Monthly Archives: June 2007

36 Hours in the Historic Disrict, New York Times Style

There is a great read in the New York Times this morning in their “36 hours” travel series about a day and a half in our lovely lady, The Hostess City, on the Savannah River in coastal Georgia.Savannah2
Check out the excerpt below or the whole article here:

CERTAIN things about Savannah never change — it remains one of America’s loveliest cities, organized around a grid of 21 squares, where children play, couples wed and, in the evenings, lone saxophonists deliver a jazz soundtrack. But that doesn’t mean Savannah has nothing new to offer. Perhaps most notable is a budding art scene that includes the high — a major expansion of the Telfair Museum — and the low — a scene energized by students and instructors at the booming Savannah College of Art and Design. Civic boosters are even trying to reposition the region as the “Creative Coast.” And then there is change of another kind: restoration. Before iron-clad protection of the historic district was established, Savannah lost 3 of its 24 squares to developers. Now one of the oldest, Ellis Square, long dominated by a parking lot, is being restored to its antebellum glory.

You’re in the heart of the gracious South, so embrace every cliché from the frilly to the Gothic, with some eccentric characters for good measure. Begin with a tour of the splendid Mercer Williams House on Monterey Square ($12.50 tickets at the Carriage House Shop, 430 Whitaker Street, 912-236-6352).Savannahgetaway
It was built in the 1860s for the great-grandfather of the songwriter Johnny Mercer and restored by Jim Williams, the antiques dealer memorialized in a now-classic book, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” The stern guide won’t dwell on the three murder trials of Mr. Williams, who was acquitted, and guests aren’t allowed on the second floor, where Mr. Williams’s sister, Dorothy Kingery, still lives. But the guide will offer plenty of detail about the formal courtyard, the nap-ready veranda, the Continental rococo and the Edwardian Murano glass.

Then again, why read about it when you can spend your own 36 hour adventure in Georgia’s First City?

Both Savannah and Charleston among Best City Destination in Southern Living

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Southern Living Magazine
’s final vote tally for Best Southern City Destination includes Savannah and Charleston as this popular magazine’s favorites.  As least according to their readers as these sister cities were among the top picks as voted on by 36,000 participants in 2006.   Other finalists along with the Hostess City and the Holy City competing for the 2006 Reader’s Choice Awards are Atlanta, Georgia and San Antonio, Texas as other popular southern City Destinations in their own right. Savannah and Charleston are perennial destsination favorites in this and other publications as these two popular low country vacation destinations are high on every traveler’s radar for either week long vacations or that long romantic getaway weekend. Read the entire article about "What You Voted the Best of the South in Southern Living."Sky
  And stay tuned for some exciting developments about splitting vacation trips between Savannah and Charleston with three or four nights in each city’s historic district.  We know your motivation for coming to our landmark historic district.  Below is your motivation for visiting our “Yankee sister city” to the north. Actually my tongue is in my cheek when I say that.

It’s the dazzling architectural allure of the battery promenade, the splendor of Charleston Harbor, the vibrant charm of the residents, and the exquisite blending of the historic points of interest with new architectural wonders in Charleston’s Historic DistrictLamp
that makes it one of the top 10 U.S. cities to visit. At Savannah Getaways we want to make your Charleston Getaway to Low Country South Carolina as memorable as your Savannah visit. We specialize in finding ideal, affordable accommodations for both recreational visitors and business travelers alike when you head north out of Savannah towards Charleston. As insiders, we know the best places to stay, eat, visit, and patronize. So what are you waiting for?  Give us a ring today about our sister city getaway package for Southern Living’s Two Favorite Southern Cities.

The Original returning Tourist to coastal Georgia, The Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Only predating us human inhabitants by, oh, some scientists say upwards of 200 million years, sea turtles are the original summer vacationers to our coastal Georgia waters. So the Georgia Sea Turtle Center at their Jekyll IslandWfront
grand opening to the public Saturday, June 16th was timely to say the least. Two thousand devoted sea tortoise lovers were in attendance at the ribbon cutting for the state of Georgia’s only sea turtle facility. The Research Center will be involved with medical care giving, rehabilitation, research, and ongoing education of our beloved coastal Georgia sea turtle population.  After years of fundraising, the project is poised to continue offering nature loving eco-tourists even more information about one of our most prized inhabitants, the Loggerhead Sea Turtle.

