Visiting Savannah in Georgia

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Savannah Forest Gump
How about visiting Savannah, GA, the beautiful town from the old South?

This is located at the water’s edge, the scenery is total: the old houses hidden behind the dense vegetation are sublime, people with a southern accent will greet you in the street, and you can take a few days to enjoy this region of southern United States, between Charleston and jacksonville.

The historic center of Savannah

Savannah is a very beautiful American city. The historic center has its charm coming from the many squares: it is claimed that it is the first American city to have benefited from a checkerboard plan, punctuated at certain intersections with pleasant square plots, often decorated with a kiosk, benches and these large oaks covered with Spanish moss. It’s sublime and relaxing: everything invites you to go for a walk … then sit down to read or watch people go by.

The city was founded in 1733 but the restoration of the historic center took place in the second half of the 20th century: the antebellum style houses (before the American Civil War in 1861), which had fallen into ruins, were bought and rehabilitated by history buffs and Savannah lovers, eager to preserve the city. The threats of destruction of the historic homes by property developers are told in one of the chapters of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.

It is in one of Savannah’s squares, on Chippewa Square, that the film Forrest Gump begins, when Forrest picks up a feather fallen at his feet, and waits for the bus, but the original bench is no longer there if you are looking for it.
 
Not all of Savannah’s streets are paved with briquettes, but some pretty streets are. Colonial Park Cemetery, in the center of Savannah. You can do a little tour just before the closing, this cemetery is located near the cathedral of Savannah, Saint John the Baptist. Established in 1750, its inhabitants rest in peace, despite the many tourists and in the middle of these beautiful trees, the myrtle crepe trees in English.

The Victorian district of Savannah

To take a stroll through Savannah during one of your afternoon theres, you can follow the route of one of the tourist buses, the company gives free maps with their tour. First discovery: a few blocks from Victorian houses (there are actually more than 50 blocks). Sublime! This neighborhood is located south of Gaston Street, this is the street that delineates the historic North from the south of the city. It was built for the white working class between 1870 and 1910. White people then deserted the area after the First World War to live in the suburbs, and it became a black area. Over time the houses deteriorated. A fund was created by a heritage defense committee to restore the houses without causing gentrification. It worked, and the neighborhood is still mixed today.

Factors Walk, by the Savannah River

At the edge of the Savannah river, the district of large red brick buildings gives another atmosphere to the city, more working and commercial than the rest very clean. It was there that in the past cotton was traded, cotton merchants were called factors, and it was even here that the price of cotton was set, globally.

Today it is very touristy with lots of chain restaurants and souvenir shops. Savannah waste management is well organized and the city is very clean overall. It is nice to walk around the water, and see the contrast between the romantic paddle wheels, and in the distance the huge cargo ships.

Bonaventure cemetery

This cemetery had its moment of celebrity because of the statue of the girl and the bird, the Bird Girl, which appears on the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. But the delicate statue, victim of its success, has been moved to the Savannah Art Museum, the Telfair Academy.

But there are many other things to see in this cemetery founded in 1846, and you can take the time to walk in the alleys. The mouse hanging from the oaks would almost give a gloomy atmosphere if it was in the middle of winter. There the cicadas make a crazy noise: it’s summer! The historic area of ​​the cemetery shows a few Confederate flags planted in the ground, you also can see a plaque commemorating the founders of Georgia, who for the most part died quickly.

Wormsloe Historical Park

This is a majestic alley and the history of the foundation of Georgia. Go there to see the impressive avenue of oaks which stretches for more than 2 km: what a perspective! It’s very cool to drive there. If you think there is only that to see (and entering the park still costs $10), there is more indeed!

It is in fact a historic park, with a mini-museum which projects a film on the first European inhabitant of the place, one of the founders of Georgia: John Noble, arrived here in 1736. The film is well done, and it is a good way to discover the history of colonization by the English of Georgia, which was part of the 13 colonies of the United States.

In the park, you can also see ruins of the fortified house of John Noble and reconstructions of Indian huts. you may think that it should not have been easy to settle here, this is among other things what founds the myth of the American dream of the self-made man, hardworking and obstinate. Believing in his destiny of course. Fun Fact #2: John Noble’s descendants still live here!

Tybee Island

Tybee Island has the best beach near Savannah. At the end of the afternoon, go to that beach. The weather can be threatening in the summer, with big thunderstorms some nights! If you get to the beach, the wind can be crazy, the sand lashing against your legs. Just soak your feet in the water: super hot. If the red flag is clearly visible, just walk along the water (there are sharks there), and when the sky becomes too dark, run to your car!

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