A Stroll Through Savannah Georgia
Savannah Georgia is a wonderful city to visit any time of the year, but it can get hot so I decided to visit the city in May to avoid the extreme heat and humidity of summer, but still just happened to pick an unseasonably hot weekend that felt more like August than May. Still it was a rewarding weekend that included a few hours on the nearby beach of Tybee Island.
The history of Savannah and the grand homes make the city great, along with a very interesting mix of people. The city is unevenly divided between the well off and the extremely poor, more poor than rich with few in between. Even though the homes are well over a hundred years old much of the culture seems to have frozen in the 1950s. Savannah is not a place to rush through and you must spend time just sitting on a bench or strolling the old streets to truly feel the warmth of the town.
River Street is clearly the largest draw for tourist, but I found it to be only slightly interesting when compared to the rest of the town. River Street consist of tacky t-shirt shops full of items that most will regret buying once they get home, and a few bars marketing to the middle aged, overworked tourist trying desperately to remember how to relax .However, without all of this the area might have been torn down and turned into another expensive hotel on the water, so the stores and bars do serve their purpose. If you go to River Street take time to get away from the shops and walk along the edge of the river. When the sun sets and the breeze blows off of the water the retail stores simply disappear.
The real beauty of Savannah is in the landscape and the architecture of the homes and buildings. By the early and mid part of the 20th Century most of the historic homes had turned into low income rentals and were destined for destruction to make room for parking lots and gas stations. Fortunately a few of Savannah's citizens saved the old houses and restored them. One of those saviors of Savannah was Jim Williams of the "Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil" fame. Jim Williams bought, restored, and lived in the Mercer House on Bull Street. This house was originally owned by the great grandfather of the famous song writer Johnny Mercer. Jim Williams died in 1990 from a major coronary and his sister recently opened the Italianate mansion to visitors. My wife and I were able to tour the home that we remembered from the movie. They filmed the scenes for the movie in the same house where the true events took place and almost every detail of the house is the same as Jim Williams left it when he died suddenly. The tour of the house was interesting and focused almost exclusively on the antiques in the house and the history of structure. I found it almost amusing that they never mentioned the deadly shooting in the house or the other scandles, but there was so much for to Mr. Williams than the tragedies of his life.
One weekend was not nearly enough time to enjoy all the sites of Savannah. I think to appreciate this warm city you need to spend at least a week strolling the streets and park squares, visiting the the historic homes, and enjoying the art in the museums. There is more to this city than you first realize. It is a place that you need to spend time with and allow all of its charm to find its way into your soul.
About the author:
Scott Thompson is the owner of GeckoTales.com where he write travel reviews.
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