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Family in Town for College Graduation? Here’s What to Do.

27 May 2016
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Lucky Local: SCAD Students

Words and Photos by Savannah Rake

When you have twelve people living under one roof for a weekend stay in Savannah...

June in Savannah is a time for staying in the cool air-conditioned indoors during the heat of the day, taking long, languid walks with furry friends in the evening, embracing the summer sun for a family trip to Tybee’s beaches, and a time when large families flock in from around the country for this college town’s commencement ceremonies.

SCAD, Armstrong, Savannah State—it doesn’t matter what college we attend, we all have one thing in common: we get to live in Savannah.

Those of us who are graduating know the city well at this point. We’ve spent time walking her cobblestone streets; we’ve eaten at the funkiest little joints, and sampled most of the coffee shops she has to offer. Savannah is a city that takes time to do right.

My friends and I have experienced Savannah together for the past four years. We live in midtown, in a house I jokingly dubbed “The Duffy House,” and the name stuck. We’ve created a community away from our previous lives and away from our families. We became each other’s families.

We go to SCAD, but too soon we’ll all be done and moving on to different cities and real-world jobs. But before that, on Saturday, June 4, we will walk together at the Savannah Civic Center in front of our friends and families.

Our backgrounds are diverse, our families very different. When we bring everyone together in this town, it’ll follow a video game-like narrative, laced with obstacles.

The Challenges: Picky eaters, large parties, conflicting schedules, small windows of time to do things, family dynamics and tensions, old and young under one roof, and what to do when you can’t walk in a walkable city.

The Objective: Get thee to the ceremony (but also have fun before, during and after).

The Solution: Relax, enjoy and breathe a little.

Sound impossible? It’s not. No pressure, the hard work is done here for you.

If you’re the college grad, think of it as a time to share the place you know and love with your friends and family. If you’re a parent, a friend, or other relative, just enjoy the (slow) ride. Your college grad knows Savannah better than you do.

“Let’s go to Fancy Parkers,” said Danielle.

I thought it was just a name they came up with, but I soon learned that Fancy Parkers is everybody’s unofficial name for Parker’s Market on Drayton. It’s open 24-hours, serves breakfast after 10 p.m. and has chewy ice. So why not bring the out-of-towners in on the fun?

“I can’t tell you where the Speakeasy is, I can only show you.” That was my friend Dustin before I had a key of my own.

You can’t tell your family and friends where it is either, but if you or someone you know well has a key, the Speakeasy is a great spot to bring them. It has the best drinks in Savannah, live music entertainment, and is usually pretty good at keeping it local. It’s like stepping into the 20s.

“My family and I are renting an entire trolley, you’re all invited,” said Ava.

Your college grad can give their own unofficial tour of Savannah, and everyone can come. Trolleys mean you don’t have to walk, so anyone with limited mobility won’t be excluded. This city is full of stories and stumbles for those of us who live here, so go down memory lane and tell your stories.

So when your family comes into town this June, remember to remember your Savannah and show it off with pride.

In the meantime, here’s a list of things to do and places to go for a quick cup of coffee or a bite to eat.

Coffee ...

Foxy Loxy (1919 Broughton Street)

The Coffee Fox (102 W Broughton Street)

Savannah Coffee Roasters (215 W Liberty Street)

The Sentient Bean (13 E Park Ave)

Foundery Coffee Pub (1313 Habersham Street)

Maté Factor (401 E Hall Street)

The Collins Quarter (151 Bull Street)

Breakfast ...

The Funky Brunch Café (304 E Broughton Street)

Clary’s Café (404 Abercorn Street)

J. Christopher’s (122 E Liberty Street)

Back in the Day Bakery (2403 Bull Street)

Lunch and Dinner ...

Green Truck Neighborhood Pub (2430 Habersham Street)

Zunzi’s (108 E York Street)

Flying Monk Noodle Bar (5 W Broughton Street)

Betty Bombers (1108 Bull Street)

Vinnie Van GoGo’s (307 W Bryan Street)

Places to Go ...

Forsyth Park

Museums (SCAD, Telfair, Jepson, Railroad, etc.)