Savannah, Georgia's oldest city, began its modern history on February 12, 1733, when General James Oglethorpe and 120 colonists arrived at Yamacraw Bluff on the Savannah River to form the last British colony in the New World. For a century and a half the city flourished as a bustling port, serving as a hub of import and export that connected Georgia to the rest of the world.The past plays an important role in Savannah. Standing in a tranquil square surrounded by historic homes, it's easy to feel as if you have stumbled through a portal into the past. Don't be fooled though, as the city offers much more than antebellum nostalgia for moonlight and magnolias. Savannah is home to several colleges and universities, including the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design. In the last decade the city has seen a surge of creative energy that has helped infuse a youthful vibe into the traditions of the Hostess City.When Oglethorpe founded Savannah, one of the original rules forbade strong drink. Temperance didn't last long, and these days Savannah is one of only a few places in the country without an open container law, meaning that you can walk around downtown with a beer or cocktail so long as it's in a plastic cup—known locally as "to-go cups." The joke among residents is that in Atlanta they ask you what you do for a living, in Macon they ask where you go to church, and in Savannah they ask you what you drink.Maybe it's the heat, but things move a little more slowly in Savannah. If you're visiting from out of town, take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy the languid pace of "Slow-vannah."
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Things You Can't Miss
The guides provide an intimate view of the grand southern architecture and character of the historic district along with a scandalous story or two.
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Visible from many points throughout the city, this ornate French Gothic-style cathedral entrances with its dramatic interior and fanciful murals.
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An avenue of oaks in this outdoor oasis leads to Savannah’s the Forsyth Fountain, modeled after a water feature in Paris’s Place de la Concorde.
Image Credit: Plus One Pix / Alamy
Sample new Southern cuisine (think she-crab soup or fried green tomatoes) at this 18th-century mansion that offers outdoor dining and live music.
Image Credit: Danita Delimont / Alamy
The beautiful home of the Girl Scouts’ founder was designated Savannah’s first National Historic Landmark and features her creative artwork.
Image Credit: Bob Krist/Corbis
Follow trails that wind through maritime forests and salt marshes filled with wildlife. Borrow binoculars from the visitor’s center for bird-watching.
Image Credit: Mark Summerfield / Alamy
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