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For 91 Days in Savannah – The E-Book

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Updated 2016 Edition!!

We’ve converted our three-month blog about Savannah into an exclusive e-book. For 91 Days in Savannah contains all of our articles and 195 of our best pictures, in full-color. With categorical and alphabetical indexes, locations, links to the original blog posts, and cross-references spread throughout, the e-book is a perfect companion for a trip to Savannah… and you don’t need an internet connection to use it!

Amazon Kindle

Amazon USA | UK | <a and Germany
Direct Download (PDF, MOBI, EPUB)

For just a few bucks, you can download your own copy of the book for use on your e-reader or computer, giving you access to our anecdotes and articles wherever you are, without having to connect to the internet. And, buying the e-book is a great way to support our project… take a look at some sample pages from the PDF.

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May 10, 2016 at 8:35 am Comments (34)

Some Final Images from Savannah

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Stock Photos Savannah

Five years is usually considered to be a long time, but that’s not necessarily the case in Savannah. We returned to find the city largely as we had left it. Sure, there were some new restaurants, and a few additional museums to check out … whether they were new or had re-opened after renovation. But Savannah itself hadn’t changed at all. And we like it that way. Here are some final images from our return to this beautiful and utterly unique southern city.

Our Framed Savannah Photos

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April 10, 2016 at 10:42 am Comment (1)

The Georgia State Railroad Museum

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The Central of Georgia Railway company was founded in 1833, connecting Savannah to Macon and Southeast America’s budding train network. The company’s Savannah headquarters were closed in 1963, and today the grounds have found a new life as home to the Georgia State Railroad Museum.

Train Museum Savannah

Located in Tricentennial Park, the former headquarters of the Central of Georgia are considered one of the most well-preserved antebellum train complexes in America, and the entire site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976. The site is comprised of a handful of old buildings, most of which can be visited. The highlight is the old roundhouse. Railway cars in need of repair were able to roll into the center of this circular construct, where there was a massive rotating disk that would spin around until the car was pointed at its proper stall.

We joined a tour of the former Coach and Paint House, which currently holds some historic wagons, tram cars and a caboose. Neglected for decades after the company’s closure, this building and the entire yard had been occupied by homeless people, who accidentally started a major fire. Today, a lot of restoration has been done, but you can still see the signs of the paint house’s rougher days, most particularly in the graffiti decorating its walls.

Train Museum Savannah

Many of the company’s most historic trains have been restored, and the most impressive ones are displayed in the roundhouse. Unfortunately, almost all of them are off-limits to visitors, unless you’re part of a tour. Luckily, such tours are both free and frequent. Regardless of what time you show up, you’ll likely be able to join one. If you have kids, you might want to ensure that the tour you join includes a ride on the still-functioning handcar.

Location on our Map
Georgia State Railroad Museum – Website

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April 6, 2016 at 10:51 am Comments (0)

The King-Tisdell Cottage

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Built in 1896 and recently restored to its original beauty, the King-Tisdell Cottage allows visitors to check out the interior of a classic Savannah home, and learn more about the rich heritage of the city’s black population.

Kings Tisdell Cottage

When we walked by the King-Tisdell Cottage, it had already been a long day, and we briefly considered saving this attraction for another time. But the cottage is small, and we figured that it would be a quick visit. We hadn’t, however, reckoned on the force of nature awaiting us behind the doors. As soon as we stepped inside the cottage, I knew that our visit would be anything but quick.

There are people who are so enthusiastic, it’s as though their bodies can’t contain their spirits, and energy simply bubbles up and out of them. Our guide to the King-Tisdell Cottage is one such person. A true Savannah character, this woman provided a nonstop whirlwind of information, anecdotes and laughs from the moment we entered until we staggered out an hour later. The first thing she did was put her hands on her hips, look up and down at Jürgen’s 6’6″ frame and say, “Well I’ll be calling you ‘Big Daddy Long Legs’! Now come on, Big Daddy, sit down and let me tell you about Mr. and Mrs. King”

Kings Tisdell Cottage

And so we sat down and allowed her to regale us about Mr. and Mrs. Eugene and Sarah King, who bought this cottage in 1925. She told us about Sarah’s confectionery shop, and Mr. King’s passing, and Sarah’s remarriage to a longshoreman named Robert Tisdell. She told us about her own life, and local Savannah ice-pops known as “thrills,” and the neighborhood kids, and the Underground Railroad, and how “you can’t trust anything you learn about black folks from the TV, now listen to me!”

As we walked through the house with her, struggling to process the information overload, we also tried to concentrate on the Victorian-era house itself, which is lovely. There are exhibits dedicated to the lives of the cottage’s owners, as well as W.W. Law, the influential Savannah civil rights leader who led the charge to preserve the house, moving it from its original location on Ott Street to Huntingdon.

