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Genteel Savannah

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       WEEKEND GETAWAYS - Friday, August 4, 2006
    Make The Most Of Your Vacation - From Coast to Coast!


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Greetings Getaway Lover,

Genteel Savannah sits inward of the Savannah River at the 
top of Georgia's 100-mile coast. Heading south, the seaside 
resorts of the Golden Isles blend Southern elegance with a 
casual sensibility. 

Savannah's beginning was February 12, 1733, when English 
general James Edward Oglethorpe and 120 colonists arrived 
at Yamacraw Bluff on the Savannah River to found the 13th 
and last colony in the New World. As the port city grew, 
people from England and Ireland, Scottish Highlanders, 
French Huguenots, Germans, Austrian Salzburgers, Sephardic 
and Ashkenazic Jews, Moravians, Italians, Swiss, Welsh, 
and Greeks all arrived to create what could be called a 
rich gumbo. 

In 1793 Eli Whitney of Connecticut, who was tutoring on a 
plantation near Savannah, invented a mechanized means of 
"ginning" seeds from cotton bolls. Cotton soon became king, 
and Savannah, already a busy seaport, flourished under its 
reign. Waterfront warehouses were filled with "white gold," 
and brokers trading in the Savannah Cotton Exchange set 
world prices. The white gold brought in solid gold, and 
fine mansions were built in the prospering city. 

Happy Trails,
Jan

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--DESTINATION:

In 1864 Savannahians surrendered their city to Union gen-
eral Sherman rather than see it torched. Following World 
War I and the decline of the cotton market, the city's 
economy virtually collapsed, and its historic buildings 
languished for more than 30 years. Elegant mansions were 
razed or allowed to decay, and cobwebs replaced cotton in 
the dilapidated riverfront warehouses. 

In 1955, Savannah's spirits rose again. News that the 
exquisite Isaiah Davenport House at Number 324 East State 
Street was to be destroyed prompted seven outraged ladies 
to raise money to buy the house. They saved it the day 
before the wrecking ball was to swing. Thus was born the 
Historic Savannah Foundation, the organization responsible 
for the restoration of downtown Savannah, where more than 
1,000 restored buildings form the 2½-square-mile Historic 
District, the nation's largest. Many of these buildings 
are open to the public during the annual tour of homes, 
and today Savannah is one of the country's top 10 cities 
for walking tours. 

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--WHAT TO DO AND SEE:

Armstrong House 
House/Mansion, Historic District 
 
Antiques dealer Jim Williams lived and worked in this 
residence before purchasing the Mercer House. On a late-
afternoon walk past the mansion, Berendt met Mr. Simon 
Glover, an 86-year-old singer and porter for the law firm 
of Bouhan, Williams, and Levy, occupants of the building. 
Glover confided that he earned a weekly $10 for walking 
the deceased dogs of a former partner of the firm up and 
down Bull Street. Baffled? So was the author. Behind the 
house's cast-iron gates are the offices of Frank Siler, 
Jim Williams's attorney, who doubles as keeper of Uga, 
the Georgia Bulldog mascot. 

Address: 447 Bull St., Savannah, GA, USA
 

Chippewa Square 
Square, Historic District 
 
Daniel Chester French's imposing bronze statue of General 
James Edward Oglethorpe, founder of Savannah and Georgia, 
anchors the square. Also note the Savannah Theatre, on 
Bull Street, which claims to be the oldest continuously 
operated theater site in North America. 

Address: Bull St. between Hull and Perry Sts., Savannah, 
GA, USA
 

Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace/Girl Scout National Center 
House/Mansion, Historic District 
 
This majestic Regency town house, attributed to William Jay 
(built 1818-21), was designated in 1965 as Savannah's first 
National Historic Landmark. "Daisy" Low, founder of the Girl 
Scouts, was born here in 1860, and the house is now owned 
and operated by the Girl Scouts of America. Mrs. Low's paint-
ings and other artwork are on display in the house, restored 
to the style of 1886, the year of Mrs. Low's marriage. 
www.girlscouts.org/birthplace. COST: $7. OPEN: Mon., Tues., 
and Thurs.-Sat. 10-4, Sun. 12:30-4:30. 

Address: 142 Bull St., Savannah, GA, USA
Phone: 912/233-4501
 

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Other Places of Interest:

Melon Bluff 
Resort, Midway 
 
On a centuries-old 3,000-acre plantation that has been in 
one family since 1735, Melon Bluff includes a nature 
center and facilities for canoeing, kayaking, bird-watch-
ing, hiking, and other outdoor activities. You can camp 
here or stay at one of the three B&B inns ($$-$$$): 
Palmyra Plantation, an 1850s cottage; the Ripley Farmhouse, 
a classic rural house with a tin-covered roof; and an old 
barn, renovated to contain nine guest rooms. From Melon 
Bluff you can visit nearby Seabrook Village, a small but 
growing cluster of rural buildings from an African-American
historic community; Old Sunbury, whose port made it a viable 
competitor to Savannah until the Revolutionary War ended its 
heyday; Fort Morris, which protected Savannah during the 
revolution; and Midway, an 18th-century village with a house 
museum and period cemetery. To reach Melon Bluff, take I-95 
south from Savannah (about 30 mi) to Exit 76 
(Midway/Sunbury), turn left, and go east for 3 mi. The other 
sites mentioned here are all within a short drive. 
www.melonbluff.com. 

