At first glance:
Pulling off the I-4 I had to do a double take. We were suddenly and inexplicably surrounded by darkness. I looked at the dashboard, it was 9:30 pm, I looked out the window again, the streets of Savannah, Georgia were deserted. I was unnerved. Then there was the sound, “scccccccccccccccrrrrrrrrrrrrttttttttttttttccccch,” as droopy mossy vines scratched against the top of our car. It was ghostly. The hair on the back of my neck was at full attention.
“I don’t know about this Savannah business.” I whispered to my husband Mark as we unloaded the car and made our way to the dimly lit hotel.
As far as cities go, upon first impression, after dark, on a Thursday, Savannah was full of shadows and low empty places.
By seven o’clock the next morning, the sun was out, the birds were singing, the breeze was slow and warm, and Savannah presented herself vibrant and welcoming.
People strolled the cobblestone streets with their morning coffees. Dogs were walked, baby strollers were pushed, there was life here.
Historic Savannah was alive and radiating splendor.
Savannah is a romantic portal into the past!
The city is compact and perfectly planned for pedestrians. Elaborate parks and green squares pop up every few blocks. Winding along wide cobblestone paths you’ll find historic plaques commemorating landmarks many with their original wood and brick details. Ornate statues decorate beautiful circular green spaces, dotted with sweeping willows and mossy pines. Savannah is artfully preserved and meticulously maintained.
*Note: Pushing a stroller over those cobblestone streets is a workout!!!!!
The streets of Savannah are wide and sprawling. Row houses, restaurants and boutique shops give the city a sophisticated and aged air.
The Savannah waterfront is simply stunning. There is something to be said about old cities set on the water, they rarely disappoint. There is an easily accessible walking path that will lead you past candy shops and taverns, galleries and restaurants. The aroma of sweet pralines fills the wafting air.
Every few blocks, Mark dashed out of a shop with a hot buttery sample of praline brittle. Savannah’s praline brittle, when done well, melts in your mouth- a sweet and salty buttered symphony unfolds. You can’t help but smile as you continue your walk, between the breeze and the water, the praline brittle and the beautiful shops, it’s almost enough to compel one to skip and hum.
Savannah, Georgia is easily one of the most beautiful colonial cities in America boasting the best of Southern hospitality and charm and gorgeous architecture. Savannah bears witness to centuries of history and is a hub of modern innovation. Long story short, I love Savannah!
Savannah, Georgia is:
Savannah was one of the most polite cities that I have ever visited. Everywhere doors were held and people nodded and drawled happy greetings. It was warm without being false, without condescension. Savannah is refreshing.
The Most Haunted City in America
If you think about it, it makes sense. Between the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, Slavery, horrible malaria outbreaks, the phenomena of “strange fruit” hanging from trees, Savannah has seen its share of horror, anguish, and bloodshed. She is a pretty lady with a very dark side, thus earning herself the distinction as America’s most haunted city.
There is no shortage of ghost tours in the city. Some are by foot, others by carriage, one took tourists around in a Hearst (eek).
A Stunning Spectacle
A History Lover’s Treasure Chest
One of America’s first planned cities circa 1733; my history geeky tendencies were over-stimulated in Savannah.
Originally the home of the Yamacraw Indians, Savannah was transformed into a prized and productive British colony.
In 1779, during the American Revolution, Savannah was the setting for the pivotal Siege of Savannah, where American and French troops fought in vain to reclaim the city in one of the bloodiest battles of the American Revolution.
After the revolution Savannah thrived. Thousands of slaves from West Africa landed on the port of Savannah, where they were forced into brutal labor. Savannah is the location of one of the largest slave auction sites in the U.S. Savannah slaves cleared land, tended cattle, engaged in farm labor and worked on the notoriously dangerous rice and cotton plantations. Benefiting from the institution of slavery, the city rose to great power and prestige, only to fall towards the end of the Civil War during Sherman’s March to the Sea, when the port of Savannah was overcome by Union forces crippling the city’s industry.
Savannah was at the center of the Civil Right’s movement. The city saw lynchings and a great deal of Ku Klux Klan activity. With a large and active black community, protests among black community leaders, demanding fair treatment during the Jim Crow years date back to WWII.
Integration was a struggle in Savannah, as was moving forward, but the city has grown into a small and relatively diverse (Savannah boasts a large South Asian population) and progressive city of the New South.
Today, perfectly restored, Savannah holds her own. She holds her past, but most importantly, she holds the promise of a bright future.
A weekend in Savannah may result in the need to buy new pants!
The people of Savannah, Georgia eat well. They eat very well indeed. When I hear the term “down home cooking,” Savannah is what comes happily to mind.
After all, Savannah is home to celebrity cook Paula Dean. She has a beautiful shop in the center of downtown, boasting sweet, succulent goodness.
Local eateries abound on every corner with down-home Southern touches that are soul stirring and rib sticking good.
You can’t visit Savannah, without sampling one of their famous praline’s (most commonly found in the form of a pie, or a brittle candy. You must also have some peach cobbler.
When it comes to establishments, my brunch recommendation is Goose Feather's Cafe. The line wraps around Barnard Street, but moves quickly and is well worth the wait. Everything at Goose Feathers is baked fresh on the premises. You’ll find classic sandwiches, French baked goods and Southern favorites. Goose Feather’s boasts itself to be the home of Savannah’s original Whoopie Pie. Mark and I ordered croissant sandwiches, Ohm had a quiche and we all shared a sticky sweet praline bun. It was all, really good. The expresso drinks were piping hot and strong. The ambiance was quirky and bright Goose Feather’s Cafe was a delicious win!
Long story short, Savannah, Georgia is a wonderful city to visit and explore y'all!
Have you been to Savannah?