My husband and I recently took a trip with our daughter to go look at some colleges in south Georgia. We stayed in one of our favorite cities, Savannah.
We’re keeping our fingers crossed that she decides to go to school there so we’ll have an excuse to visit her frequently.
I am always surprised when people tell me they have never been to Savannah. An easy drive, this is definitely a city worth checking out.
One of the things I love most is that it’s a “walking” town. You can actually find parking in a large parking deck in the middle of town and walk everywhere. There are lots of shops and plenty of restaurants.
River Street is fun to stroll down to watch giant barges and ships pass by, as well as local artists, musicians, and people watching in general. There are plenty of art museums in the city as well. It’s a great town to purchase early Christmas gifts, there are so many unique choices.
Savannah is well known for its festivals, holding one what seems like every weekend. That translates into good news for tourists and residents alike; there is always something going on in this town.
The squares and parks are terrific. On a pretty day you can walk for hours and really get to know your way around.
As a lover of history, Savannah does not disappoint. The recorded history of Savannah began in 1733, when General James Oglethorpe and his 120 passengers arrived in their ship, Anne, on the Savannah River. Oglethorpe named the 13th (and last) American colony “George” after King George II in England. Savannah became its first city.
Known as the first “planned city,” when you drive or walk through today’s Savannah, you can see why. The grid-like plan is beautifully organized, complete with numerous squares, monuments and shade-covered parks.
The original city had 24 squares and 22 still remain. After the American Revolution, farmers discovered the soil was perfect for growing both cotton and rice. Numerous lavish homes and churches were built, and they are incredible to see in this modern yet old city.
Like so many historic cities, Savannah has survived many tragedies, including devastating fires in 1796 and in 1820. The citizens persevered, rebuilding both times.
Besides the city proper, there are many other fun sites to see nearby. Tybee Island is close, and the drive is beautiful as you take in the flat terrain and the marshes for which coastal Georgia is known. The drive to St. Simons is quick, and the charming beach town is pretty much a tourist paradise. We spent a day at the beach and marveled at how different the experience was from the Gulf Coast.
If you do visit Savannah, make sure to tour the historic district. The Historic Savannah Foundation was founded by a group of women back in the 1950s who were dedicated to saving the numerous historic buildings and sites from “progress.”
One of the many places they’re credited for saving includes the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts. It’s currently owned and operated by the organization as a memorial to their founder.
Also preserved was the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the South’s first public museums.
Another credit to the foundation was the preservation of the Temple Mickeye Israel, the third-oldest synagogue in America.
Whether you go for an appreciation of Savannah’s rich history, or just to enjoy a festival and some good seafood, Savannah is a terrific destination.
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.