Treat the kids (and yourself) to a history lesson by visiting Savannah, Georgia. Established in 1733, "Georgia's First City" is rich in history and offers an eclectic mix of celebrated elegance and contemporary flair sure to please everyone in your family. Savannah Weather With moderate year-round temperatures, Savannah enjoys mild winters at an average of 51 degrees and warm, humid summers averaging 80 degrees.
Scattered showers in the spring and fall are a regular occurrence in this riverside city, typically lasting 15- 20 minutes. Savannah's Historic District Savannah's historic district is a thriving centre with 23 charming neighborhood squares, most of which feature an active water fountain, monument, bench or statue of a great figure in Savannah history. The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has renovated many of the buildings in the historic district to their original appearance. The contemporary influence the SCAD students bring is evident by the swanky nigh clubs, bars and coffee shops that cater to this Generation X crowd.
This "Hostess City of the South" is also a center of African American heritage, marked by the many historic sites, museums, monuments and tours dedicated to over 250 years of contributions African Americans have made to Savannah's history. Savannah Accommodations With over 10,000 rooms, Savannah's inns, hotels, and bed & breakfasts offer a variety of comfortable, family-friendly accommodations at a range of prices. The Marshall House (123 E. Broughton St., 800-589-6304) in the historic district is the oldest hotel in Savannah.
This bed & breakfast-style inn features quaint rooms and elegantly appointed common areas. The Hampton Inn ? Savannah North (7050 Hwy. 21, I95 exit 109) is a moderately priced hotel located in greater Savannah. Offering complimentary continental breakfast, this site is a great family value. If your visit takes you to relaxing Tybee Island, check out the Lighthouse Inn (16 Meddin Dr.
) for a peaceful atmosphere and a warm, friendly feel. Savannah Family Activities The one-hour trolley tours offer the opportunity to take note of places of interest that you will want to return to later during your visit. Take a carriage ride through the historic district and experience the charming architecture and unique "personality" of Savannah's downtown areas. Parents and teens will enjoy the haunted history walking tour, which provides a spooky glimpse into Savannah's ghostly secrets. Tybee Island Tybee Island, located about 18 miles east of Savannah on the Atlantic Ocean, is a quaint community featuring five square miles of beaches and water activities such as kayaking, surfing and sailing. Take the kids to the Tybee Lighthouse and Museum (just off US 80).
This landmark represents the original lighthouse constructed in 1736, which marked the entrance to the Savannah River. The Tybee Island Marine Science Centre showcases exhibits of marine life from the Georgia coast, and offers interactive programs for children. Scouts of all ages will enjoy visiting the Juliet Gordon Low House. The birth home of the founder of the Girl Scouts displays original artwork and keepsakes of Low's. Savannah Restaurants With views of the Savannah River and its paddlewheel boats, River Street offers a variety of restaurants located in converted cotton warehouses.
Or for a more unique dining experience, the River Street Riverboat Company (912-232-6404) operates cruises for lunch, brunch and dinner. City Market (Jefferson at W. St. Julian Street) a hub of nightlife in Savannah, also offers several eateries. From elegant dining to more casual faire, City Market's charm offers dining options for everyone, as well as small shops for quick snacks, gourmet candies or gelato.
Shopping in Savannah Stroll down River Street where you will find bookstores and specialty shops. Visit the River Street Marketplace, a bustling open-air bazaar featuring unique cultural gifts from Africa, Asia and other countries, as well as Savannah collectables. City Market features an array of shopping options to suit many interests. This historic area, which began in 1755, features 23 art studios and 8 art galleries and is located just two blocks from River Street.
The historic district features small boutiques and art galleries that wind throughout the neighborhood squares, showcasing unique fashions and original artwork by local designers and artists. Savannah's "Hollywood" Connections A jewel of the south, Savannah's charm and elegance has attracted the attention of Hollywood filmmakers for decades. Arguably one of the best-known films to feature Savannah as its backdrop is the Clint Eastwood directed "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil". Other notable motion pictures filmed in Savannah include "The Legend of Baggar Vance" starring Wil Smith, and "The General's Daughter" starring John Travolta. Not to be forgotten is the famous scene in the movie "Forest Gump", where the lead character, played by Tom Hanks, sits on a park bench in Chippewa Square at Bull and McDonough streets, munching on chocolate candies while reflecting on the unpredictable nature of life. .
By: Anita Paul