You’ve seen Broughton Street dripping in Christmas lights, you’ve consensually kissed a cadet in the Saint Patrick’s day parade, but have you ever began an entire trip around the sun in the heart of downtown Savannah Georgia? I’ve been on vacation in an unfamiliar place during NYE and let me tell you, options are everything. Hotel parties in Savannah are intimate and enchanting, however, hotel parties in other areas can be more like a rave/club scene. So here are the top talked about and most glamorous options for your NYE in downtown Savannah GA. The most alluring, the most expensive and even a couple of free options for this year’s New Years Eve soiree!
Let me start with this:
Try not to drink so much that you are not safe, or to a point that you don’t have a good time. The whole point is TO HAVE A GOOD TIME! Remember all your P’s; Plan ahead, protect yourself, pace yourself, drink plenty of water and eat plenty of food. Trust me when I say, the goal here will be to make this a night that you won’t want to forget! And with the following line up, it’s sure to be fantastic!
So let's eat...
If I recommend a place downtown to eat, you will not only enjoy the food, but each place will evoke some sort of emotion; excitement, awe, elation... My favorites remind me of places and moments in time that left a positive or happy impression. Wether it be a moment in my grandmother's kitchen that boasted views of Herb River or a restaurant that reminds me of a setting from one of my favorite books or movies, these places are more than eateries. They are experiences accompanied with food. And with the right confidants by your side, these places will surely make the top of your favorites list as well. So let's eat.
With a new seasonal menu, Chive Sea Bar and Lounge is a great place to start your New Years Eve shenanigans. With a fantastic drink menu and outstanding line up of food, your last hours in 2019 will be ones to remember for sure. With old movies being projected on a wall and sparkling chandeliers hanging from above, be swept away in this unique and fun restaurant.
The Ordinary Pub will serve you the best Farmhouse Burger in Savannah and give you the best selection of mules you'll find in our part of the east coast. This is definitely more of a laid back and cozy atmosphere. The waitstaff here are friendly and ready to help you choose from their delicious menu of food and beverage.
Husk is sophisticated dining for sure. With a romantic backdrop and delectable food, you won't regret the evening spent here. With a special NYE menu, the Chef at Husk has a culinary adventure awaiting you for the great anticipation of 2020. A four course meal will include small bites to begin with and take you through a foodie's dreamland and will end with something sweet, of course. At $75 a person, expect some surprises along the way. Be sure to add the wine pairing option for an additional $25 a person to get an out of this world experience. Full table participation is required for this special and rare menu so be sure to grab some of your closest comrades who are dedicated to start this New Years Eve off the right way. The latest reservation time is usually 8:45 pm. They are already filling up so be sure to call now. I just may snag that 8:45 spot so that I can dine my way into the new year like no other.
39 Rue De Jean will be a beautiful dining occurrence that you will want to repeat again in 2020 for sure. With a lovely wine selection and Truffle Frites With Demi Glace (that will blow your mind) to side with your Filet or Duck Confit, you will wish the year wasn't ending so soon.
AND to round off the meal and start your night off right: Dessert!
So my two favorite dessert spots on Broughton Street are Better Than Sex and The Melting Pot. Better Than Sex on NYE will extend their hours to midnight and have a small champagne toast for guest who are already seated when the clock strikes 12. This is not a ticketed event, more like a special surprise at midnight. So if you do not want to party or break the bank for NYE but you definitely want to do something special to ring in the new year, make reservations closer to 11pm and have a nice quiet dinner at home first. Then head to BTS for your reservation for an outstanding dessert to close out the year. (The "Hot Sex In Savannah" is like a fried peach cobbler with bacon infused ice cream on the side. It is definitely on my "last request" list.) The Melting Pot will offer a special menu at a great price for NYE so be sure to call ahead for reservations and ask about that. My favorite dessert there is, without a doubt, the "Flaming Turtle". Be sure to order one to share and prepare for total satisfaction.
Ok... So let's get this party started... FOR FREE!
Did you hear me up there in the nosebleed section? (Where I often sit for Falcons games) FREE. NYE In City Market is a free event that welcomes ALL to our beautiful city to join together in a chorus of counting down and bringing in the new year. I have done this before, years ago and it has only grown in numbers since. Free is great but free is also another way of saying "major crowds"! It will be a ginormous block party loaded with fun... It will be busy, it will be crowded. There will be several restaurants, bars and cafes open for business. Rest assured, those places will probably be crowded too. Go early, get even earlier dinner reservations, then find a good spot to enjoy the live music that will play into the new year! A similar party takes place on River Street, also free, where a non traditional ball drop takes place. A giant to-go cup lowers with the count down, instead! Go into these parties with patience and a determination to have a brilliant time! And just remember to be kind! We’re all going into the same new year together!
This next one surely deserves a drumroll, if I do say so myself...
