Monthly Archives: July 2007

A Quarter Century of Four Beats to the Bar courtesy of The Savannah Jazz Festival

For the past 25 years, the Coastal Jazz Association has been bringing music lovers together in Savannah Historic District venues to enjoy the very best of great free music. This fall season promises to be even better as The Savannah Jazz Festival is celebrating its Silver 25th Anniversary with plenty of special events not to mention an unusually stellar jazz lineup. The kick-off event is slated to be held on Sunday, September 23rd from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Kokopelli’s Jazz Club and Restaurant. The area’s best jazz musicians join with nationally renowned Jazzbos for this event which traditionally has been the beginning of "Jazz Week" in Savannah.

According to the Savannah Business Report, in addition to hosting the Savannah Jazz Festival Kick-Off, Kokopelli’s will also host several pre-festival events on Monday (September 24) and Tuesday (September 25). These events begin at 8:00 pm. Fountainforsyth
On festival days, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (September 27, 28 & 29), The Coastal Jazz Association and Kokopelli’s will feature national, regional and local jazz and blues performers in a series of "jam sessions" after the festival evenings end at Forsyth Park. The jam sessions begin at 11:00 pm. As has always been the case in previous September Festival, all Savannah Jazz Festival events are free to the public.  To gain more information about the Savannah Jazz Festival, click on the link or call 912.675.5419.  To review the line-up, follow the link.

2007 Blues & BBQ in Savannah

BbqThis November 9th and 10th visit the Roundhouse Railroad Museum for the best blues music and BBQ in Historic Savannah, Georgia presented by the Coastal Heritage Society.

The gates are open from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. on both nights and features music from Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love, Magic Slim, Wanda Johnson and Shrimp City Slim and many more; and you won’t be able to put down the flavorful home-cooked barbeque!

Admission is $12 for one night; $20 for both nights.

Adventure Vacations in the Georgia and South Carolina State Park Systems

Lowcountry Georgia and South Carolina
have some stunning natural areas along the coastal waters winding through their chain of barrier islands.  The respective state park systems of South Carolina and Georgia offer day visitors and overnight campers an affordable way to explore our unique lowcountry barrier island ecosystem. Truly a breathtaking gem, these maritime barrier island state parks are a beautiful getaway destination. Visitors can camp out in primitive campgrounds or hook up their campers in designated areas.  And those that plan far enough in advance (up to a year) can stay in some of the most affordable beach lodging anywhere, your own private beach cottage, courtesy of the state of Georgia or South Carolina.

These well kept park systems are low on the radar of many traveling Americans to the southeastern United States seeking the Great American Beach Vacation. These family adventure vacations can be taken amongst prehistoric middens and mounds indicative that humans lived in these island areas more than 4,000 years ago. Take in the natural areas range from coastal dunes and salt marshes along the Atlantic for some of the finest surf fishing anywhere to island wetlands, creeks, and rivers scattered throughout the stands of sand pine scrub. Activities including swimming, beachcombing, nature study, hiking, Sc_0806_01a
surf fishing, and saltwater fishing await the adventuresome family at Hunting Island State Park or Sapelo Island State Park (one of the last coastal island homes of the Gullah People) two of our favorite island park getaway locations.  And while you are at it, plan a day trip to Historic Charleston or Historic Savannah along with this eco-tourism family vacation to truly combine an adventure vacation with a history filled day in our revolutionary war sister cities here in the Low Country.

Paddleboarding, Ancient Watercraft of Kings resurges in the low country

The dirty little secret about surfing the Atlantic Ocean along lowcountry beaches is there is not an overabundance of opportunities to catch that gigantic wave.  Just the nature of the beast in flat shallow waters that one is more prone to surf on the longer gentler breaking waves such as you are likely to find out on the beaches of Tybee Island or the myriad creeks and waterways all the way to up to Charleston and beyond as this Features_t180
Shem Creek paddleboarder photo indicates.  Paddleboards are nothing more than massive surfboards that you stand up on and paddle that are approximately twice the size of regular surfboards.  This stable platform allows the oar wielding surfer to travel further in an upright position as well as see further in identifying incoming waves.  Retooled back in the 1920’s by legendary surfer, Tom Blake, it is hard to improve on the basic design that dates back to ancient Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures who understood how best to maneuver around their island homes.

