. An excellent example of this are the two outdoor patio areas flanking the building. Small dining tables dominate the main space of the area. A large white marble bar seats about 8 diners, while another bar, with no seats, allow diners to casually lounge with a beverage.

In addition to lovingly curated wine list, the bar boasts an impressive list of craft cocktails, liquors, and local craft beers. Our favorite feature of Atlantic is the wine by the glass selection that changes daily. Owner, and Savannah wine guru, Jason Restivo, always has some interesting picks on the board that you rarely find by the glass. 

Local and seasonal ingredients are the foundation of Atlantic's menu. The menu is ideal for sharing — we usually order several dishes and share, and this night was no exception. We started out with a local cheese plate and the mushroom paté, both of which paired nicely with my "Champagne of the Day" selection and the various reds my dining companions were enjoying.  

ATLANTIC

ATLANTIC

Savannah should not be overlooked for its seafood offerings. And Atlantic delivered with a crab toast that was a thing of beautiful. Simple, with luscious fresh crabmeat and peppers topping Chef Lauren's homemade bread, and seasoned with only a bit of herbs and citrus. Equally simple, yet still incredibly decadent was the five spice pork belly confit with brussels sprouts and roasted grapes.

In fact, the pork belly was so good that we had no reservations in ordering an entreé that also featured pork belly along with scallops. The scallops and pork belly were perfectly cooked and served simply over a pea purée.  We also ordered the beef tenderloin with broccolini and garlic mash. The tenderloin was perfectly cooked and juicy, and its flavor was not at all distracted by the tangy mustard sauce that accompanied it. 

Each dish seemed to taste better than the next, which seems an impossible feat in and of itself. Every wine we sipped paired perfectly with the food. The shareable food, the accessible wine list and pours, incredible value, attentive service, and the atmosphere of community within the space itself truly lend to Atlantic's image as a neighborhood eatery and bar. And one of Savannah's best. 

Atlantic

102 E Victory Dr Savannah, Georgia
(912) 417-8887
 
 
March
3

Savannah Pedicab

In 1994, Rusty Browne launched Savannah Pedicab to provide transportation throughout Historic Downtown Savannah. Local Savannahians will tell you that Savannah Pedicab is THE way to get around the Historic Downtown area of Savannah.

In Downtown Savannah, sometimes the distance between Point A and Point B aren't long enough to drive; but the distance may also be just a bit too far to comfortably walk. That's when Savannah Pedicab comes to the rescue.

For those unfamiliar with this mode of transportation, a pedicab is a small two-to-three person taxi operated by a person pedaling. Think of a bicycle crossed with the chariots of old, and you're close to having a pretty accurate picture of a pedicab in your head.

 Taking a pedicab is a great way to take in the sights and sounds of Historic Downtown Savannah. Many pedicab drivers not only know their way around Downtown Savannah and the Historic District, but they also have a vast reserve of knowledge about Savannah's past and present. 

Savannah Pedicab for All

If you have a group of folks looking to get around, don't be daunted. Savannah Pedicab will send pedicabs to your party and transport you all by twos to your destination. Many people use Savannah Pedicab as transportation to and from events.

This favorite mode of transportation is enjoying an ever-increasing demand for events and weddings, and even offers special services for weddings. These services include formally dressed drivers, signs, and white drapes for the cabs. There are even trailers designed especially for the wedding pedicabs so that Savannah Pedicab can serve those in Hilton Head, Palmetto Bluff, and the surrounding areas. 

It's easy enough to find a Savannah Pedicab in the Downtown area if you need one unexpectedly. You can also call ahead to make arrangements as needed. Contact Savannah Pedicabs today, and experience Savannah like a local. 

Savannah Pedicab

(912) 232-7900

Do you want to live in Historic Savannah?

Contact Cora Bett Thomas Realty Today!

