Category Archives: Lowcountry Heritage Corridor

Run, Walk, Survive in Savannah!

September 20 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Heart of Savannah 5K run.

September 20 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Heart of Savannah 5K run.

On September 20 at the T intersection of Bull and Gaston Streets at the  northeast side of Forsyth Park (facing toward River Street), all of you sports enthusiasts, young and old who plan to be in Savannah this coming weekend, can participate and in the 25th annual trifecta, Savannah style, for young, old and the cured, at the Heart of Savannah 5K run, 1 mile Survivors walk, and the quarter mile kid’s fun run.

Warm up in Forsyth Park as you get ready to participate in this weekend's 5K Savannah run.

Warm up in Forsyth Park as you get ready to participate in this weekend’s 5K Savannah run.

Read the whole article below in it’s entirety from a recent edition of The South Magazine. Nobody does it better than our live like and work like a local friends at the South Mag when it comes to providing the inside skinny on what’s coming down in Destination Savannah from one day to the next!

“Join the YMCA of Coastal Georgia for the 25th Annual Heart of Savannah 5K September 20, 2014. Come for the race and stay for a fun family style YMCA party! This year’s event will feature a 5K Run, 1 Mile Survivors walk and a FREE 1/4 mile kid’s run. All of the proceeds from the event will support the Y’s newest program, LIVESTRONG at the Y, a free 12 week program, to help cancer survivors regain their physical and mental strength after treatment through exercise programs specifically for cancer survivors. This year’s event will feature a 1 Mile Survivor’s Walk to celebrate life and hope.

The race will start at 9:00 AM in the northeast corner of the park on Gaston Street and wind around the park and then down Bull Street through Savannah’s historic squares down to Johnson Square and back up Bull Street to the Park. After the race, a YMCA style party will be held with activities like Zumba in the park, Health Screenings, Inflatables for the kids and so much more! Bring the family; there will be something for everyone!

For more information and to register”, go to the YMCA of Coastal Georgia location, Fleet Feet Sports Savannah ($5 off coupon for all 5K participants) or visit the local Savannah YMCA website. Remember to include the time and date!

Kings Road and Dixie Highway via Savannah

Later this month the Embassy Suites Historic Savannah will host an unusual conference in downtown Savannah for all our road warrior friends out there, at least those that have a love of the spur of the moment road trip.  September 26 through the 28th is when this interesting conference is slated to be held.

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The 2014 Preserving the Historic Road Conference, partnered with the National Scenic Byways Foundation, will provide a diverse and comprehensive conference program, which will include enlightening educational sessions, and informative mobile workshops to unique sites (featuring some great shrimp, grits and barbeque). The combination of these events will let you experience southern road culture, history and local issues that tie in to the national, and global, perspective of historic road identification and protection.

As the Preserving the Historic Road Conference literature indicates there are a number of reasons for serious “on the road again” enthusiasts to be in attendance (if for no other reason than to dazzle your friends and fellow travelers with your arcane knowledge of our southern road systems).

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Upon founding Savannah in 1733 General James Oglethorpe organized the now famous squares as military parade grounds among the residences, businesses and churches of the capital city of the 13th Colony. Beyond Savannah, American Indian roads transformed into colonial trade routes, such as the King’s Road, and were later used during the Revolutionary and Civil wars. These same roads evolved into the highways of the modern era, providing the lifeline between growing industries and the bustling Port of Savannah. These same roads further enticed travelers to southern vacationlands via the Dixie Highway and the Atlantic Coastal Highway (US 17). So journey on down with your fellow road enthusiasts and enjoy some fine southern hospitality!

Exterior - Dusk

Bacon Fest upon the cobblestones

Bacon 1Roses are red

Bacon is yummy

Roses smell nice

Put the Bacon in your tummy.

Geez, I didn’t write the ditty, another true bacon lover did! I just thought it was appropriate for the first weekend coming at us this particular September! Stand by on River Street for yet another Savannah inaugural festival, Savannah’s first ever Bacon Fest slated for the first weekend of September, the 5th through the 7th at the Rousakis Riverfront Plaza. Bacon Fest promises to be yet another great excuse to hang out in Lowcountry Savannah to taste the mouth-watering dishes of our cadre of creative local restaurateurs.

