I fell in love with the city of Savannah when I read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The way the book describes the town doesn’t capture its appearance so much as its mood. I decided that I had to visit this jewel of the South just to see if the real thing could live up to the charm exuded by the novel. I wasn’t disappointed. Savannah is the destination for anyone who is looking for a laid back vacation with a rich historical atmosphere.
Going Way Back
The residents of the city have gone to extraordinary lengths to preserve their original architecture as part of Savannah’s cultural heritage. Many of the old homes and buildings have been preserved or restored, leaving parts of the city almost untouched by modern development. You can even stay in one such treasure, the Galloway House, the last historic plantation mansion in the city.
You’ll find a number of historical tours in restored parts of the city, but the most interesting may be the ghost tours for which this town is famous. Halloween sees a lot of thrill-seekers, but family-friendly tours will be spooky but fun for the kids. If you’re not one for guided tours, there’s still plenty to see on your own, and neighborhoods lend themselves to leisurely wandering.
If you visit in March, be sure to attend one of the Historic Savannah Foundation’s charity tours, which leads you through several gorgeous restored buildings. Proceeds from the tours go to the Foundation’s restoration efforts, which have saved over 300 historic buildings in its more than half-century existence.
One place you absolutely must make time for is historic River Street, a cobblestone street running along the Savannah River. Trolley tours run up and down this area, or you can enjoy the picturesque river-walk, watching the big cargo ships come and go.
River Street is lined with cute old storefronts which supply you with a full afternoon of shopping, along with numerous restaurants where you can find a fresh seafood lunch. The avenue makes for a lively night scene, too, with hopping bars and more than a few romantic dining locations.
Does anyone have any hidden gems that they can recommend in Savannah? I’d love to discover a new restaurant, or maybe a ghost tour next time I go.
image by OfficialSavannahGuide.com