Saturday, March 12, 2016

GEORGIA: Savannah

After a beautiful few days of hiking and relaxing in our cabin in the Smoky Mountains we had to depart back home for Florida. We left North Carolina early to spend one afternoon in Savannah, Georgia before ending our trip. Savannah was the first colony and capital of Georgia, founded in 1733. There is a lot of history in the city and many locations made famous through Hollywood movies and novels (most notably perhaps is Forrest Gump).

One of our first stops was Bonaventure Cemetery. This is a huge site which contains gravestones from the Civil War up until today. It's a short drive from the historic district, and you can easily spend a few hours here. This cemetery was made famous by Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil, which features one of the gravestones on the book cover. In fact, that gravestone ("the Bird Girl") became so popular that it had to be removed in order to preserve the property.

The cemetery is impressive not only due to the historical significance, but also because of the beauty. There are many incredible statues, gorgeous trees, and sometimes wildlife. In 1867 John Muir spent several nights sleeping among the graves and wrote the following about his experience: "I gazed awe-stricken as one new-arrived from another world. Bonaventure is called a graveyard, a town of the dead, but the few graves are powerless in such a depth of life. The rippling of living waters, the song of birds, the joyous confidence of flowers, the calm, undisturbable grandeur of the oaks, mark this place of graves as one of the Lord’s most favored abodes of life and light."

Historic District
One of the best things to do in Savannah is just get out of the car and walk around the historic district. It is a very well preserved and protected area full of lush Spanish moss and beautiful Colonial homes. There's also plenty of shopping and great restaurants. The area is full of students studying at SCAD, which is the Savannah College of Art & Design. We browsed a lot of book stores and antique shops throughout our wandering.

The city is full of "squares" which are parks every few blocks - so there is no shortage of gorgeous scenery and benches to relax on under the shade. One of the most notable parks is Forsyth Park, which contains a famous fountain built in 1858.

While we didn't' spend a whole lot of time in Savannah, we were able to grab lunch at Kayak Kafe, which had some great vegetarian options and a lot of fresh ingredients. This was nearby the world famous Leopold's Ice Cream, which has been featured in the Top 5 Best ice creams in the world. While we would have loved to try some, the line was down the street and we didn't have the extra time. If you've ever been - please comment and let us know what we missed out on.

You can read our other entries about Georgia here.

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