February
27

We chatted with Larissa Thut Davidson, Marketing and Graphic Design Manager of the Savannah Music Festival (or "SMF" as it's referred to by the locals), to get the lowdown on this year's artist lineup. Not only is Larissa a resident of Downtown Historic Savannah, she is a lover of all things music. Here's what she has to say about some of the artists for this year:

All appearances of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra with Daniel Hope and Sebastian Knauer Being from Zurich, the visit by the Zurich Chamber Orchestra is special to me for that reason alone, but the music that the orchestra has created and recorded with two SMF regulars (Daniel Hope, SMF's Associate Artistic Director, and Sebastian Knauer) has made for two of my favorite records of 2016 and 2017. I'm excited that they will be performing pieces from these ECHO-award winning records: Überbach by Knauer and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and For Seasons, Daniel Hope's album that he recorded with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. These concerts will be held at the new Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts, a new venue for SMF in 2018. 

Margaret Glaspy

I am excited to see Margaret Glaspy's performance. I adore her songwriting and her guitar playing. She's got a very unique voice and is obviously a very talented guitarist. She'll be joined by the great Julian Lage on stage (who happens to be her boyfriend).

António Zambujo

This will be a memorable performance of beautiful authentic Fado on a Saturdaynight at the intimate Charles H. Morris Center! The Portuguese guitarist and award-winning singer will be joined by a 6-piece group of musicians. The music and videos I have seen and heard in working on the design and layout of the 2018 season program have made me really look forward to this one! 

Gullah Roots: Etienne Charles / Rnky Tanky

Any performance by Etienne Charles, a trumpeter, percussionist, composer and educator from Trinidad, at SMF in the past has been memorable. This year SMF commissioned Charles to create work that explores the Afro-Caribbean connections to Gullah music and the Gullah connections to American Music. The performance at SMF will be a double-bill with Ranky Tanky, a fun band out of Charleston, South Carolina, that performs the music of Gullah culture in a very approachable way. 

Lee Fields & The Expressions / James Hunter Six

I don't think this needs a lot of explaining. A double bill of R&B and soul featuring Lee Fields & The Expressions (last heard in Savannah at Ships of the Sea's North Garden Assembly Room during Stopover 2017) and James Hunter Six will make for a very fun Saturday night at one of our favorite venues! 

PIAF! The Show

I confess: I like musicals. PIAF! The Show is the closest thing to a musical we'll have ever had at SMF. Inspired by the award-winning movie "La Vie En Rose" this show narrates the rags-to-riches story of Edith Piaf complemented by projections of previously unreleased photographs and images of famous locations of Piaf-era Paris. 

North Mississippi Allstars

Luther and Cody Dickinson have been to SMF before and have always put on a great live show. Their newest album is one of my favorites of 2017, and I am excited to see these two perform the songs that I have only heard coming from my speakers so far. 

Septeto Santiaguero

SMF's "Latin Dance Parties" are always fun and vibrant, and this year will be no difference when this Cuban septet of musicians takes the stage. This will be a great way to close out our traditional festival on Friday, April 13th before embarking on the full day at Trustees' Garden for the festival finale. Septeto Santiaguero will be playing a set or two as part of the all-day event on Saturday, April 14th. So even if people miss them the night before, there's another chance to catch them here. ...and speaking of the Festival Finale at Trustees' Garden (Saturday, April 14th): I am super excited to see Jason Isbell return with his band The 400 Unit, but I am most excited about Brent Cobb. His 2016 record Shine on a Rainy Day has stolen my heart in a way only a country music album can.

Find out more online at www.savannahmusicfestival.org 

February
13

Every spring, the Savannah Music Festival arrives. Held in various venues throughout Downtown Savannah, the 2018 Savannah Music Festival will be from March 29th to April 14th, and will feature a variety of performers who will playing at all hours of the day.

Established in 1989, the Savannah Music Festival is a non-profit organization that is responsible for educational initiatives and musical arts programs throughout Savannah and six surrounding counties, and also includes educational activities such as theater field trips, in-school lessons, and public library performances. The venues that serve as hosts for these performances are scattered throughout Historic Downtown Savannah, and include the Johnny Mercer Theater (at the Savannah Civic Center), the Lucas Theatre, the Ships of the Sea Museum, the Rousakis Plaza (located on River Street) and Trinity United Methodist Church.

