While Savannah was built around the cotton industry, this is not where cotton is typically grown. Georgia's best cotton producing region is in the southwest corner of the state, including Dooly, Colquitt, Worth and Mitchell counties. These four counties together produce more than one fifth of the state's total cotton crop.
Did you know:
Georgia ranks second in the U.S. in cotton planted acres and 4th in number of bales produced each year.
Cotton is the most widely grown row crop in Georgia.
We recently took a little one day trip to Savannah with our kids and it was amazing. There are plenty of books for the walking tours that you can do yourself. These are nice, but the city is large and if your not wearing the right shoes, this can prove to be very tiring. I do not recommend flip flops! We took a trolley tour. This not only provides you with some history on the city, and the main historical sites and areas you want to tour, but also is your on/off transportation through the city.
We had been to Savannah once previously without the kids, and we took the White "Old Savannah Tours" bus. On our trip with the kids we took the Orange and Green "Historical Tours of America" Tour. Take the White one. Really. It has much better narration on the city and makes more stops. The trolleys come about every 7 mins and focus more on the "history" than the other tour did. These tour trolleys were also very "open" no windows. The other one had windows, they don't go down all the way, and it is stifling hot.
One of the best places to take some time at with kids is the Forsyth Park Fountain. Bring a towel so the kids can dry off afterwards. But this is a nice way for kids to cool off while you plan where to get off and explore next after you reboard your trolley. Ellis Square has a fountain as well, but it is just not as beautiful as Forsyth Park by any means.
The riverfront is very nice if you like to shop in the classic tourist shops that you can find in any tourist destination. It is hot though. There just is not a breeze down there. And walking on the cobblestones can prove tiring. When the huge container ships come in though it is a nice sight to see.
I would definitely get off and spend time in the Cathedral of John the Baptist. Amazing inside. Well worth getting off and strolling through the pews, and lighting a candle with a prayer.
All the history alone is well worth spending a day there. My next trip will be later in the evening and I am dying to take a ghost tour. You would be amazed at how many people are buried under the city.
Savannah Bike Tours.
Take a leisurely ride thru the city on 1-sped bikes, from interesting place to interesting place. Dee is your guide, and tells you what happened there, or why it's important. 2 hours, and very affordable. A good choice to do this when you first get into town.
I take such a trip almost every time that I visit a place for the first time...but in Savannah, it was special. As it turned out, our guide was an amazing character who had lived his entire life in Savannah, and had worked for the local Historical Society. He is actually in charge of training the guides for the tour. As you move from square to square (Savannah is a city of squares), he can recall almost every detail. He knows ALL of the history of the city, black and white, and has insights into local black culture which is not commonly found among white people. Among other things, he speaks Gullah (an English dialect spoken only by blacks on the barrier islands) fluently, and can offer insights into the black religious beliefs brought down directly from African slaves. He tells the whole story, no holds barred. An exceptional experience. When the whole trip was complete, he took no tips (apparently he is independently wealthy, and does this for FUN), and thanked us for listening to him. While I cannot recall the gentleman's name, I have never had such a tour experience anywhere else. I am told that he only does two tours per week, usually weekday mornings.
the independant presbyterian church was designed by john holden greene and was built in 1817. the design was modeled after st. martins-in-the-fields in london. the original church burned in 1889 and william gibbons preston rebuilt a replica of the original. preston was an important architect of the late 19 th century, noted for his romanesque designs.
There are endless options for guided tours in Savannah, buses, mini vans and trolleys packed with tourists pass by at a alarmingly frequent pace, people adorned with Old Town Trolley Tour stickers are everywhere. We decided to do our own tour after finding a self guided walking tour book at the Visitors Center ($5.95). The booklet is broken down into four different walking tours and in our one day in Savannah we managed to do three of them and part of the fourth. The booklet doesn't have a lot of detail on what you are seeing but I had printed out the history of the squares and the houses from _______, combined with the historical markers that appear in front of the houses and in the squares, you couldn't possibly want anymore information.
We took Blue Orb Ghost Tours Midnight Zombies Tour. I recommend this because it is a great way to enjoy some late night adult fun that doesnt center on alchohol. Savannah has an open container law so alchoholic drinks in plastic cups are allowed. It starts in the southern part of the historic district which is beautiful and intriguing but uncongested. Parking was free after 6pm and the tour was led by Tobias McGriff, Blue Orbs founder. We visited a hidden cemetery (1100 bodies in unmarked graves from the 18th century), a very active property ob Abercorn street that few people know about and no other tour does. We were taken to Savannah's version of Amytiville, The Mercer House form the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil book/movie and heard little known tales about the home "accused of murder". From there we visited the home of the first Doctor in the United States to take an X-ray photograph and saw where his lab was and now his ghost that has been seen by congressman among other people for over 50 years. The house was also the site of an exorcism and an attempted "reverse exorcism" by the Episcopal church. In fact there were two houses on the stop that had exorcisms performed whihc is to say the tour was a blast and very active. We saw the Masonic library also a T.A.P.S. investigation site. It was the best $ we spent the whole time we were in Savannah. Tobias McGriff and Blue Orb were awesome.
