Live oaks draped with Spanish moss, white Doric columns and intricate ironwork are the indelible images of Savannah. The city is laid out in a grid, and dotted with lawn-sized parks.Â You can’t go two blocks without stumbling into one of these mini sanctuaries.Â It is the quintessential southern town and the kind of place where you just want to slow down and soak up the charm.Â The setting of several major motion pictures, including Forrest Gump, The Legend of Bagger Vance and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Savannah’s Historic District is alive with the flavor of the Old South.Â
There are several beautiful B&Bs to choose from in the Historic District. The Gastonian is a Regency-Italianate style B&B built in 1868.Â The Ballastone Inn is another excellent choice and is located across a formal garden from the Juliette Gordon Low House. Both feature full breakfasts, afternoon tea and evening appetizers.
When you’re ready to explore, stop by the Visitor’s Center on MLK Blvd to pick up a map.Â For a fun and information-packed tour, take a horse-drawn carriage ride.Â You’ll visit most of the park squares and can jot down which of the parks and homes you may want to revisit on foot.Â Some of the historic homes are open for tours to the public.Â We walked through the Juliette Gordon Low House, birthplace of the Girl Scouts founder and also toured the Owen-Thomas House where you can visit the drawing and dining room, kitchen, bedchambers and garden.
Most of the prominent homes have courtyard gardens which are hidden behind brick walls.Â If you’d like to see some of those gardens, check out the Hidden Gardens tour, April 21-22 this year.Â You’ll be able to visit 10 hidden gardens not normally open to the public.
For shopping, stroll down the cobble-stoned streets of River Street and nearby Factors Walk.