Savannah

Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: November 2021

Savannah is situated near the coast of the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Savannah River. It is the oldest city in Georgia and is full of history and historic buildings. It also contains many small shaded squares, cobblestoned streets, and moss-draped oak trees.

We stayed in a hotel just outside of Savannah and decided to arrive early to explore the city when it was still quiet. It was a bit chilly outside (2°C), but at least the sun was shining. We parked near the Andrew Low House since we planned to take a tour there later in the morning.

We started off at Forsyth Park, which is the largest of the 22 squares in Savannah. The city was initially designed to have 24 open squares, however three of the squares were demolished, paved over or significantly altered. In 2010, one of three lost squares, Ellis Square, was restored, bringing the total back to 22. Many of these squares contain monuments, statues, fountains, plaques and other tributes and are named in honour or in memory of a person or historical event.

Forsyth Park is spread across 30 acres and contains many paths that are lined with mossy oak trees. One of its notable features includes a fountain which was modeled after the fountains at the Place de la Concorde in Paris.

We then walked to Lafayette Square, which contains a fountain and more moss-draped oaks. It’s also located near the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, the biggest church in Savannah. Since the doors were open, we took a quick peek inside.

From there we made our way towards the Andrew Low House as we had booked tickets for the first tour of the day at 10a.m. The house was built in 1848 and was named after its original owner, Andrew Low II, who immigrated to Savannah from Scotland in the late 1820s.

During our guided tour we learned more about the history of the house and how it was saved by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. It was restored with period pieces to reflect family life in Savannah in the mid nineteenth-century, incorporating an extensive collection of paintings, furniture, silver and other heirlooms that belonged to the people associated with the house.

Another fun fact about the house was that Juliette Gordon Low, who was the American founder of Girl Scouts of the USA, once lived here. The carriage house from the residence was later willed to the Girl Scouts as their first headquarters after she died in 1927.

Afterwards we went on a guided tour of the nearby Mercer Williams House Museum. The house was designed for Hugh W. Mercer, who ended up selling the house before it was finished. After laying vacant for a decade, the house was purchased by James A. Williams in 1969 who then restored it. The home is currently owned by Williams’ sister and is open to the public for tours of the main floor, but photography is not permitted. Our tour lasted about 30 minutes and our guide provided more information about the house, the architecture, and furnishings, which were pieces from Williams’ private collection.

The book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was based on the real-life events surrounding Williams and his trails for the murder of his handyman and lover in 1981. The book was later turned into a movie that was filmed in Savannah, including in the Mercer Williams House, and released in 1997.

Afterwards we continued wandering around Savannah’s historic downtown and passed through a few more squares on the way to River Street, which is located along the Savannah River.

We meandered along the waterfront before turning around and walking back to where we parked near the Andrew Low House.

On the drive out of Savannah we stopped at the Bonaventure Cemetery, a historic cemetery with lots of lovely stonework monuments and mossy oak trees. The cemetery was also featured in the novel and film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

We then hopped back in the car and drove four hours to Atlanta.

L

97 thoughts on “Savannah

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. It’s too bad they didn’t design more communities like Savannah with all the various park squares. The historic downtown is such a beautiful place to wander around and imagine what it would be like to live there. I don’t think I could handle the heat in the summer though.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The main point (or rather destination) of our road trip was to visit Savannah. It’s such a beautiful area and I love how the neighbourhoods in the historic downtown were designed with all the various park squares. It’s too bad we don’t design or build communities like that anymore. You’re right, Savannah was one of the areas that was used to film Forrest Gump. I just looked it up and the famous “life is like a box of chocolates” scene was filmed in Chippewa Square, Savannah.

      Liked by 1 person

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Same, they just have so much character. It’s a shame because some of the historic buildings and squares in Savannah were demolished to put up more modern buildings or make way for a parking lot. Thankfully certain key groups stepped in and petitioned the city to better preserve their historic properties. We can’t undo what was done though.

        Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words and for commenting. Visiting Savannah was actually the main purpose of our road trip. It’s such a lovely city with all the historic houses, cobblestoned streets, mossy oak trees and beautiful park squares. It was also very walkable, which is a great way to get a feel for the city. Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Take care. Linda

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      That’s exciting that you’re in Florida! Hopefully you’re able to squeeze in a visit to Savannah on your way back home. It’s such a charming city. I would return in a heartbeat … assuming it wasn’t summer as I don’t think I could handle the heat! Enjoy the rest of your holidays.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Bama says:

    Oh Savannah… When I first learned about this city and saw some photos of it, I was immediately awestruck by how beautiful it looks. Then, over the years as I watch documentaries about it the city seems to be even more appealing. This blog post of yours further confirms that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. Savannah is very charming and picturesque. One of the main reasons we went on our road trip was to visit Savannah. And it was well worth the drive. It’s such a beautiful place to wander around and admire all the park squares and historic buildings.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ab says:

    What a wonderful trip to Savannah, Linda. Absolutely beautiful!

    Those mossy oak trees are beautiful as are the old homes, museums, church, cemetery and waterfront that you visited.

    Another place I would never have thought of visiting but will have to add to the list one day! It seems like you and K got a lot of US travel and sightseeing done in the last while too! 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Savannah was the highlight of our road trip. It’s such a pretty city and I love how it’s very walkable. It’s too bad they don’t design neighbourhoods around park squares anymore or with pedestrians in mind. The historic homes were very extravagant and it was interesting to tour through a couple of them and imagine what it would be like to live there. Thanks for reading. Hope you had a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ab says:

        There certainly is a charm around neighbourhood built for pedestrians rather than cars like the way things are over where we are!

        I remember Aaron Spelling had a prime time soap opera years ago called Savannah and that’s the only reason I even know of the place! 😆 So your post was a nice refresher too. I can see why it was the highlight!

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      • Ab says:

        For sure! I went to my doctors last night at Women’s General Hospital next to Surrey Place. Was a good reminder how much I hate driving downtown. Both gas and congestion wise!

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. It was neat to tour through a couple of the historic homes and admire all the tall ceilings, antique furniture and attention to detail. It gave us a glimpse into the past of what it would be like to live there. Sounds like a lot of work to maintain everything!

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. Savannah is filled with so much history and charm. One of my favourite things about the city was just how walkable it is and that there are park squares every couple of blocks. If you visit the US, I would highly recommend spending some time in Savannah and Charleston. I couldn’t get over how fabulous the weather was over the weekend. Hope you made the most of it as well. Take care. Linda

      Liked by 1 person

  3. wetanddustyroads says:

    “A bit chilly” you said … sounds like freezing temperatures to me! I would love to walk around in Forsyth Park. How lovely is that fountain and inside of the church. As always, lovely photo’s – especially that one of the bridge.

    Liked by 2 people

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was actually much warmer in Savannah compared to back home in Canada, so I guess the term “chilly” is very relative. One of my favourite things about Savannah were all the various park squares. Of these, Forsyth Park was one of my favourites.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Rose says:

    The cathedral photos are gorgeous, love the giant ball of sunshine. And it’s always interesting to see home interiors, furniture and heirlooms of family life from older times – to compare and contrast to how families live today.

    Liked by 2 people

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. I love touring through some of these historic properties too. The architecture and antique furniture are beautiful. Agreed, it’s interesting to see the comparison between how people used to live back then compared to today.

      Like

  5. carol hopkins says:

    What a wonderful experience! Savannah looks so beautiful! I have never been south of the border. Hubby used to drive a transport truck from Toronto to Mexico and we had hoped I’d make the trip with him at least once. Sadly that did not happen. One day we may do just that and see some of the sights.

    These are beautiful photos, but it is your descriptions that help make your posts so great. Have a great week!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s neat how Savannah was designed around its park squares. They are lovely spots to take a stroll or just sit on a bench and enjoy the scenery. It’s too bad we don’t have more parks like these in our cities today.

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      One of the perks to visiting Savannah towards the end of November is that we didn’t have to deal with the heat, mosquitoes or crowds. It was actually a little on the chillier side, which made it comfortable for walking around. I wish we could have stayed an extra day though as there were a few other historic houses that I wanted to visit. Next time.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. BrittnyLee says:

    I am always fascinated by the Moss hanging from the trees it looks so incredible. I love seeing scenes like that in movies they just look so amazing. I think this is a place I would like to visit 🙂 it looks so picturesque

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Savannah is very beautiful. It’s the perfect place to just wander around for the day and enjoy the architecture. It’s neat that they designed their neighbourhoods around their park squares.

