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News just in; Disneyland may no longer hold the title for the happiest place on earth!  It’s competition? Savannah, Georgia!

Savannah was our first stop on our recent road trip from Florida, and what a way to start the trip! It’s beauty and charm is something straight from the pages of a fairytale.  It’s more romantic than Paris, it’s more friendly than Australia, and with more character than London.  It’s seen a colorful past of pirates, cotton, slaves and civil war; a site of many famous Revolutionary & Civil War Battles.  It’s historical preservation is beyond anything I have experienced in the United States, but then again it is the largest National Historic Landmark District in the country! 

Savannah is the most beautiful city in the world and I’m in love!!

Savannah Georgia

Savannah: Largest National Historic Landmark District in the United States

I’m not kidding about being in love – walking the streets of Savannah puts you on a natural high.  Our exhaustion from having driven 8 hours from Florida was instantly replaced with a buzzing sensation and a need to take in this whole magical place.

From the moment we walked out of our hotel music filled the air.  Cobblestone streets led us to the City Market where musicians provided live outdoor entertainment to those enjoying a relaxing Sunday evening.  We passed more horse and carriages and trolley tours than we did cars.

We passed historic mansions, houses and buildings; each which had it’s own individual character and each which had a story to tell.  Each street leads to a different town square, all of which are decked out with fountains, park benches and different monuments celebrating the heritage of the area.  Hundred year old gnarled and twisted trees line the streets, parks and squares, drizzling a canopy of Spanish Moss.  It reignited the feeling of romance.

Savannah Forsyth Square

Walking under a canopy of Spanish Moss in Forsyth Sqaure

Savannah

Savannah re-ignites romance!  Myself and Mike.

The town plan was completed in 1733, and it’s by far one of the most well planned towns I have encountered to date!  Being so pedestrian friendly, we spent the whole evening exploring the historic district on foot and quickly made it to Forsyth Park – where do I even begin?!

It’s absolutely beautiful.  There is no shortage of Spanish Moss, nor is there a shortage of park itself. The area is HUGE and on a Sunday afternoon was the hub of all sporting and social activity.

Savannah is a melting pot of ethnicity, but there is no racism.  Not in Savannah. The city has a way of turning strangers into friends, and making visitors feel right at home.  People from all walks of life mingle in the parks – music fills the air as a gentleman strums his guitar.  A Sunday afternoon football game is played on one side of the park while dogs chase Frisbee’s on the other.  A street basketball game is in session and tennis courts are packed.  The outdoor recreation facilities available to the public are unbelievable.

Sports and

Sunday night basketball.

Forsyth Park; Social Hub of Savannah

Forsyth Park; Social Hub of Savannah

A woman is sprayed out on the grass with her school books in a deep concentration.  An older gentleman is sitting on a park bench enjoying his favorite read.  Children play together – black, white, Asian, Caucasian – no-one cares about the color of your skin.  Everyone is smiling, everyone says hello.

I start feeling a pang of guilt every-time a jogger runs by me, trying to remember the last time I exercised!  Everyone is outside – everyone is active, and how can everyone in a town be so good looking…seriously…EVERYONE!!

Each person is incredibly well presented too.  There’s no grunge about Savannah – there is no dirt or grit.  There are no gangs, there is no graffiti; just an incredible sense of community.  It’s the kind of town where you would feel safe leaving your car unlocked. Even the homeless were friendly and social and clean.

Very family orientated city.

Savannah; the happiest place on earth!

Don’t let the town’s historic facade fool you – Savannah is a vibrant and progressive town which is fast becoming one of the top tourist destinations in the United States.  It’s an old town with a young crowd.  Savannah is a creative town; art galleries are everywhere; musicians can be found in every park square and there are street artists nearly everywhere.

So what’s the number one thing to do in Savannah?  Experience it on foot!

Walk through the historic district and admire the architecture.  Make your way to each town square and read the plaques to appreciate the history of the area. Visit Chippewa Square to say you’ve been to the park bench where Forrest Gump was filmed!  Take a horse and carriage ride around the cobbled streets.  People watch in Forsyth Park.  Dine on the waterfront.

Don't be fooled by the historical facade.  Savannah is a young town.

Don’t be fooled by the historical facade. Savannah is a young town.