The Jekyll Island Sea Turtle Project, Thumb_10275
which marks and monitors sea turtle nests will continue offering highly informative tours led by trained sea turtle technicians. After a brief orientation, visitors are led to the ocean’s edge, where they learn about sea turtles and the importance of Georgia’s coast as habitat and nesting ground. After all, surviving female Loggerhead hatchlings from this year’s nests will, “some 34 years from now, be the same turtles that will come ashore on Jekyll Island to continue the ancient cycle and nest as adults” as the official website relates. Every year, approximately a 100 loggerhead nests are documented on Jekyll Island beaches.  Occasionally participants are even lucky enough to see a mother loggerhead emerge from the ocean and move up the beach to prepare her nest that may yield 80 to 100 eggs for a healthy female terrapin.  If you are running coastal Georgia this summer, check out The Georgia Sea Turtle Museum out on Jekyll Island.  This educational exhibit is open to the public free of charge and well worth the day trip investment to gain some serious face time with these wonders of nature.

Private Island for Sale off Hilton Head on Calibogue Sound

Savageisland_2 Who says you have to go the Caribbean or the South Pacific to buy our own private island? Right here in the Lowcountry just up the coast off of Hilton Head South Carolina on Calibogue Sound, there is a 413-acre private island that just might fill the bill. Complete with private residence, this island can be reached in five minutes from dock to boat landing from the mainland in Bluffton, SC. And best of all for our well heeled ecology minded investors, the island and mainland properties are protected by the nature conservancy. The island itself is a pristine nature preserve with deer, quail, ducks, heron, wood stork, ibis and shore birds. For the anglers among you, there is a ten-acre saltwater pond that is home to large spot tail bass and flounder that can be taken by fly fishing. And of course game fish opportunities abound with mahi mahi, tuna, marlin and sailfish within easy range.

Savageisland5_2 The house itself fits the low country lifestyle perfectly as a three-bedroom home that opens onto a series of pavilions designed for maximum privacy. It is listed at $15 million by Celia Dunn Realty. Now that we have sticker shocked you with the price, check out the history. Beaufort County’s Savage Island is located to the immediate west of Bull’s Island, separated from the same by Bull’s Creek. In view of local lore concerning a Captain Bull’s first wife, it would be easy to presume that the island is named for savage Indians who carried her off. Instead, it is probably named for a former owner. I know when I shop for my very own private island, it is important to have a bit of history about it.

Georgia Cup Bicyclists compete out on Hutchinson Island

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Competing cyclists from all over the southeast have already participated and will continue to participate in various geographic locations throughout the year all across the Peach State in the Georgia Cup Series cycling races.  The 2007 series kicked off in downtown Albany in early March for the season opener of the GA Cup Maxxis Bike Series. The venues are chosen for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is they are scheduled around regional festivals. This year’s first race in Albany took placed during their annual Mardi Gras Festival.  The Maxxis ProAm event took place out on Hutchinson Island just across the Savannah River from the Downtown Historic District recently.

As far as the notoriety of other sporting events that herald the return of spring here in the Lowcountry in April such as the Senior’s PGA tour event held out on Hutchinson Island, the Verizon Heritage out on Hilton Head Island or Tennis’s Family Cup up the coast in Charleston,2563705300049940643nvihdj_th
cycling does not enjoy the popularity here in coastal Georgia that it does in Europe. None the less the sport is growing as more and more fans and participants show up from one season to the next. The race that took place in mid June was comprised of a series of 3K races throughout the weekend. Broken down by age group and gender, bicycle racing continues to attract fans and cyclists alike to these popular race weekends and coastal Georgia seeks to grow the visiting fan base returning to our market year after year. 

Starland’s Farmers Market has the cure for your summertime munchies

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With their opening debut last month, Savannah’s Starland Farmers Market, hit the ground with their feet a’churning as we like to say here in the low country.   The open air market is open every Saturday morning regardless of the weather conditions from 9 AM till noon and features among other things garden fresh produce grown locally. A brainchild of the non-profit Starland Friends and Neighbors Group, this event has gained traction via a sponsorship by Starland Lofts, A Condominium. SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) supports The Starland Farmers Market through their student liaison.  Additional support comes from the Coastal Organic Group and Georgia Organics as well for this important Victorian District resource.

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While we here at Savannah Buzz have blogged frequently about Polk’s Fresh Market on Liberty Street and never miss an opportunity to stop in, we also enthusiastically recommend a visit to the Starland Farmers Market location. Not only is this market “uniquely Savannah like” by incorporating our southern hospitality themed version of community spirit, the market’s location downtown on the site of the old Savannah Starland Dairy will make for a nice exploration out of the historic district for your weekend getaway visitors seeking to go native. So if you find yourself in Savannah on a Saturday between March through October every growing season, check out the Starland Farmers Market for the very best in the way of local organic and traditional produce grown regionally. And while you are at it, see what our artists, food vendors, craftspeople, musicians, street performers, storytellers are up to.  After all, what better manner is there to experience Savannah than hanging out with the locals like the rest of we reprobates do high season or low season?