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Pork belly patrons can sample a variety of the offerings on booth lined River Street. In addition to one of America’s favorite comfort food taste-fest there will of course be a First Friday Fireworks display in the offing by our always trusty sponsor, Wet Willie’s. Count on the usual group of talented artists to march on by for our First Friday Art March but we prefer our 1st Weekend Art March.

And by the way did we forget to mention that all of the above is being put on for free?

All that Lowcountry Jazz

Kick off your pre-Labor Day weekend with some live Jazz Performances at the Lowcountry Jazz Festival

Kick off your pre-Labor Day weekend with some live Jazz Performances at the Lowcountry Jazz Festival

Another year rolling on by and another late summer/early fall Charleston and Savannah
Jazz Festival in two big time coastal destinations along the Heritage Corridor, Charleston South Carolina and Savannah Georgia coming at you one more time. Time is running short to snag your tickets for the sixth annual LowCountry Jazz Festival at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center, August 28th through the 31st. This year’s opening act Bobby Caldwell promises to set the tone right from the jump on Thursday night with his long line of jazz favorites including his renowned “What you won’t do for Love”.

Make sure you secure your ticket for any of the four nights you plan to be in attendance at the Lowcountry Music Festival.

Free form outdoor jazz concerts in Forsyth Park every September

Free form outdoor jazz concerts in Forsyth Park every September

On completion of the Charleston Jazz fest, just follow Highway 17 in a southbound direction on past the outskirts of Charleston apiece until you cross the Savannah River a few hours later if you are thinking about taking in the sights and sounds of these two sister cities, Savannah and Charleston. You can always count on the granddaddy of lowcounty Jazz Festivals to take place as usual in Forsyth Park later this month. For over thirty years, the very best musicians have been delivering every jazz genre known to music lovers everywhere to be found exclusively in it’s low country habitat every September under the auspices of the Savannah Music Festival.  This year’s event runs for six nights starting September 21st and ends on September 27th and features our personal favorite, “Steady Rolling” Bob Margolin in the prime time spot on Thursday night, September 25thon the outdoor stage under the band shell at Forsyth Park.

Day and Night, free outdoor jazz concerts during the Savannah Jazz Festival

Day and Night, free outdoor jazz concerts during the Savannah Jazz Festival

Just another late summer early fall in music paradise where you can boogie like a local to our always tasty low country musical fare.

Live like a local, be respectful of your neighbors!

local 1When you live like a local on your Savannah Getaway, it should start with the same respect you likely demonstrate in your own community of origin. Simply stated, be respectful of the year round neighbors on the Savannah block you are staying in. Your Savannah vacation rental home is smack dab in the middle of local Savannahians. Hence our live like a local slogan that has served us well for the past 15 years now.

So apply the same common sense and neighborliness you employ in obeying laws and ordinances in the cities and communities you came from and you are not likely to get sideways on your Savannah vacation with year round neighbors or law enforcement! Just as in your own hometown, there are laws and ordinances that prohibit excessive, unnecessary and unreasonable levels of noise. These laws are enforced by the local police departments. Savannah is no exception when it comes to enforcing the “silence is golden rule” in the wee hours of the night.

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Over the years our guest services and reservation desk receive an ever growing number of complaints from neighbors about excessive noise levels after 10:00 PM when the noise ordinance law kicks in. While this is a small number of noisy guests for the most part, clear communication about consequences to this handful of ignoring noise ordinances make for better relationships between Savannah Getaways and their neighbors.  We will not knowingly tolerate a noise nuisance in our vacation rental homes once we have been made aware of boorish behavior that we represent for the property owners and their neighbors.

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This noisy neighbor complaint has become such an issue in the historic district of Savannah, real or perceived, that some of the ward captains have raised a clamor within the 31401 zip code to such an extent, that the city is now reviewing local ordinances with an eye for making sure that the quality of life is the same for our Savannah guests and true Savannah locals alike. These new laws, in part intended to keep rowdy revelers tamped down on their visit, will likely go into effect in the next few months. So be apprised, for those of you that are coming to town to party down, our rental homes are not for you. While the posted images within this blog are reflective of something more akin to drunk and disorderly in the district, you are out of line if the police have to be called out to remind you to keep it down, this is not to be confused with what we mean when we speak of “living like a local”.

