It’s really beyond the scope of this travelogue to get into Savannah’s history. There is just so much of it and so many major players. I didn’t come for any of that; I just wanted to view the squares, see what Spanish moss is all about, tour the Mercer-Williams house, and take a ghost tour. Rather unusual for me, actually. I only scheduled one full day in the city, and that turned out to be plenty. My day in Savannah was lovely and fun, but I felt off, restless, and uneasy. I didn’t fully comprehend why until the next day.
Since I hadn’t come to Savannah to view a million sights, I knew I would have a more leisurely day than I normally do when traveling. I started off with breakfast at a Denny’s (something I always say I’ll never do again), then I ‘caught a CAT’ (Chatham Area Tranist), a bus, which costs 1$. The bus took me right from my hotel to the steps of the visitor’s centre on Martin Luther King Boulevard. Very convenient!
I’m a huge Forrest Gump fan (movie, not the book!), so please allow me the indulgence of this photo:
My very own Savannah bus stop bench! I even passed Henry Street, which is the street Forrest wanted to get to in the movie.
At the visitor’s centre, I picked up some info on ghost tours, then toured the history of Savannah museum. It had an interesting hodgepodge of exhibits… including one of the benches used in the filming of the Forrest Gump movie, and Forrest’s suitcase (or a copy thereof).
Next, I took a trolley tour of the city. We stopped in front of Chippewa Square, where I would return to snap these pics:
This is where all the Forrest Gump bus bench scenes were filmed. 🙂 Okay, okay, enough Forrest Gump!
I really enjoyed the trolley tour. I picked Oglethorpe Tours because, well, they were the cheapest at 10$ (plus a 5$ tip to our fantastic guide). I liked that they offered a 90 minute tour of the city, and then a jump on and off service that was really more of a shuttle system. You could wait at designated stations with your yellow sticker prominently displayed and a mini-van would pull up and take you to a location of your choice. Downtown is very small, so I only prevailed myself of this service later in the day, when I was getting to be a bit footsore. Very good service and excellent tour!
After the tour, I had lunch…
(EDITED TO ADD: Oh my. I had shrimp at Clary’s Cafe, never realising that this was the cafe prominently feature in both The Book and The Movie! I’m rewatching The Movie right now and can’t believe I didn’t get a sense of déjà vu when I entered the restaurant!)
then went to visit the Mercer-Williams House, featured in the book and movie ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’:
I found the entrance cost of 13$ expensive since we only saw the gardens and some of the first floor, but it was still worth it to stand in the spot where Danny Hansford was killed/murdered and to view the gorgeous sunken garden. The hall that runs the whole length of the first floor is roughly 12 feet by 60 feet… the exact dimensions of my old house. The Mercer-Williams house is huge! This house has a troubled history, but it sure is gorgeous. I was surprised to learn that Jim Williams sister lives there full-time. When I went by the next night after dark on the ghost tour, it was weird to see lights on all over the house, including in the rooms where the tour is held.
Next, I went to the Ships of the Sea museum. Entrance was 8$, but the old codger at the cash decided that this young lass deserved a break and sold me a student ticket for 6$. Awww, how sweet! There really wasn’t that much to the museum, but I really liked it. It featured models of ships that are relevant to the history of Savannah (plus a fantastic one of Titanic which isn’t relevant, but was really impressive). The museum would appeal to anyone who likes maritime history, models, and ships. I qualify for all three. The museum is housed in an old home which has a stunning garden with high hedged walls.
I was tired and a wee bit footsore by this point, so I took the shuttle to River Street, a cobblestone one-way thoroughfare right by the Savannah River’s edge. It is accessible by very steep staircases or equally steep ramps.
There, I took a picture of a typical Savannah sidewalk:
Those white bits are oyster shells.
I enjoyed exploring River Street and even climbed one of its staircases just to say I did. This picture does not convey the steepness of the stairs, nor the height of the risers. My knees were very mad at me by the time I got to the top. This is just a small part of the staircase:
It was very hot out and I was craving iced coffee, so when I saw a tiny stand offering this precious drink, I was happy to stop for a long while and watch the paddleboats go up and down the river. I took video footage of that, but no pictures.
I did snap this picture of a gorgeous bridge that leads to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina:
Before heading off in search of dinner, I snapped a picture of Savannah’s waving girl:
The story goes that she would wave ships in an out every day for about 40 years.
Dinner wound up being too difficult to find so I gave up. My mistake was to seek it in the historic district in the vicinity of where I was supposed to start a ghost tour. I should have eaten at River Street. Oh well, live and learn. The ghost tour wound up being canceled due to inclement weather. I was tired, so I wasn’t too disappointed, figuring I could reschedule for the next night. I bused back to the hotel and ordered pizza!