A July 2001 trip
to Savannah by vampirefan
Quote: Several years ago a long time penpal of mine and her family joined us in the lovely and historic city of Savannah. Savannah is always one of my favorite places to visit, and is somewhere I never tire of visiting.
Hotel | "Red Roof Inn"
The décor of the room is typical moderate hotel style. We had 2 queen beds, which we love. We love the extra bed for all of our junk. We had a very nice large picture window. But the view is only that of the highway. Still very sunny though. We had a table and 2 chairs, a chest offering plenty of space for our clothes, a closet with an iron if we needed it. The bathrooms were spotless. Some of the rooms come with a hot tub, but we didn’t opt for that. They have a very nice amenity basket full of Dove products. They also had his and her sinks. We especially loved that in the morning when trying to get out the door.
They have a coffeemaker in the room. They do offer hot chocolate and tea as well and powdered cream and sugar. I am a tea drinker and asked housekeeping for some extra tea bags. They were more than happy to oblige leaving a very large supply. My husband I both have long hair and need extra towels. Housekeeping were also kind enough to keep us in extra towels. We also had a mini fridge in the room.
All the rooms are inside making you feel safe. They do have a pool. Pets are allowed and they have a big exercise area for pooches. They have cable in the rooms including HBO and Cinamax. They have complimentary copies of USA today in your room each morning. Continental breakfast is included. And they have a great breakfast. We had cereal, fruit, muffins, and my favorite Krispy Kream doughnuts. The rates here in the summer were only $55. Making this a great and affordable way to take in Savannah. The front desk staff is very cheery and has plenty of information on Savannah. The lobby area is very spacious, sunny, and inviting.
I am proud to report they are sponsors of the Humane Society. You can check them out on the web at .
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 27, 2005
Red Roof Savannah Inn And Suite
405 AL HENDERSON BLVD
Savannah, Georgia 31419
Restaurant | "The Shrimp Factory"
We had a rather large group with us, including our friend Tine and her family, one of my pals Lisa and her hubby, and one of my clients Faye and her husband Donnie. We made advanced reservations and got right on in when we arrived. The restaurant offers an extensive wine list and has a full-service bar. We do not drink, but several of our party did and said everything was excellent.
Since there was a large group, we ordered several appetizers and spilt them. Coconut shrimp was passed around. Several of us shared the house salad, which is prepared and tossed right at your table. It comes with greens, scallions, bacon bits, Parmesan cheese, homemade herbed croutons, and a thick, creamy homemade Cesar salad dressing.
Since you are right on the waterfront, seafood makes up most of the menu, especially shrimp (in case the name didn’t clue you in). The non-seafood menu is small and limited to chicken and steak. I don’t eat seafood and went with the Chicken Sautee Sec. This mouthwatering double-breasted chicken comes in a scrumptious rosemary-chardonnay sauce with green onions and mushrooms and plated with a rice pilaf. It was divine and more than I could eat. John went with the shrimp-stuffed Savannah, which offers eight fantail shrimp baked and filled with devil crab and lemon butter served on a bed of baked rice.
If you have room for dessert, try the very impressive bananas foster flame. It consists of bananas and a rum sauce, which is flambéed at your table and poured over vanilla-bean ice cream. I didn’t have room, but Suzanne and Tine had it and let me sample it. Oh, wow! Yummy and impressive.
The building does have a resident ghost, Joe, who died on the stairs in August of 1977. He seems harmless, and the employees peacefully coexist with Joe. To read more about Joe and for more information on the restaurant, go to www.theshrimpfactory.com. They do take reservations and I would suggest them.
313 East River St
Savannah, Georgia 31401
+1 912 236 4229
Attraction | "River Street"
The cobblestones streets are as old as the city itself. The port of Savannah was once a thriving major port. The wealthy plantation owners made their fortunes in cotton and tobacco and used the port to export their products. The street was once alive with produce vendors, shopping stalls, and bars and restaurants ready to serve the sailors coming into port. It was also once a very rowdy area. Skip ahead a few hundred years, and you will still find shopping, bars, and restaurants. And anyone who has been on River Street during St. Patrick’s Day can attest to the rowdiness factor. Today’s visitor to River Street can still feel like they have stepped back in time, but with all the modern amenities.
