Sweet Savannah

A visitor can easily slip back in time strolling the 2.5 square miles of elegant cobblestoned landscape that comprises historic Savannah.

 

The downtown is a living museum and one of the nation’s largest Historic Landmark Districts. Restored antebellum mansions mingle with handsome dwellings from other eras.

 

Building blocks of red brick, tabby, coquina, sandstone, stucco and wood have been employed in graceful proportion to create a very pleasant urban space.

 

On clear days sunlight filters through Spanish moss hanging from large oaks in 21 grassy squares. And it’s all walkable.

 

Laid out in 1733 by James Ogelthorpe, the city plan was based on the

British Enlightenment philosophy, at the time, of social equity and civil virtue. Lawyers, Spaniards, Catholics and spirits were not allowed.

 

Times have changed, but the celebrated framework of Ogelthorpe’s plan remains. It's what makes Savannah special.

 

Click once on any image to enlarge.

A 'Pop Art' filter on my Olympus camera gave a Warhol poster effect.

Our accommodations were straight from the 60's — the 1960's.  The Thunderbird Inn, "Hippest Hotel in Savannah", opened in 1964. Restored to a "T", USA Today rates it among the top 10 retro hotels in the country. A Krispy Kreme breakfast and little Moon Pie on the pillow isn't exactly a Weight Watchers' diet, but it's fun. Free parking and literally beside the entire historic district, it's what motels used to be.

 

At 10:00 AM we meet city guide Jonathon in Chippewa Square beneath a statue of Georgia Colony founder James O. for our pre-booked architectural tour. We’re an informal group of 8. Notebook in hand, Jonathon takes us through some fascinating history.

Azaleas and magnolias blossom in the spring...

...while decorative art is liable to pop up anytime.

Dining tends to be informal, centered around City Market, Riverfront Plaza and as little surprises throughout the colonial districts.

Savannah: originally built as a buffer to Spanish Florida, site of a major defeat during the War of 1812, an industrial power when cotton was king, and now a major port, military base  and tourist center.

We were having a drink on the rooftop bar of the Bohemian Hotel where I asked a couple if I could take their picture with the port in the background. I thanked them and sensed it was time to quickly bow out. A few minutes later there was a mild commotion among patrons as the young man proposed. Nice surprise!

There's dining and shopping activity day and night along River Street.

Colonial Park Cemetery is a pleasant spot though maybe scarrry on halloween.

It's not without good reason the city has several ghost tours.

Photos, text and design 

© Gary Crallé 2016

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