Savannah – Beautiful Lady of the South
Savannah – the Beautiful Lady of the South, has stood proudly on the Savannah River since 1733. First as a British colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later as the state capital of Georgia.
Today the industrial Port of Savannah is a major U.S. seaport for oceangoing vessels importing and exporting cargo around the world. Compared to other port cities, i.e., Los Angeles, Long Beach, Houston and New York, Savannah ranks number two with millions of tons of cargo moving through the harbor.
Sitting beside the busy international port is a historical town with deep roots in American Civil War and the American Revolution. Along cobblestone streets and narrow pathways lie stories of many lives who have influenced the city we see today.
Each year millions of visitors come to Savannah to learn about and experience the many historic buildings and homes, gardens and squares and engage with what Savannah is well known for – warm hospitality.
When visiting, there are several “don’t miss” spots.” Here’s Travel Bags With Annita’s list to get you started.
It is the largest of the courtyard parks you’ll find in historic downtown Savannah. It’s 30 acres of play or rest space. The amphitheater located in the park is also the spot of many events and festivals held during the year.
The Fountain is an iconic landmark and place for photos. Many marriage proposals have taken place right in that spot, making it one of the most romantic places in Savannah.
On any day, you’ll find Forsyth Park is a great place to walk your dog. There is a Fragrant Garden for the Blind to experience the beauty of the park.
It is the first public museum in the Southeastern United States. Opened in 1880’s it was first a family mansion and has grown into a cultural icon in Savannah’s historic district Today it is part of Savannah’s social scene and with more than 4000 permanent collections of Art from America and Europe. Some pieces date from the 18-21st centuries. Part of the museum includes the Telfair Academy, the Owens-Thomas House circa 1820, a National Historic Landmark building and the contemporary Jepson Center.
Mercer Williams House (Also known as the Mercer House)
Located on the infamous Bull Street and the Monterey Square.
The house was the location where a shooting death took place and is the inspiration for the book and movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
What may not be known is there have been several deaths at the house. The home was designed by New York architect John S. Norris for General Hugh W. Mercer, the great grandfather of Johnny Mercer. Construction started in 1860 and was interrupted by the Civil War and completed in 1868 by the new owner John Wilder. Most visitors are familiar with the home and are interested in visiting. The home is available for tours.
Wormsloe Historic Site
Did you know that Savannah was the site of the first Grand Prix in the United States? From 1908 – 1911 – Savannah was the place for fast cars. The 19-mile long track ran down Skidaway Road.
One of the race embankments remains today on the Wormsloe property. You can visit and see historic cars from local car clubs.
It is a breathtaking avenue with a canopy of live oaks draped in Spanish moss.
You will also find the ruins of Wormhole colonial estate which was own by Noble Jones from 1702-1775. Jones was a carpenter who came to Georgia in 1733 with James Oglethorpe along with the first group of settlers from England.
Wormsloe is the oldest standing structure in Savannah.
There are costumed interpreters on site to offer not only information but a feel of what life was like during Antebellum South.
Over 100 acres filled with not only history but also beauty in a place where you may not normally think to call beautiful.
The cemetery dates back to 1846 when the property was privately owned. Originally called Evergreen Cemetery and established when Savannah’s existing cemeteries were nearing capacity. Designed as a traditional Victorian cemetery with curving pathways and lots of beautiful green areas (trees and grass). In 1907 the cemetery was purchased by the City of Savannah. What stands out about the cemetery is the style referred to as Southern Gothic. Buried in the cemetery are several celebrities and notable citizens like Johnny Mercer.
First African Baptist Church
The oldest Black Church in North America – constituted December 1777, First African Baptist Church organized in 1773 under the leadership of Reverend George Lelie and later ordained as a pastor in December 1777, when the church was officially constituted as a body of organized believers.
In 1859 under the leadership of the 3rd Pastor Reverend Andrew C. Marshall, the congregation obtained the property where the present sanctuary stands.
He organized the first black Sunday school in North America and changed the name from First Colored Baptist to the First African Baptist.
The light fixtures, baptismal pool, and 1832 Pipe Organ are all original to the church. The ceiling of the church is in the design of a Nine Patch Quilt which represented that the church was a safe house for slaves. Nine Patch Quilts also served as a map and guide informing people where to go next or what to look out for doing their travel.
There are many, many more great sites and tours. Visit the websites below for more information and help with planning your Savannah vacation.