Strolling through Savannah’s historic district is like stepping back in time. Spanish moss drapes the trees and shimmers in the sunlight. Cobblestone streets, beautiful gardens and oak shaded parks make this city a perfect weekend getaway. The historic district is made up of twenty-two squares. Each is unique and offers a glimpse into the history of Savannah. These parks are filled with statues and ornate fountains, and are a gathering place for musicians and artists. Surrounding the parks are quaint bed and breakfasts, beautiful churches and historic homes.
Founded in 1773, Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia. The architecture is amazing, especially for someone like me who lives in and around only stucco. The houses are charming and inviting. I am fascinated by the arches and domes, cast iron fronts, detailed entrances, and vine covered walls. Every house seems to have a story to tell…and I imagine sweet tea and southern fried chicken being served in the kitchen.
The Green-Meldrim house, the most expensive 19th century house in Savannah, is a grand example of Gothic Revival architecture. Built for Charles Green, the home played a significant role in Civil War history. General Sherman arrived in Savannah in 1864 after burning his way from Atlanta to the Sea. The house was offered to Sherman by Green in the hope that it would not be destroyed. It was from this house that Sherman sent his famous message to President Lincoln presenting Savannah as a Christmas gift.
The Mercer House is another enticing place to visit in the Historic District. The house is inspired by the farm houses of northern Italy. It was designed for General Hugh Weedon Mercer, great grandfather of the songwriter Johnny Mercer. Construction was halted by the Civil War and completed in 1868. The house was the scene of a shooting death in the John Berendt novel, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”
In addition to its history, Savannah is also known for a vibrant art culture.
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is a private, nonprofit University with locations in Savannah, Atlanta, Hong Kong and Lacoste, France. SCAD has partnered with the city of Savannah to restore its buildings for use as college facilities. The college campus includes 67 buildings spread throughout downtown Savannah, many in the historic district. SCAD has transformed Savannah into a major art destination. The student’s art is displayed in galleries, museums and restaurants.
A visit to Savannah is not complete without exploring River Street.
Located along the broad Savannah River, It is bustling with activity. Enjoy an Irish beer (Savannah has the nations second largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration) from the balcony of a cozy pub. Browse the antique shops, southern boutiques, and souvenir stores. Take a leisurely Savannah Riverboat Cruise or watch ships sail into port.
Savanna is overflowing with Southern Charm. The beautiful architecture, interesting history and colorful art make this “Hostess City of the South” an unforgetable weekend getaway.