General Lachlan McIntosh House, Savannah, GA (Vrbo): People say don’t judge a book by its cover, but we all know that this maxim is not entirely realistic. Who can resist the pull of first impressions? Most things in life are like Christmas presents: unless your family really gets it wrong, and that’s up to you if you forgot to send “Santa” your list, the present on it will be just what you wanted. But it’s even sweeter when it comes wrapped in beautiful paper and a flurry of ribbons and bows.
Our sentiments on this all-important matter of judging things at first glance definitely extend to vacation rentals, and can we just say, what a pretty package that comes in this elegant Georgia peach. The black and white scheme, the wrought iron wrapped balcony, the French country feel—::chef’s kiss::—we can’t get enough.
First the bad news: No matter who you are, you’ll always come second when it comes to notable people who have had their names written in the proverbial General Lachlan McIntosh House guest book. No one-no one—may surpass the prominence of America’s first and only president, George Washington, walking through this distinguished front door in 1791. That’s right, Washington not only stayed in one of the rooms that could be his during his visit, but who also did while he was president
It’s unfortunate that that little presidential fact often overshadows the house’s greatest achievement itself: longevity. Built in 1770, this 3,000-square-foot mansion (or Cozy Bungalow as modern McMansion standards would classify those square feet) is “regarded as the oldest brick residence in the state of Georgia.”
The cherry trees might have been safe in the presence of George Washington (that, dear friends, was nothing more than a myth invented by an early Washington biographer), but even the presence of our first president was not enough to preserve this Savannah’s home in Amber. You’ll be happy to hear that you enjoyed a recent renovation that has been described as “extensive.” (The saying “if only it was good for George Washington” definitely doesn’t apply to things like modern plumbing…)
Now for your obligatory look in the kitchen. This is the place to go when you want to dream of all the great southern and coastal inspired meals you’ll eat while in Savannah. Just to clarify, the foods you will eat outside.
We love when a house revolves around a spectacular spiral staircase. What’s new in the world of fitness is when chic architecture meets exercise.
Each of the five bedrooms spread over the three floors has its own bathroom. Naturally, the place where George Washington stayed is the favorite, according to the listing agent.
Washington’s sojourn is not the only notable political event that the House of General Lachlan McIntosh has witnessed…and hosted. At the end of the American Revolution, he charged the newly democratic states with getting their governments in order. The great Peach State held its first constitutional session in this beautiful brick house. Now, it’s not a requirement for modern guests to fix all of today’s political issues if they choose to stay here, but it’s highly recommended.
We spied on an elevator with our little eyes. We know we previously suggested that spiral stairs were a great workout, but we’d never ask you to lug your luggage up two full flights of winding stairs. The horror! (Editor’s note: There are plenty of ancient castles where we’ve suggested just that.)
When we imagine vacationing in the South, our visions involve lots of lounging and drinking (Iced tea or mint juleps, travelers’ choice). Here, you have the option of gossiping and drinking on this preppy covered porch formerly known as the smoking deck.
If you didn’t know before, this house is positively trickling down into American history. It overlooks Oglethorpe Avenue, one of the main streets in Savannah’s historic district. The street is named after James Oglethorpe, the city’s founder who was (gasp!) a bit of a socialist and was centuries ahead of his time with his pro-prison reform views. On the other hand, he bought the land for his new town from the Yamacraw tribe for a price that included a single lace-up coat, a lace-up hat, and a shirt, as well as things like gunpowder, bullets, and rum.
Four of the five bedrooms are on the top two floors and are outfitted with king beds, like this beautiful wood-ceilinged example. While the fifth bedroom may be a bit smaller with a queen-size bed, it does have a few other things going for it…
…like your own kitchen. The fifth bedroom is known as the garden suite. While connected to the main house, it also has all of its own features and arrangements for those vacation guests (we all do) who need to recharge their batteries away from the crowds. (The “crowds,” aka your closest friends, of course.)
While your more introverted friend may claim the garden suite, you may have to share it as it seems like the perfect spot to kick back during our afternoon siesta. Sorry for our interruption!
This may not be the biggest house on the avenue anymore, as we’re sure it was during George Washington’s time, but it’s one of the prettiest, even from behind. Its historic bona fides and modern conveniences are just the icing on the cake of this beautiful three-story Savannah gem.
Book your stay: General Lachlan McIntosh House, Savannah, GA: $1,150/night through Vrbo