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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Next Post: Where to stay in Savannah.