The sixth day of our Southern U.S. road trip brought us to the historic city of Savannah on the coast of Georgia. Established in 1733 and full of early American history, Savannah is a must-see on any historic tour of the United States. The antebellum architecture and cobblestone streets are the epitome of Southern charm, but if I’m going to be perfectly honest – I was in it for the Spanish moss.
Arriving in Savannah mid-afternoon, my sister and I were tired and itchy from our experience in Mississippi and a few hour nap in a hotel somewhere in Florida (I don’t think either of us knows where we ended up). We drove into Savannah totally blind (not literally, I promise) without doing any research.
We just knew that we’d unpack in the hotel room, and then find the historic district and walk around, taking in the sights and shopping through a few stores. We weren’t expecting much more than gorgeous architecture, but the magic that awaited us on River Street is something I still think back on fondly.
Strolling River Street in downtown Savannah
While following the GPS toward River Street, I was completely taken aback by the beauty and charm of Savannah’s city streets. Large, thick trees lined each side, soft bits of sun peeking through the most gorgeous draped canopy of Spanish moss.
I had to get out and walk around (taking my camera along, of course). We wandered the streets and visited an old graveyard, a cozy cafe, and an art co-op before getting back in the car to continue to our destination.
Shopping on River Street
Founded in 1733, Savannah’s riverfront was a major southern port where they exported rice and cotton. The old warehouses that line the street (now home to shops and restaurants) used to house the merchants who dealt in the rice, cotton, and slave industries.
Growing up in Philadelphia, I knew that my city was old, but when you walk around Olde City Philly, you’re surrounded by so many new structures -high rises, Starbucks, and SO MANY CARS.
The South feels old. Walking through Savannah (and New Orleans), their history envelops you. You can feel and see it everywhere.
The charm of River Street drew us in. We walked through every shop we could, eager to see more. There was an open-air craft market, bakeries, tourist shops.
We had dinner and beers at One-Eyed Lizzy’s and then watched the sunset on the waterfront. There was still more shopping to be done!
Our favorite shop was a tie between Earthbound Trading Company and The River Street Marketplace, but there is truly something for everyone.
We walked around until well after dark.
While strolling below an overpass, there was a small a capella group singing ‘Under the Boardwalk’. I will never forget the beautiful echos of their soulful voices and I think back on this magical moment often. I stopped and took a video and I’ll try to figure out how to get that on here one day.
We climbed the old stone steps back to where we left the car and returned to the hotel for a good night’s rest.
An early morning found us on the road again, heading north toward Charleston, South Carolina.