Historic Savannah,

Historic Savannah,

Having lost all sense of time we arrived at the cobbled waterfront (River Street) very late into the evening.  The atmosphere was still electric regardless.  The water glistened against a backdrop of ships from all over the world (Savannah is fast becoming one of the busiest ports in the USA).  The air was filled with laughter, chatter, music (street performers were out with trumpets!) and that amazing smell of fresh seafood.  We grabbed fish & chips and watched the magical scene that was Savannah’s nightlife.

Sadly we had only allowed ourselves one day before driving onwards, however one day was all it took to ignite an incredible love for the city which will no doubt see us back there.

Savannah.

One of Savannah’s many squares.

Forsyth Park, Savannah.

Forsyth Park, Savannah.

Next Post: Where to stay in Savannah.

 

 About Megan Claire

Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    38 Comments

  1. This looks awesome! I would have never guessed. I love all the Spanish Moss!!

    • We had no idea either! Absolutely loved the whole town – the Spanish Moss was pretty awesome…made for cool photos!

  2. We spent our five-year anniversary in Savannah. It’s a beautiful city. Definitely agree on its arts scene. And lots of great food.

    • Congratulations on 5 years! It’s definitely the place you could celebrate an anniversary; hopefully our marriage is as strong as yours after 5 years :)

  3. Oh, how we love Savanna! We go at least twice a year. We were married at Tybee Island. I never tire of it.

    • Congratulations!! We didn’t get to Tybee Island, but all the more reason to go back right!!

  4. It looks SO pretty! I’ve been dying to go to Savannah after I read a book series about it. JetBlue now has direct flights from NYC so I need to get on it!

    • You won’t be disappointed!! We had absolutely no idea what it would be like – were just recommended that we stop overnight to see the city. What an amazing surprise!

  5. I think you just gave me an idea for a fall getaway! I love southern architecture and I could see myself enjoying those many squares.

    • You won’t be disappointed!! I just posted all of my photos to Facebook as well if you wanted to check out more pictures :) Make sure you look into DoubleTree – highly recommend their Savannah hotel :)

  6. As a fairly new resident of Savannah, we’ve been here about 6 years, we are still in love with downtown. We go often and always find something new to explore. I hope you get to come back and explore more, too! Don’t become too complacent by the charms of the city, though. As with all big towns, and small, I guess, crime is around and there are many places you don’t want to be. Love your blog!

    • Thanks Deanna! Will definitely be back to explore me – we absolutely loved the city … will keep that in mind though. As you said, I guess every city has certain places to avoid :)

      Thankyou!

  7. So glad you enjoyed my hometown. Also glad you didn’t experience anything negative. As Deanna posted there is crime here & never leave your car or home unlocked. Please visit again. I traveled AU & NZ for 6 weeks back in 1986. I loved it! You have some interesting places also. Did you know that many buildings in Sydney (the Custom House is one) were built using the same plans as some in SAV. We share some common history.

    • Thanks Beth :) Well there you go, no I didn’t know that about Sydney! Makes sense though because the historic part of Sydney has a lot of similarities to the town plan of Savannah.

      We definitely will visit again – keeping all doors locked when we’re back ;)

  8. Savannah is my hometown. I love the city, the people, the restaurants, the sense of community. While many of my friends developed wanderlust and moved away, I’ve never wanted to leave. This will always be home.

    However, I do have to say that it is NOT safe to leave your car unlocked or to wander on foot into particular parts of town. There are gangs and very dangerous neighborhoods that you should absolutely avoid. Just like everywhere else, you can have a safe, fantastic experience, but be cautious and seek advice from locals before venturing on foot.

    • That’s what struck us most – the sense of community. We havent experienced that really anywhere else in the world – to the same extent anyway. Maybe us being there on a Sunday afternoon meant we saw the absolute best side of the city though!

      Thanks for the advice; agree that you definitely always need to be street smart no matter where you go :)

      Thanks for your comment Melissa!

  9. I was born and raised there but unfortunately don’t live there now. Not living there has given me a better perspective as to how beautiful home, Savannah, really is. I vist two to three times a year so just a hint, the first weekend of every month is a celebration. Firiday night of the first weekend is fireworks on River Street and Saturday is vendors on River Street. The first weekend of October, this coming weekend , is always Oktoberfest with beer, bratwurst and dachshund races.

    • Amazing thanks for the tip! We’ll have to strategically plan our visit next time then to catch the festivities at the same time!!

  10. Awesome photos!!! This made me want to visit Savannah!!

    • Thanks Anna! You would love it!

  11. Thank you, Megan, for your wonderful review! Those of us who live in Savannah know how special she is, and we are always pleased to hear that our guests feel the same way.