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“We know from experience that nearly all of our guests DO act like good neighbors while in Savannah.  We truly appreciate that and welcome you to Savannah, our serene Hostess City.”

Lucky 7th Savannah CraftBrew Fest

Swigging with 5000+ beer lovers

The beer will be flowing freely on Hutchinson Island this coming pre-Labor Day weekend as the seventh annual Savannah Craft Brew Fest get’s well under way. If past coastal Georgia craft brew fests are any indication, you can expect 5,000+ cold brew lovers to raise tasting glasses in approximately 30 days as they seek their favorite brewery product line at this popular tasting event.

As a past spokesman said in years past from the Savannah Convention and Visitors Bureau “I think as long as the weather holds out for this up until now highly successful Savannah Craftbrew Fest, great crowds will continue to come in increasing numbers to what is becoming a great Savannah Tradition year after year.” Check the video below to see remind you of why it is you likely want to be in attendance.

Plan your Savannah weekend getaway if you expect to be there for the kick-off of this year’s Saturday event on August 30th. Last chance to receive 20% off (save $10) on the price of admission to this 150 brewery beer tasting event, so buy your tickets online today before the end of the day on July 31st, 2014!

Dogs Rule on River Street

Rousakis Riverfront Plaza located at 115 East River Street is the appropriate rally point for the Dog Days of Summer on River Street the first weekend in August. Just steps away from all the River Street and City Market attractions you will likely come to visit, why not bring that furry kid along with you and spoil them rotten along River Street with doggy treat after doggy treat on the one weekend you can count on this year that will most definitely go to the dogs.

Dog Days 1

Local Savannahians know how to embrace all the seasons in our top ten destination (or 29 most surreal locations to visit if you prefer) with a variety of festivals.  So of course August’s First Friday Weekend (one of twelve throughout the year) on River Street will be one that our two legged and four legged guests can enjoy together. The Savannah Waterfront Association has quite a Dog Days of Summer throw down planned for August 1-2 at Rousakis Riverfront Plaza on historic River Street along the northern border of downtown Savannah fronting the inbound and outbound ship laden Savannah River.

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Don’t know about our First Friday Fireworks Weekends along the Savannah River? River Street will be bursting with culinary delights of every description for all our foody loving friends from some of historic Savannah’s most accomplished eating establishments for your traveling palate. And we don’t forget your favorite furry friend’s less not overly discriminating foody needs either.  Many of the booths will have doggy bags available mostly because Savannah is a doggone good dog loving town to hang out with your dog in. Your family and friends want believe you on your return? Then document your Dog Days of Summer sojourn with that very special pooch at the photo booth!

Forest Gump on an undersized shrimp boat?

Forest Gump on an undersized shrimp boat?

Dog Days of Summer paws off on Friday, August 1 at 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. and starts back up with much wagging of the tail on Saturday from 10:00 am to 10:00 p.m. First Friday Fireworks as presented by Wet Willie’s begin at 9:30 p.m. on Friday. Like all First Weekend Celebrations, this event is free and open to the public. One thing for sure, you never know what you will find on River Street with your kids, furry or otherwise!

 

Kid Friendly Savannah

 

Pirates House Restaurant where the dining amongst pirates is the norm

Pirates House Restaurant where the dining amongst pirates is the norm

Savannah in the summer has a variety of fun things to do for children of all ages when the shores of Tybee are simply not enough to keep your kids amused.  Savannah is quite kid friendly in a historic manner if one knows where to look. Our Coastal Heritage Society in coastal Georgia is a fine place to start with Old Fort Jackson just minutes away from downtown Savannah, Fort Pulaski, a little further out Highway 80 the Georgia State Railroad Museum just across MLK Jr. Boulevard south of Oglethorpe St., and the Pin Point Heritage Museum celebrating the Gullah/Geechee island lifestyle off highway 204 on the route to Skidaway Island.