New for the 2018 Savannah Music Festival

This year there are two new venues. According to Rob Gibson, Executive and Artistic Director of the Savannah Music Festival, "This season is our most ambitious to date due to the addition of 2 new festival venues that are completely distinct from one another: Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts and Trustees' Garden."

The former is located on the campus of the Garrison School for the Arts and is the first ever concert hall built in Downtown Savannah. The latter is an outdoor location that will be the site for the final day of the festival. For the first time, the Savannah Music Festival finale will be an all-day festival featuring continuous live music on three stages and a vendor marketplace with local and regional food and refreshments

The artists performing at the Savannah Musical Festival are as varied as you can imagine, and musical genres of every sort are explored within the 17 days of the festival. The appeal of the music festival is that there is truly something for everyone, and everyone who attends is clearly a lover of music, so you find yourself surrounded in an atmosphere of appreciation and joy for the performance at hand. 

Find out more online at www.savannahmusicfestival.org

February
1

Gaslight Group's Newest Venture.

The warm glow of lamplight spilling from the windows of East End Provisions beckons. The restaurant is located on the corner of Broughton and Price Streets, and is a welcome addition to the east end of Historic Downtown Savannah. Tables fill a cozy dining room in the back of the space. The front area features a handful of tables, with most of the seating being around the bar in the middle of the room.  Despite a freshly remodeled interior, the atmosphere is one of casual intimacy. A TV mounted in the wall and tuned to TVLand (but muted), which could be jarring given the setting, adds to the cozy vibe. Instead, you feel like you're at your parents after a fancy dinner party--good food and drinks, but you no longer have to be on your best behavior. 

The drink menu features a rotation of craft cocktails and local craft beers, as well as wines by the bottle and by the glass. Don't be afraid to ask for recommendations or for a taste before ordering; the staff are willing to offer suggestions or steer you in the right direction. 

Torn between several options on the menu under the "Shares" section, we decided to go for the Crab Cakes. This is a dish that appears on nearly every restaurant menu in Savannah, and it's always interesting to see how each place approaches it. East End Provisions is doing a good job with their version by keeping it heavy on the crab meat and light on the filler, and adding a hint of citrus. The result is a true appetizer that doesn't sink in your belly like a stone and has you reminiscing for sunwashed docks and white-capped waves. 

East End Provisions

For fellow pork lovers, the Pork Tenderloin is a must. The pork is from local Hunter Cattle Company, and is perfection. A bed of Brussels sprouts and sweet potato hash is the perfect accompaniment, providing just enough starch and counterpoint flavor to the richness of the pork.  

A location tucked just on the edge of Historic Downtown, an evolving drink menu, and a food menu dedicated to showcasing local favors is a recipe for success. Here's to more nights at East End Provisions.

East End Provisions

420 E Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401

912-335-5522

www.eastendprovisions.com

January
26

The Coffee Fox

The Coffee Fox is located in the heart of Historic Downtown Savannah. The innocuous café is perched neatly on the corner of Whitaker Street and Broughton Street. On busy mornings, patrons waiting in line watch the space with darting eyes. Their hope is to snag an empty stool at the bright red bar, or possibly one of the rustic banquettes along the far wall. 

 Coffee Fox features locally-roasted PERC coffee in a variety of beverages. But those looking for a flavored beverage "a la' Starbucks," beware. You won't find any blended drinks or flavored syrups on this menu. The Coffee Fox serves, as I once heard a barista eloquently put it, "Coffee-flavored coffee." That's not to say that there isn't a variety of coffee drinks on the menu. The café menu features coffee-shop standards like Cortaditos, Americanos, Mochas and Lattes. The Coffee Fox even has Matcha Green Tea and Chai Lattes, as well as a Horchata Latte which features horchata made fresh on premises daily.

