Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Hostess City of the South . . .

This weekend, while many are experiencing blizzard like conditions and extreme cold along the East Coast of the United States, I thought this week's virtual destination should be one that makes me think of flowers, warmth and genuine hospitality - Savannah, Georgia.  For an overview of Savannah tourism, visit Savannah Visitor Information.

Established as a city in 1733, Savannah is a coastal city that is steeped in history, and it a great walking city.  Its downtown area is set up in a grid-like fashion that consists of 21 beautiful squares.  The architecture in Savannah is one of its highlights - beautiful antique homes surround most of the squares.  It is enjoyable to sit on a bench and imagine yourself climbing the double staircase at the entrance of one of these beautiful homes, on your way to afternoon tea or a dinner party.

My hotel of choice in Savannah is The Marshall House located at 123 East Broughton Street .  Built in 1851, The Marshall House was the first hotel in Savannah and was recently extensively renovated.  It is also alledgedly haunted which makes it a must-stay for me!

After checking into the hotel, and realizing it is lunchtime there is only one place to go The Lady and Sons at 102 West Congress Street. 

Owned by celebrity chef Paula Deen, it is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Savannah, so prepare to queue up - but the wait will be worth it.  The buffet lunch, which consists of some of the items Paula is famous for - fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens - make it a great way to sample true Southern cooking.

Now that we have eaten approximately 2,500 calories of Southern food, it is time to get some exercise.  How about a walking tour?  The Savannah Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Book Tour by Savannah Tours will take you through some of the locations in John Berendt's book "Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil", including Mercer House and Bonaventure Cemetery.

For a little evening entertainment, let's stop at Club One at 1 Jefferson Street.  Club One is home to the infamous Lady Chablis. Made famous in the book and movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good in Evil" (Chablis even played herself in the movie!), "she" is rather outspoken and risqué entertainer, the likes of which you have probably never seen before!  Just a warning - if you are looking for calm, family entertainment, Club One is probably not the place for you!

Savannah is one of my favorite cities - it is historic and beautiful, interesting and edgy.  It is difficult to describe to someone who has never visited there, so I am going to borrow a quote from one of my favorite authors, Bill Bryson, who described it in his book, "The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America":
I stood agog in Lafayette Square in Savannah, amid brick paths, trickling fountains and dark trees hung with Spanish moss. Before me rose up a cathedral of linen-fresh whiteness with twin Gothic spires, and around it stood 200-year-old houses of weathered brick, with hurricane shutters that clearly were still used. I did not know that such perfection existed in America.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's like Gone with the Wind on mesculine!