a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live here.”
we all heard some version of that statement?
me, I try to be on the positive side of the thought, and I always
wonder of something similar in tone when I think about Florida.
Florida has a bit of everything. Beautiful weather. Friendly people.
Key West to Ocala… dolphin swims to theme parks... sunset cruises
to tropical drinks. Love it.
yet… in the back corner of my mind… I know that if I do move to
Florida, I won’t be able to go to Disney World every day. Which,
of course, is kind of a downer. Those trips to the Mouse are a
small part of what makes the visiting so much fun and, in those
daydreams, even more exciting than the concept of everyday Florida
course… it is Florida… and time may tell a different
story when I do eventually pick up my roots and look for a new
locale to settle and explore.)
trick is… and the reason I’m mentioning it here… I have no doubt
that Savannah is one of the greatest places in the country to
people we met were, without exception, wonderful. More often than
not, they were so much more… amazing, kind and helpful.
setting was breathtaking. Virtually every view had the potential
of being a photograph you would mount on your wall. Water views…
historic buildings… monuments… trees and fountains and so on.
the end result was inescapable. For us -- to turn the phrase --
Savannah was a nice place to live, but I don’t know that we’d
will not tell you which one of us said this, but it is evident
all of us felt it…
that we’re back home, I can’t really describe what I expected
from Savannah during our visit. What I can tell you is Savannah
wasn’t what I expected. You could probably talk me into going
back, but… I don’t feel a need to return, and likely won’t plan
a return on my own.”
Yes. Savannah has some of the prettiest natural scenery you could
ever encounter along with some amazingly interesting architecture.
food? Yup. We found one restaurant that was equal to some of the
best restaurants that any of us have ever enjoyed.
Sure thing. We visited several very interesting places with really
unique items for sale.
attractions of equal significance? Double-check.
has a deep, rich, and lengthy place in history. We’re talking
start with a person that we actually all enjoy… Paula Deen. She’s
all over the place. And I mean bus tours, cookbooks, and a combo-restaurant-retail-shop-tourist-attraction-building
all over the place. And yet, The Lady and Sons we experienced
was not a terrific restaurant. It was ok… great, attentive staff…
and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.
sorry Paula… I really am. Love you… love your recipes… enjoy seeing
you and the boys on television. But the four of us like food…
and without comparing notes, three members of our group went with
the buffet. The buffet! And we thought it was so-so.
It just didn’t connect.)
move on to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Or…
more precisely… the Bird Girl. She resided in a cemetery with
no worries until a picture of her was placed on the cover of a
sensation. The statue became a tourist must, was removed from
the cemetery, and now resides in a museum.
short… I think you might have some good evidence that the very
tourism, that has so many speaking in glowing terms about Savannah,
is actually the foundation of tearing it apart for tourists, if
you are so inclined to attempt that argument. If you go for Paula
or the Bird Girl, you’re going to miss just about everything that
makes Savannah fantastic.
a way… like Bird Girl… Savannah was there, a fantastic place with
few worries, until everyone learned about it and started visiting
in gigantic waves. And now the flowing tourism to Savannah has
forced the best of it to be moved and protected.
real Savannah… the great Savannah for us… involved the visual
aspects and hidden delights no one told us about in advance. The
real Savannah is the kind, gracious, personable nature Paula has…
and it is the material and quirky personalities found on the pages
of the novel and not the image on the cover.
that make any sense?
hope so. Because… honestly and truly… I do believe that Savannah
is an amazing city, filled with incredible people.
were your favorite things we did in Savannah?
My favorites with the
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist and Mrs.
Wilkes’ Dining Room. One was awe-inspiring
and the other brilliantly jaw-dropping. If you are going to Savannah,
these aren’t simple must-do locations -- for me, you didn’t truly
experience Savannah unless you visited both of them.
St. John’s Cathedral and Forsyth Park.
Shopping at the different stores.
Mrs. Wilkes’ was fantastic.
were you most impressed by during the Savannah trip?
did enjoy the story about the ballast stones. That really did
make a connection to the history of the city. And, along the same
lines, I did enjoy the squares, the Mercer House, and other aspects
that really brought the centuries of Savannah to life.
was very impressed by several people -- at our hotel and The Christmas
Shop in particular. For the most part, virtually without exception,
they were smiling and willing to help out. If you asked a question,
they were prepared to go beyond a simple answer and have a very
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist was dazzling.
Mrs. Wilkes… well… I honestly believe I may have had the best
meal I will ever enjoy in any restaurant, and it was in the Mrs.
Wilkes Dining Room. Just awesome. No menu. And while funny to
say… and I’ve been using it as a joke… it isn’t a stretch to call
our one lunch at Mrs. Wilkes three of the best meals I’ve ever
Mrs. Wilkes’ restaurant.
The architecture and the moss on the trees.
I’d agree with the architecture.
things we did…
The specific things that come to mind are St. John’s Cathedral
and Mrs. Wilkes’.
river front… the parks and squares… the historic homes… the good
shops featuring unique items (not the tourist shops)… all nice.
if someone wants to plan a trip to Savannah, those are the two
places to see.
I suppose the shopping.
