THINGS TO DO IN SAVANNAH GEORGIA
My visit to Savannah was short but it was really sweet. After leaving stormy Atlanta in one November evening, warm Savannah welcomed me. The scenery that mature Live Oak Trees with Spanish Moss and architecture of the historical downtown of Savannah fascinated me. No wonder that 13 million Tourists visit Savannah annually and city receives awards like Best Historic City (#4) by USA Today Reader’s Choice Award, America’s Top 10 Waterfronts by USA Today etc.…
I started exploring Savannah by passing through Bull Street as every tourist should in order to get to know city better. Along the 10-block street, you can see cars, pedestrians, bikes, skateboards, carriages, and trolleys and capture slow city ambiance all in all.
When I was passing through the Bull Street, I realized that many of the buildings homes etc. were very old historical buildings, which is nearly impossible to find in United States. This surprising ambiance assured me that I should do some historical research about the city.
HISTORY OF SAVANNAH
Savannah, which looked like little Spanish Town to me, was build around 1733. You might think this is not really historical at all. But for United States, it is indeed very historical considering nations short history.
When the first British Colonist James Edward Oglethorpe arrived to Savannah in 1733, native Yamacraw Trible was living there. He negated with the chief of the tribe and settled some defensive forts, which still continues to exist.
Soon he came up with Oglethorpe Plan to build the City of Savannah. Which makes Savannah the first planned city of the United States. It is rumoured that he took inspiration from Paris when he came up with the plan and build the city around squares. Most of Savannah's squares are named in honour or in memory of a person, persons or historical event, and many contain monuments, markers, memorials, statues, plaques, and other tributes.
During American Civil War, even American General William Tecumseh Sherman couldn’t agree to fire Savannah unlike rest of the Georgia.
That much exploring and research makes everybody hungry. So I searched for top Savannah Restaurant to experience southern cuisine.
From my first meeting with a local I understand that eating in Savannah is serious thing. Our conversation was something like this:
A: Hello, nice to meet you
Me: Nice to meet you, too.
A: When did you arrive?
A: Ohh, so where did you eat???
Then I get eating is first priority business in Savannah. One reason for that can be Southern Tradition and habits and second is definitely delicious food! (Especially seafood, I am a sea food addict I confess)
There are lots of amazing restaurants in Savannah. But Locals go to Clarys Cafe for Breakfast, Leopolds for ice cream and The Olde Pink House for Dinner.
My first official dining in Savannah was at the Olde Pink House, which was built as a mansion in 1772. I should thank people who recommended me this restaurant because not only I tasted amazing savannah food but also I fulfilled my desire to visit very old traditional savannah house.
Later, I learned that it is one of the top Savannah Restaurants.At Olde Pink House (which s also known as savannah pink house), I started to dine with pimiento cheese straws. It is basically thin and long melted cheese sticks and they taste divine J Then as appetizer I ate fried green tomatoes which is speciality of Savannah. But the peak point of my experience was main course; Shrimp and Grits. It is one of the iconic Southern dishes which is combination of creamy grits and very very fresh shrimp. Lovely!
THINGS TO DO IN SAVANNAH GA
- Pay your respects to Forest Gump :)
If you are a movie freak, this detail will catch your attention. As I mentioned above city is built around squares. One of the most popular of these square parks is near Bull Street. What makes this square so special is that the movie Forest Gump was filmed in here.
- Experience SCAD
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is the most largest art college in the United States. And Savannah itself feels like huge campus for SCAD. You can see reflections of SCAD’s work everywhere in Savannah. For example, SCAD administration bought old houses in the historical downtown that are about to be demolished. And they assigned these buildings to their students as a project of redesigning and renovation. This project gave great results for the city of Savannah and SCAD gained considerable reputation with this project. When you see that renovated hip and cool old buildings, it makes you return to collage and be a student again… in Savannah of course J
For deeper experience, make sure to visit SCAD Museum of Art.
- Discover Savannah Historic District
Your trip to Savannah cant be completed without walking through Savannah Historic District. Because it is the hearth and soul of the city! With amazing historical buildings, squares filled with romantic Oak trees with Spanish Mosses hanging, savannah historic district is like a beautiful dream… No wonder it was declared a National Historic Landmark District in 1966 by U.S. government.
- See a Real Ghost !
One of the unusual things to do in Savannah is to attend Ghost Tours. Many travel agencies offer ghost so that guests can see a real ghost in haunted locations like Historic District, including Colonial Park Cemetery and the Hampton Lillibridge House. During these visits, tour guides also give info about the local impact of events such as the Revolutionary War and Yellow Fever epidemic… I haven’t done this tour due to limited time but next time it is on the top of my “to do” list.
- Garden Experience for Blind People
This is very very unique experience. The Fragrant Garden At Forsyth Park offers garden experience for blind people. I was told that cement wall built around the park helps to capture fragrance of many beautiful flowers planted inside. Also there are many different types of birds, which makes Fragrant Garden even happier place :)
- Visit Founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low's Birthplace
Although it is a mecca of girl scouts, you don’t need to be a little girl to enjoy touring this house. Aside from being birthplace home of Juliette Gordon Low, this house sets an excellent example of Victorian Architecture. Plus, it has the most authentic gift shop ever!
- Relax at Tybee Island, Savannah Beach
Tybee Island is well connected to Savannah and it is just 20-minute drive away from the city. So if you want to walk along long White sand beaches or enjoy Chrystal clear water, make sure to add Tybee Island to you trip itinerary. If you want to spend the night, Tybee island hotels are very beautiful, too. If you are spending the night, just make sure to visit Tybee island lighthouse, too.