    I once struck up a conversation with an elderly lady from Arizona, who came for a weekend visit and never left. She laughed and said her middle aged children thought she’d gone off the deep end, but she knew this was the place for her. And so it has been for 22 years now.

    And yes, we love to stop and talk to you. And give you directions. And tell you the best place for lunch. Or dinner. Or ice cream. Or a drink. We all think we are tour guides.

    I hope you and your husband will be able to visit again very soon to experience some of our great festivals. It really doesn’t matter when you come, there is something going on practically every week!

    • You can bet we’ll be back – thankyou for your lovely comment :) You are so lucky to live in such a wonderful place! If I didn’t have an extreme addiction to traveling everywhere I would definitely settle in Savannah!

  12. Oh no! I kind of wish I hadn’t read this! We are driving through savannah in a couple of days time and we had just planned a quick lunch stop as it hadn’t sounded that interesting in other things I have read, now I want to stay longer! Perhaps I need to make another change of plans. We love just walking around and haven’t found many places we can do that on our US road trip so far

    • Definitely stay at least one night!! Especially if you love walking and appreciating a beautiful historic city – this is the perfect place for that!! Lol sounds like I got to you just in time :D

  13. I’ve traveled all over the world but coming home to Georgia is the best feeling. Thanks for writing this post!

    • I can imagine! Arriving in Georgia was the best feeling! We had no idea what to expect and were just completely blown away. What a great state you have to call home :)

  14. I grew up in Georgia!! I cannot explain to you how happy it made me to see praise about my home state! I’ve live in Ireland for the last 5 months and do miss home, especially when I see things like Savannah. :) I’ll get back over there eventually but not to stay of course. I have to see the rest of the world first!

    • What a fantastic State to call home! I’m glad you enjoyed this post – our time in Savannah seriously was the highlight of our roadtrip through America’s East Coast.

      Ireland is just as stunning though, so you’ve chosen a pretty worthy alternative home for the time being! Happy Travels! Thanks for stopping by :)

  15. Such an overrated city. I’ve traveled down here more times than I can count and the charm has long worn thin. Yes the downtown is lovely but it’s so small; it great for a weekend and then the town is boring as dirt. And your naive comments on crime cracked me up… Yes the downtown is pretty safe but outside that tiny area it’s not the safest city.

    There are a million more cities prettier than Sav. Travel more.

    • Obviously this is a case of beauty in the eye of the beholder – the charm of any destination has the potential to wear thin after repeated visits. That’s Sydney and Paris for me – still fantastic destinations for first and maybe second and third time visitors, but it gets old after a while.

      As full time travelers we rate Savannah highly. We’ve traveled to destinations a lot worse.

      Thanks for your comment.

  16. “more romantic than Paris” is a bold claim, but I’m willing to see for myself! Savannah is on my 2015 travel wish list! It looks gorgeous.

    • I’m of the unpopular opinion that Paris wasn’t that great lol so it’s not a super bold claim to me, but definitely plan for a trip in 2015, it’s such a gorgeous city and with so much charm. Such a great retreat :)

      Happy travels!

  17. Great Information,Thanks For Sharing It, I also Was planning to going and see All Places to Visit in Georgia with my family, I think it was an awesome place for vacations with family.

    • Have a wonderful trip to Georgia! Happy to hear you enjoyed the post. Hope you have time to hit Savannah :)

  18. Megan , we have been to Savannah many times, our favorite short trip from Atlanta. Next time go the first week of April. Azaleas are in bloom then, take a walking ghost tour and eat at the Crab Shack near Tybee, nothing fried on the menu. I want to go now after reading your blog.

    • Hi Jimmy – glad you’re in love with the city also! I imagine it would be amazing to visit while the Azaleas are in bloom! I didn’t manage a ghost tour or a trip to the Crab Shack while there, so will add those to my list for our next trip.

      Maybe we’ll bump into you there! Happy travels :)

  19. I’ve recently visited Savannah on a romantic getaway and I totally fell in love with the place.

    Our favorite part of the trip was riding a bike through Bonaventure Cemetery – yes, strangely enough, it’s a very romantic spot. We also went on a ghost tour, which turned out to be scarier than I’d imagined!

    • So glad to hear you enjoyed your time in Savannah too Jessica!! I totally agree with you about Bonaventure Cemetery – it was probably one of the most beautiful spots we visited – who would have guessed right!!!

      Maybe we’ll bump into you both in Savannah someday!

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