A March 2003 trip
to Savannah by vampirefan
Quote: The traditionally stoic Southern town makes everyone else turn positively green with envy once a year, as it goes all out to help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Attraction | "St. Patrick's Day Fun-Savannah Style"
St. Patrick's Day Parade and Celebration
Abercorn, Bull And Bay Streets
912 644 6401
While in Savannah, we stayed at the KOA campground located in Richmond Hill, which lies about 18 miles south of Savannah. The campground offers tent sites with electricity or RV sites with full hook-ups. Don’t have a tent or RV? Then try a camping cabin. These cozy log cabins offer a bed and electricity. You just supply the linens. The campground is located on a lovely 35-acre lake. The tent and cabin sites are located lakeside, while RVs are located in the middle of the campground. You will find a variety of waterfowl that have made a home here for themselves. You can even rent a boat to paddle around the lake and join them. We just pitched our tent facing towards the lake, and it made for a beautiful way to start and end the day.
Here, you will find an RV wash, cable TV, LP gas hook-up, electricity, data ports, fishing, and a swimming pool. The camp is open year-round. You will also find a general store well stocked with souvenirs and items that we always forget to pack. They can also help out with sightseeing information. The campground is clean, and the staff is very friendly and helpful. The only issue I had was when they did not have anyone around at night in case of any problems. We were located between two tents full of loud and very drunk college kids. We finally had to call the police to get any kind of help, which I prefer not doing. If you are headed here during St. Patrick’s Day, spring break, or the summer, advance reservations are a must. You can call them or simply go to for further information or to make reservations.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 7, 2005
KOA Savannah South
4915 US 17 South
Restaurant | "Huey's on the River"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 7, 2005
115 East River St
Savannah, Georgia 31401
+1 912 234 7385
Attraction | "Savannah Walks Civil War Tour"
This time out to Savannah, we decided to take a walking tour with the Savannah Walks Tour Company. The company offers a variety of tours in addition to the Ghost Tour. They also offer a Civil War Tour, Gates and Gardens, Revolution, Savannah Stroll, Historic Homes, Pubs and Taverns, and Midnight Tour (offering places from the John Berendt book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and the Clint Eastwood movie of the same name). They offer a special for $30, which includes the Ghost Tour, Civil War Tour, and Pubs and Taverns Tour. You can visit their website at for more information or to book a tour.
Like many tour companies, Savannah Walks offers highly qualified tour guides to lead their tours. Not just anyone can be a tour guide. Many of the companies use college students (particularly those studying history or architecture) or older, long-time residents. Savannah Walks is no different.
We also decided to take the Civil War Walk, since my husband loves the Civil War. Our tour guide this time out was Brian. Brian was a local college student studying American History. He was fun and informative. This tour is a perfect way to teach your kid some history while they have fun. The intriguing and informative history takes you through the historic district. Here you will see the houses of William Hardee, James Bartow, and Joseph E. Johnston. You also pass by Gen. Sherman headquarters and hear about field issue #14. The tour departs from Reynolds’s Square and is a 1.75 hours long. The pace of the tour is quite leisurely, offering everyone time to enjoy the tour and the buildings and gardens you pass along the way. This tour is a must for any Civil War buff.
37 Abercorn Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401
Attraction | "Savannah Walks Ghost Tour"
Did you know that Savannah is considered on of the most haunted places in America? Yes, indeed. Now, granted, some of the number of ghost sightings may have to do with the number of to-go cups full of beer sighted all over the place. What accounts for all of this ghostly activity? For one thing, Savannah still prides itself on its history. Savannah has one of the largest concentrations of historical houses in the States. Rather than bulldoze down old houses and replace them with new ones, Savannah residents restore and bring back to life its old magnificent structures. In many cases, this brings back to life its former residents who have clung to their old homesteads. Indeed, in Savannah, haunted B&Bs mean big business. Savannah is also a port town. This former port town once ran awry with sailors, pirates, and prostitutes. Fights broke out, often ending with a loss of life. Those in the paranormal field believe that when someone dies a violent death, their soul remains behind. Savannah has also seen many battles fought on its grounds during the Civil War, leaving behind a great many dead soldiers—all perfect reasons for the spirits of the long departed to remain behind. Once you visit Savannah, you will know why the dearly departed enjoy hanging around.
Ghost tours in Savannah are a major business. There are about a dozen different tour companies in Savannah offering ghost tours. With all the different ghost stories to be found in Savannah, you might be surprised to find most tour companies offer different tales of the supernatural. That way, you can go on several tours without hearing the same story over and over again.
