I’d love your Southern Hospitality tips and recommends

Hello again friends!
I’m on a trip, within a trip, sans kids.

And if you’ve been following along in Instagram or Twitter (@danawillard) you’ve already tipped me off to great restaurants and must-see spots.  Thank you!

But I know there are many of you living in the southern belt and I’d love your expert advice.
If you have any restaurants, destinations, touristy must-sees, or local hang-outs you’d recommend, please let me know in the comments!

Here’s our itinerary:

• Charlotte, NC (finished that leg)
• Charleston, SC (currently there)
• Savannah, GA (headed there today)
• Asheville, NC (meeting with my publisher)
• Atlanta, GA….book signing baby!  Hopefully you’ll be there.

I’m loving this East coast flavor so far.   Very different from life on the West Coast and big ole Texas.  So I’m taking more showers, eating tons of treats, and taking way too many pictures.

More to come….
Thanks for your help!

  1. 1) emily

    It’s been ages since I visited savannah but I want to go back, a lovely city. I ate at Clary’s since I’d just re-read midnight in the garden of good and evil (they’ll give you your sweet tea refill to go). I’d say eat breakfast there get sweet tea to take with you as you wander through all the squares and take too many pictures of the architecture then find a place with a view of the river to eat dinner and have a mint julep. Mmmm.

  2. 2) Jv8

    Finally delurking, I have been reading your blog for a very long time, but have never commented. But I living in Asheville and I am so excited you are coming for a visit. There are so many wonderful restaurants here, the most touristy place is tupelo honey’s which is great, but I prefer boca in Lexington ave for dinner, I also love luelella’s BBQ, but they are not downtown. For lunch I would highly suggest walking through the river arts district and eating at the white duck taco shop.

    I am in sure what day you will be here but many evenings have free entertainment downtown. And if you have time do a lazoomba tour in the evening. Tons of fun.

    • 3) Jv8

      Sooo sorry for the typos! My toddler likes to “help” me type. This is why I don’t comment.

    • 4) joyful T

      I second everything Jv8 said and would add Sunny Point Cafe in West Asheville. There’s always a wait, but there is an awesome kid’s store near by called Littlest Birds.

      • 5) Jv8

        And no matter where you eat dinner, don’t get the dessert. Everyone knows you have to go to the cholocate lounge for dessert.

  3. ah– you are in my city!! I am in Charleston!! I’ll tell you a few of my favorite things.

    My favorite dinner is Red’s Ice House. There is one in Mount Pleasant (right over the big bridge). but I recommend driving to the one in Seabrook (a bit south of Charleston– maybe a half hour). Go at sunset as the view is amazing. And, the food is delicious and reasonably priced.

    Also, there is cupcake– a delightful bakery with delicious cupcakes. I love to get one and head to the big swings in waterfront park, near where the cruise ships dock and just sit, swing, and eat 🙂

    Oh– and then there is Jestine’s. It’s a little restaurant in downtown Charleston. I love their fried chicken and okra, and they have the best Coca Cola cake. It’s a true southern experience.

    I lived in Atlanta before here and I have to say that the Flying Biscuit is a must for breakfast. Their biscuits are huge and amazing.

    Sorry– all my tips are all about food 🙂 We just do food good here!

    • 7) carrie

      I second the Flying Biscuit in Midtown. It’s spectacular! Also, go for a walk in the Virginia Highlands area — lots of lovely window shopping to do while you have a gelato from Paolo’s Gelato (http://www.paolosgelato.com/) It’s one of the things I miss the most about Atlanta since moving away.

    • 8) Mandy

      Yes – Jestine’s!!!!!

  4. 9) Hannah B

    I just moved from Asheville after living there for five years. I think you will really enjoy it.

    Best breakfast/brunch: Sunny Point Cafe
    Lunch/Dinner: Tupelo Honey Cafe the Laughing Seed or 12 Bones Smokehouse

    Be sure to grab a drink at the Grove Park Inn. It is beautiful and has some of the best views of the mountains. They host a national gingerbread contest during the winter that is incredible. This is where the Obama’s have always stayed while visiting.

