I decided to remove the “for dummies” out of my entry…mostly because my Mama always told me that stupid is as stupid does. Yes, my lamb chops, it’s time to move from HOTLANTA to Savannah, and what a move it was! Savannah was everything that I hoped for…and more! Haunted, fun, and oh so Southern, the home to Forrest Gump gave this Type A Traveller a real taste of the South. Magical manors, haunted houses, beautiful squares, cute Southern accents…what’s not to love?
If you need more inspiration to pick up your satchel and head south of the Mason-Dixon line, here are my picks for the top things to do in the Forest City:
- Check out some, or if your Type A, all of the 22 Squares. I think we covered 19 by foot, but we saw each of the 22 squares and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They are especially beautiful at night when everything looks vaguely haunted.
- Speaking of night time, go for a Haunted Carriage ride – there is no better city to do it in. You’ll learn about all of the ghosts and goblins haunting the city. The clip-pity clop of the horses hooves takes you back in time, but the sounds of 18 wheelers will remind you pretty quickly that you are in 2016. My favourite – at one inn, a ghost is known to steal bras. Ladies, make sure you only bring the ones with the wires half out to the 17 Hundred 90 Inn or ghost Anna may help herself to some of your finer delicates.
- Walk, walk, walk. You’ll see more of the city, and it’s really one that you need to stroll through like a proper Southern lady.
- Visit Forsyth Park – it’s beautiful and has an amazing fountain. It’s the perfect place for a photo op for you selfie-lovers.
- Stroll around the City Market – it’s a cute little pedestrian mall with restaurants, shops and bars. It’s nicer than River Street which felt a little touristy to me….although considering I am a tourist, I shouldn’t be so judgy-wudgy.
- Stay at a historic hotel – we stayed at the River Street Inn – you really felt like you were stepping into another time. It smelled vaguely like horse poop in some of the halls (thanks to some renos), but the rooms were fresh as a daisy and very turn of the century. The perimeter of the hotel has gas lanterns lending to the atmosphere.
- If you are a movie buff, this is the place for you. Forrest Gump was shot here. The church in the photo above was used in the first shot of the movie when the feather floated down. The Legend of Bagger Vance, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (duh), the atrocious Forces of Nature, the foul The Last Song, Cape Fear and Glory are just some of the good, bad and ugly flicks produced here.
- Hungry? Then head over to Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. Ya’ll will have to wait in line for some down home (well, not my home) Southern Cooking. It’s served family style, so you’ll break bread with a bunch of strangers. I was lucky enough to be sitting with native Southerners so they explained what everything was. Even if your like me, and not a meat lover, you’ll have plenty of options! Try the black eyed peas, okra and spinach – all excellent! You’ll walk away chugged full AND it’s one of the most unique dining experiences you can imagine.
- Last, but not least, go to the very popular Leopold’s Ice Cream. The ice cream is ok, but if you are a film buff, the memorabilia is pretty cool! The parlour is now owned by film producer Stratton Leopold, producer of Mission Impossible 3, The Big Chill, The Sum of All Fears, and many more movies. Apparently he still helps out when he is in town.
The only thing that I didn’t like about Savannah? Just the lack of time. We did all of this, and more in just a day and a half. Do a circle on a Hop On Hop Off bus, we had an amazing driver, she was hilarious! We got a real sense of the city and learned more about the history than we could have done on our own. It was an hour of time well spent! I can’t wait to go back but first, it’s on to Spain and Portugal!