Savannah, Georgia is a wonderful city full of grace, history, and southern style. By day or night Savannah’s charm is likely to capture you and once you meet the super friendly people or partake in a meal you’ll definitely come back.
Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia and at one time it served as the state capitol. It has the nation’s largest historic district with more than 1000 buildings within a 2.5 square mile area. The promise and pain of American history in the south is on display everywhere from the more than 20 charming squares and parks in the area to the numerous monuments and of course restaurants, hotels and shopping. I don’t celebrate antebellum southern history but I can’t help but appreciate the gentile beauty this historic town offers.
Here’s my list of places to visit:
1. Visit the First African Baptist Church of Savannah, home of the first black congregation in North America. The congregation was founded in 1773, and the church was organized in 1788. There are so many symbols of the churches history to see:
– The church was a stop on the underground railroad.
– You can see holes in the sanctuary floor that served as airholes when they hid runaway slaves there.
– Admire the sculptures of the founders and Pastors from the 18th century.
– View the beautiful stained glassed windows of the first pastors.
2. Visit Chippewa Square the scene of the Forrest Gump Movie. Savannah has served as backdrop to several movies including “Forrest Gump”, “Roots”, “Midnight in the garden of good and evil”, and “Something to Talk About”.
3. Explore African American history at The Beach Institute, the first school for freed slaves was built by the Freedmen’s Bureau in 1867 and established by the American Missionary Association of churches. Today, The Beach Institute serves as an African American Cultural Arts Center. There is an extensive art collection available to view including an original Elizabeth Catlett woodcut on display in the museum, pretty amazing.
4. Visit the King-Tisdell Cottage on the ground of the Beach Institute and see a typical black coastal residence of the 1890s and many artifacts.
5. Walk around or dance down City Market Square. It’s the heart of historic downtown and a fun, relaxing atmosphere full of activity, shops, music and people. I don’t know if I timed it right but there was live music playing every time I was there.
6. Have a homemade treat while at City Market. Try the Pralines at Savannah Candy Kitchen or walk to E Broughton Street and get some homemade ice cream from Leopold’s.
7. Take a picture with a statue in one of the historic squares.
8. Stroll along River Street, a popular cobblestone street along the south bank of the Savannah River. It’s the perfect place to people watch, get your portrait drawn by a local artist or just stroll the streets lined with numerous touristy boutiques, shops and restaurants.
9. Take a cooking class and visit the Mansion on Forsyth Park. This Victorian-Romanesque Revival mansion serves as a hotel, spa, cooking school, and evening hot spot for jazz as well as being a historic landmark. The mansion houses an exquisite American and European art collection and it sits directly across from the gorgeous and serene Forsyth Park.
10. Indulge and enjoy southern cuisine at Savannah’s fine dining restaurants. I dined at The Olde Pink House restaurant near Reynolds Square and fell in love with the Crispy Scored Flounder with Apricots. It was an incredible blend of savory and sweet fish, pan grilled to perfection. I’m looking forward to having it again.
Not only was the food excellent the restaurant location has quite a history too. The Olde Pink House was built as a private mansion in 1771, but it’s also been a bank, a bookstore and a speakeasy. As well, during the war it was used by the military like any good southern mansion.
There is so much more to explore in Savannah that I’m already planning to go back. I hope to see you there.