    The trolley tours are fun and give you alot of information about Asheville. My favorite thing to do while going back is to walk around downtown. There are a ton of shops selling artwork. The Folk Art Center which is off the Blue Ridge Parkway is about five minutes from downtown. It is definitely worth checking out.

  5. 10) Beth


    I hope your trip in the Southland is lovely. I am a resident of Asheville and have a few places to recommend. I know the folks at Lark Books will have a lot of great suggestions of what to do around our beautiful town. The great thing about this place is that wherever you wander you are sure to find a wonderful place to eat. We love food here. Good food. It’s everywhere you turn. My personal favorites are Bouchon- a French restaurant that is to die for (not stuffy French, think higher end street food and cafe style), Mela- amazing Indian right next door to Bouchon, Table- get the duck, it will change you, and, lastly, Curate- lots of buzz around this one and it is all true. I hope you enjoy your time in Asheville!

  6. Asheville is really close to me (I’m in Greenville, SC) and we head up there for fun away from the kids quite often. Just head to downtown and enjoy the art and stop at any of the local food cafe. Tupelo Honey Cafe, Early Girl Eatery, and Homegrown are all fantastic!

  7. 12) Amanda in Woodstock

    Before you leave Charleston, SC go eat at Ghirabaldi’s (I may not be spelling that right…) its an Italian place and it is DIVINE! They invented “the crispy flounder”.

    Hit up the Atlanta Food Truck Park while you’re here… its on Howell Mill rd Near I-75; I’m sure Deborah can help you get there! For something truly southern, stand in line for Nana G’s Chicken ‘n’ Waffle truck. Absolutely worth the wait! Honeysuckle Gelato is also a can’t miss.

  8. 13) ira lee

    oh, i SOOOO wish i lived closer to these! have a blast! cant wait to hear all about it !

  9. Ah, my neck of the woods. Went to Savannah back in April for the first time. We enjoyed it. Very pretty and lots of squares to see and cute little shops. You can walk around with alcohol in Savannah as long as it is in a plastic cup and is no more than 16 ounces. J Christopher’s is wonderful to eat at breakfast and lunch served only. Your Pie is a great pizza place. It’s like Subway but for pizza. It was very good. They have pizza, ice cream, and beer. Very nice staff and it was not crowded when we went there. For sweets go to the Savannah Candy Kitchen on the river. Went to Charleston for our honeymoon, we haven’t been back since, but it is pretty. Went to school in the mountains of NC. Asheville is artsy. They just had their big craft fair: The Big Crafty. You just missed it. I haven’t been to Asheville to look around but it is very nice. Enjoy your time in the South!

  10. 15) Leah

    Welcome to our side of the world!!!!
    I missed your being in Charleston for suggestions, but Savannah is chicked full of fun! Make sure you try to eat at either Circa 1875 of Vic’s on the River. YUM!
    Make sure you take the “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” tour.

  11. 16) Ryann

    I have lived in Savannah for a year now, and I have LOVED every minute of it. I’m so excited you are getting to experience it!

    You HAVE to go to the Paris Market on Broughton… literally the most beautiful store I’ve ever been too… so many great treasures! And make sure you head to the next block to pick up some local honey at Savannah Bee Company. And check out Shop SCAD on Bull St… students from Savannah College of Art and Design sell their goods there, you’ll see some beautiful work!

    Zunzis on York St is the best hole-in-the-wall place for lunch, make sure you try their South African Sweet tea! Its to die for. Soho South on Liberty is great for lunch too if you are looking for more of a sit-down experience! And for dinner I love Belfords in City Market, or Chart House on River St. Or you can always go super touristy and head to Lady and Sons! My favorite nights in Savannah always end at the top of the Boehmian Hotel at the rooftop bar on River St! You get a great view of the bridge and the river, and the atmosphere is wonderful!

    If I see you on the streets of Savannah and ask for your autograph, will you promise not to think I’m a huge nerd?? 🙂

  12. 17) Ally

    For Southern food in Savannah, seriously skip Paula restaurant and head to Mrs. WIlkes Dining Room for lunch if you like real southern food. http://mrswilkes.com/

    isnt Charleston amazing!! Glad you hit Boone Hall!

