|The fireworks in Savannah for the Fourth of July were the best we’d ever seen.|
Walking through the old streets of Savannah, one can only think of the history that surrounds every visitor to the quaint city.
During a trip in 2010 to what locals like to call “The most haunted city in America,” we got to walk the streets of one of the first “planned” cities and absorb hundreds of years worth of history.
|Savannah has beautiful architecture.|
Savannah’s recorded history begins in 1733. That’s the year General James Oglethorpe and the 120 passengers of the good ship “Anne” landed on a bluff high along the Savannah River in February. Oglethorpe named the 13th and final American colony “Georgia” after England’s King George II. Savannah became its first city.
The plan was to offer a new start for England’s working poor and to strengthen the colonies by increasing trade, according to the Savannah Area Convention & Visitors Bureau’s web site.
Although Savannah has seen its fair share of disaster and strife, over the years the old-world city has flourished and now offers much to the adventure-seeking tourist.
Laid out with 22 tree laden public squares and parks, the city moves about it in clockwork fashion.
With everything from a horse drawn carriage ride to Segway tours, Savannah offers many different restaurants, shops and museums to help a vacationer enjoy the city without getting too tired.
Down by the Savannah River, hotels, shops and eateries have set up and breathe life just as the river flows and the attraction of the area is hard to miss.
We were there during the Fourth of July weekend, and hundreds, if not thousands, of people lined the streets by the river weaving in and out of its many candy and novelty shops.
Being that Savannah is a pet-friendly city, many dogs and their owners sat in the shade by the river while enjoying some lunch at a local eatery.
|The riverwalk on the Savannah River is a wonderful place for a stroll.|
After admiring the view from the River, we set out to explore the rest of the city, but first we had to climb some of the steepest steps around. The river portion of the Savannah is a good two or three stories below the rest of the city which means to see the rest of the sites, you have to go up.
The steps, which looked like they had been around as long as the city had, were stone and were at such an incline, it was hard to climb.
But after scaling the side of the city, the sites at the top of the climb were very worthwhile.
Spanish moss covered trees, parking meters and old brick buildings with hotel signs lined the streets as the new and the old fought to keep a balance.
While walking around the historic city market where produce used to be sold and the shops on Broughton Street where things like antiques and even honey can be found, a person can’t seem to ignore the beauty and variety the city allows.
When mealtime arrives, there are many choices from the Moon River Brewing Company to Paula Deen’s Lady and Son’s restaurant.
Being that we are adventurous eaters and were looking for a culinary adventure, we decided to go with a tapas restaurant called Jazz’d.
Described as eclectic Americanized tapas, the underground restaurant offers small plates of delectable dishes from seafood and steak to cheese and humus.
If you are looking for a snazzy, jazzy, cool place to try different things, check out Jazz’d at 52 Barnard Street.
In order to experience the ever talked about “haunted” side of Savannah, we decided to sign up for a ghost tour.
We chose Savannah Ghost Walks through Savannah Tours & Music.
They offer nightly walking tours through the city.
|Chase Anderson did a great ghost walk tour.|
Chase Anderson, with Savannah Tours & Music, was our tour guide and came to us in a top hat, black vest and black umbrella.
Anderson spoke quietly of the many unhappy souls in Savannah who were upset when their graves had been disturbed.
According to his stories, much of Savannah is built upon graveyards because the city kept expanding and there was no room or time to dig up the old graves.
Therefore, spirits flow in and around the Savannah area and try to make contact with the living.
Anderson told many second hand stories about ghost sightings and the history behind why a ghost was in that area.
It seemed as if almost all of the old homes in Savannah had a story about a ghost sightings, but of course the most sightings he spoke of were in the Colonial Park cemetery.
The cemetery was established in 1750 and was expanded so many times to accommodate people that it now holds more than 9,000 graves, according to the city of Savannah’s department of cemeteries.
After a long day of exploring, there are many hotels to choose from, but if it is a busy weekend, I strongly suggest booking ahead of time as rates go up and availability goes down.
There is a wide range of hotels to choose from as well as a variety of locations.
To top the weekend off, Sunday night, which happened to be July 4, we witnessed some of the best fireworks we have ever seen.
On the other side of the Savannah River, a 30-minute bright, loud and dazzling fire in the sky routine dazzled thousands of onlookers.
But even without the firework finale, Savannah is a great city to explore and I would recommend it to anyone.
The Savannah Visitor and Convention Bureau said in the last 10 years more than 50 million people came to visit Savannah, drawn by its elegant architecture, ornate ironwork, fountains and green squares. Savannah’s beauty is rivaled only by the city’s reputation for hospitality. It has become one of the country’s most popular vacation spots.
I would totally agree.