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Savannah from the Air with Old City Helicopters

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With its squares, mansions, oak trees and Spanish Moss, Savannah is a gorgeous city when you’re standing on the ground. But how does it look from the air? To find out, we got in touch with Old City Helicopters, who invited us out on a sunset tour. Soon enough, we were zooming along the Savannah River, looking down upon the city from above.

Helicopter Tour Savannah

It was a late afternoon when we showed up at the airfield, adjacent to the Savannah-Hilton Head Airport, and the sun was just beginning its slow descent. Our pilot, Matt, described the tour we’d be taking: over Forsyth Park, around River Street and City Market, and then out toward Tybee Island. We’d return west toward the airfield just as dusk was settling in.

The company’s bright yellow helicopter is a frequent sight in the skies above Savannah, zipping over the city like a giant, benevolent mecha-bee. It’s a Robinson R44 copter, which seats four people and can travel at speeds of 150 miles per hour, although Matt assured us that we’d be going a lot slower than that. After all, the point was to see the sights, and not to zip across the city as fast as possible.

Helicopter Tour Savannah

Savannah’s logical layout is really apparent from the air, where you can see all the squares and better appreciate the city center’s grid-like pattern. There aren’t many tall buildings in downtown Savannah; the Hilton and the Cathedral of St. John are probably the most prominent. From above, Savannah looks quaint and peaceful; and more like an overgrown village than a real city… which is also how it feels from the ground, I suppose.

Soaring over the city was fun, but we enjoyed the remainder of the trip even more, when we got away from the downtown and into less populated land. The coastal waterways of Savannah look entirely different from the air. When you’re in a car, it’s impossible to see the twisting paths which snake through the marshland or appreciate the ecosystem’s true complexity.

We flew past the Tybee Island Lighthouse and Fort Pulaski, and then made our way back to the home base. Along the way, we flew over the port, which is much bigger than I had realized, and saw the International Paper Factory. This is the source of the infamous “Savannah Stink,” but with its lights on at dusk, the factory itself is quite pretty.

Old City Helicopters are a relatively new outfit in Savannah, but have quickly become popular. They offer a number of packages, from the Sunset Tour we did, to one which reaches all the way to Hilton Head. If you’re insecure about flying, you can try out their quick Discovery Tour, which provides views of the western end of Savannah for just $39. Matt was an excellent guide, friendly and knowledgeable, and we had a blast flying with him in the speedy yellow bee.

Location on our Map
Old City Helicopters – Website

List of Savannah Hotels

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March 31, 2016 at 6:00 pm Comment (1)

Colonial Park Cemetery

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A historical marker in Savannah’s Colonial Park Cemetery reports that “nearly 700” victims of the 1820 yellow fever epidemic are buried there. In fact, exactly six-hundred and sixty-six people died of the disease. But the church had issues with putting the Number of the Beast on a sign, and demanded the figure be rounded up.

Colonial

That’s just one of the disquieting anecdotes from the Colonial Park Cemetery, established around 1750 and closed to burials just before the Civil War. Another concerns the original size of the cemetery. Today, it fits nicely into a tidy square bounded by Abercorn, Oglethorpe, Habersham and Perry, but it used to be much bigger. As Savannah grew, property developers began buying up the cemetery’s prime real estate. Since digging up and moving bodies is so troublesome, corpses were left where they were; only the headstones were moved. The result is that every building surrounding Colonial Park is built on top of the desecrated dead.

A number of prominent Georgians are buried in Colonial Park, though I’ll confess to have never heard of any of them. Someone called Button Gwinnett has the most impressive monument (and the coolest name). After the Civil War, occupying Union troops were garrisoned there, and some of the soldiers amused themselves by defacing tombstones, changing dates and names. I found the gravestone of a woman who supposedly died when she was twelve, but had a son who passed a year later at the age of fourteen.

A green, creepy oasis of death in the center of Savannah, Colonial Park Cemetery is the perfect place for a stroll on cold, sunny, winter afternoons.

Location on our Savannah Map

Car Rental Savannah

Colonial Cemetery Savannah
Cemetery Pic Nic
Broken tombstone
Cemetery Fence
Cartoon Cemetery
Dreamy Tree
Cemetery Savannah
Fall Tomb Stone
Colonial Cemetery Savannah
Dead Old Lady
Grave Stone Close Up
Dream Magic Savannah
Fall in Savannah
Fenced Grave
Gwinneth Grave
Button Gwinneth
Signature Declaration
Ghost Tree
Tree From Mars
Savannah Tour Tombstone
Sacred Tomb
Fondled Tomb Stone
Line of Graves
Mass Crave
Maxwell Savannah
Nature Cemetery
Old Greek in Savannah
Skull Pirate Savannah
Pirate Grave Savannah
Tombstone Wall Savannah
Savannah Flag Cemetery
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December 21, 2010 at 10:41 pm Comments (8)

Captain Mike’s Dolphin Adventure

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I’ll admit it. I was already partial to Captain Mike’s Dolphin Adventure, out on Tybee Island, because I like anything featuring my own name. Mike & Ike’s? Delicious. Michael Jackson? The greatest ever. Mike the Headless Chicken? Best headless chicken ever. Mikes rule, and so it was no surprise to discover that Captain Mike’s Dolphin Adventure was totally awesome.

Savannah Dolphin

During our hour-long journey into the ocean, we saw probably over a hundred dolphins. Fine, they might have been the same dolphins over and over again, but we had well over a hundred “sightings.” Jumping dolphins, playful dolphins, sassy dolphins. One dolphin swam right alongside our boat, and I swear he was looking at me, so I named him “Mike”. He was my favorite.

Our guide was great, too. The whole time, she was sharing fun facts while continuing to direct our attention toward the dolphins. “Did you know that (3 o’clock!) while dolphins sleep, they keep one side of their brain (Jumper, 11 o’clock!) active at a time?” I don’t know how she spotted them so quickly, but her eyes were always well ahead of mine.

This tour is a great deal, both for the dolphin spotting and for the excursion out onto the water. If you even see one dolphin, it’d be hard to walk away dissatisfied, and if our excursion was anything like typical, you should see a lot more than one.

Location on our Day Trips Map
Captain Mike’s Dolphin Tours – Official Website

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Dolphin Xing
Captain Mike
Yellow Boat
No Tie Ups
Local Pelican
Swamp
Flying Birds
Tybee Island
Da Bird
Danger Dude
Jumping Dolphin
Jumping Dolphin
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December 13, 2010 at 5:00 pm Comment (1)
Savannah from the Air with Old City Helicopters With its squares, mansions, oak trees and Spanish Moss, Savannah is a gorgeous city when you're standing on the ground. But how does it look from the air? To find out, we got in touch with Old City Helicopters, who invited us out on a sunset tour. Soon enough, we were zooming along the Savannah River, looking down upon the city from above.
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