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Savannah Travel Guide, Georgia

Savannah is one of the most beautiful towns in America. Located near the Savannah River on the border with South Carolina, Savannah began its existence in 1773 when James Oglethorpe established the first settlement of the British colony of Georgia. His initial idea was to create a libertine place without slaves and when Abraham Lincoln received the town as a gift he started to put things in practice by giving land to the freed slaves.

After the Civil War Savannah’s economy went into decay once the cotton price went down and so were the town’s houses and boulevards. This period of decay lasted for a while as Savannah started the restoration process only in the 1960s.

The attractive Historic District is the centre of the old town, a mixture of architectural styles flanked by Savannah River with old cotton warehouses on its sides. Broad Street is the old commercial main street while Broughton Street is the major street of downtown Savannah.

The old mansions are some of the top attractions in the city. The Owen-Thomas House built in neoclassical Regency style; the Green-Meldrim House, a Gothic Revival mansion; the Davenport House and the Mercer House being the grandest of all. Another superlative can be used with the Telfair Museum of Art this being the oldest art museum in the South.

The slide show at the Savannah History Museum takes you through Native American culture, the Civil War and the colonial development. This show seems to aim more at presenting Savannah’s beauties than its history.

You can discover the city by yourself if you just walk its streets. The architecture of the houses you will see is enchanting. Most of the houses are painted light blue and there are the ones with intricate iron balconies. When you get to one of the squares you will be invited to take a relaxing break in the company of beautiful azaleas and magnolias and maybe sit on the bench where Forrest Gump told his life story.

Savannah's waterfront area has retained the image of an eighteen century European port with River Street being its main thoroughfare and the cotton houses still a remembrance of slave stevedores. The port is still a lively commercial district where you can party at its bars or taste local seafood at some of the restaurants, and looking from the Riverfront Plaza you will have a beautiful view of the port that proves to be pretty busy.

Victorian District is predominantly black and a proof that Savannah has a strong black history due to the fact that it was the main gate for Georgia’s slaves. Restoration is still going on and the focus is on King-Tisdell Cottage that displays a collection of gullah baskets and African woodcarving and presents the history of slaves and free blacks while pointing out Savannah's role. Great black heritage tours take you to the 1777 First African Baptist Church, the oldest black church in North America, the Second African Baptist Church and the black Yamacraw. And at Beach Institute you can see an African-American art gallery.

With so much history and culture on display around Savannah you will enrich your knowledge of black history while having a great time.

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