This time out to Savannah, we decided to take a walking tour with The Savannah Walks Tour Company. The company offers a variety of tours, in addition to the Ghost Tour. They also offer a Civil War Tour, Gates and Gardens, Revolution, Savannah Stroll, Historic Homes, Pubs and Taverns, and Midnight Tour (offering places from the John Berendt book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and the Clint Eastwood movie of the same name). They offer a special for $30, which includes the Ghost Tour, Civil War Tour, and Pubs and Taverns Tour. You can visit their website at www.savannahwalks.com for more information or to book a tour. The tour departs from Johnson Square. The tour lasts 90 minutes and is at a nice, leisurely pace, with many beautiful buildings along your way. The stories are mild, and only tiny tots may be scared. Make sure to bring your camera for this one.
Like many tour companies, Savannah Walks offers highly qualified tour guides to lead their tours. Not just anyone can be a tour guide. Many of the companies use college students (particularly those studying history or architecture) or older, long-time residents. Savannah Walks is no different. Our tour guide, Tristian, was a local college student studying history. Tristain was great at offering intriguing stories, along with stories of local lore. Here you get a chance to hear stories such as a notorious child molester, Raul, why so much of Savannah’s Spanish moss is at the top of the trees, and about the very haunted local cemetery. The group was kept small, which I like. Tristain also did a great job of keeping outsiders out. Several times, people tried to join in the group, and he made sure to get them out. I have been on other tours where people have been able to easily sneak in. And when you have plunked down your hard-earned dollar, it is aggravating to see someone just walk right on it.
If you would like to read about many other Savannah ghosts and the ones in the tour, try Savannah Specters by Margaret Wayt DeBolt. You can find it at the gift shop, located where you pick up your tickets or at any local bookstore.
Attraction | "St. Patty's Day in Savannah Pt. 1"
Savannah has a very substantial Irish population. The celebration is the second-largest celebration in the U.S. Only Boston has a bigger celebration. Since my blood is substantially green, a few years ago my husband and I decided to check out the festivities in Savannah. The normally small Southern city swells almost 500,000 partygoers in town for the fun. If St. Patrick’s Day falls on a weekend, then double that amount. The length of celebration also depends on what day of the week it falls on. If the celebration falls at the beginning of the week, then most visitors come a day or two before and leave March 18th. If the celebration falls toward the end of the week, then the celebration usually goes on all weekend long.
For more than 180 years now, Savannah has rolled out its green carpet, welcoming visitors in search of St. Patty’s Day fun. Everything here is turned green for the occasion. The river turns green, eggs and grits turn up green at the restaurants, green water dances in the fountains, and beer is given a green tint. Drink too much, though, and you are sure to turn green! Don’t worry if you’re not Irish—everyone here is Irish, at least for the day.
Attraction | "St. Patty's Day in Savannah, Part 2"
Usually a day or two prior to March 17th, the Tara Feis Festival is held. This traditional Irish festival has been celebrating the Wearing O’ The Green for more than 10 years. They offer a festival of traditional Irish music and dance. They also offer food vendors with Irish fare, and you can also find Irish crafters on-hand.
Several other events round out the St. Patrick’s Day celebration. There is a St. Patrick’s Day Encampment, usually on March 16th. Held at Ft. Pulaski, it tells the story of Confederate soldiers of Irish descent who defended Ft. Pulaski in 1862. On the 16th, there is also the Sgt. Williams Jasper Memorial Ceremony, which pays tribute to a fallen Irish patriot during the Revolutionary War and honors all members of the Armed Forces of Irish decent. Also on March 16th, around many of the court squares, you can catch some of the bands that will be marching in the parade. They have mini-parades through the streets.
The parade gets its official start at 8:30am with a Mass held at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. The service is open to everyone. The parade gets into high gear at around 10:15am. When you get into town, you will find an official guide all over town, which gives the parade route. Or before you go you can visit www.savannahvisit.com for information on the parade and activities. The parade, usually consisting of about 250 units, offers floats, marching bands, military units, and much more.
The origins of the parade date back to the Hibernian Society, which is the oldest Irish society in the states. Thirteen Protestants gathered together and marched in a private procession to Independent Presbyterian Church. For many years, Irish families gathered together to march in a display of pride. It was not until 1870 that the parade started to include marching units and floats, as well as an official grand marshal. You will want to arrive early to ensure you get a great seat along the parade route.
From its small beginnings to a full out-and-out party, the party offers something for everyone. But with this many people in one place, it also brings its share of problems. The biggest problem is the traffic. It is almost impossible to get around or find parking. The local bus service does offer shuttles from several places, such as Oglethorpe Mall, to downtown. Again, check the website for exact pick-up spots. If you are here just for the sightseeing, you might as well forget it. Many businesses close for St. Patrick’s Day. While Savannah is very safe, still take precautions in a large crowd such as this. Keep your money and other valuables somewhere safe and out of reach. And with all of the green beer flowing, there will be problems with drunks. If you are down on River Street for any of the parties, you must buy a wristband in order to drink on the street. Otherwise, you need to limit your drinking to the bars. But the police department does a pretty good job of keeping things under control. So have fun and stay safe.
Charlotte, North Carolina