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Hidden Gems from the locals
Savannah Trolly – Tour Survey the entire historic downtown area with a 90-minute narrated ride on the trolly, which offers stops at 15 locations so that you can hop off and explore on foot before hopping on the next trolly to continue the ride.
Tybee Island – Located just 12 miles east of the downtown area, Tybee Island is “Savannah’s Beach” and a perfect destination for day trips to the shore or longer stays at one of the many oceanfront hotels, villas, and cottages. T-shirts and flip-flops are appropriate attire at most of the island’s casual restaurants, and the 12th Annual Tybee Island Pirate Fest (Oct. 6-9) features a parade, carnival fair, and live entertainment.
SCAD The Savannah College of Art and Design is a renowned institution of higher learning that offers a variety of fine-art degrees to students from around the world and features an acclaimed on-campus contemporary art museum and two local theaters in historic buildings.
Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens – This University of Georgia facility welcomes visitors to tour the site’s 17 themed gardens and greenhouses, including its “Camellia Trail,” “Crape Myrtle Allee,” and four-acre “Bamboo Maze.” Upcoming special events include the Autumn Gardenfest (Oct. 21-22) and the December Nights & Holiday Lights celebration (Nov. 25-Dec. 23).
Telfair Museums – Three unique venues in downtown Savannah display classic and modern works of art in two restored historic mansions and at The Jepson Center, which features the interactive ArtZeum gallery for kids of all ages and an Elvis at 21 photography exhibition that runs through Oct. 2nd.
Eat Like a Local
John and Jackie Wachowski’s (The Landings residents) top dining destinations in downtown Savannah include 17Hundred90 Inn and Restaurant (“loaded with charm and atmosphere”), 45 Bistro (“an upscale restaurant in a beautiful setting”) and Bella Napoli for great Italian cuisine. Closer to their home at The Landings, they recommend the casual ambiance of Fiori Italian Bar and Grill and like to meet up with neighbors at Cutter’s Point Coffee Co.
The Koch family (The Waterways Townshipresidents) has discovered three Savannah restaurants that feature local farm-to-table menus: Cotton and Rye, Cha Bella, and The Grey. They also recommend the barbecue at Sandfly, the burgers at Green Truck Pub, and the fresh brews at Fox Coffee. In the Richmond Hill area, they frequent The Way Station for lunch and FishTales for its riverfront location and fresh local seafood.
Savannah … A Festive and Historic City
Founded in 1733, Savannah is Georgia’s historic port city that today is the hub of a thriving metropolitan area with more than 500,000 residents. And while the locals enjoy contemporary amenities like an expanded international airport and first-class medical facilities, Savannah’s civic leaders have done an extraordinary job of preserving the city’s beautiful antebellum architecture. In addition to scores of historic homes and churches, the downtown area features fountains and monuments in 22 oak-shaded squares that have served as settings for popular films like Forrest Gump and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. And with a year-round calendar of cultural events and festivals, it’s easy to understand why Savannah attracts more than 13 million annual visitors.
John and Jackie Wachowski are among those former tourists who now make their home at The Landings, a sprawling residential community on nearby Skidaway Island. They were particularly attracted to the region’s inviting coastal climate. “Savannah does have a winter, albeit a mild one,” Jackie said. “John and I enjoy meeting friends for a game of bocce or pickleball, but I think our favorite outdoor activity would have to be cocktails on the patio and living the dream!”
Gary and Doris Koch recently relocated to the Savannah area, having just this year built a new home in Richmond Hill’s Waterways Township community. Proximity to the downtown area, family-friendly neighborhoods, and outdoor activities were among their top reasons for making the move. “We absolutely love exploring the historic districts,” Doris said. “We also enjoy hiking with our pup, cycling, and kayaking. What else could we ask for?”
This spring, the Kochs participated in one of Savannah’s signature celebrations: “We attended the St. Patrick’s Day Parade this year,” Doris said. “What a great event!” The Wachowskis have likewise made the city’s annual cultural events a part of their lifestyle, citing Savannah’s Book Festival, Music Festival, and Film Festival among their favorites. “There is also the Savannah Symphony and Chorus,” Jackie said. “Our favorite concert was The Holiday Pops held at Christmastime in the beautiful Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.”
Savannah is “a beautiful and vital community with great amenities, people and activities, which in turn, provides us with an exceptional quality of life.”