ideal towns >> savannah, ga
Savannah — Get Transported to Another Time
by Nancy Gross
You’ll be transported to a bygone era as you walk along the cobblestone streets of Savannah, GA, with its manicured gardens and shady oak trees draped with silvery Spanish moss. Take in Savannah’s extraordinary mansions, churches and museums from your seat in a horse-drawn carriage.
Picturesque Savannah is the largest National Historic Landmark District in the country. Many amazing buildings have been saved and restored, including The Olde Pink House (1789), the site of Georgia’s first bank and the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (1876), one of the city’s most stunning pieces of architecture.
Much of Savannah’s charm lies in strolling through its 22verdant public squares. In Chippewa Square, there’s a magnificent bronze statue of Savannah’s founder, James Edward Oglethorpe. This square is also the place where Tom Hanks sat on a bench and told his life story in the movie Forrest Gump.
Another fantastic green space is Forsyth Park, a 30-acre landmark on the edge of the city’s historic district. The park is home to one of Savannah’s most photographed attractions: a two-tiered cast-iron fountain.
Savannah is also famous for its haunted destinations. Ghost tours abound, including one of the Bonaventure Cemetery. This cemetery is famous because of John Berendt’s book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which features a cover photo of the “Bird Girl” statue. The statue has since been moved to the Telfair Museum of Art.
The Telfair Museum of Art houses more than 4,500 works of art: Impressionist paintings, plaster casts of such renowned works as the Venus de Milo and period furniture. The Telfair Museum also includes the Jepson Center and the Owen-Thomas House.
You’ll love walking along the scenic riverfront and watching the ships pass by, and you don’t want to miss taking a relaxing riverboat cruise.
For unique shopping and dining, visit River Street with its 75 boutiques, galleries, restaurants and pubs. Enjoy quirky shops and open-air cafés at the City Market.
Savannah’s historic beauty has made the city world famous, but it’s also famous for its diverse culture and true Southern hospitality. There’s no place quite like Savannah.
- B. Matthews Eatery, located in the heart of the historic district, is best known for its delicious brunches.
- Elizabeth on 37th is a romantic, award-winning restaurant incorporating fresh, local seafood and produce in Southern-influenced dishes. Don’t miss the impressive wine list and famous Savannah cream cake.
- Leopold’s Ice Cream still features the original soda fountain, and with more than 20 amazing flavors, customers have been calling it an ice cream heaven since 1919.
- Local 11 Ten sits in a restored 1950s-era downtown bank and is a casual, elegant restaurant devoted to popular Southern flavors using local
ingredients. Intimate, candle-lit tables align the street-front windows.
- The Olde Pink House’s inventive Southern cuisine is served in a beautiful 18th century mansion featuring outdoor dining and nightly entertainment.
Top Things To Do
- The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist With its French Gothic architecture, this is one of the most stunning buildings in Savannah.
- Fort Pulaski National Monument This 19th-century fort remains intact with moats, drawbridges, enormous ramparts and mysterious tunnels.
- Jepson Center Devoted to the art of today, the contemporary Jepson Center offers major traveling exhibitions of contemporary art and installations of works from the permanent collection.
- The Mercer Williams House Museum Recently opened for the first time since the completion of renovations, the home features 18th- and 19th-century furniture, 18th-century English and American portraits and Chinese export porcelain.
- The Savannah Theatre The historic Savannah Theatre presents live theater, local musicals, variety shows and concerts.
- The Sorrel Weed House This state landmark is a fine example of Greek Revival and Regency architecture.
- Telfair Academy This former mansion features two 19th-century period rooms and 19th- and 20th-century American and European art.
- Victorian District Take a stroll or carriage ride through the Victorian District and see highly-detailed Victorian and Queen Anne Victorian homes constructed between 1870 and 1880.