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      • BrittnyLee says:

        That is neat and not heard of often. I love architecture. When Matt and I went to Aruba and some of those other islands, I was in my glory taking photos of all the buildings and bridges and homes. It’s neat to see how other places design things. It’s so fascinating

        Like

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I bet. I’m always so fascinated by the architecture of all the different cities that we visit. I’ve never been to Aruba before, but would love to someday to escape from the cold Canadian winter.

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      • BrittnyLee says:

        Oh I could imagine! Pennsylvania winners are rough but I can’t imagine Canadian winters 🥶🥶🥶. We went to Aruba on a cruise. Matt’s parents treated us for a nice family trip. It was a great time. Believe it or not, I was actually very reluctant to go. Not because of being on a ship, but because of flying. I was terrified of flying haha 🤣😂. I think I always will be. I made sure to be sitting right next to Matt and took Dramamine for nausea just in case. Luckily, I didn’t have any. I think it only occurs in car rides/bus rides for me. I didn’t get nauseous on the ship, either. I also brought my tablet which has my word games and other games to share with Matt. That helped the nerves well. 🙂 The flight was easy going for us. Matt’s sister’s fiance wasn’t so lucky though, poor guy threw up on the plane. I felt bad . Yikes . You would like Aruba and Curacao. They’re beautiful ❤️

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      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I’m not a fan of flying either and find the takeoffs and landings are always the worst. That’s rough about throwing up on a plane or being by someone who throws up. I couldn’t handle that. And yes, I would love to visit both Aruba and Curacao. I’ve been to Bonaire before, which is super close to those islands, and had an amazing time diving.

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      • BrittnyLee says:

        Bonaire is gorgeous but very hot !!!we really enjoyed it but wishes we could swim lol 🤣 I saw people diving when we were there . It looks like fun 😊

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      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Being in the water helps a lot with the heat. That’s too bad that you couldn’t swim. If you ever learn, I would highly recommend diving. Life under the sea is very colourful.

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      • BrittnyLee says:

        I know !! I guess the area we were at didn’t allow it. I love swimming. I definitely will give diving a try once it’s offered to me again 🙂🙂 I love swimming though. We go to this lake called, Lake Jean. It’s so peaceful and it’s at a mountain top so the water is typically warmer haha 🤣🙂 . It doesn’t matter when I’m hot though if the water is warm or cold haha 🤣☺️.

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      • WanderingCanadians says:

        The heat and the humidity during the summer can be pretty brutal here in Canada too. It seems like every summer is getting a little bit hotter and a lot dryer. We even had some forest fires out in Northern Ontario this past year.

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      • BrittnyLee says:

        Oh wow forest fires ?! That’s no good. Yeah , it’s weird because we’ve been in fire warnings too. It scares me. Fire is one of the elements that terrifies me when it’s out of control like it’s been everywhere. Scary. I hope this summer you guys will be ok and not get any more of them. I’m surprised Canada gets hot. If not for the humidity, the heat wouldn’t be so bad here.

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      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Same. It’s crazy how quickly a fire can spread and its path can be very unpredictable. It’s also scary that there’s very little you can do to protect your house. Some parts of Canada don’t get very hot or humid because of the ocean or mountains. But we don’t have either of those in Ontario so the weather can get brutal. This past week has been super hot and dry. I hope this isn’t a preview for what’s in store for the summer.

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  7. alisendopf says:

    What a great trip. So glad you were able to head south. Savannah looks like everything I imagined it would be. I would love to explore these old southern cities. Nicely done!

    Like

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was so nice to get a change of scenery and momentarily escape to warmer weather down south. Visiting Savannah was actually what we planned our road trip around. It was incredibly charming and we had a fabulous time strolling around the historic downtown.

      Liked by 1 person

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Visiting some of the historic houses and plantations was a more dynamic and interesting way to learn about the history in the southern US. As an added bonus, the weather was much more pleasant than back home in Ontario! I’m not sure I could handle the heat of the deep south in the summer though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • alisendopf says:

        I’m with you – I would positively MELT in that heat. I could see you walking around in shorts while the locals are bundled up for winter 🙂

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      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I’ll take the cold Canadian winters over the hot southern summers anyday. It was funny because we had mentioned how nice the weather was when we were visiting Savannah and some of the locals looked at us like we were crazy and said it was actually unseasonably cold for that time of the year.

        Liked by 1 person

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