Mrs. Wilkes, most of the shopping, the kitchen store we stopped
in, and definitely the delicious cupcake.
place to eat (overall)…
four of us: Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room.
place to eat (inexpensive)…
and Terry: Mrs. Wilkes’ restaurant. For the price (under $20 per
person with everything included), it is the bargain of all bargains.
I’d say Mrs. Wilkes because that certainly wasn’t expensive. But,
since you are saying inexpensive, I’ll mention the food at the
hotel was good and free since it was part of the stay.
I agree with Ellen, on both thoughts.
I’m back to St. John’s and Mrs. Wilkes’.
was good-god-almighty spiritually overwhelming.
other was good-god-almighty culinary brilliance.
Mrs. Wilkes’ restaurant.
The interior of The Lady and Sons… it was not what I expected.
I honestly expected to have more to do.
know, I never thought about this before, so I found it interesting
Go read “A
Tale of Two City”… then get back to me. That
pretty much covers all the ground.
kicked off our stay by confusing me. It was over time, as we met
the people and recognized the history that it bloomed.
though… the differences and similarities for touristy and historical
were unparalleled here. I have never encountered anything like
it anyplace else.
I arrived in Savannah and it was just not what I expected other
than the architecture being beautiful. I can't explain what I
had envisioned but it was not that.
Same as Ellen. It was not what I expected.
I had to recommend something that a person had to do, regardless
of expense, I would say…
Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room.
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist.
from those two musts, try a picnic in a square or park, or a visit
to one of the historic homes.
Mrs. Wilkes’ and St. John’s, and Savannah will impress you.
I’m not sure on this. We didn’t do anything that really could
have been considered expensive. The two things that stand out
to me are eating at Mrs. Wilkes’ and visiting the Cathedral of
St. John the Baptist.
Honestly? I don’t know. There really was nothing to do in the
I had to recommend something but expense did matter (so go cheaper),
I would say…
Same things as before. Definitely Mrs. Wilkes’ and St. John’s,
and then add in the parks and some history like a house tour.
The best of Savannah was either priced quite affordably or actually
had no cost at all.
Same concept holds true here as my previous answer. We didn’t
really do anything too expensive, so Mrs. Wilkes’ and the cathedral
something different, I thought our hotel was good for the price.
Between the breakfasts and snack hour we did utilize it for a
lot more than simply the room.
that impressed me the most…
Ok… look… there were a few people that were either going through
the motions or almost annoyed by our bothering them. But not many,
and I actually would have to think hard to recall where and when
we encountered them.
said… the exceptions prove the rule… and sincerely, everyone in
Savannah impressed me. Anyone we asked was there to help. They
seemed to genuinely care about us enjoying our day and experiences.
I found everyone to be very friendly.
I found the people in the kitchen store to be very nice.
All of us.
that impressed me the most…
and Terry: The tour of St. John’s.
and Richard: The wine tastings and snacks at the hotel each night.
I’m really glad we included…
four of us: Mrs. Wilkes.
I wish we had done…
I think we covered it all. I can’t think of anything we didn’t
do that I’m disappointed I missed or would tell you to check out
even though I didn’t.
Maybe one of the tours that were led by a guide, such as the ones
on a bus. But honestly, I feel like we saw everything we could
have wanted to see. Once we got acclimated to Savannah, knowing
we wanted to do St. John’s and having recommendations like Mrs.
Wilkes’, our schedule came together nicely. And I still can’t
think of anything I feel like we missed.
thing about the bus though… I don’t know. It seemed like everyplace
we went on day two a bus stop was right there. Maybe they went
to a different house or historical building. Maybe it would have
been more convenient to be driven. Maybe I would have gotten tired
of waiting for the next bus after I was done in a place instead
of just getting into our car. I can’t be sure if it would be worth
it or not. I do know I was much happier with the things we didn’t
know about ahead of time… the stuff we found, like Mrs. Wilkes’…
than I was with anything we had pictured in advance.
and Richard: Tour the lighthouse.
from this experience…
Mrs. Wilkes’… St. John’s… look around at the history.
Eat at Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room… and get there early!
Don’t get your hopes up about Savannah from the hype.
this will be set up as a best of column, but you should always
warn people about the bad, so here is something I think we need
The tourism concepts are everywhere… and almost without exception
when we did something touristy, we were disappointed.
The peddlers selling flowers. Watch out for them.
sure it’s worth a long story, but the afternoon when we arrived,
a guy was selling flowers made from palm leaves. They looked very
nice, seemed unique, and so I gave him a couple of dollars for
next day in Forsyth Park I got stopped by a guy trying to sell
me a different flower made from palm leaves. I looked at all of
the flowers and other items he had on the ground nearby first,
and figured it was the same person. It caught me by surprise when
I started asking “didn’t we meet yesterday” and as I looked up
to finish my thought realized it was someone completely different
but with basically the exact same creations.
that afternoon, I began seeing people all over the place selling
things made out of palm leaves. In squares, down on River Street,
and so on. I can’t say I felt it wasn’t worth a buck (or two or
three or more) for one, but it sure felt different when I realized
it wasn’t just one person that had figured out a unique creation
but rather an item found all over the place.
There are some crazy loonies walking the streets yelling things.
The way the streets are set up.