    • 18) beth

      amen to this recommendation! Mrs. Wilkes knows how to cook.

    • 19) Kimberly F

      YES! Mrs. Wilkes is the best!

    • 20) Kimberly F

      Some Atlanta suggestions:
      Pasta da Pulcinella is just off Peachtree and is SO good. My fave is the sausage, apple, maple ravioli. Now I want to get on a plane and fly across the country so I can have some!
      Agnes & Muriel’s is an adorable kitschy restaurant in an old house, such great Southern food.
      Flying Biscuit has a fantastic breakfast.

  13. 21) Holly

    When in Asheville you need to take time to stop at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge (on Lexington). The liquid truffle is amazing (really everything there is amazing) – very casual and kid friendly.

  14. Seconding [and thirding] a lot of the AVL recommendations. Lived in the Charlotte area for a few years but married in Asheville so we could have a good excuse to return to such a beautiful mountain town.

    Tupelo Honey may be on the tourist lists, but it’s truly a great place to eat. We’ve never had a poor meal there. Biscuits are great, rosemary lemonade, grilled cheese + tomato soup. Early Girl Eatery is also a great place – much more simple food, but very very veg friendly.

    Mela has fabulous Indian food – better than some I’ve had in greater, more cosmopolitan locations.

    Limones offered us some tasty fusion Mexican cuisine.

    Must pick up a cupcake from Sisters McMullen on Pack Square – they did our wedding cake + cupcakes for our reception. Highly recommend the almond chocolate chip if it’s on the flavor menu when you’re there.

    French Broad Chocolate Lounge is a fun/unique experience – serves anything you can imagine chocolate based [beer floats – not root beer, but stout!], single-origin chocolate truffles, drinking chocolate, etc.

    Barley’s Taproom + Pizzeria – tons of beers on draft, simple + tasty pizzas. Fun people watching/atmosphere.

    Lots of great shopping – Woolworth Walk [art gallery], Malaprops [independent bookstore], Mast General Store [outdoor gear, bulk old-fashioned candy], TOPS for Shoes [awesome bargains].

    Downtown Hendersonville is a quick 30 minute drive from Asheville if you want to get a vibe of a smaller town.

    Hope I didn’t totally overwhelm you. Clearly I’m long overdue for a visit to AVL as this is probably my own personal to-do [again] list that I’m sharing with you! Hope you enjoy your trip down to this neck of the woods + can’t wait to see pictures and hear about your journey!

    – Alexandra

  15. 23) Sara

    Savannah is all river street. And the charming little parks full of live oaks an Spanish moss. Atlanta has TONS! Depends in where you’ll be in the city. The Georgia aquarium is HUGE and has the only whale hark outside of Asia. The botanical gardens are usually gorgeous, but I’m not sure if the heat wave has killed everything. The high museum of art is always fun. And there’s incredible dining everywhere, though without knowing what part of the city you’ll be in, it’s hard to give specific ideas.

  16. I live about an hour outside of Asheville and love “heading to town.” I seconf the Chocolate Lounge and Mustard Seed. Also Malaprops is a great bookstore!

    I used to live in Decatur (inside the loop in Atlanta) and it’s fabulous. A great downtown for walking. For books go the Little Shop of Stories and for amazingly terrific southern food go to Watershed. The best fried chicken I’ve ever had, fabulous shrimp and grits, amazing sides – everything is wonderful.

  17. 25) Bridget

    I’m seconding the Barley’s Taproom suggestion in Asheville. Wish I could go right now!

  18. 26) Moesha in MN

    You shoudl take your kids to the Georgia Aquarium (the largest in the US!) and then go across the park to the World of Coca-Cola (they give free coke samples for flavors all over the world.) Well, maybe you want to do that in reverse, so they can run off all the sugar energy they get from all the coke in the Aquarium. You should also go to Six Feet Under (but go during daylight hours, like for lunch), best poboys in Atlanta!

    • 27) Alicia @ The Creative Vault

      I second this.

      • 28) Amanda in Woodstock

        How could I forget Six Feet Under? 6ft under has 2 locations… skip the one near Woodlawn Cemetary (which is where it got its name, but agree that you probably dont want to be in that area very late) and go to the one on Howell Mill; its closer to Whipstitch anyway!

