Nov 9, 2015

Mysterious and Historic Savannah

Savannah, Georgia, the oldest city in the state of Georgia, is
unique, historic and romantic that never fails to charm visitors. The riverside city has small, interconnected squares and oak-lined streets with dripping with Spanish moss making it perfect for ambling. Before visiting watch “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” “Forest Gump,” or one of the other movies filmed in Savannah. 

1.The history: Start at the beginning. The Savannah History Museum is housed in the old Central Georgia Railway passenger shed, a National Historic Landmark built in the 1850s. It affords an overview of Savannah’s history from its founding in 1733 to the present day.

2.On & off: The best plan is to make one full loop on an on/off trolley tour for a complete overview of the historic district before disembarking. The guides are full of interesting tidbits and local lore. 

3.A walk about: Walking tours abound dealing with a variety of topics from haunted pubs to the Civil War to architectural tours. Movie buffs will enjoy tours that highlight the films made in Savannah including “Forrest Gump,” “Roots,” and “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” 

 4.The traditional way: It is the time-honored way to see Savannah.  Consider a romantic nighttime horse and carriage ride when the gaslights twinkle and homes have their lights on affording glimpses of their interiors. 

5.The river is the thing: If it wasn’t for the river there would be no Savannah.  No visit is complete without taking one of several cruises on a replica paddle wheeler. Besides the traditional daytime narrated cruises there are dinner, gospel, moonlight, and “Whodunit” cruises. Take note of the Waving Girl. The riverside statue honors Florence Martus, who waved at passing ships for forty years waiting for her lover to return. 

6.Dimes for Daisy: Juliette Gordon Low called her friend and said, “Come right over! I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah and the world and we’re going to start it tonight!”  With those words the Girls Scouts began. The Low house is just one of many historic houses open for viewing.  Also open for touring are the Mercer House, the Isaiah Davenport House, and the Flannery O’Connor house.

7.To worship: The newly renovated Gothic Saint John the Baptist Cathedral is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Savannah and inspiring beautiful.  The First African Baptist, built in 1788 by slaves for slaves, is the oldest continuous black congregation in America. It was a refuge for slaves seeking freedom on the Underground Railroad.   

8.To Remember: Colonial Park Cemetery is the historic burial ground where, Button Gwinnett, a signer of the Declaration of Independence is reposed.  During the Civil War bored soldiers changed the dates on the stones so it appears that some people lived 100s of years and others died before they were born.

9.The arts: The best artistic expression in Savannah may be the architecture. But not to miss is the Telfair Museum of Art, the oldest public art museum in the south. Made up of three museums, each building offers a distinctly different experience. 

10.Dining: Start the day with breakfast at Clary’s, made famous in John Berendt’s book, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” Have dinner at Paula Deen’s and end the day at Wet Willie’s where high-powered frozen Daiquiris are dispensed like soft ice cream.