5 Things You Can Do While Social Distancing in Savannah

 

LAUREN FLEMMING

What began as a first stop to a connecting flight to a spring break destination became my unexpected quarantine shelter. I arrived in Savannah on Friday, March 13 after receiving news that our trip to San Jose del Cabo would be postponed indefinitely due to impending international travel restrictions. I spent the week in Savannah, and by the hospitality of my extended family and the charm of “The Hostess City of the South,” never went home.

It’s not exactly my first time in Savannah; I’ve been to the St. Patrick’s Day parade, stayed at the beautiful Mansion on Forsyth, brunched at the Collins Quarter, roasted beans from Savannah Coffee Roasters, and been around enough that the ghost tour hearses are mere white noise. All of that came to a halt mid-March—what was left revealed what is ‘essential’ underneath the whir of daily life.

Mayor Van R. Johnson’s “Shelter at Home” order was overruled as Gov. Brian Kemp lifted certain restrictions for business operations beginning April 24, sparking cautioned excitement and skepticism statewide. Despite the green light, many businesses have been wary to reopen and continue to air on the side of safety.

Everyone can agree that public health and the wellbeing of our neighbors is a priority, mandated restriction or not. In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 but also to support the things that make Georgia great, here is my guide to staying sane while social distancing in Savannah, GA.

 

1. Walk down streets you’ve never walked before

My go-to socially distant activity is a brisk walk around town with my ever-energetic terrier. Not only does it break up the time spent inside, but believe me when I say it is absolutely necessary to preserving our sanity. It is scientifically proven that exercise can boost your mood and prevent feelings of depression and anxiety. Moreover, it has also been found that spontaneously changing your typical route improves cognitive function and boosts creativity.

I am a strong believer in routines, but lately I’ve challenged myself to wander down new paths—something that is extremely rewarding here in Savannah. Bull Street is entertaining, but stumbling upon the tucked away, romantic Tattnall Street is like opening Pandora’s Box of walking routes.

PHOTO: miranda osborn PHOTO: miranda osborn 
PHOTO: d. paul graham PHOTO: MIRANDA OSBORN

 

2. Window shop, buy online

The environment and my wallet are probably the only things that have benefited from the pandemic. I miss shopping. Thankfully, many boutiques in Savannah have elaborate window displays that are still updated while stores chose to remain closed to the public. Indulge in some retail therapy by browsing local storefronts and checking their Instagram pages and websites for online purchase and delivery options. 

Bring Broughton Street to you! Local favorites like Kendra Scott, Edgewater Drive, and Globe Shoe Company are offering personal styling services and/or countrywide shipping. Take advantage of promotional sales and support local business. Just because social life is on hold does not mean your wardrobe has to be!

PHOTO: courtesy kendra scott PHOTO: courtesy edgewater drive
PHOTO: south magazine  PHOTO: courtesy dress up

 

3. Forsyth Farmers’ Market

When Saturday morning comes around, so does the Forsyth Farmers’ Market. This community staple has been open every weekend throughout March and April and has been a testament to successful social distancing practices. Customers and merchants are encouraged to wear masks and gloves and maintain a safe distance at all times.  Vendors have been offering more advance-order, delivery, and pick-up options to reduce gatherings and expand sale potential. Volunteers are delivering groceries to elderly, high-risk residents. The market has also set up a COVID-19 Food Fund that accepts donations to support local farmers by purchasing their goods to provide meals for food-insecure families in the Savannah community. The FFM is a multifaceted socially distant-compliant gem in this time of crisis.

The Forsyth Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 9am-1pm at Forsyth Park (13 E Park Ave, Savannah, GA 31401).

 

4. Takeout

This is an important one: takeout. While ordering groceries and eating at home is the safest option right now, not everyone is discovering hidden chef-caliber talents. Limited takeout nights have become the new special occasion. My personal favorites are The Vault, which offers 20% off orders and delivery, and Green Fire Pizza for call-ahead window takeout and delivery (I get the gluten free cheese personal pie).

PHOTO: the vault. courtesy @loveashrey PHOTO: courtesy forsyth farmers' market
PHOTO: courtesy green fire pizza PHOTO: south magazine

If you’re like me and cannot live without your iced coffee fix, the new Forsyth Collins Quarter offers coffee takeout daily from 9-1 PM. If you’re a first responder, frontline medical professional, or hospital staff with ID, it’s on the house! Just remember to keep space in line.

In the midst of routine and lifestyle changes, it can be difficult to stay on track with nutrition and dietary goals.  Clean Eatz Savannah provides nutritious, portion-packaged meals to keep you on track, despite the added stress in your life. On the other hand, restaurants such as Jalapenos Mexican Grill and Wiley’s Championship BBQ –both offering takeout—are a great way to add flavor and spice to typical meal routines. Support local musicians while indulging in takeout from Coach’s Corner live music broadcast.

PHOTO: wiley's championship bbq. D. PAUL GRAHAM PHOTO: Courtesy Clean Eatz
PHOTO: COURTESY collins quarter at forsyth PHOTO: COURTESY coach's corner

 

5. Go for a ride

Take advantage of the historically low gas prices and head out for a drive. Although travel is still strongly discouraged, a local drive from the safety of the car is a good way to change scenery. Enjoy less crowded roads and more expansive views.

For those with access to a boat, head out for a ride on the water. Marinas such as Morningstar are offering limited launches and modified service to get you back on the water, safely. If you're boatless, The Savannah Yacht Club, Freedom Boat Club, Bull River Marina and Compass Sailing, LLC, are just some of the companies offering boat rentals and charters. 

If you are looking to take your socially distant ride to the next level, Savannah Aviation is running the Discovery Flight, which offers an exciting view of the Low Country. Flight courses are also available for our more adventurous readers.

PHOTO: courtesy bull river marina PHOTO: courtesy savannah aviation
PHOTO: savannah yacht club. d. paul graham PHOTO: COMPASS SAILING, LLC