If supply and demand has anything to do with it, paddleboarding will be the next hot new thing on creeks, rivers and seashores this summer in spite of the entry level price tag of $1200 – $1400 including paddle.  The benefits of this new board design are immediately recognizable when you consider that you are likely to maneuver farther faster with a paddleboard Laird20paddleboarding
versus the traditional kneeling and scooping action required to use normal surfboards and consequentially you are prone to do three times more wave riding from further out.  And talk about an effective cardiovascular exercise regimen in every way.  Many paddleboard enthusiasts are already singing the praises of the killer workout for the core, or midsection, of the body, which is essential for surfing. Many report improved surfboard skills as a result of this workout with the historic re-introduction of this Pacific Rim World Watercraft.

Romantic Garden Accommodation Just Steps Away from Chippewa Square

Looking for a great and memorable getaway to Savannah, GA? Check out listing 1016 as a great option for your stay. This property is situated just steps away from Chippewa Square which is where the Forrest Gump bench scene was shot. You are also just a short stroll away from the fine restaurants and shopping on Broughton Street continuing up to River Street.

146_01This spacious (over 1400 square feet) one bedroom garden apartment is beautifully decorated and has a true local charm. This is an ideal property for the couple looking for a romantic getaway! It rents at $185 per night with a discount for a week’s stay. Compare that to any overpriced hotel room that offers a quarter of the space and less charm!

The Great American Vacation Comes to the Lowcountry

According to the Savannah Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the CBS Early Show will do a live remote broadcast in Savannah’s historic district on Thursday, July 19th on River Street.  As a CBS spokesman says “When Dave Price travels around the country, as he’s doing during his Great American Vacation excursion this summer, his favorite activities include finding and trying local cuisines."   As many of Dave’s fans that follow this early morning antics, shopping for the best edible souvenirs is his own personal shtick.  If you want to mingle with the locals or join the tourists to this coastal Georgia Tourist Destination, here is all you need to know according to the Savannah CVB website:

What you need to know to be on the Early Show
Phone: 212.975.003
Location: River Street between Bull St. and Abercorn St.
The CBS Early Show’s Dave Price will be in Savannah on Thursday, July 19, 2007 from 7-9 a.m. on Historic River Street between the Bull and Abercorn street ramps.Citymarkethorses
The Savannah Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and The Early Show are encouraging members and other organizations to take part in this exciting experience that will be broadcast LIVE on national television. The broadcast will begin at 7 a.m., so please arrive by 6:30 a.m. to be included in the fun. All you need to bring is enthusiasm and the CBS crew will do the rest. If you are interested in participating in this exciting CBS Early Show series event, please contact the CBS Early Show team at 212.975.0032 or for detailed information and to reserve your spot in the live audience.

And if this is too early in the morning for you, then you might want to take in the live Hootie and the Blowfish concert up the coast apiece the next day in Charleston for The Early Show’s summer concert series.

Charleston’s Second Annual Palette and Palate Stroll delivers the Goods

This past weekend’s Palette and Palate Stroll of downtown Charleston’s premier art galleries coupled with the Holy City’s finest restaurants was once again a successful blending of the supporters of low country art galleries and their love of gastronomic excellence with the appropriate resource.   It is always appropriate to take advantage of our historic city’s finest indulgences as this year’s rendition of Charleston Fine Art Dealers’ Association’s 2nd annual P&PS not only made for a memorable evening dedicated to fine art, exquisite cuisine and wine tasting for the most discerning of palates but successfully raised visual arts scholarship funding in the bargain. Connoisseurs of every persuasion strolled through the historic streets of downtown Charleston, taking in a vast array of stunningly well done art created by nationally and internationally renowned artists at the city’s most prominent galleries while simultaneously indulging in our oh so fine cuisine prepared by Charleston’s most prestigious chefs