  19. I have some Charleston tips from our honeymoon.
    I’m so glad you went to Poogan’s Porch. That was my favorite restaurant from our visit, but we also loved Fleet Landing. And you should go to Belgian Gelato as well. I think it’s within a block of your hotel.
    And you MUST take a carriage ride tour while you’re there!

  20. Also, if you have never been to Mellow Mushroom, you should hit that up too. It’s a chain, but their pizza is soooo yummy!

    • 31) Leah

      Thanks for the MM shout-out. We own 4 here in South Carolina, though not the Charleston one!

  21. 32) Cara sullenger

    We only visited Atlanta but we ate breakfast at a place called “rias bluebird” and it was the best breakfast I’ve ever had! I loved touring CNN and doing the coke factory tour! I couldn’t pass up Ikea but I don’t have one close.

    • 33) Amanda in Woodstock

      YES! Ria’s Blue Bird is also by the cemetary/Six Ft Under… SO GOOD!

  22. If you have time while in Atlanta try to head to Athens for a day. It is only about an you’re away and has a wonderful pedestrian downtown area and the beautiful University of Georgia campus. Eat at DePalmas or Five & Ten in Five Points. Literally my favorite city in the US.

  23. 36) Emra

    GA born & raised and currently living in SAV…you can’t go wrong visiting here with or w/out young ‘uns. If you have a spaghetti strap policy, you may rethink almost bare shoulders in our low country heat ;-). Staying hydrated is a must. If you don’t have a personal guide to the city, then by all means enjoy a trolley tour for an overall-soaking-it-in kind of experience. Carry a little old fashion pocket money (paper & coins) for parking meters, tips and small purchases-some small shops only accept cash. A ba-zillion little parks and/or squares, Spanish mossed Oaks, cupcake emporiums and specialty shops, cafe & coffee shops, River St., City Mkt., historic churches, art museums, SCAD, etc. And all these things are walking distance in our historic district. Carry an extra camera card & battery, play it safe on the streets and if you are driving or boating, that’s a whole other good thing…Enjoy! I hope SAV is good to you.

  24. 37) Emra

    Forgot to mention, Mrs. Wilkes dining room 107 West Jones St. is a traditional, southern, yummy dining experience. According to website, charge cards not accepted. Open 11-2. You dine at large tables set for 10 with a pre-set menu, this place is little off the beaten path but worth it.

  25. I hope you are having a wonderful trip!! You are going to some great cities each unique and interesting.

    I’ll have to look at your Instagram feed, but I hope you got to enjoy a bunch of the public art in Charlotte. With all the banking money they have been able to create a truly pretty and modern downtown (though I haven’t been in years since my Dad retired and moved to Wilmington. When he moved there they were finishing their third skyscraper.)

    I don’t have much in the way of recommendations for either Charleston or Savannah, but they are lovely cities and great by carriage ride and bicycle. I forget which square it is on, but check into the Savannah Bee Company’s location for some great local gifts. Tybe Island near Savannah is a nice if somewhat red necky beach area with some cute older beach cottages (we’ve rented from Mermaid Cottages and enjoyed where we stayed) – unlike many beaches on the East coast it hasn’t been totally redeveloped to endless high end homes.

    I have done very little exploring in Asheville, but constantly hear great things about it, and it looks like you have some good recs already.

    While next month will mark the 23rd anniversary of my moving to Atlanta, I always have a hard time figuring out where to send tourists. There are so many great pockets, but it is such a driving city and some of the places don’t always fare well in comparison to some cities. I live in Decatur which is a great little city in a city with a walkable downtown filled with shops, restaurants, etc. – worth a visit (http://www.visitdecaturgeorgia.com/index.aspx?page=9) and only 8 miles east of downtown Atlanta. There are bunches of great places but I’ll throw out Leon’s Full Service and Cakes and Ale as my restaurant recommendations (okay and also The Brick Store and Twains for good hang outs with beer, and Java Monkey for coffee and their hummus plate.) Little Shop of Stories is an awesome kids book store and there are several shops filled with local color – Home Grown being one, and across the street check the art gallery for Pete the Cat prints – I think you might like Pete the Cat as the colors are totally up your alley.