A magnificent masquerade ball will be held at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf and Spa resort this year. You guys know how much I love the Westin. The event this year will blow you away as you dress to the nines, adorned with a mask of course. We shan't have anyone knowing our true identity, right? Kidding. But what a dream. Beginning at 9pm, and at $99 a person, you will enter the grand ballroom for desserts, enjoy an open bar and a champagne toast at midnight. Stand in awe of a magnificent firework display over the savannah river and dance until 1 o’clock in the morning.
Next up is at the Alida Hotel.
Take delight in an open bar inside Rhett and at The Lost Square as well. The atmosphere of Rhett will have you feeling glamorous like you are stepping straight into a midcentury modern bar that has a touch of Gatsby flare. And the cozy fires at The Lost Square will warm your 2019 stiletto-cramped feet. Drink from a champagne fountain, like the royalty you are, and enjoy nibbles from Chef Jason Starnes. Double (metaphorical) points, for “best night ever”, if your room is booked here too! The price for this event, that is separate from room rates, is $90 a person until December 15th and then increases to $120 a person on the 16th. Book now to save!
Now, for the higher price range with the best drink options and even a 7 piece band:
The Grove: The Grove is a beautiful and sophisticated three story building in the middle of city market. Listen to the echoes of the city counting down just below you while enjoying the top tier liquor drinks at multiple bar stations that will be at your service and party favors to be included, as well. Avoid the crowds and watch them from above as you and your patrons celebrate another year gone and a new one just ahead.
Always a magical night at the Perry Lane Hotel.
Peregin Savannah will host an event to be remembered. With exquisite views of the gorgeous Savannah skyline and an experience like no other, embark on your New Years Eve quest at one of Savannah's most popular scenes. Located at The Perry Lane Hotel, Peregrin is found on the top floor and welcomes you to enjoy the city like no other. Get ready to dance to a seven piece band while having some bites, some bubbles and a proper view of our beautiful city as you sip champagne and spend your NYE surrounded by joy, laughter and great music. Ticket price is $150 a person and includes an open bar and all of the New Year’s festivities.
The best views of Savannah’s terrific firework show is on the iconic Savannah River.
This leads us to NYE on the Savannah Riverboat Cruise. Admission is $99.95 a person and includes hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, party favors and a cash bar on board! If magical fireworks are your thing then this is the option for you. And I’m no love expert but if you’re planning a proposal, this may set up to be the perfect background, just saying. (Let me know if you try this and it works!) Visit their website to get more info and to read about their NYE gala option ($219 person) https://savannahriverboat.com/seasonal-cruises/?fbclid=IwAR3n5wqXz9s61DTnduE4DChfgVCSSY9HPbaiG6Q01QZ3-DAMHBIotbYuQjk scroll down and select New Years Eve Gala Cruise for ticket prices.
Where to stay:
There are several options when it comes to where to stay near these events. There are also quite a few for a little over $200 a night, still available. Some of those even include breakfast! That’s an amazing deal when you factor in no need for transportation fares. I have stayed in dozens of hotels in Downtown Savannah. Sometimes on a budget and sometimes on a splurge. For NYE, opt for the nicer and better locations if you can afford it. You may want to plan ahead with a friend or family member so that you can go together and split the price for your stay. As mentioned before, the Alida (Lost Square), The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa and The Perry Lane Hotel (Peregrin Savannah) are all hotels that also offer great NYE events, so be sure to visit their websites for rates and the undeniable convenience of staying where you party!
Now let’s talk about the part that no one likes to actually talk about until it’s a little late for planning; How to get home.
If staying downtown is not an option and you plan on drinking, then a transportation company is what you need. Ride share services can have surges. You think you’re getting a car for a certain fare and you could be one of the few that find out the next morning you were hit with a surge! (I personally know multiple people this has happened to.) no matter the price, it’s well worth getting you home safe. But here’s a know before you go; surges USUALLY happen on New Year’s between 12am and 3am so try this; linger around the party for another hour after midnight, if you can. Then head over to McDonough's for some karaoke and maybe even a cup of Irish coffee. Reminisce about your epic evening while singing your own version of Auld Lang Syne. Around 3am, check the fares on your AP again and then make your way home.
Pro tip 1: Do a pool and split the fare but always know who you are splitting/riding with and always make sure your driver’s vehicle license plate matches the one on your AP.
Pro tip 2: A party downtown years ago, I made a deal with my sister to pay her what a cab would cost if she would come pick my husband and I up and take us home. And like my dear sister, my husband and I have offered to do the same for loved ones that went downtown (while we spent a quiet night at home).
Just always have a plan! NEVER, never, under ANY circumstances, drink and drive.
Laugh, dance, wave goodbye to 2019 and while maybe not all old acquaintances be forgot, (maybe just a few), bring in the New Year, 2020, with loved ones near, as you all celebrate another new beginning. Cheers.
The Adventurous Alfords