Our guide seemed to detect the moment our energy had finally run out, and walked us to the door, offering us a couple moon pies for the road. Naturally, our farewells lasted for a long time, too; a neighbor stopped by and we all hung out at the cottage’s fence, chatting about the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and the amazing weather. We were exhausted by the time we took our leave, but this had been an unexpectedly fun experience… just like many in Savannah tend to be.

Location on our Map

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Kings Tisdell Cottage
Kings Tisdell Cottage
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April 3, 2016 at 11:01 am Comments (0)

The Rowdy Fun of River Street

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Say you’ve got a lady companion on your arm. She’s a fine lady, dainty and demure, and you wish to take a romantic stroll along the river, and perhaps even muster the courage to steal a furtive kiss on the cheek. Good sir, stay away from River Street! Now, on the other hand, if your lady is a party animal, partial to the occasional belch, and already a drunken mess at 3pm, then head on down. You guys are going to have a blast. And I bet you get more than a kiss on the cheek.

Savannah River Street

River Street is Savannah’s party central. When the sun goes down and the lights go on, this is where the action is, drawing locals and tourists alike to its riverside bars and restaurants. But it’s also a party during the day, especially on weekends, as people encouraged by Savannah’s liberal open container laws, stumble up and down the cobblestone street.

But you don’t have to be intoxicated to enjoy River Street’s charms. When the sun is out, this is a fun place for anyone to spend the afternoon. There are some decent shops, historic sights, and the restaurants aren’t all tourist traps: Vic’s on the River is legitimately good, and we had a great time shucking oysters at Bernie’s, where the price per bucket was a bargain.

Savannah River Street

If all that’s not enough, you also have the view of the Savannah River, upon which you’ll probably see some big container ships making their way upstream to the port. Should you feel like getting out on the water yourself, you can take a river cruise on a steamship. Big tourist boats leave frequently from the street-side dock.

But the best thing to do on River Street, is to grab a couple to-go cups, sit down on a wall somewhere, preferably with a view of the Talmadge Bridge, and watch the people come and go. You’ll see all sorts of characters on River Street, getting into all sorts of drunken situations. It’s great fun and maybe, if the sun is going down and the mood is right, you’ll be able to steal that kiss, after all.

Location on our Map

List Of Savannah Hotels

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March 26, 2016 at 12:57 pm Comments (0)

Savannah: Five Years Later

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Five years had passed, and we thought it would be a good time to return to Savannah. We wouldn’t be staying for 91 days, this time, but just a couple weeks. We figured that should be long enough to visit our favorite spots, eat at some new restaurants and check out a few things we had missed the first time around.

A lot can change in five years. The last time we were in Savannah, we were just starting out on our travels. Savannah was only our second destination, and we were still figuring out how this whole “For 91 Days” project was going to work. Five years ago, we were different people; a little younger and a lot less experienced. Oh and back then, our dog was still alive and traveling with us!

But for a city like Savannah, five years is nothing. The first thing we did upon returning was to tour the city’s squares, and I was impressed by how little they had changed. It was almost as though we had never left. There were the same haunting mansions, the same mustached SCADsters, the same Live Oaks draped in Spanish Moss, and the same atmosphere of welcoming southern gentility. Even the same big old blues singer was in his spot at Wright Square, belting out the same interminable melodies.

In 91 days, we had been able to experience a lot of what Savannah has to offer, but there was still a lot left to do. There were things we missed, because they had been closed for renovation (Massie Heritage Center), closed for the season (Mrs. Wilkes), or because we had simply run out of time (Sorrel-Weed House). There are new restaurants, and other experiences which hadn’t existed five years ago, or which we didn’t know about.

And besides all the new things, we hoped to return to all our favorite spots. The Sentient Bean, the Olde Pink House, Bonaventure Cemetery and Tybee… Is it possible to repeat 91 experiences in ten days? I doubt it, but I’m dying to try.

The three months we spent in Savannah were among the most memorable in all our travels, and we’re happy to have returned, even if just for a short visit. So let’s catch up, Savannah! Honestly, honey, y’all look the same. The years have been kind. But tell your old friends all about it. What’s new?

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March 9, 2016 at 8:22 pm Comments (0)

Thanks for the Memories, Y’all!

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This might be a city which moves slow, but our three months here flew by at a breakneck pace. Savannah had been a friendly, wild and unforgettable place to temporarily call home, and we couldn’t have hoped to have chosen a better city.

Good Bye Savannah

After spending almost a decade in Europe, I had been excited to get back to the USA. And though I might have been returning home, I’m originally from the Midwest, so the deep-fried Southern charm of Savannah would be something totally new to me. From November to January, we kept busy; twenty-two squares, late-night partying on River Street, day trips to South Carolina, kayaking at Tybee Island… and of course, a whole lot of great eating.

Savannah’s Victorian district is lovely, as is the nature which surrounds the city. And the history of the city is fascinating, from the colonial days, through the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement, up into the present day. But more than all that, what we’ll most fondly remember are the people. The eccentric and gracious people of Savannah are far and away its best quality. We’ve never felt so welcomed by a city’s residents, as we did in Savannah, and we made some friendships here that I’m confident will last our whole lives.