Address: 2999 Islands Hwy., Midway, GA, USA
Phone: 912/884-5779 or 888/246-8188
Fax: 912/884-3046
 

Old Fort Jackson 
Military Site, Greater Savannah 
 
About 2 mi east of Broad Street via President Street, 
you'll see a sign for the fort, which is 3 mi from the 
city. Purchased in 1808 by the federal government, this 
is the oldest standing fort in Georgia. It was garrisoned 
in 1812 and was the Confederate headquarters of the river 
batteries. The brick edifice is surrounded by a tidal moat, 
and there are 13 exhibit areas. Battle reenactments, 
blacksmithing demonstrations, and programs of 19th-century 
music are among the fort's activities for tour groups. 
www.chsgeorgia.org/jackson/home.htm. COST: $4. OPEN: Daily 
9-5. 

Address: 1 Ft. Jackson Rd., Fort Jackson, Savannah, GA, USA
Phone: 912/232-3945

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--WHERE TO SLEEP:


17th Street Inn 
$70 to $160, Tybee Island 
 Be the First to Rate It 
 
You're steps from the beach at this Tybee Island inn dat-
ing from 1920. The front deck, adorned with plants, palms, 
and swings, is a gathering place where you can chat, sip 
wine, and enjoy breakfast. The inn's rooms each offer a 
queen bed, efficiency kitchen, private bath, and private 
entrance. A continental breakfast is served each morning. 
www.tybeeinn.com. 8 rooms, 1 condo. In-room: kitchen. AE, 
D, MC, V. Full breakfast. 

Address: 12 17th St., Box 114, Tybee Island, GA 31328, USA
Phone: 912/786-0607 or 888/909-0607
Fax: 912/786-0602
 

Ballastone Inn 
 
This sumptuous inn occupies an 1838 mansion that once 
served as a bordello. Rooms are handsomely furnished, 
with luxurious linens on canopy beds, antiques and fine 
reproductions, and a collection of original framed prints 
from Harper's scattered throughout. On the garden level 
rooms are small and cozy, with exposed brick walls, beam 
ceilings, and, in some cases, windows at eye level with 
the lush courtyard. Most rooms have working gas fireplaces, 
and three have whirlpool tubs. Afternoon tea and free 
passes to a nearby health club are included. 
www.ballastone.com. 14 rooms, 3 suites. In-room: VCR. In-
hotel: bicycles. AE, MC, V. Full breakfast. 

Address: 14 E. Oglethorpe Ave., Savannah, GA 31401, USA
Phone: 912/236-1484 or 800/822-4553
Fax: 912/236-4626
 

Bed & Breakfast Inn 
$70 to $160, Historic District 
 
So called, the owner claims, because it was the first 
such property to open in Savannah more than 20 years ago, 
the inn is a restored 1853 federal-style row house on 
historic Gordon Row near Chatham Square. The courtyard 
garden is a lovely cluster of potted tropical flowers 
surrounding an inviting koi pond. A sweeping renovation 
has added private baths to all the rooms but managed to 
keep many elements of the original charm, such as beamed 
ceilings and exposed-brick walls; only the Garden Suite 
has a full kitchen. Afternoon pastries, lemonade, coffee,
and tea are served. www.savannahbnb.com. 15 rooms. AE, D, 
MC, V. Full breakfast. 

Address: 117 W. Gordon St., Savannah, GA 31401, USA
Phone: 912/238-0518
Fax: 912/233-2537
 

--WHERE TO DINE:

 17 Hundred and 90 
French, $16 to Over $22, Historic District 
 
Chef Deborah Noelk keeps a creative kitchen in this 
restaurant -- in a rustic structure dating to colonial 
days, tucked in among ancient oaks dripping with Spanish 
moss. Entrées include pan-seared veal medallions with 
artichoke hearts and capers in a lemon butter; roasted 
half duckling with a port wine lingonberry sauce; and 
local shrimp stuffed with scallops and crabmeat and 
served with a lemon beurre blanc sauce. There's a ghost 
story to go with dinner, so make sure the waiter fills 
you in. AE, D, DC, MC, V. No lunch weekends. 

Address: 307 E. Presidents St., Savannah, GA, USA
Phone: 912/231-8888
 

Bistro Savannah 
Contemporary, $16 to Over $22, Historic District 
 
High ceilings, burnished heart-pine floors, and gray-brick 
walls lined with local art contribute to the bistro 
qualities of this spot by City Market. The menu has such 
specialties as seared beef tenderloin with shiitakes, 
scallions, corn pancakes and horseradish sauce, and shrimp 
and tasso (seasoned cured pork) on stone-ground grits. 
Another treat is the crispy roasted duck. AE, MC, V. No 
lunch. 

Address: 309 W. Congress St., Savannah, GA, USA
Phone: 912/233-6266
 

Belford's Steak and Seafood 
Southern, $16 to Over $22, Historic District 
 
In the heart of City Market, Belford's is great for 
brunch on Sunday, when so many of the downtown venues 
are closed. A complimentary glass of sparkling wine 
arrives at your table when you place your order. Brunch 
entrées include egg dishes, such as smoked salmon 
Florentine and crab frittatas. The lunch and dinner menus 
focus on seafood, including Georgia pecan grouper and 
Lowcountry shrimp and grits. AE, D, DC, MC, V. 

Address: 315 W. St. Julian St., Savannah, GA, USA
Phone: 912/233-2626

 
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ARCHIVES:  WeekendGetawaysArchives  

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The travel destinations and events that appear in this
newsletter have been selected by our editors. Apart from
those offers clearly set apart from the text, none of the
links presented here are paid promotions for any company
or organization.

               (c)2006 NextEraMedia. All rights reserved.

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