Savannah with Teens: A Perfect Family Day

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Savannah with Teens: A Family Vacation

Alamy

Planning a trip to Savannah, Ga. with your teens? There is plenty to see and do in Savannah that will keep everyone – including teenagers – happy.


Morning


Traveling with teens can be a wonderful experience – as long as it's perfectly clear that they probably won't like the same things as you. But Savannah is full of charm and there is plenty to do, so stay a step ahead of your teens by offering them plenty of choices.

First, horrify your teenagers by suggesting breakfast at Sunrise Restaurant – at sunrise! Then laugh and say, "Just kidding!" To smooth things over, tell them about the bacon cheeseburger omelet and the blueberry pancakes that await them. If you're in Savannah with teens on weekends or holidays, you're in luck, for that's when the restaurant offers the Breakfast Buffet for $6.50. There are three Sunrise Locations in Savannah: Sunrise Wilmington Island, 346 Johnny Mercer Blvd., 912-897-2899; Sunrise Chatham Parkway, 1 Southern Oaks Court, Suite 300, Savannah, 912-238-8018; and Sunrise Tybee Island,1511 Butler Ave. Tybee Island, 912-786-7473. Check out full menus at www.sunrisesavannah.com.

If your teenager is a Girl Scout, a visit to the birthplace and museum of the Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low is a must. Born in 1860 and nicknamed "Daisy" by her family, Gordon Low had a hearing impairment, but that didn't prevent her from enjoying the arts or helping others. As a teenager she founded Helping Hands, an organization that made clothing for the poor. The Girl Scouts of the USA purchased her Savannah childhood home, the Wayne Gordon House, in 1953, and it was designated as a National Historical Landmark in 1965. Tour this English Regency townhouse to see where Gordon Low lived and played; tickets range in price from $6 for girl scouts aged 6 to 18 to $8 for adults. For more information, go to http://www.juliettegordonlowbirthplace.org/.

Next up, consider a tour, for Savannah is a city full of tours. Some are walking tours, while others involve riding in a carriage, trolley or bus. The tours in air-conditioned vehicles can be a lifesaver during Savannah's sultry summer days, but air conditioning alone is not enough to erase the boredom from a teenager's face if he or she is not really interested in, say, a tour of historical homes.

Enter Savannah Movie Tours, which has several themed tours that even the most surly teen will love, including the Shopping Tour, the Movie Tour, the Foody Tour, the Scary Ghost Tour and the Martini Tour (this last one is only for mom and dad, and believe me Savannah has some mighty fine martinis). The Shopping Tour, which lasts two to three hours, is bound to be a hit with teenage girls. It provides an insider's guide to all the savvy shops and boutiques Savannah has to offer, and includes sightseeing opportunities as well. Why traipse through the streets trying to find them on your own, especially when the tour also nets you exclusive discounts at shops? The Movie Tours may appeal a bit more to the teen boys in your family than the shopping. Visit the locations for favorite movies including "Forrest Gump" and "Glory," and get some historical perspective thrown in, too. And with over 85 movies having been shot in this beautiful city, there's plenty to see on the 90-minute tour. Tickets are $38 for the Shopping Tour and $25 for the Movie Tour. To book or for more info, call 912-234-3440 or go to http://savannahmovietours.net/.


Afternoon


When the teens start screaming for something to eat, scream right back at them with Screamin' Mimi's! Her pizza, that is. The dough is made fresh every day and they serve up everything from a simple cheese pizza to a Hawaiian pizza with pineapples and ham. Hot and cold subs are also available with free refills on soda and sweet tea, which is truly a bonus when it's hot outside. Screamin' Mimi's is located at 513 E. Oglethorpe Ave. For more info, call 912-236-2744 or go to http://www.screaminmimispizza.com/.

Are your teens being sweet? Even if they're not, try sweetening them up with a visit to Savannah's Candy Kitchen on River Street. Even the biggest kids will like watching the candy makers pulling taffy or drizzling chocolate over confections. Get a few free samples or buy a bag and have a seat on one of the benches on the waterfront and watch the river go by. www.savannahcandy.com

After lunch, consider taking a cruise toward the Atlantic Ocean to watch the dolphins romp; this one is a cool thing to do for both boys and girls. The Dolphin Magic Tours depart from River Street, taking you out onto the Savannah River in the city's "largest dolphin watching vessel." You'll cruise past Savannah's riverfront, the Waving Girl, Fort Jackson and Fort Pulaski. Then it's on to Tybee Beach, where the Bottlenose dolphins swim and play; you'll also see the Tybee Lighthouse and Cockspur Island Lighthouse. Tickets are $27.10 for ages 13 to adults. To book or for more info, call 800-721-1240 or go to http://www.dolphin-magic.com/.



Evening


Such a tour of Savannah can make teens really hungry. So, after the cruise, it's time to eat again, so choose the Pirate's House, which offers a dining experience that your teenagers will never forget. It is located a block away from the Savannah River and has been around since 1753, when it first opened as an inn. It has 15 separate dining rooms, each more charming than the last, and all filled with fascinating historical elements. Appetizers include shrimp and grits and a "lowcountry" seafood boil.

Make a meal out of the Pirate's House Salad or order a pasta dish. There is plenty of seafood to choose from, including fried shrimp and pecan-encrusted salmon, but there are choices for the landlubbers amongst you, including chicken, pork chops and steaks. Anyone who can't find something to satisfy the appetite here must walk ye olde gangplank! Located at 20 East Broad Street, dinner starts at 4PM PT and ends at 9:30PM PT (open half an hour longer on Friday and Saturday). Or enjoy the Southern Style Lunch Buffet from 11AM to 3PM PT.

A Hearse Ghost Tour marks the end to a perfect day, and will certainly wake up those who are nodding off after dinner. And since everyone likes to be scared, why not give it a try? Guests ride in a real hearse with seats adjusted to provide full visibility and protection from rain. I went on the tour with several adults and three teenagers, and I'm not sure who had the most fun. Our driver and guide, Nathan, turned it into a zany experience, telling us stories all the way. All guides are licensed professionals, adept at driving through cemeteries and the streets of Savannah after dark, and staying one step ahead of the ghosts and goblins. Tours last 1.5 hours and reservations are required. It is located at 411 West Bay Street; call 912-695-1578 or go towww.hearseghosttours.com.

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