Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia, filled with historic gems, fantastic restaurants and a warm and friendly atmosphere that will definitely leave a mark on any visitor.
On my recent holiday there, I also discovered the city is very walkable, with 22 park-like squares to explore and enjoy. Surrounded by historic architecture and moss-draped trees, I quickly became enchanted by this iconic Southern city.
Picturesque Parks and Nature
Forsyth Park, one of Savannah’s most well-known parks, is the perfect place to relax, picnic or sunbathe. Take a stroll along the walkways where trees drip with Spanish moss or sit on park benches in front of beautiful fountains and statues, including the bronze soldier that commemorates the men who fought on behalf of the southern Confederacy during the American Civil War. The Band Shell, a music venue, hosts concerts and events, so keep an eye out for performances throughout the year.
With so many squares and pedestrian-friendly streets, Savannah offers lots of outdoor sightseeing. Taking one of the many tours – by trolley, riverboat, walking and even horse and carriage – is an ideal way to explore the area.
Savannah was founded by British Gen. James Oglethorpe in 1733. He designed the city on four open squares, allowing for easy city expansion. A bronze statue of the founder himself stands in Chippewa, one of the main squares. This was also the location for the famous park bench scenes in the film "Forrest Gump."
History Preserved at Davenport House
One of the wonderful things about Savannah is how many historic buildings still exist; there is a nice contrast between old and new found all over the city. At the 1820 Federal-style Davenport house, you will find a beautiful example of what makes Savannah so special. The house was threatened with destruction in 1955 at a time when several of the older buildings in the area had already been torn down. Upon seeing this, a group of women decided to take a stand and protect the building from being demolished. They succeeded, and the saving of Davenport House launched the preservation of many others. The group grew and became the Historic Savannah Foundation. In 1966, Savannah’s historic downtown was listed on the National Register as a National Landmark.
Restaurants, Shopping and Fun
Savannah offers many amazing restaurants, and I was lucky enough to visit several, including riverfront dining and a pirate-themed restaurant in the oldest house in Savannah. For Southern fare, try the warm and welcoming The Lady and Sons. Fried chicken, cornmeal hoecakes and okra are some must-try specialties.
Cobblestone River Street along the riverfront is lined with restaurants, cute shops and fun bars where you can always find something to do. Caricature and balloon artists set up shop here, too, always ready to put a smile on someone’s face.
Whatever you’re looking for, whether its live music, karaoke, museums, dance or even theater, Savannah truly has it all. A fun, vibrant city with lots to see and do, Savannah has a warm and welcoming atmosphere, friendly people and stunning architecture. I can’t wait to go back.