Championship Golf Course at the Westin

Go02Planning to play golf while visiting Savannah GA? I played and thoroughly enjoyed the Club at Savannah Harbor Golf Resort at the Westin. If you are looking for a quality course that will put your game to the test, look no further.

The 18 hole Championship course layout consists of 7288yds. The fairways are always in excellent condition. The greens are very fast and must be hit into strategically. As far as the rough, forget about it! Caddies have gotten lost in this rough and you might as well have a bull dozer to advance your ball!

This golf course serves home to the Senior PGA Tour (Champions Tour event Liberty Mutual) every March. Golf greats such as Gary Player, Jay Haas, Craig Stadler, Peter Jacobsen are just a few of the marquis players who attend every year. The strong winds and unforgiving rough have ranked the course the second hardest on the Champions Tour.

So in summary, let me say that if you enjoy playing a high quality and challenging golf course, the Club at Savannah Harbor will not disappoint.

Contributed by Aubrey Stringer

Tybee Island Marine Center Seacamp 2007

Attention all 3rd and 4th graders in the Savannah area:

Come to the Tybee Island Marine Science Center to learn all about marine biology! Campers will patrol the beach for loggerhead sea turtle nests; learn about sea turtles and other types of turtles. Through hands-on activities, campers will discover amazing marine animals like dolphins, sharks, and other fish. These campers will hit the beach for seining, beach walks, sand sifting and shell hunting. Bring a blank t-shirt on Wednesday for Fish Printing.

GalleryThis 5-day seacamp is scheduled for July 11-15 from 9:30 – 11:30 AM, July 25 – 29 from 9:30 – 11:30 AM, July 16 – 20 from 12 – 2 PM and July 30 – August 3 from 9:30 – 11:30 AM. Click here for the seacamp application and ENJOY!

Savannah makes Top 1000 Places to Visit before You Die

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The Lowcountry Business Report and Journal
announced today that Savannah’s unique historic district has once again been recognized.  This time we made it into best selling author Patricia Schultz’s new book “1000 Places to See in The USA and Canada Before You Die” as “America’s Best Walking City” among other distinctions in the below story:

Savannah, GA and a few of her most-beloved attractions are listed in the new book "1000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die."  The write-up lauds Savannah and describes it as "An urban masterpiece, (Savannah is) America’s best walking city, a living museum." Labeling Savannah as "Georgia’s Jewel," Schultz focuses on the National Historical Landmark District’s brilliance as a whole and heavily features two of architect William Jay’s Regency style designs, Ot_garden4
the Owens-Thomas House and the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as the Davenport House. Among the District’s 2,300 significant colonial and Victorian homes and buildings, the Owens-Thomas House on Oglethorpe Square "deservedly earns more oohs and aahs than any other structure in the district," Schultz determines.

Fittingly, the Telfair Academy, a fine architectural work in itself with the distinction of being the South’s oldest public art museum, is also a highlight. This is a follow up to author Patricia Schultz’s "1000 Places to See Before You Die," which is one of the bestselling travel books ever published, with over 2.4 million copies in print. The original publication has spent 162 weeks (and counting) on the New York Times bestseller list and will soon be the basis for a new reality television show.

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Duuh, so what else is new? That’s what we’ve been talking about all these years!  So maybe we are a wee bit prejudiced but how about a top ten designation?

Bluffton’s Third Friday Thowdown and Pluff Mudd Art Gallery Anniversary

It’s the summer season’s first 3rd Friday over on the Hilton Head Island – Bluffton side of the Savannah River Basin, so put on your dancing shoes as it is block party time in Bluffton’s Historic Old Town district. “Dad’s Night Out” is the appropriate theme for the usual TGI3rd Friday Block Party on Bluffton’s Calhoun Street, 5-8 p.m. Restaurant
Featuring live food and tasty entertainment – just wanted to make sure you were paying attention – actually there will be tasty food along with live music at this monthly shindig hosted by the Old Town Bluffton Merchants Society.  And while you are there, join the fine guild of artists at the Pluff Mudd Art Gallery celebrating their fifth year anniversary with personalized mirrors commerating this anniversary and the artist’s personal media they work in.


This Guild of Bluffton Artists
was formed as a co-op back in April of 2002.  Now home to a variety of art, including paintings in oil, pastel, acrylic, collage and water media, artistic creations can be found in clay art, basketry, fiber art, gold leafing, jewelry and glass works as well. Recently expanding to include Hilton Head artists, Amos_hummell
this lowcountry studio is positioned to deliver works from the best area artists.  And for those inquiring minds among you, Pluff Mud is the squishy mud found at the bottom of the marshes and the May River that runs by the town of Bluffton, which coincidentally host our go to source of fresh oysters in season, Oystero
The Bluffton Oyster Company
.