But somewhere in between River Street was almost a lost cause. Like so many areas suffering from the Urban Flight of the '70s, River Street was all but abandoned. In 1977, when the restoration wave began in Savannah, River Street got a new lease on life. The once-19th-century warehouses have been turned into trendy restaurants and bars. Today more than 80 stores and restaurants abound here. There are several hotels located directly on River Street, including the historic River Street Inn, which dates from the 1800s, and the Hyatt. There are a number of excellent restaurants, including Wet Willies, the Shrimp Factory, and my favorite, Huey’s. Stores range from upscale clothing and jewelry to locally-made-craft and souvenir shops. One of my favorites is Kandlesticks. They make beautiful ribbon candles, and you can watch the candle makers at work. Needless to say, I have a rather large collection of ribbon candles. At night, the bars and pubs light up the street. There are several older ships anchored in the bay that are open for climbing. In the spring and summer, open-air stalls abound.
There are a number of tours that start here and have River Street on their itineraries. Make sure to check out the Waving Girl statue. The statue, built by Felix De Weldon in 1971, pays homage to Savannah resident Florence Martus. There are several stories about Martus, including one that she waved at the passing ships, waiting for her true love to return. The Waving Girl and her dog have greeted more than 50,000 ships. River Street is reported to have two resident ghosts, so be on the lookout for strange occurrences here.
A number of festivals are held on River Street. For more information, go to www.riverstreetmarketplace.com or www.savannah-visit.com. No trip to Savannah is complete without a stop here.
Savannah Riverfront/River Street
Savannah's Historic Waterfront
Savannah, Georgia 31401
Attraction | "Fort Pulaski National Monument"
Between April 11 and 12, 1862, Union (i.e. Yankee) forces deployed artillery onto Tybee Island. Only 30 hours later, the 7.5-foot-thick walls were breached, and Confederate (Southern) forces surrendered.
Today the fort is under the protection of the National Park Service and is open to visitors. From the parking area, you walk to the moat area and enter the fort. You can still see large areas of the fort where it was shot by cannon fire. There are tours around the fort, or you can tour at your leisure. There is not much in the way of any displays. On the lower level, there are a number of rooms open, including soldier barracks, officer rooms, and stables. You can walk around the second level, where a number of cannons can still be found intact. From here, you get an amazing view of the river. Kids of all ages will love this, and what a perfect way to teach your child a history lesson. Some of the rooms are still musty-smelling, in case you’re like me and suffer from allergies. One the grounds, take some time to just sit and reflect on the history of this place for a while. It is a must-stop for the history buff.
The area surrounding the fort is a nature lover’s paradise. They offer bike trials, bird-watching, fishing, and hiking. Wildlife abounds in the trees and marshes surrounding the fort. Visitors may spot white-tailed deer, any number of migrating birds, and maybe even an alligator. Just off the fort sits Cockspur Island, home to the tiny Cockspur Island Lighthouse, which is open to the public, if you can get there. You can go to my Low Country Lighthouses journal for more information.
There is a visitor’s center before you get to the fort. Here they have an interpretive museum and information on the fort and its history. They do have restrooms on the premises. There are picnic areas on the ground. The lower portion of the fort is wheelchair-accessible. Pets are permitted on a leash. They do have an audiocassette on the history of the fort for the handicapped. They offer brochures on the fort in German, Polish, Japanese, French, and Spanish.
This is an absolute must for any visit to Savannah or Tybee Island. Nature lovers and history lovers will be in heaven. Afterwards, make sure to visit the lovely island of Tybee, only 15 minutes away. For more information on the fort, visit www.nps.gov/fopu.
Tybee Island/Fort Pulaski National Monument
Tybee Island, Georgia 31328
They offer a newsletter, cropping parties, and a number of classes. If you are in town and it is your birthday, come on in with your id. You will save the percent off of your age (i.e. if you are 40, like me, you will save 40%) off one item! They have a Crazy Cropper Club, and you get 20% of your purchase when your card it filled. This is great if you visit often. They have a website at www.scraphappysavannah.com.
I am a major scrapper and love to visit scrap-booking stores when I am traveling. I always find fresh, new ides and products geared to the region. In some places you can find products by local crafters. Make sure you check out Memory Makers or Creating Keepsakes magazines. They offer a list of scrap-booking stores all over the country and the world. Take the time to explore the world of scrap-booking in a new place.
