I am back! This week’s blog is all about Savannah! I was there for 3 days and LOVED every minute of my visit. Walking the streets of Savannah, Georgia is literally like stepping into a time machine to the 1800s. Cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and antebellum architecture give the city its historic beauty. This is a place you should visit, not only for its history and charm, but Savannah is an instant de-stressor. And let’s be honest, we could all use a bit less stress in our lives. I can see why my brother has visited the city several times, and it is one of my new favorite places to travel in the U.S.
All About Savannah
Before my trip, I hadn’t explored much of the South (and I don’t count South Florida as “the South”) and was unsure of what to expect, but it won me over with my very first stroll through the Historic District. Before I get into why Savannah should be on your top US cities to visit, here are some interesting facts:
- The city is known as “America’s First Planned City” and was originally the capital of Georgia (now it is Atlanta).
- It is considered the most haunted city in the United States because it is built above a burial group and also has a lot of dark history.
- Savannah’s First African Baptist Church was the country’s first black church.
- Catholicism was outlawed when Savannah was founded.
- Savannah’s Spanish Moss trees are not Spanish Moss, but part of the pineapple family.
- Savannah was a Christmas gift to President Lincoln
With all that information, who is ready for Jeopardy? 😊 So, let’s talk about how to spend 3 days in Savannah.
Where to Stay in Savannah?
If you can, stay at a hotel on the Riverfront. You will not regret it! Initially, I planned to stay in the Courtyard, but my room was not ready. So I decided to walk around. Well, it was a big mistake for the Courtyard. I ended up on the Riverfront and decided that JW Marriot Plant District was going to be my home away from home. I canceled and booked! When I tell you membership has its benefits, I was upgraded and had a view of the Savannah River.
In addition to the JW Marriott hotel, there are a plethora of accommodations to suit all budgets during a trip to Savannah. Make sure to send me an inquiry, I can curate an itinerary for you.
How to Get Around?
I opted not to get a rental car. When I started planning for my trip, I noticed that parking was not free at any hotels. I did not think it was cost-effective to pay for a rental and parking, especially when the downtown/historic district is walkable. So, I let my feet get all the action and it was a good way to burn off all the food I ate. Just to give you an idea, I spent about $120 with Lyft and included roundtrip from/to the airport.
Where to Eat in Savannah?
You can’t go wrong with any restaurant in Savannah. The food is good and flavorful. For breakfast, make sure to check out Two Cracked Eggs. I had the best shrimp and grits with a mimosa.
For lunch or dinner, check out the Olde Pink House. The ambiance and charm make this restaurant an A+ and the food is good.
Day One and Two: Get Acquainted with Savannah
I walked the Downtown/Historic District of Savannah, and it was the best way to experience the city. It is about 2.1 square miles! Please don’t ask me to convert lol. During my walk, I noticed so many square parks and found out that there are about 22 of them. The greenery, the fountains, the cobblestone, just made me fall in love with the city. I think I visited all of them, but don’t quote me on them. Check out my top squares.
Chippewa Square was designed in 1815 and named to commemorate the Battle of Chippewa in the War of 1812. In the center stands a bronze statue of the colony’s founder, General James Edward Oglethorpe, who faces south protecting Savannah from the Spanish in Florida.
Located on the Square: First Baptist Church, the Savannah Theatre, and the Eastman-Stoddard House. Also known as Forrest Gump Square, the bus stop scenes from the Oscar-winning motion picture were filmed on the north end of the square.
By the way, the Forrest Gump bench is no longer there 🙁 They moved it to preserve it.
The park is adorned by monuments to the Confederate Soldier, the Marine Corps Monument, the Spanish-American Monument, and the Fragrant Garden for the Blind. The Forsyth Park Fountain is one of the most visited attractions by visitors to Savannah.
Wright Square was designed in 1733 and named for Sir James Wright, Georgia’s third and last colonial governor. The monument in the square honors William Washington Gordon, an early mayor of Savannah who established the Central of Georgia Railroad. The large boulder marks the grave of Tomochichi, the Yamacraw Indian Chief who welcomed General Oglethorpe and the first colonists.