    As mentioned by others, Ria’s Bluebird (though I’m also a fan of Rise and Dine and Radial) and Six Feet Under are great (near the Zoo, Historic Oakland cemetery – you could get great photos – and pretty Grant Park). The latter has a 2nd location near Whipstitch. Also nearby Deborah’s shop are favorites 5 Season’s Brewing, West Egg, La Fonda Latina, Nuevo Laredo, the dive (!) blues bar Northside Tavern, and all the shops and restaurants around the westside: http://wadatlanta.wordpress.com/ and http://westsidepd.com/tag/westside-atlanta/. Tons of home stores and great home dec fabrics.

    The Aquarium is quite the spectacle and does have some things you won’t see elsewhere, though I prefer the aquarium in Chattanooga if that city ends up on your itinerary some time. The Atlanta History Center has great exhibits about the area and lovely grounds with a small ‘farm’ and grand mansion. The Atlanta Botanical Gardens is always a lovely visit (so many photo ops!) and you can escape some of the heat in forested area with the cool canopy walk – or shower yourself in the children’s garden under the sunflower showers.

    For your youngest do stop by Bla Bla’s darling shop tucked away on Virginia (http://www.blablakids.com/Contact-Us) near the fun to shop Virginia-Highland area http://www.virginiahighland.com/ (okay just looked at the map, and yes , each of the areas listed has it’s own great vibe and stuff to offer, V-H being the classic, Young Blood Gallery of Indi-Craft is in Poncy Highland, and Inman Park has several great places; Morningside has Natural Body for relaxation.) Check into Bella Cuccina’s store Portia Vita for some great food gifts and tasting fun.

    Enough? 😉

    I hope to make it Thursday to get your autograph!!

  26. That first picture is amazing! Looks like you’re in a tropical country! I’m always amazed to see images like that because it makes me realise how diverse the US are. Hope you’re enjoying the trip!

  27. Dear Dana,
    Beautiful pix! So interesting to see the things that are different and the things that are the same when you travel South. The houses make me drool… which is SO not good for my keyboard! 😉

    Clucking in NE

  28. 41) Sharon

    Dana, are you coming to the west coast???

  29. 42) Sarah K

    We were just in Charleston on Saturday!!!! I can’t believe we didn’t cross paths! We walked down Rainbow Row and saw that same port in your picture!
    Anyway, You must see the Charleston Market! I love all the basket weavers and such. Our family also loves Hyman’s Seafood Restaurant. It is delicious! We LOVE their hushpuppies!

  30. 43) Meredith

    I live in Atlanta, and my favorite restaurant is Flip Burger. Everything on the menu is unique and delicious. I love the chorizo burger, and you have to have a Nutella and burnt marshmallow milkshake. You might want to share an entree and fries but get your own milkshake!

    – Meredith

  31. okay…read these posts in reverse order…you are coming to asheville!!!!
    luella’s is great but i am totally partial to 12 bones (bbq)
    also early girl eatery is super yummy and french broad chocolate company is super delicious (great coffee too).
    just enjoy the funkiness. i just went to ‘the big crafty’ craft fair yesterday–super fun. it was like etsy right in front of me.
    oh and for fabric i love to look at Waechter’s Fine Fabrics–near biltmore village. talk about gorgeous…little pricey but totally fun to check out.

  32. okay *chocolate lounge not company–my bad 🙂

  33. It looks like a beautiful place to visit!

  34. 47) Eleanor

    I think the thing we do better in Western North Carolina than anyone else is MOUNTAINS! Go up on the Blue Ridge Parkway, or to Dupont or Pisgah forests and waterfall hop, hike, or just drive and look. Follow it up with ice cream and you’ve got a perfect outing. 🙂

  35. 48) Lacey

    The Coca-Cola museum & Aquarium (right next door) in Atlanta are pretty awesome. I don’t know if you’d be up for Mexican food, but every time we go to Atlanta, we stop at the Bone Garden Cantina. It’s a little outside downtown, but so worth the drive!!! The food is a la carte so you can mix and match whatever you want…mmmm. http://www.bonegardencantina.com/

