This past December I took a vacation to Savannah, Georgia. I had never been there and decided it was the perfect time to go. I must say it is a beautiful place! It reminds me of a laid back version of Charleston, South Carolina. It’s full of squares that represent different people or events. One square is famously known because it appeared in Forrest Gump! Think back to the scene where Forrest, Tom Hanks, was sitting on a bench and a white feather floated down and landed at his feet! There was also a movie being filmed while I was there. I stayed off Bay street at the Inn at Ellis Square. This was a prime location because you were with in walking distance to trolley stops, the main shopping street, restaurants and bars. Bay street runs parallel to River street, which is full of local stores, restaurants, and candy shops.
Everything was so close that you could walk everywhere. Savannah was not packed with tourists like I though it would be and was not decorated much for Christmas. They said the lack of decorations was due to the tradition set long ago of simple southern charm. The weather was also perfect, it stayed in the mid 60’s and even got up into the 70’s one day. The lack of tourist congestion and great weather made Savannah even more enjoyable.
There was so much to do that I left with more to enjoy when I go back. I went on two ghost tours and enjoyed the local guides on the trolley’s. The 2nd ghost tour took us through the historic district and to two places. The first was the Juliette Gordon Low house, which I later saw during the day. As a former girl scout it brought me such joy to see the house and its gardens, while learning about the owners and the ghosts that still haunt the property.
You can only take photos inside the house at night. Bonus! The house was utterly magnificent!!!
During the day my group was taken around the first and second floors by an alumni girl scout. She was full of information and shared her favorite rooms and pictures with us. She showed us medal the Ms. Low was given two years ago by the president. It is the highest civilian medal given. I learned more about how the Girl Scouts of America was originated and its ultimate goal than I had ever known before. It is definitely a must see if you go to Savannah!
Besides the Juliette Gordon Low house we also visited the Owens-Thomas House. This house was full of just as much history as the Low house. The tour started off in the slave quarters and continued into the main house. The house was very nice and full of optical illusions, as I call them. The house was focused on symmetry and if there was a real window or door on one side there was a fake window or door on the other side. The house is also another must see for the history buff.
Besides the ghost and house tours there were many great places to shop and eat. I ate at the infamous Old Pink House, which is haunted. It was an eclectic place and I ate upstairs in the bankers office, but it looked more like a hunting room! Off River Street there was a steak place called Boar’s Head, not the deli meat company! It was a nice place with a nice cultural interior. My daughter said it was the best she crab soup she had the whole trip. I think she was right, everything I had did not compare!
On our last day we ate at The Crab Shack on Tybee Island! It was amazing and I bet during St. Patty’s day and summer it is a hopping place. Nothing was fried and it was all fresh seafood. We had boiled snow crab, shrimp, a crab cake, and BBQ. It was all good! The snow crab and shrimp were sweet, the way they should be! The area where we sat had a huge bar that looked like it was something out of a Caribbean bar.
Another local place that was spectacular was Leopold’s Ice Cream Shop! It is by far some of the best ice cream you will ever eat! I had banana and rum raisin and my daughter had frozen hot chocolate. Hers had real marshmallows in it! The shop was open by three brothers back in 1919 and was run for many years by people in the family. Stratton Leopold took over the business after his father died, the second of the three originators, and ran it for a while. Stratton moved to Hollywood and became a big time movie producer. In 2004 he and his wife reopened Leopold’s and it has been a success ever since, just like when the three brothers opened it in 1919! When you go into the shop the walls are covered with movie posters, which Stratton worked on, invitations to amazing events, and the movie clipper boards from some of his movies. It is an altogether neat experience and great for those that have a major sweet tooth!