Washington Square was designed in 1790 and named to honor George Washington, the first President of the United States. Some of the oldest houses in Savannah reside on this square.
Statutes and Monuments
Throughout the Historic District of Savannah, you’ll find many statues and monuments. Below are some of my favorites
Cracked Earth Monument – A World Apart
The World War II monument is also known as “The Cracked Earth” monument. The two halves of the globe are split, representing the conflict of a world divided. The monument is lit at night, and inside are the names of all who served from Chatham county, a Purple Heart, and a WWII Victory medal
The most prominent homage to black history in Savannah, the African American Family Monument is found on River Street, depicting a newly emancipated family of four standing together in an embrace. While the figures are positioned to face both the Savannah River and the west coast of Africa, their modern clothing and the broken chains at their feet symbolize a new beginning in the Americas.
The Haitian Monument in Franklin Square honors the largest unit of men of African descent who were recruited from present-day Haiti to serve in the Revolutionary War.
Johnny Mercer Statue
The statue honors the native Savannahian who wrote the song “Baby, It’s cold outside” and nearly 1,400 others. Mercer co-founded Capitol Records, Inc. and was the founding president of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Day Three: Bonaventure Cemetery and Wormsloe Historic Site
On my last full day in Savannah, and where the bulk of my Lyft expenditures, was visiting Bonaventure Cemetery and Wormsloe Historic. Both sites are outside of the Downtown/Historic District and require transportation. My first stop is the Bonaventure Cemetery.
My friend kept telling me that I had to do Bonaventure Cemetery. In my mind, I was thinking about who wants to visit a cemetery. It is so boring. What could be interesting about it? Well, I was wrong! I signed up with Bonaventure Cemetery Tour (cost $30) and learned a lot about Savannah’s ancestors. Interesting facts you should know:
- It was first established in 1846 and was originally known as Evergreen Cemetery.
- In 1907, the City of Savannah purchased the Evergreen Cemetery and changed its name to Bonaventure Cemetery.
- It has expanded from the original 60 acres to nearly 103 acres.
- It was common for families to meet and picnic, while still providing comfort and solace for the bereaved friends or relatives of those buried there.
Our tour guide provided some interesting stories, such as:
- One tombstone had etched Arabian slaves. He wanted to show people that he did not own African slaves. (I stayed quiet on that one)
- One Confederate soldier was a “die-hard soldier” that he had bequeathed that the tombstones and beaches face South and the back was towards North because of his “hatred” of the North
- Little Gracie, a child who died at the age of 7, was so beloved by the community that over 25,000 people mourned her death. Her parents left Savannah and never returned and became a recluse
- Johnny Mercer had an affair with Judy Garland. He asked his wife for a divorce, and she said no. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor and found a surgeon to remove it. However, the surgery incapacitated him, and he ended up mute (karma).
- Julie Backus Smith, a marathoner, and athlete died by suicide when she found out her husband had an extramarital affair that produced a child. She was unable to have children and that crushed her.
- As you walk through the cemetery, you will see symbols that represent the Confederate soldiers
Below are some pictures that were captured during the tour.
Wormsloe Historic District
The next stop was Wormsloe Historic District. I will be honest, I was disappointed! I was expecting to see a Plantation home, I got the remnants of one. The good news is that I was able to get some great pictures from the historic road. The cost was $10.00
I didn’t spend money on tours, because Savannah is the kind of city that lends itself to wandering. My favorite thing to do in Savannah is just to wander and explore the squares and beautiful homes. It might not be official “sightseeing,” but it certainly isn’t a waste of time in my book!
I hope you all enjoyed reading about my time in Savannah and discovering the best 3-day itinerary. Make sure to check out my other blogs. Contact me when you are ready to travel domestically or internationally. I am here to curate a trip for you, your friends, and your family.
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