Jessica, OHNY’s program manager recently took a trip down South, which was the start of her year of domestic US travel, explorations (well not the entire year, but at least during her vacation time, that is). She began her journey in Savannah, GA to experience true southern hospitality, learn about the history of the city and of course, sample the food.

Bruges, Belgium...still my favorite city!

I have to confess, I’ve probably visited more European cities than I have ones in the US. May be it’s been the allure of traveling to Athens to explore the Parthenon, the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque in Istanbul, seeing the amazing kaleidoscope of colors during tulip season just outside of Amsterdam, walking along the canals of Venice, and sampling chocolates in Brussels and Bruges that has always made me want to trek to different parts of Europe. I’m also easily persuaded to go visit a city based on recommendations from friends. So when Jason, my friend and office work spouse, said that he took a road trip down South with stops in Greenboro, Savannah and Charleston and loved his time there, I had to go check it out for myself. Unfortunately due to a limited time frame and having only four whole days, I had to be selective in which cities I could visit.

Talmadge Memorial Bridge in Savannah

You probably might associate Savannah with the novel (later turned into a movie) Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. And if you are visiting the city for the first time, I highly recommend going on one or more walking or trolley tours, which range from excursions that are based on the book to the Civil War as well as a look at the historic homes, and of course, the ghosts of Savannah. I took tours of the latter two.

A tour of some of Savannah's historic homes

While there, I stayed at the Marshall House, which is located in the city’s historic district. The four-story hotel was built in 1851 by businesswoman Mary L. Marshall who wanted to accommodate visitors looking for a place to stay while in this port city. The Marshall House has a long history including serving as a hospital for soldiers during the Civil War. While I didn’t encounter any ghostly activities during my stay, there are reported stories of hotel guests experiencing rambunctious children running up and down the halls in the early morning (when there were no kids staying on that particular floor at that specific time) and lights turning on and off by themselves.

Marshall House - Savannah's oldest hotel

On my last night in Savannah I stopped by Leopold’s Ice Cream on East Broughton Street. Founded by three immigrant bothers from Greece, the original ice cream parlor from 1919 was in a different location from its current site. It’s what you’d imagine an old-fashioned ice cream parlor would look like complete with Hollywood memorabilia and a jukebox.

A scoop (yes, that's just one scoop) of strawberry shortcake ice cream

All in all, I would definitely visit Savannah again because of its important cultural history, lovely public squares and parks with fountains, grand oaks with Spanish moss, and the genuine southern hospitality I received while there.

One of the over 20 pocket parks in the historic district

Stay tuned for a future post about Atlanta!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.