Welcome to Savannah, Georgia. We are pleased to see you. This seaport city is beautiful, majestic, picturesque, historical, and more than a little quirky.
When you are fortunate enough to smell the blooms of gardenias blending with jasmine carried to you over sea winds, you will experience the meaning of the word, swoon. Prepare to fall prey to the charms of Savannah and the Lowcountry because nothing, but nothing, will save your soul from wanting to immerse yourself up to your hip-bones in the southerness of our corner of the South!
Savannah. Say it like a native – drawl those three syllables into five and add a little cadence: Sa-va-a-na-ah. That is your first step in feeling the melodic essence of the lady of Southern cities. Think of her as a beautiful woman, drenched with twinkling moonstones, as dynamic and fluid as the river that runs through her. Savannah is warmth and sunshine dappled with old oak leaf shadows, crowned with Spanish moss, as strong as her wrought iron railings, and with enough history and mystery to endlessly entertain anyone who visits her.
Like some ladies of a certain age, Savannah has some sprawl to her, so the distinction between Savannah the city, and the neighborhoods, is very important. The largest, and most central, neighborhood for much of what goes on is Downtown, also called the Historic District. The Historic District starts at the river and is about twelve blocks wide and thirty blocks deep, and this is where first time visitors to Savannah will want to explore, experience and breathe the Confederate jasmine-scented air.
The city of Savannah, founded in 1733 by General James Ogelthorpe, is laid out in a grid system that makes it a very easy city to understand and to navigate. The original plan, comprised of four squares, has expanded over time to twenty-two squares; each has its own character and provides a bit of shaded respite. In addition to the squares is a magnificent 30-acre park. Forsythe Park, on the southern edge of the historic district, boasts one of the most photographed fountains, beautiful surrounding mansions, and plenty of entertainment.
Savannah is a food lovers paradise. There are many award winning restaurants from those with innovative cuisine fashioned from a myriad of local ingredients, to charming little bakeries tucked onto the odd corner spot.
The best way to acquaint yourself with Savannah is to take a tour, and there are many from which to choose. Savannah is a city of tours, events, festivals, and characters. It’s not just an expression for Southerners to say, “We don’t take our crazy people and put them in a home, we put them in a rocking chair on the front porch and give them cocktails.” It isn’t unusual to see the Forrest Gump look-alike from the movie wandering around town with his suitcase and box of chocolates. The Lady Chablis, from the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, used to perform at a local drag club. And don’t neglect to take a ghost tour because Savannah certainly has her fair share of ghosts.
The architecture itself is enough to take your breath away. Wrought iron railings and balconies, window boxes filled to the brim with flowers, and metal dolphins attached to drain pipes stir the imagination. There is a wide variety of architectural styles, so looking at the houses is like trying to choose penny candy; you can’t decide which is the best.
A stroll down the cobblestoned River Street yields all manner of shops, restaurants, and bars. Stop in for a praline coming right out of the oven or some local shrimp and grits. Listen to a variety of live music, and carry your cocktail with you as you wander and watch container ships and tugboats ply the river between the port and the Atlantic Ocean.
We hope to see y’all soon!
Enjoy these itineraries which showcase a few special parts of Savannah: