I Loved Visiting Savannah!
My love of history as I’ve aged is exhilarating when paired with travel. No matter where I go, I want to learn about the history of that place. Since international travel is still a bit dicey right now, deciding to visit Savannah during the Thanksgiving holiday was a no-brainer for me – it’s the oldest city in Georgia, it’s not very far from Charlotte and from a historical perspective, it’s a behemoth.
My flight (yes, I flew) took all of one hour and 12 minutes, LOL, so I was refreshed and ready to rumble as I fetched a cab to ferry me to my hotel, the Andaz Savannah in the Plant Riverside District. My first order of business, of course, was to check out my room, which was great, and then walk about the area. I was surprised to see quite a few tourists doing the same, enjoying the quaint shops and restaurants in the nearby City Market.
My next order of business was to eat, so I chose 22 Square Restaurant located inside the hotel. The name of the restaurant intrigued me as much as the food. I pondered the significance of that name as I ate, but it made no sense until the tour guide on the Hop- On Hop-Off Trolley the next day explained. You see, the founder of Savannah, General James Oglethorpe, laid out the city in a grid pattern of squares which served as town meeting places — parks, really. Twenty-two of the original 24 squares, mostly named after historic figures, remain to this day. I learned an awful lot about Savannah’s unique history on this trolley tour.
Needless to say, there are a trillion things to do in Savannah, including viewing the beautiful Gothic architecture, visiting historical sites and museums, such as the founder of the Girls Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low’s, birthplace and the First African Baptist Church, which is the oldest Black Church in North America. You can also shop ‘til you drop in Savannah, all while sipping on your favorite “beverage,” if you know what I mean. Shows, nightlife, festivals, beaches, biking — you name it —Savannah has it all.
With only three days of vacay, however, I couldn’t do it all. So, of course, I decided to get my Black History appetite satisfied via the Footprints of Savannah Walking Tour led by Ms. Vaughnette Goode-Walker. This tour is a must, if you plan to visit Savannah. It is well researched and covers the history of slavery, which is a crucial part of the city’s history. This tour also introduced me to the Black-owned art shops: Sabree’s Gallery of the Arts and the Alix Baptiste Art Gallery. This was perfect, as I always strive to purchase a piece of art from wherever I travel and ended up buying a hand-made metallic wreath from the Baptiste Gallery. The Savannah Museum of history was great and another special activity for me was dining at Belford’s Seafood and Steaks restaurant, one of Savannah’s Black-owned restaurants. -And let me not forget River Street, which took me a half day to explore and still, I didn’t see it all. There are more than 75 boutiques, galleries, artists’ studios, restaurants and an open-air market located on River Street which runs alongside the Savannah River, where dozens of container ships also pass by daily.
What a great time I spent with “me, myself, and I” in Savannah! We definitely plan to return soon.