Savannah is a special place, and we were sad to leave. But our travel bug was itching, and the next stop on our slow-moving world tour was already calling: Buenos Aires, Argentina. Steaks, tango, Evita, gauchos and pizza, all packed into one of the world’s most amazing cities. It’d be quite a shift from the easy southern charm of Savannah… but we could hardly wait to get going.

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January 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm Comments (10)

Laurel Grove Cemeter(ies)

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Less heralded than Bonaventure Cemetery on Whitemarsh Island, but nearly as beautiful and free from almost any tourist presence, the twin cemeteries of Laurel Grove North and Laurel Grove South are nice places to spend a quiet afternoon among the dead.

Gate Laurel Grove

Laurel Grove was established in 1853, after the more central Colonial Park Cemetery was deemed too full and closed to further burials. With plenty of room on Savannah’s western side, the city fathers split their new cemetery into two separate sections: north for whites, south for blacks.

They’re really two separate cemeteries, with different entrances. We didn’t know that, and spent a long time walking around Laurel Grove North, looking for a southern section. But we never found anything, and instead spent the afternoon admiring the gorgeous tombstones clearly erected for rich families. There was nobody there, save for one group of Girl Scouts hovering around the grave of Juliette Gordon Low.

The next day, having being corrected by amused friends, we drove to Laurel Grove South. Just as haunting and beautiful as its twin to the north, but completely different in feeling, without nearly as many glorious, towering monuments. Nor as many Girl Scouts. We might have preferred the southern section, though, for the melancholy and humble vibe of its anonymous slave section.

If you’re looking for a lovely, desolate place to spend a few hours in Savannah, Laurel Grove might fit the bill. I’m not sure why, but visiting cemeteries always brings me a sense of solace.

Locations on our Savannah Map: Laurel Grove North | Laurel Grove South

The Complete Guide to Cemetery Symbolism
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Pictures of Laurel Grove North:

Dead Girl Scout
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Now pictures from Laurel Grove Cemetery South:

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January 26, 2011 at 10:31 am Comments (7)

Orleans Square

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Orleans Square, on Barnard Street, might as well be called Parking Lot Square. It’s one of the spaces which has been most negatively impacted by the development boom of the mid-20th century.

Orleans Fountain

The square itself could be quite charming, with a large central fountain dedicated to the German immigrants to Savannah that was installed on the 250th anniversary of the founding of Georgia. But once you take your eyes off the ground and look around, the charm vanishes. The biggest blight is the Civic Center, whose backside and rear parking area mar the western end of Orleans Square. Five of the eight lots which surround Orleans are dedicated to parking. Another is occupied by SCAD’s gym.

Luckily, the houses which do survive on Orleans are beautiful, particularly the Harper-Fowlkes House on 230 Barnard. Built in 1842 in the Greek Revival style, this house is occasionally open for tours and also serves as the Georgia headquarters for the Society of the Cincinnati. This house can be toured. Another noteworthy home on Orleans is the Stephen-Williams House, constructed in 1834 in the Federal style. It’s currently an inn with individually-designed rooms.

Location on our Savannah Map
Harper-Fowlkes House Website
Stephen-Williams House Inn – Website

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Orleans Spanish Moss
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Orelans Square Savannah
Spanish Moss Fountain
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Wetterhahn
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January 24, 2011 at 3:10 pm Comments (5)

Crawford Square

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Laid out in 1841, Crawford is the only of Savannah’s squares with recreational equipment: a basketball court, won by the neighborhood after a 1946 tournament. Found on Houston Street, the square was named after native son William Harris Crawford, who was Secretary of the Treasury and who unsuccessfully ran for President in 1824.

Crawford Sq Gazebo

At one time, all of Savannah’s squares were fenced in, but only Crawford remains so. It’s also retained its cistern, from the days when Savannah’s fire department kept a station in every square. The fence, the cistern and the basketball court give Crawford a unique feel. And with a gazebo in the center and azaleas which explode in bloom during the spring, Crawford definitely manages to charm.

In the days of Jim Crow, when segregation was the law of the land, Crawford was the only square which blacks were permitted to use. It’s a historically black neighborhood, and today a quiet, peaceful one. It’s also the former home of the fabulous Lady Chablis, who lived in a house bordering the square, during her rise to fame.

Location on our Savannah Map

New Savannah Sqaure
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Places to Rest
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January 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm Comment (1)

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For 91 Days in Savannah - The E-Book Updated 2016 Edition!! We've converted our three-month blog about Savannah into an exclusive e-book. For 91 Days in Savannah contains all of our articles and 195 of our best pictures, in full-color. With categorical and alphabetical indexes, locations, links to the original blog posts, and cross-references spread throughout, the e-book is a perfect companion for a trip to Savannah... and you don't need an internet connection to use it!
For 91 Days