Family vacation to Savannah and Tybee Island

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Squares of Savannah. (All photos: Lina Shah)

My hubby was telling me since many years to go visit Savannah and I always was wondering on why to Savannah! Now, I can tell you, he was right. About 100 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina, this oldest city of Georgia with southern accents and Tom Hanks “Forrest Gump” fame, is abundant city to visit any time of the year, and offers rich history, beautiful architecture, ghost stories, music, food, beauty and classic charm of coastal city.

Beautiful serene Savannah.

The weather was warming up in last week of March when we reached Historic downtown of Savannah. That night we walked on pedestrian-friendly and innovative urban design streets and ended up with Encryption Escape and Adventure on Franklin Square across from City Market. Glad we tried this family game of cracking all codes and finding clues, it was super challenging and fun.

City of Savannah.

www.VisitSavannah.com was very informative and useful website in designing my itinerary. It can also be accessed from social media @VisitSavannah. Next day morning, we took an exciting and intuitive Segway tour. It was exhilarating experience gliding effortlessly through the wide streets and squares of beautifully planned city of Savannah, laid by General Oglethorpe. Our guide, Ross Moss of Adventure Tours in Motion, nicely explained about some of the interesting history of British colonial capital of the Province of Georgia, a strategic port city in American Revolution and during civil war, Cotton Exchange, etc. Savannah Coffee Roasters, next door to Segway, we found delicious vegan pastries and freshly roasted best coffee place. Owner Lori Collins is friendly and extended true Southern hospitality by making very special vegetarian sandwiches for us.

Prohibition Museum at City Market.

In afternoon, we spent time at informational and entertaining, America’s only Prohibition Museum at City Market. We really enjoyed a self-guided tour through the two story immersive galleries of exhibits, shares the fact of gangsters, but also takes us back in time of 1920’s. The 18th amendment was passed in 1919, immediately prohibiting the sale, transportation and consumption of alcohol. There is a line-up of wax figures of Lucky Luciano, Al Capone and Bugs Moran where we took photos. We took Savannah Riverboat cruise, enjoyed refreshing river breezes in a relaxing setup, and learned about history of Savannah port.

Katie Green – costumed character on Old Town Trolley.

Next day, we took Savannah Old town trolley tour to explore River Street, experience the serene atmosphere and sightseeing and visiting historical squares and art galleries. You can hop in and off at various attractions like Forrest Gump fame Chippewa Square, Forsyth Park, Massey School, the Pirates House, Owens Thomas house and Telfair museum. We were lucky enough to see Katie Green and a wandering pirate, a historical reenactors bringing Savannah’s history to life in our trolley at two stops. We explored Owens-Thomas House, English Regency architecture aesthetically compatible to Bath, England; birthplace of founder of Girl’s Scout – Juliette Gordon Low; and Telfair Academy of Arts and Science museum. Walking along the Savannah’s Riverwalk Street in the heart of Savannah is very pleasant and serene. On the river-walk we greatly enjoyed the working harbor, horse-drawn carriage rides, street performers, and lovely oasis of shopping, dining and culture. The Olympic torch radiating American spirit of Victory and waving girl statue, a true spirit of Southern Hospitality on Morrell Park, are landmarks worth visiting on riverfront.

“Savannah Live”

We ended beautiful evening with “Savannah Live”, a musical concert at the Historic Savannah Theater. This high-energy 2-hour variety show amazed us with Huxsie Scott’s famous jazz vocal, Broadway, Pop, Rock & Roll, Motown and comedy acts. The performer three couples really put their all into the show. Another day we also enjoyed a Historic Savannah Carriage tour with funny guide pointing to sarcastic side of history. That evening we went to a unique restaurant cum game place called Chromatic Dragon.

Fox and Figs plant based Vegan Café.

We enjoyed Fox and Figs plant-based Vegan Café. We also found Savannah streets very food friendly, where we tried authentic Thai, Mexican at Jalapenos and Tequila’s town, and Indian verities at NaaN on Broughton, and famous Leopold’s ice cream. People enjoy spending time in long lines to get nearly 100 year old legendary Leopold’s three brothers Greek ice cream recipes.

Kayaking at Tybee.

We drove Fort Pulaski, National monument on Cockspur Island, about 20-minute drive going to Tybee Island. Named after the revolutionary war soldier and commander, this port was built in 1847 to protect Savannah from Mexico. We spent two nights in Tybee Island for water fun like kayaking and jet ski, bike riding, sunbathing and beautiful sandy beaches.

Historic Savannah Carriage Tour.

We ended up our last day of vacation visiting Charleston, South Carolina. We took Charleston’s historic carriage tour and enjoyed beautiful setup of cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and pastel antebellum houses, particularly in the elegant French Quarter and Battery districts. We had a one of a kind experience sailing with the Schooner Pride Sail boat for dolphin tour. I highly recommend this romantic voyage, we saw dolphins and a wonderful sunset.

About the Author:
A Freelance writer, Lina Shah is an Editor, Teacher, Social worker and Financial professional. She is inspired by her father a Journalist, publisher and founder of the first Gujarati newspaper in USA. A multi-talented suburban Chicagoland wife and a mother of two, she also enjoys cooking and event planning.

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