Surprise your sweetheart with a romantic escape.

Noble Fare
Noble Fare's tiny dining room creates an intimate space with 12 tables, so the staff focuses its considerable talents upon a lucky few diners.
| Credit: Meg McKinney

When I need a special getaway with my husband, I look to Savannah, Georgia. Cozy inns and local-food restaurants flourish around the tree-shaded historic district. Because of so many recently opened places, I've returned to explore one of my favorite cities in new ways. Here are my latest rendezvous ideas.

Desirable Accommodations
While the Presidents' Quarters Inn may not be new, the owners and the renovation to the stately adjacent 1855 townhomes are. Each of the 16 bedchambers offers plush linens, period antiques, and reproduction furnishings. Fashionable marble-and-tile baths complete the update. (My favorite: The Dwight D. Eisenhower Suite with a private balcony.)

The innkeepers welcome us to the parlor for wine and hors d'oeuvres in the evenings, followed by late-night cordials. The complimentary breakfast includes homemade granola, baked eggs, and stuffed French toast. The mild Savannah winters invite courtyard dining―all I need is a light wrap.

The inn faces Oglethorpe Square, a central base for exploring the city. 225 East President Street; or (912) 233-1600. Rates from $229.

Tip: Don't worry about your car at The Presidents' Quarters. It has enough free, private parking for all its guests.

Passionate About Meals
Savannah receives more attention these days as new chefs expand its gastronomical choices. Traditional spots still thrive, while new eateries claim the spotlight.

Make Noble Fare your first stop. The love child of Patrick and Jenny McNamara, it began after Patrick became enamored with cooking and then with Jenny. Their moody little dining room offers an intimate space of 12 tables set among deep reds and black decor. A follower of the fresh, local food movement, Patrick didn't even install a walk-in cooler in his kitchen. His don't-miss dishes: Love & Rocket Salad (a peppery baby arugula salad with Niçoise olives, fennel, and feta), sea scallops on an edamame succotash, and a seductively sweet and dense chocolate cake. 321 Jefferson Street; or (912) 443-3210. Entrées from $23.

Other Must-Try Meals
Bull Street Chophouse: Upscale steak house with aged USDA Prime steaks and local seafood (entrées from $22).
Local 11 Ten: Stylish take on dressed-up Southern produce and meats inspired by a former chef of Blackberry Farm (entrées from $22).
Alligator Soul: Comfy mix of Cajun and Lowcountry faves (entrées from $29).
Blowin' Smoke BBQ: Pulled pork and beef brisket with live music (platters from $10).
Lulu's Chocolate Bar: Indulgences such as Lulutinis (choco-vodka and Godiva liqueur martinis), creamy truffles, and light layer cakes (desserts from $3).