The Factor Walk is a historic site half way down the ramp between Bay Street and River Street. This place is named after the men that worked at the Cotton Exchange (Factor’s). The two to three-storied buildings you find here used to be cotton and naval stores and warehouses in the 1800’s. Now these days the buildings houses shops, apartments and other businesses. The buildings are connected with the bluff via connecting bridges. These bridges gave cotton factors easy access to their businesses. Unfortunately a part of the Factor Walk was destroyed in order to built the Hyatt, an ugly pink cube building that is a disgrace for this historic site.
On the east side of the Factor Walk, you will find the Savannah Cotton Exchange. This building, completed in 1887, shows the welt that cotton brought to this area. It is also the first building to be entirely erected over a public street.
In my opinion the south side offers a bit more history than the north side, which is a very touristy. But maybe you can combine both things. First sniff history while strolling through the cobblestone alleyways and the park on top of the bluff with its with Spanish moss draped oak trees.
If you have the time, walk to the west end of the Factor Walk to the statue of the Waving Girl. This monument is dedicated to Florence Martus who, at least that is what the stories tells, waved to every ship that passed on it’s way to the Savannah Harbor or Atlantic Ocean (Didn’t she had to work for a living?).
After that relax in one of the River Street bars. I can recommend (from west to east) the Bayou Cafe, the rooftop bar at Tubby’s Tank House or Kevin Barry’s. While you are on this pub-crawl, don’t forget to stop at River Street Sweets to taste their Bear Claws (a candy delicacy made of fresh pecan pieces, caramel and chocolate) and tip my friend the trumpet player who’s always playing his trumpet under the Hyatt Hotel. Make sure you ware comfortable shoes because the cobblestones, which where brought to Savannah as a ballast in early sail ships, are ankle twisting.
So ladies, this is not the place to wear your Jimmy Choo’s or Manolo Blahniks.
Tip: If you don’t want to climb the steep stairs or the cobblestoned street, use the elevator, which is located between the Hyatt and City Hall.