Southern Charm in Savannah
While the New Year is well under way, one of the highlights of the past year was our exciting relocation from Singapore to the United States. While life here in Tampa has been going well so far, over the holidays we enjoyed spending our first Christmas in the U.S. with my husband's uncle and his family up in North Carolina and also getting our first taste of Southern charm in Florida's neighbouring states!
First on our list of Southern charmers was an overnight stop in the state of Georgia in what is the oldest (and perhaps the most haunted!) city in the state - Savannah. With a history dating back to the 18th century Savannah, with its cobbled streets and Victorian houses, is a city that looks like it belongs to an era long gone.
As we approached our accommodation located on River Street in Savannah's historic district, there was certainly an old and quiet charm about the historic warehouses which line the cobbled stone streets as they overlook the Savannah River. Even our hotel, the Bohemian, reflected the time-worn elegance of the city through its vintage-chic interior and modern gothic decor.
Feeling refreshed after settling into our hotel, we headed for a stroll down the riverfront as we were eager to catch the last rays of sunset before exploring the bustling nightlife of the historic district.
Walking along the cobbled streets under the warm evening sky, the charm of the city was further enhanced as we browsed through the eclectic collection of gift, art and antique shops scattered along River street and watched brightly coloured street trolleys ferry passengers along the busy streets.
While Savannah exudes an undeniably warm and charming atmosphere it can can be easy to forget that in its shadows lurks a dark history steeped in slave labour, a history which is recounted at various points along the waterfront.
As night fell and our stomachs began to rumble , we went in search of some food and drinks along the long strip of bustling bars and restaurants in the area. After perusing through the various dining options on offer we eventually settled on the Shrimp Factory , a relaxed and modern gastropub on the main strip.
We knew we had made the right choice in restaurant when we took our first bites of the Savannah Stuffed Shrimp and the Local Shrimp Trio and our tastebuds were immediately blown away!
With our hunger satisfied, we decided to take a walk into the city centre - the heart of the historic district - where we were able to catch glimpses of Savannah's famous historic houses belonging to the pre-war era. We were also able to to take in views of the city's pretty gardens and squares, one of which is rumoured to have been the location for the famous " life is like a box of chocolates " scene in Forrest Gump!
Commonly regarded as one of the most 'haunted' cities in the country we couldn't leave Savannah without hearing about the infamous ghost inhabitants of the city. Hopping on one of the brightly coloured 'Ghost Trolley tours' we decided to try out one which was aptly named Ghosts and Gravestones of Savannah !
Embarking on a night-time crusade of the city's most famously haunted landmarks, the trolley tour turned out to be far more pleasant than I had expected as we toured amongst other things an old mansion (which admittedly I would never want to be left alone in!) and an old shipping warehouse near the spooky docks of River Street (where we fell victims to a 'surprise' ghost prank by the tour guide!).
Having had our fill of haunted stories, before we knew it our overnight stop in Savannah was over and we headed back to the hotel for a rest before our journey to North Carolina the following morning. As we drove past the old houses and moss-draped city squares the following morning the enchanting spirit of Savannah, like its ghostly inhabitants, still lingered on.