  36. My husband and I met + married in Savannah! (a historic church on one of the squares) We liked Soho South Cafe for lunch, great tomato bisque soup. And of course Lady and Son’s 🙂

  37. 51) Heather C

    I am sorry that you are missing out on Chattanooga, TN; we are a great place to visit! While in Atlanta eat at Nan Thai restaurant in Midtown. We went there a couple of years ago and I am unable to eat Thai anywhere else! 😉 http://www.nanfinedining.com/#home
    There are plenty of days I’m taking multiple showers because of the humidity…
    Enjoy the adult time! I hope you got to see plenty of Charleston (I’m from upstate SC originally) and you enjoy Savannah. If you were a Girl Scout do swing by Juliette Low’s house.

  38. 52) Cari

    We like to do the ghost tours when we visit old cities, and the one in Savannah, albeit cheesy in moments, was good. There’s a trolley tour that I’d recommend early in your trip. It shows you where everything is in a short time so you know where to wander later.

  39. 53) Jeanette

    Great choice in Charleston with Poogan’s Porch and hopefully you made it to Hominy Grill, too! I have not been to Savannah despite living in NC and SC for the past 20 years. Ack! But I do have two recs for Asheville – Fig and The Corner Kitchen. You can’t go wrong. And yes, pecan pralines are a beautiful thing. Welcome to the South!

  40. Eat breakfast at Blossom in Charleston and order chicken and biscuits. I just moved to Texas from there and I miss chicken and biscuits!

  41. 55) Carla

    Ooh, you’re so lucky. You’re hitting most of the best spots the south has to offer! SO FUN! Asheville: Definitely the Grove Park Inn, it’s beautiful! Schedule a day for the spa. it’s world renouned, and yes, I said a day, a full day. You’ll be putty by the end of it. Eat lunch at Charlotte St. Pub. The house salad with ranch, so simple, but so fresh, I look forward to it each year we go there. There’s also a great mediterranean place in the square. Sorry, I think it’s the Jerusalem Garden Cafe; but I’m not certain. It may be the Mediterranean Cafe, whichever is smaller, dumpier, looking one, hidden in the corner of the square. (sorry I can’t remember which one it is. but it has fantastic food, great prices. ATL: Coca-cola museum for sure. I’d love to hear what all you did in Charleston and Charlotte too b/c we’re always looking for new things to do in both.

  42. 56) Andrea Methvin

    I am a transplant from Michigan. My family and I have lived in Asheville for 14 years-we love it! Everyone has mentioned some of the best spots, so I will just 2nd and 3rd the motions for Tupelo Honey (delicious! and the involvement they have with the community and our elementary school is above and beyond!) and Barley’s Taproom and 12 Bones, which is good enough for the President! And, don’t miss Grove Park Inn-beautiful views and lots of history! The Gingerbread Houses have been part of our family tradition at Christmas for MANY years! Enjoy!!!

  43. 57) Lauren

    Savannah is such an amazing place! I was actually there just two days ago… and I would VERY MUCH recommend visiting Tybee Island… lots of great beaches and there is a light house!!!! You should also visit Forsight Park, which has an amazing water fountain, and go to the Lady and Sons, which is Paula Deen’s Restaurant. I also live 10 minutes from Asheville, in a small town called Fletcher… I would recommend going to the Grove Park Inn, taking a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mt. Michell, as well as the Health Adventure in Pack Square… you can also head up a couple miles to Waynesville and have the best pizza on earth at Angelo’s, or head down to South Asheville, where you can go to Biltmore Park, which is also an amazing place to hand out and especially eat! I love Brixx pizza, Hickory Tavern, and YaYa’s frozen yogurt… all located in Biltmore Park, as well as Charming Charlie, which is fun to walk around. You can also head to my neck of the woods in Hendersonville, about 20 minutes south on 26, and you can visit Jump Off Rock, which has amazing amazing views of 5 different states, go to the Mast General Store on Main Street, which you can’t come to WNC without visiting and if you do go to Main Street Hendersonville, go to Mike’s On Main for amazing ice cream and burgers, or go to Piggy’s Ice Cream about 5 miles from Main Street. Also, you must go to Pisgah Forest because right now we are averaging around 100 degrees, so you can cool off by going tubing and be sure to go to Dolly’s Dairy Bar (you can rent tubes for about $10 per hour). Also, if you’re coming up on 26 from Savannah, then you will go through Tryon, which is an awesome town with an amazing restaurant called Side Street Pizza. Whatever you do, be sure while you are in Asheville visit the Biltmore House, it is really worth the price, and the gardens are beautiful. There is also a Baseball Farm Team in downtown Asheville called the Asheville Tourists, and they certainly play a great game! I’m sure you will enjoy your time in WNC, and I hope you get a change to enjoy some of our part of the country’s amazing sweet tea and barbeque (If you want both of those things head over to Cookout on Patton Avenue… it must not be missed). Also, if you don’t have a Chickfila by you, head to one, they are the best chicken sandwiches, waffle fries, and lemonade!!! Hope your vacation is fun!!!

