Another road trip and this time we headed to the beautiful historic township of Savannah. And the best thing about this road trip – we were fortunate enough to spend two nights here.
Our accommodation was an incredibly beautiful Inn, The Ballastone, which was built in 1773 and is located in the heart of the historic district and comes complete with its own ghost. The Ballastone is one of many B & B’s of the district and they host an afternoon tea for their guests every afternoon at 4pm sharp.
The Ballastone Inn
The Ballastone’s sitting room
The beautiful southern belle town of Savannah has a reputation (thank goodness for that) and it is all courtesy of her beauty, history and charm. Once in Savannah you will find there are two types of people: those who are true Southerners’ and those who wished they were. This is a lovely town that has been settled along the Savannah river about 32 km upriver from the Atlantic ocean. Savannah is surrounded by swamps and it is one of the oldest townships in America. It is full of stunning Antebellum architecture, beautiful mansions, avenues of live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, incredible history, antiques, ghosts – Savannah is one of the most haunted towns in America and original cobblestone and oyster shell streets and lanes.
We visited in winter and it was cold. Very,very cold in fact which was possibly due to the remnants of the polar vortex. Given that, Savannah also experiences equally hot humid summers. One old local told us ‘summers are so hot an’ sticky that walkin’ around is like wadin’ through quick sand. You have to go real slow ’cause if you go any faster than an old turtle you’ll just die’.
Things to do in Savannah:
1) Walk! Savannah is a great walking destination and her charm lies in the ‘historic district’. And the best way to see it is on foot. Walk and you will see so much more. Walk and you can take in and appreciate the true splendour of Savannah’s historic mansions and Antebellum homes.
2) After the historic district, stroll the waterfront on tabby streets. Tabby streets are the old streets made of old primitive concrete and oyster shells and River Street is where you will find the old cotton warehouses which now accommodate restaurants and galleries.
3) If you are unable to or don’t want to walk, take a trolley tour. This is a great way to get around Savannah to see and hear about her history. The Oglethorpe Trolley Tours (they are the blue trolleys) are the only company endorsed by the Savannah Historical Society.
3) Walk the squares. Around the historic district are Savannah’s squares. These squares are like little parklands with a fountain or monument in the centre surrounded by lush green magnolia trees or oaks and grass and plants. Each square varies, some are more glamorous than others and all are encompassed by beautiful houses and buildings. There are about 22 in all to experience.
4) Eat! See below.
5) Food – some of these I can personally recommend, others come courtesy of the locals. Here’s mine: *Dine out at Vic’s – great wine list, great cocktails and really really lovely food (definitely try the lump crab cakes) plus you get a wonderful view of the Savannah River with its passing cargo ships. *Leopold’s Ice Creamery – pretty darn good ice cream and do try the butter pecan…..although the rum bisque is right up there as well. *Zunzi’s – a fab little ‘hole in the wall place’ with great food and absolutely try their ‘conquistador’. *Green Truck Pub for the best burgers this side of I have no idea where!
The locals recommendations: *Goose Feathers café – get in early though and don’t be put off by the line as we were. Americans will happily line up for pretty much anything. *The Olde Pink House – built in 1771 and swathed in pink stucco this is the restaurant the locals love to dine at and recommend. We tried it but were very disappointed. It is overpriced and over-rated and the food was rather average for such a sophisticated (and expensive) dining facility. *Paula Deens ‘Lady and Sons’ restaurant (I’m not a fan of commercialised ‘celebrity’ places such as these), *Papillote (French food to go) and *Sweet Spice (Jamaican).
6) See the churches – just beautiful and very serene
7) Walk through the cemetery – not a spooky as it sounds with plots dating back to 1700.
8) Visit Forsyth Park – a stunning park where the line of oak trees forms a tunnel that leads to the parks magnificent 1858 fountain. On a very cold winters day we sat on a park bench, our hands warmed with a steaming cup of coffee and watched the world pass by.
We were out day and night in Savannah and fear we only scratched the surface of this lovely town.
Scenes of Savannah:
The streets of Savannah are lined with beautiful arching live oaks that drip with Spanish moss. It is a hauntingly beautiful sight but don’t touch the moss – chiggers live in it!
Forsyth Parks’ 1858 fountain
In one of the many Savannah squares
Cocktails at Vic’s
This is an outlet for a drainpipe – one of the loveliest I have ever seen
Footnote: Chiggers are the larvae of harvest mites and they feast on human skin cells.