General Lachlan McIntosh House, Savannah, GA (Vrbo): People say not to judge a book by its cover, but we all know this maxim isn’t entirely realistic. Who can resist the pull of first impressions? Most things in life are like Christmas presents: unless your family really gets you wrong—and that’s on you if you forgot to send “Santa” your list—the gift inside 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 feelings on this very important matter of judging things at first sight definitely extends to vacation rentals, and may we just say, what a pretty package this chic Georgia peach comes in. The black and white scheme, the wrought-iron wrapped balcony, the feeling of the French countryside—::chef’s kiss::—we can’t get enough.
Bad news first: no matter who you are, you will always come in second when it comes to notables who have penned their names in the General Lachlan McIntosh House’s proverbial guestbook. No one—no one—can beat the prominence of America’s first president, the one and only, George Washington, walking through this distinguished front door in 1791. That’s right, not only did Washington stay in one of the rooms that could be yours during your visit, but he did so while he was president.
It’s unfortunate that that little presidential fact often overshadows the crowning achievement of the house itself: longevity. Built in 1770, this 3,000 square feet mansion (or cozy bungalow as modern McMansion standards would rate that square footage) is “considered to be the oldest brick residence in the state of Georgia.”
Cherry trees might have been safe in George Washington’s presence (that, dear friends, was nothing but a myth made up by an early Washington biographer), but even our first president’s presence wasn’t enough to preserve this Savannah home in amber. You will be happy to know that it enjoyed a recent renovation that has been described as “extensive.” (The adage “if it was good for George Washington” definitely doesn’t apply to things like modern plumbing…)
Now for your obligatory look at the kitchen. Here is the place where you will repair to when you want to dream of all the gorgeous meals inspired by southern and coastal cuisine that you will eat while in Savannah. Just to clarify, the meals you will eat out.
We love it when a home revolves around a dramatic spiral staircase. The hot new thing in fitness is when chic architecture meets exercise.
Each of the five bedrooms spread throughout the three floors comes with its own bathroom. Naturally, the one George Washington stayed in is the favorite, according to the listing agent.
Washington’s stay isn’t the only notable political event that the General Lachlan McIntosh House has witnessed… and hosted. At the end of the American Revolution, the newly democratic states were charged with getting their governments in order. The great Peach State held their very first constitutional session in this gorgeous brick home. Now, it’s not a requirement for modern guests to fix all of today’s political problems if they choose to stay here, but it is highly recommended.
We spy an elevator with our little eyes. We know we suggested earlier that spiral stairs were a great workout, but we would never require you to lug your luggage up two whole flights of winding stairs. L’horreur! (Editor’s Note: there’s many an ancient castle where we have 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 imbibing on this preppy covered porch formerly known as the smoking deck.
If you couldn’t tell before, this home is positively dripping in American history. It overlooks Oglethorpe Avenue, one of the main roads in the historic district of Savannah. The street was named for James Oglethorpe, the founder of the city who was (gasp!) a bit of a socialist and centuries ahead of his time with his pro-prison reform views. On the other hand, he bought the land for his new city from the Yamacraw tribe for a price that included a single laced coat, laced hat, and shirt as well as things like gunpowder, bullets, and rum.
Four of the five bedrooms are in the top two floors and are tricked out with king beds, like this gorgeous specimen with a wood ceiling. While the fifth room may be a little more petite with a queen bed, it has a few other things going for it…
…like its very own kitchen. The fifth bedroom is known as the garden suite. While it’s connected to the main home, it also has all of its own features and fixins for those vacation guests (we all have ’em) who need to recharge their batteries away from the crowds. (The “crowds” otherwise known as their closest friends, of course.)
While your most introverted friend may claim the garden suite, they just might have to share as this looks like the perfect spot for us to lounge during our afternoon siesta. Pardon our interruption!
This may no longer be the biggest home on the avenue, as we’re sure it was during George Washington’s day, but it is one of the cutest, even from the rear. Its historical bonafides and modern amenities are just the icing on the cake of this gorgeous three-story Savannah gem.
Book Your Stay: General Lachlan McIntosh House, Savannah, GA: $1,150/night via Vrbo