When the first European explorers began to move up river, leaving the Atlantic Ocean and their perilous journey from the old country behind them, they saw what looked to them like a vast savanna. The vast savanna turned out to be a massive wet lands, but the name stuck and so the Savannah River and the settlement of Savannah were born. Whether the naming was a spelling mistake or just an embellishment to add distinction Savannah did not turn out to be a mistake. Since its beginning it’s been a busy seaport and even today it’s the good old US of A’s third largest port next to New York and Los Angeles. This long history of import export has shaped the city and added layers of complexity and richness to this most lovely Hostess City of the South.
One of Savannah’s many attributes is its architecture and the design of the city itself. Incorporated into this design from the beginning were many parks, which are still here to this very day. There are 23 small parks that act as a focal-point for residential and business neighborhoods. This is in addition to Forsyth Park a large and manicured common in this most green of American townships. Each of the many smaller parks are filled with their share of gigantic Live Oak trees all draped, as if by a phantom gardener, with light green Spanish moss. The upshot of this tree and moss arrangement is beauty, serenity, and peace; so unlike most modern US cities. The present city planners added to this unique feel by banishing, or at least restricting, the normal assortment of chain stores and other monopolistic retailers. You’ll find a few big-guys in town, but mostly you’ll experience many small privately owned businesses; capitalism at its best.
Of course Julia and I could not resist walking to every park in this eminently walkable town, and the benefit of our wanderings was to experience close-up the old and unique architecture along with the scenic pleasures of this exceptional city. Along the way we also enjoyed visiting several of Savannah’s many colorful museums. And what visit, to this old port town, would be complete if you didn’t walk the River Walk filled to overflowing with tourist shops and packaged tours. Food is the other distinctive characteristic of Savannah. Unlike Orlando, which is the epitome of everything bad about US food, Savannah is everything good about American food. Every restaurant we went to was small, privately owned, and many were highlighting locally grown produce. This makes Savannah’s eating experience far superior to many other US cities. And Savannah’s southern roots adds another interesting twist to eating here.
There are no perfect travel destinations and Savannah is no exception. Although its travel pluses far outweigh its minuses Savannah is very hot and very humid. And where this kind of weather is king live mosquitos, hundreds, and hundreds of blood thirsty, filthy dirty, mosquitos. As Julia and I sit scratching and nursing our welted arms and legs we cannot forget the great time we had in Savannah Georgia and await longingly for our chance to visit again.