On a recent visit to Savannah it was recommended to take a self-guided walking tour by a friend who lives there. Surprisingly it was one of the highlights of the trip! It was great to explore the city at a leisurely pace, take breaks whenever the time felt right and learn a lot about the city.
Before leaving for the trip, both The Savannah Walking Tour & Guidebook which arrived via hard-copy and The Savannah Self-Guided Walking Tour (e-Book version) was purchased before arriving. The hard-copy was $7 and the e-Book was $3.99. Both tours were unique, had different routes and can be purchased online - these are both highly recommend for anyone who wants to learn about and have a great time in Savannah .
There is a swamp in the middle of the Sea Pines Plantation that has about 50 acres of pristine lush vegetation that is untouched. You can walk along paths and over bridges and see the animals and waterfowl here as well as what a swamp looks like. It is a fun tour that take 1-2 hours
On my last trip to Savannah (one of my favorite cities to visit!), my husband and I stumbled upon a gem - The Time Machine Portrait Company. I'll be honest: at first I thought it was an antique store because of the shop's incredible collection of old-fashioned decorations. But it was actually an Old Time photography studio, with four sets that look VERY convincing.
My personal favorite was their Wild West Saloon, which was equipped with a real piano! I loved getting dressed up as a sexy Saloon girl, and my husband was delighted with the pair of silver pistols he was given to sport in the photo shoot. It was really fun to pretend we were different people in a different time, even if it was just for a few minutes. But we have a priceless set of photos to remember it with!
If anyone is looking for something fun to do in Savannah besides bar hop and sight-see, a visit to this photo studio is a MUST!
Boiled peanuts are a southern specialty beloved by locals. The taste is similar to garbanzo beans, but not quite. I think they're more of an acquired taste, but you should try them anyway— maybe you'll like them.
The easiest way to introduce yourself to Savannah is to walk from the River Street to Forsyth Park (or the other way around) on Bull Street, which runs through the middle of the historic district. From Bull Street you can branch out to your left or right to see other streets and squares. It is essential that you walk in Savannah. Its charm lies mostly with the things you see while walking its streets.
Savannah was founded in 1733 and was the first capitol of Georgia when it was both a colony and later a state. Savannah is considered America's first planned city, with its square blocks and large squares. In the American Revolution, Savannah was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the war, which turned into a major British victory. Near the end of the Civil War, General William Tecumseh Sherman finished his infamous "march to the sea" at Savannah in December 1864. Even after the Civil War, Savannah remained a key city in the cotton industry and one of the largest cotton ports in the world.
Savannah's downtown area was designated a National Historic Landmark Districts in 1966. This area, including the Savannah Historic District, the Savannah Victorian Historic District and 21 squares is one of the largest historic districts in the United States.
On Bay Street near the Cotton Exchange building, is an usual copper-topped structure containing a bell. This bell was minted in 1802 and once hung in the City Exchange. The City Exchange was basically the town's predecessor to City Hall. The City Exchange was completed in 1801 and served as the home of the custom house, post office, various military units, and various city offices. The building was demolished in 1904 and replaced by the City Hall building in the same location. In 1957 the bell was placed in this replica of the original bell tower.
A plaque beside the bell reads:
Old City Exchange Bell
This bell, which is believed to be the oldest in Georgia, bears the date 1802. Imported from Amsterdam, it hung in the cupola of the City Exchange from 1804 until a short time before that building was razed to make way for the present City Hall.
In its day, the bell signaled the closing time for shops and was rung by a watchman when fire broke out. Its rich tones were heard in celebration of American victories during the War of 1812.
It pealed a welcome to such distinguished visitors to Savannah as Monroe, LaFayette, Polk, Fillmore, Clay and Webster and it tolled tributes for America’s illustrious dead.
The tower of the City Exchange, where the bell hung, was a favorite resort of those anxious about arrival of vessels. The replica of the tower in which the historic bell presently reposes was erected in 1957 through the combined efforts of the Savannah Chamber of Commerce, the Pilot Club of Savannah and the Savannah-Chatham Historic Site and Monument Commission.
This was a nice tour of an old working plantation not far from Savannah. It has been 15 years since seeing this site, so if I could remember what it was, I would list it. However, there are other plantations around the Savannah area that can be toured. Wormsloe Plantation is one operated by the State, but do not expect much. It is a ruin, and only some tabby shells remain besides an arched entrance
We stayed in a wonderful room overlooking the garden. You are treated like royalty in this fine...more
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When we went to Savannah for our honeymoon we loved it so much we had to return the following year....more