  44. 58) cassey

    Hey. We have lived near Savannah and now in Atlanta. If this is the first time you are going to either place I would suggest to go the touristy route. River street has more than enough shops and beautiful views. If you like chicken then check out spankys and get the chicken finger plate w spuds. I always get that w ranch dip. Also you should check out the market. they have some awesome shops. Vinnys pizza is also really good.

    Atlanta has a lot to visit and eat. the aquarium is awesome but it is always busy. If you like museums then the coca cola museum would be fun. I personally find it to be boring after the first time. As far as food…take your pick. we enjoy burgers and the best is the Vortex. My all time far place is Cafe Intermezzo(sp). the dessert is good but the white hot chocolate is more than delicious! Hope you enjoy your trip

  45. 59) Carla

    PS) I was totally unimpressed with the Early Girl Eatery. Loved all the veggie options and free-range, but in the end, the taste was not my cup o’ tea.

    • 60) Jv8

      I am not a fan of the early girl eatry either. The food is not bad, but being in downtown Asheville comparing to other restaurants, it seems lacking. I would rather eat at sunny point.

  46. 61) Liz

    Just west of Asheville, there is the most perfect town of Black Mountain. If you have a chance, you should go walk around. I love going in the Seven Sisters Craft Gallery; there is always something awesome to buy in there.

  47. Savannah-Doesn’t get any more touristy than Lady and Sons (Paula Dean’s Restaurant) and it is actually pretty decent for tourist trap.
    Atlanta-The Varsity Drive-In (http://www.thevarsity.com/); and if you are into gothic architecture, I would recommend Oglethorpe University for a great photo opportunity and just an all around beautiful place…plus its my alma mater! (http://www.oglethorpe.edu/)

  48. How fun! I have been wanting to do Savannah–Charleston–Hilton Head for a few years now but it hasn’t worked out. Enjoy your southern sojourn!

  49. 64) Kristi

    Wish I was there with you! Sounds fun, totally enjoy!

  50. 65) amy

    Too late for me to make a suggestion for Charleston but if you are ever there again, you have to try Fleet Landing. It was amazing!!!!!!! I want to go back just to eat there. I live in Atlanta but can’t make any earth shattering suggestions for food here but I can say we have the BEST shopping.

  51. 66) Erin

    There are a lot of great things to do in Atlanta! Great places to eat too! You should definitely check out the Aquarium(yes it’s fun even for adults only!)! If you are up for it, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens is really nice.

    I highly recommend Taqueria Del Sol: http://www.taqueriadelsol.com/ or Farm Burger: http://www.farmburger.net/ I know someone already recommended Flip Burger Boutique…another great option…their onions are to die for. And truly…the milkshakes are a can’t miss…but the burgers are way better at Farm Burger! DBA BBQ is also out of this world good: http://www.dbabarbecue.com/
    If someone recommended the Varsity…don’t go! A traveling tummy will not be happy about all that grease! For a more fine dining experience try http://www.kevinrathbun.com/ or http://www.woodfiregrill.com/

    Have fun!

  52. 67) Diane

    ATL- There is actually a great sandwich shop right near Whipstitch..I can’t remember the name because we stumbled in there and loved it! I bet Deborah would know the name of it. Also, you must visit Alon’s Bakery in Virginia Highland. The desserts are to die for..near the gelato place and some other fun shops!