Some of the many participating restaurants were Cordavi, Fleet Landing, Grill 225, McCrady’s, Oak Steakhouse, Tristan, Carolina’s, Charleston Grill, Coast, Cypress, Muse, Granville’s, Social Restaurant and Wine Bar, Cru Cafe and Charleston Cooks!  The word is still out on how successful the Art Lovers weekend package went for the getaways package sponsor, Francis Marion Hotel, located in the midst of this gala affair but from some anecdotal reports, it was a bigger hit than last year’s event. Wine and cheese mixed with art in the historic district always make for a winning evening. Now approaching their eighth year anniversary since forming up, we salute the fund raising efforts of the Charleston Fine Art Dealers’ Association which consists of the city’s most prominent galleries. The association successfully connects Charleston as one of the nation’s preferred fine art destinations for talented artists with knowledgeable art enthusiasts as well as the avid collector.

Protecting the Promised Land in Coastal Georgia

I first met Laura Devendorf five years ago when I walked in unannounced and introduced myself as a newly minted neighbor down the road on the North Newport River to her Melon Bluff Nature and Heritage Preserve upriver from our Half Moon Marina condo.Halfmoonpic  I knew then this was a special lady, once I determined she was more intent on keeping this part of coastal Georgia as pristine and pure as could ever be hoped for, opting instead to walk away from obscene sums of development money for one very important principal – protecting the promised land that passed into her stewardship. As a Savannah Morning News story recently documented, this coastal Georgia Lowcountry Eden will continue that way on into perpetuity courtesy of this conservator extraordinaire, the visionary Mrs. Devedorf. As the article says, the Devendorf name once again means conservation.

For 10 years, the family has run Melon Bluff Nature & Heritage Preserve in Midway. Family members will make that effort permanent today with an announcement that they are donating the 2,000 acres of the Liberty County preserve – prime waterfront real estate on the North Newport River – to a foundation they’re creating "It will be protected then in perpetuity," said Laura Devendorf. "It will not be allowed to be sold or traded." Increasing taxes and the dual threats of eminent domain and zoning changes have threatened the property, which she estimates is worth $50 million to $100 million. The Devendorfs own about 9,400 acres in Liberty County, with deeds to some of it stretching back to land granted to Laura’s ancestors by the King of England in the 1700s. "It’s a holistic approach to education and research and public use," Devendorf said.

Stcatherinessunset Interested in becoming a neighbor yourself to this Liberty County acreage bordered by remote Colonel’s Island? There are still a handful of viable alternatives left yet out at Yellow Bluff.

Is Passenger Train Service from Atlanta to Savannah soon to become a reality?

Approximately 38% of all travelers coming to Savannah, originate in the state of Georgia.  And the lion’s share of Savannah’s Peach State tourism traffic originates from the greater Atlanta area, according to demographic studies that return the same results year after year.  In this era of rising fossil fuel costs, the mass transit travel alternative to enhance Savannah’s perennial top ten vacation destination standing just makes economic sense, plain and simple. So the book signing that takes place at the History Museum off MLK Blvd. inside The Savannah Visitor’s Center is timely in light of the subject matter of the book and the geographic location to an equally relevant historic point of interest at the Roundhouse Railroad Museum.  Good on you Savannah CVB!

This book signing is being hosted by a group that seeks public support for re-establishing passenger train service between Savannah and Atlanta. And to ramp up public awareness a notch or two higher, railroad history author Jackson McQuigg, who will sign copies of his book, The Central of Georgia Railway, will be on hand all day today, July 14 at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. It is appropriate to hold this book signing a short walk away from the Roundhouse Railroad Museum.  Plans have been underway for some time now to revitalize passenger service through four southeastern states by offering this service in a networked manner that moves travelers effectively and efficiently to these highly trafficked Heritage Corridor routes that are fundamentally served by the interstate road system these days. Grpproute
Money has been budgeted already in the state of Georgia which makes even more sense from a tourism perspective weighed against rising fuel costs for an oil addicted nation, the challenges facing air travelers abroad with fewer and fewer destinations that welcome American tourists, and the growing popularity of the Great American weekend getaway to accommodate America’s desire to travel.