461 Johnny Mercer Blvd.
Savannah, Georgia 31410
But after World War I and the collapse of cotton, the city began to languish. In 1955, a group of ladies were outraged that the Isaiah Davenport House was going to be destroyed. They raised enough money and brought the house and restored it to its modern-day refinement. This was the beginning of the Historical Society. Today more than 1,000 homes and buildings have been restored, and Savannah has the largest concentration of historical homes and buildings in the nations. Many of these homes are open to the public for tours, while others have been converted into bed-and-breakfasts. Many old buildings have new homes as offices and restaurants. The art and design school has bought a number of buildings and restored them to use for students. Several times of year, some of the grandest homes are open to the public for tours. Savannah is also the home of Juliet Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts, and is a place of pilgrimage for thousands of badge-wearing Girl Scout every year.
Savannah has further found fame as a backdrop for the many movies that have come calling. In 1994, John Berdendt wrote the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil", telling of murder in Savannah Society. In 1997, Clint Eastwood directed the movie and shot it on location. Both are recommendations on my list, and you can find the book and DVD all over Savannah. Movies such as Forrest Gump, Glory Days, and Forces of Nature have all used the beauty of Savannah. There are a number of tours highlighting the connection between Hollywood and Savannah.
Somehow, I am sure General Oglethorpe is looking down and seeing his beautiful city is still going strong. A visit to Savannah today is a reminder of what it was like several hundred years ago. On the outskirts, you will find malls and a more modern Savannah. But downtown, you will find beautiful tree-lined squares and some of the finest renovated historical homes in the nation, proving that many people still enjoy things as they once were.
There are plenty of touring companies, and you can tour by horse- or mule-drawn carriage, trolley, or motor coach. Savannah is one of the top ten walking cities, so you can find plenty of walking tours. Subjects from Civil War history and African-American history to historical homes and gardens and Savannah history can be found all over the city.
Savannah also ranks as one of the most haunted cities in the nation. Invading Yankees, fire, floods, and diseases have left their imprint on Savannah. Many businesses are proud of the fact they have a ghost and have no intention of trying to have them removed. In October, haunted bed-and-breakfasts give visitors a thrill, offering packages that include a haunted tour. Just about every tour company offers a ghost tour. One company even hauls victims (I mean visitors) around in a hearse!
Savannah also has a large number of bars and pubs. Tours of these are also on many tour rosters. Maybe that's why there is a large number of ghosts spotted here. In Savannah, as long as you have your drink in a to-go cup, you may walk around with an alcoholic beverage.
Since Savannah sits so close to the ocean, there is an abundance of fresh seafood. Savannah has a number of superb restaurants, giving visitors a dizzying array of dining options. Local specialties include seafood and low-country cooking, which gets it influences from the African and Caribbean cultures. Since the English founded this, you will find a number of English and Irish pubs. Churchill’s is one of my favorites.
Nightlife in Savannah is not a stoic as you would think. There are a number of bars and restaurants all over the place. Nightclubs can be found, especially away from downtown. Jazz, rock, and Latin salsa all can be found here. Savannah is also a pretty open-minded city and has a very large gay and lesbian community. If you would like to see Lady Chablis from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, then head on over to Club One, where you will find her shows. Their website is www.clubone-online.com.
From Savannah, there are a number of great places for day-tripping. The closest is the lovely Tybee Island. Located only 15 minutes away, it offers visitors sun and fun. The beautiful city of Beaufort, SC, is 45 minutes away. This city is often overshadowed by Savannah and Charleston but offers an equally impressive number of restored historical homes. It is also where a large portion of Forrest Gump was filmed. Charleston, SC, is 100 miles away. The sun-and-fun capital of Hilton Head Island is a little over an hour away. The Sea Islands, which include Cumberland Island, Jekyll Island, and St. Simons Island, are also 100 miles away.
Websites for these are:
Hilton Head, SC
I do encourage everyone to make a visit to Savannah. Her beauty and charm will captivate you. This Southern city is near and dear to my heart. I was stationed here in 1985, while I was in the army. I fell in love with her then and still keep coming back. This is one city that has never left my heart. For more information, go to www.savannah-visit.com.
Charlotte, North Carolina