  53. Atlanta–Live in Austin now but use to live just outside Atl. My recommendation is Murphy’s in the Virginia Highlands. Cute area to walk around too. Hope you have a blast on the last leg of your trip. Congrats on all your success and looking forward to your second book!

  54. 69) Amanda

    We just got back from Georgia! The Atlanta Aquarium is a must see for kids and parents.

  55. Uncle Bubba’s Seafood in Savannah is a must (Paula Deen’s brother)
    Paula’s rest. too but it is stuff that i can cook so not so impressed because it is so expensive.
    Asheville’s Mellow Mushroom is a must (pizza and calzones)
    Health Adventure is a definite place to take the kids in downtown Asheville.

  56. Just realized you are without kids. OOPS! But all the restaurants are great with or without kids.

  57. I’m missing you at Whipstitch by a day! Bummer! I’m headed to Hotlanta to visit my parents, but I don’t arrive until the 13th.

    I agree the Coca Cola Museum is a great place, but the first/original museum was better. The new one still has the fun taste testing room at the end which is probably the main attraction of both the new and old museum.

    You might enjoy the Botanical Gardens. It’s really beautiful. My favorite is always the butterfly garden.

    As for food, Mellow Mushroom Pizza never disappoints. Never.

  58. 73) Kristen

    Oh my goodness I’m from the west coast and I JUST got back from a trip with my husband to those same first 3 cities. I LOVED IT!!! So charming. I kept telling my husband we need to move there, but I don’t think he’s sold on the humidity.

  59. 74) bee


    The best southern (not scary) farm-to-table restaurant in Atlanta is called Watershed. It just moved to the Buckhead area which is close to where Whipstitch is located. Their fried chicken is legendary and only served on Wednesday nights but verything else is great too. Please try their “very good chocolate cake’ for me – it’s the best I’ve ever eaten. Their website is: http://www.watershedrestaurant.com

    If you do go to the Flying Biscuit, try to go to the original location in Candler Park, not the franchised one in Midtown or Buckhead. The original is the only one with ambiance. I think you would love the funky neighborhood.

    I’m so bummed I’m going to miss your Whipstitch book signing, I live in Atlanta most of the year but northern Michigan in the summer. After going to Savannah and Atlanta in July you’ll see why.

    All the best!

  60. I missed this post! Hopefully it’s not too late to make some recommendations. I live in NE Florida and visit Savannah and Atlanta on ocassion. Next time you’re in Savannah, I discovered a lovely French restaurant called Papillote (218 W. Broughton St). Fantastic food! I love their version of eggs benedict (english muffin replaced with puff pastry). As for Atlanta, if you like barbecue, I recommend my two favs: Swallow at the Hollow (1072 Green Street Roswell, GA), and Fox Brothers (1238 Dekalb Avenue Northeast; just outside Little 5 Points). For a snack/dessert, pop over at Zesto’s (multiple locations–there’s one in Little 5 Points) for a Nut Brown Crown. For breakfast/lunch type foods, the Flying Biscuit (different locations around ATL)—amazing! Gluten-free, organic, and vegan items on the menu—biscuits are quite delicious! Hope you have a wonderful vacation!

  61. Georgia Peach this way! While in Atlanta, if you’re up for something a little bit different, I’d recommend “The Big Chow Grill” or “The Real Chow Baby” for create your own stir fry (It’s a lot of fun). Also the Cheesecake Factory is fantastic if you’re up for a high calorie, “no turning back” kind of experience.

    I love Whipstitch. Have fun!

  62. 78) Katie

    LOL. Dana, I love your comment about taking more showers…I assume this is a) because of the sweltering, humid southern weather or b) because you are sans kids and are actually able to take showers without squeezing them in between bottles, sidewalk chalk, and princess-play! Either way, you crack me up and make me feel normal 🙂

    Ashville is UH-MAZE-ING. I love visiting there but I can’t remember the names of any of the restaurants we frequent (my memory = atrocious), so all I can suggest is the obvious – go see the Biltmore Estate. Have fun!!

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