The Coffee Fox

The Espresso Tonic has gained something of a cult following with locals. Made with PERC espresso, Fevertree tonic water and garnished with a fresh orange twist, the beverage is admittedly an acquired taste, but those in the know can tell you that it's ideal for beating the heat and getting a bit of caffeine buzz at the same time. An added bonus is how the drink looks — served in a snifter glass emblazoned with The Coffee Fox brand, the tonic and espresso separate into individual layers, while the fresh orange twist rests jauntily on top of the beverage.

Those looking for something to drink with a little more punch can find solace in a selection of wine and craft beers. The Coffee Fox also offers its own version of a mimosa, made with guava nectar and champagne. Another Coffee Fox favorite is the Eye Opener, which is PERC espresso and Left Hand Milk Stout beer. Not for the faint of heart or appetite, this rich beverage delivers a double buzz. 

The case at the front of the café houses a dazzling display of freshly-baked goods. The kolache, of which there are usually 5 or 6 different flavors, are prominently displayed on the top shelf. The case always holds egg, sausage and cheddar, bacon and cheddar, and cream cheese kolache. A savory variety, as well as a fruit and cream cheese variety, rotate every few days. Some of the more popular savory flavors are bar-b-q pulled pork and cheddar, the sunrise scrambler, and sausage and Vidalia onion with thyme. The fruit and cream cheese variety run the gamut from cherry and cream cheese to the ever-decadent Nutella and cream cheese. 

While sometimes the line in the limited space of the café can seem daunting, the efficiency of the baristas along with a mostly paperless transaction, keep people moving, cup in hand. With locals grabbing a cup before heading into the office, tourists sleepily scanning the menu, or SCAD students hunched over sketchbooks,  the Coffee Fox has managed to capture that feeling of quirky community that makes living in Historic Downtown Savannah enviable.

The Coffee Fox

102 W Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401
Open Daily at 7 a.m. (8 a.m. on Sundays)
(912) 401-0399
 
January
12

What Did You Discover During the Snowpocalypse?

Winterizing Your Home | Cora Bett Southern Realty News

Savannah doesn't always experience winters that are as harsh as other parts of the country. Every winter in Savannah there will be a few days when you discover an extra draft or two around the house. But as this season has already shown us, it's always good to have strong plan to winterize your home. A draft or two during a typical cold snap is pretty tolerable, but a few days and nights well below freezing can make a older Southern home more uncomfortable. Here are a few tips for making sure your home is ready for whatever the rest of this winter throws at you.

4 Easy Post Storm Winterizing Your Home Tips

Winterizing Your Home | Cora Bett Southern Realty News

Run Fans in Reverse

Many homes in Savannah have ceiling fans, which are absolutely necessary in the sultry summer weather. But many people don't realize that running fans clockwise will change the distribution of the air in your house produce a warming effect. Most ceiling fans come with a handy little switch that will reverse the direction of the fan blades from counterclockwise (cooling by driving air down) to clockwise (warming by drawing air up).  Just don't forget to switch them back!

Reduce Drafts

Drafts can waste anywhere from 5%-30% of your home energy use. This is a problem that can be easily remedied with a draft snake. Make one of your own by using a rolled bath towel, or get creative with scraps of cloth and fillings such as sand or kitty litter for added heft.

Mind Your Thermostat

It's easy to forget to turn down the heat when you're leaving your house, but doing so is one of the easiest ways to save money. Most houses shell out 50%-70% of their energy budgets on heating and cooling. For every degree that you lower your thermostat during the winter, you will save between 1% and 3% on your heating bill. Better still, invest in a programmable thermostat such as a Nest.

Put Up Some Plastic

Like the draft snake, this is an easy and inexpensive and temporary method for winterizing your home. Pick up a window insulation kit at your local discount or hardware store. If properly installed, the plastic will be virtually invisible. A little patience, the kit and a hair dryer and you will have less drafty and more efficient home. Speaking from experience, you will notice a difference in the amount of heat that your home retains from insulating your windows with one of these easy-to-use kits. 

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