Our guide features the best restaurants, shops and bed and breakfast inns in this charming sophisticated Southern city. This is a magical place that we have fallen in love with that just keeps calling us back over and over again.
Savannah Georgia is one of the most beautiful cities in the United States. Part of that beauty lies in it’s design. It is laid out in a wonderul grid pattern with parks or squares scattered every few blocks. The best thing about Savannah is this design, this early American urban planning. General James Edward Oglethorpe brought this plan and a group of colonists with him from England when he arrived here in 1733. The plan called for a city based on a series of open squares, surrounded by houses. It is this plan which gives the city it’s unique character, style and grace.
Today, 22 of these original 24 squares remain and are public parks with moss and fern covered oak trees, permanent plantings of flowers and scrubs, well maintained grassy areas and historic monuments or fountains. These parks make Savannah a very green city and contribute to the overall sense of pride that the city has about itself.
In the photo to the left is shown a grand example of what makes Savannah unique. The incredible architecture of this city is definitely part of The Best of Savannah. This home has outstanding decorative cast iron railings, elaborate metal window casings and a patina on the outer walls that is priceless. Whenever we pass this building, we find another aspect of it that intrigues us, and makes us take another photo.
Best of Savannah: Preservation, Urban Renewal and Restoration
Based on the strength of Savannah’s original plan, it survived the Urban Renewal and mid-century modernization movement in good order. Two of the original squares however were lost during this time. The first square to be obliterated was Ellis Square in 1954, which was home to the City Market. It was torn down to build a nondescript parking garage. The second square to be lost was Elbert Square in the early 1970′s, which was destroyed to make way for the Savannah Civic Center. Thankfully, both squares are now on their way back. Ellis Square and the City Market are being restored now as of early 2007, and plans are underway to restore part of Ellis Square, next to the Civic Center.
One of the organizations at the heart of this charming city’s preservation is the Historic Savannah Foundation. The foundation maintains an architectural inventory of important structures, purchases property, and is involved in educational programs to heighten the awareness and appreciation of the city’s history and architecture.
Another big mover in the preservation and conservation of this great American city is SCAD: The Savannah College of Art and Design. The college has been very busy in the last 27 years in buying rundown or empty buildings throughout the city and breathing new life into them. Today the college has taken over 60 buildings for use as studios, student housing, galleries and offices.
The City of Savannah itself is responsible for the preservation of the city’s beauty and has to be commended. It is responsible for maintaining the parks and all the work that goes into that task from watering plants and grasses to keeping the parks clean to maintaining the benches, fences and monuments. This is addition to the crucial tasks of city planning and zoning which are essential to maintaining a city’s character and beauty.
Best of Savannah: Shopping
There are stores that are just magic. “At Home” is just such a store in Savannah. It is the brainchild of Elizabeth ….. (Read the rest of our review and see more photos on our new feature page: Savannah’s Best Store: One Funky Place)
Savannah is not just another charming old and stuffy Southern town. It is alive with an energy that embraces … Read more and see a group of photos from this incredible store on our new feature page: Shopping in Savannah Georgia
Roaming the city streets at night, you can’t help but be drawn in by sights like this, at an art gallery downtown near … Read more and see a group of photos from this incredible gallery on our new feature page: The Art of Savannah Georgia
We ended up discovering Savannah’s Southside one day when we needed to find a good wine shop and … Read more and see a group of photos from this part of the city that most never see on our new feature page: Trip to Savannah’s Southside
Best of Savannah: Lodging
When we first started investigating a trip to Savannah, early on we found a charming little bed and breakfast with … (Read more and see our winner on our new feature page: The Best B+B in this “Southern City of Style”
Savannah has a large number of hotels in the historic district with a wide range of … Read more on our new feature page which we believe is the: Web’s Best Hotel Guide To Savannah’s Historic District
Best of Savannah: Dining
Deciding on the best of anything is a real challenge, and naming the best restaurant in Savannah is no different. There are so many styles of … (Read more and see all the winners on our new feature page: The Best Restaurants
“What are the best places to eat here?” That’s one of the first questions we asked when we plan a trip, and that’s … Read more and see the web’s most popular restauants on our new feature page: Best Places