Savannah Porches for Days
Our original reason for Savannah was to escape Florida. We had been in "the penis of America", as John so fondly describes it, for nearly a month and the initial allure of sunshine, warm weather and beaches was quickly fading. Plus our timing was terrible; Florida is swarming with snowbirds in February. So many senior citizens. We needed some forests, some history, and some beautiful buildings. We needed to get ourselves to Savannah.
We arrived at Skidaway State Park after dark, but the next morning, we found ourselves surrounded by tall oak trees with Spanish moss dripping from every limb. It was chilly, peaceful, secluded and forested; exactly what we left Florida for.
We decided to spend a muggy, rainy Monday walking through historic downtown Savannah. its streets are lined with grand, beautiful Victorian houses with large, wide wooden porches meant for drinking sweet tea in rocking chairs. You can peek through ornate cast-iron gates at the perfectly manicured English-style gardens that belong to the neighboring house. Spanish moss is hanging from every tree and there are hints of tropical foliage scattered about. Quaint, park-like squares appear every few blocks, offering a place to sit and reflect upon Savannah's beauty. It's a place that has a warm, humid lazy feeling about it, like everyone should be speaking with a slow southern drawl, fanning themselves, and drinking sweet tea. Truly the Deep South.
Savannah also has a hip, design-forward leaning thanks to Savannah College of Art and Design (mostly known as SCAD) which is in the center of downtown. We noticed whispers of Brooklyn every few blocks. SCAD students wearing skinny jeans, flannel and thick-rimmed glasses cycled down the street on fixed-gear bikes. There are trendy, minimalistic restaurants with Edison bulbs hanging over tables scattered among the old-school southern comfort food cafes. We saw boutiques and art galleries that looked like they belonged in Williamsburg, but had three times the space. We even went to a coffee shop, The Coffee Fox, where they serve some legitimately fantastic coffee. They use PERC coffee beans, which are locally roasted just a few miles south of the shop. I had a lovely, well-balanced, faintly cherry-y shot of espresso and John had a smooth, refreshing glass of proper cold-brew iced coffee.
Strolling slowly through the streets of Savannah, we became increasingly infatuated by its beauty and relaxed southern charm and were reluctant to leave. The city's blending of tradition and innovation is seamless and refreshing. Savannah feels familiar and brand new at the same time; a place that would be all to easy to call home.