Dating back to the 1820's, Fort Pulaski was part of a chain of coastal forts precipitated by the War of 1812

Dating back to the 1820′s, Fort Pulaski was part of a chain of coastal forts precipitated by the War of 1812

The recently opened Savannah Children’s Museum is located right beside the Roundhouse Railroad Museum at 655 Louisville Road from 9:00 AM through 2:00 PM Tuesday through Sunday. Open now is Exploration Station phase 1 featuring a unique 1 acre, 2 level outdoor exhibit area set in the ruins of a Central of Georgia Railroad building. Or take a run out to a fun attraction off the Islands Expressway, the Oatland Island Wildlife Center replete with nature trails throughout featuring low country hardwood forests and mashes. Along the trail in their natural habitat, you can view panthers (if they will come out of their lairs), bears as they eat their treats, eastern timber wolves, alligators, many different flying raptors, and even a non-local bison or three.

One of many onsite aircraft, circa WWII

One of many onsite aircraft, circa WWII

Military History buffs will want to take in the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum just off I-95. Be prepared to spend half a day in this air-conditioned facility where your young flyer can experience what it was like to fly a B-17 bomber aboard the museum’s interactive flight simulator. Hear the sounds of the engines and the spinning of the propellers as computer monitors reflect cockpit windows and flight controls. Other exhibits include a B-17 bomber that’s undergoing complete restoration and is on display in the Combat gallery. End your day dining with pirates in Savannah’s landmark eatery The Pirates House. Initially opened in 1753 as an inn for seafarers, legend has it that a long ago sea captain from the Robert Louis Stevenson inspired novel “Treasure Island” fame died in an upstairs room with first mate, Billy Bones, at his side. See a tunnel that’s rumored to extend from underneath the restaurant to the Savannah River where drunken seamen were shanghaied. Characters in pirate costume mill about during meal times.

1 x Land, 1 X Sea = Savannah Fireworks Display

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As Hurricane Arthur works it’s way north to the Outer Banks off coastal North Carolina, we can celebrate the passing of this hurricane season’s first weather event with a fireworks display on Tybee Island tonight and Downtown Savannah overlooking River Street on Friday evening. Well, maybe we are being a little disingenuous as both these two annual 4th of July celebrations were already in the works. The Tybee Island Pier will get a jump on July 4th tonight with their Dark Thirty Fireworks Display, at approximately dusk around 9:15 PM. While the fireworks display will be staged on the pier, this impressive display is easily viewed from any of Tybee’s eastern beaches.

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Meanwhile, a mere 20 minutes away by car, the Savannah Waterfront Association will be hosting their annual Fourth of July festival all weekend long beginning the next day on Friday, July 4th and continuing through Sunday, July 6th along historic trolley car line over cobblestone paved River Street. Viewing the fireworks on River Street is a long standing “live like a local” Savannah tradition that everyone turns out to see, be they local residents or visitors to the Hostess City. And Savannah and Tybee Island both do the many fireworks displays that provide throughout the calendar year right! The Fourth of July Celebration and Fireworks Extravaganza will kick off Friday, July 4th at 4pm on Rousakis Plaza. As usual, some mighty fine live musical bands will be performing on the Arbor Stage with special performances from Those Cats at 6 PM followed by The Hypnotics at 8 PM. œThese bands are local favorites This year, the Hypnotics will be performing a patriotic set during the fireworks to compliment the fireworks extravaganza. Those viewing the fireworks away from the Arbor Stage can also tune into Y100-WXYY-FM for more patriotic tunes during the fireworks display.

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The festivities will continue on Saturday featuring another live performance for guests to dance to from the Radio Birds at 8pm. Festival Hours are 4-10pm on Friday, 10am-10pm on Saturday, and 10am-5pm on Sunday. Regional artisans will be set up along the plaza displaying a variety of handmade works for festival goers to browse through. Let’s review: Tybee Island Pier tonight on July 3rd starting at 9:15 PM. And River Street Savannah starting on Friday afternoon, July 4th 2014 through Sunday afternoon July 6th , 2014 – Friday, July 4: 4-10 p.m., Saturday, July 5: 10 a.m. 10 p.m., Sunday, July 6: 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Memorial Day

Military_branches

DziadekI was 12 when My grandfather, Stanley Kiefski, passed away. A Navy veteran who was lucky enough to be on a boat returning to California shortly before Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. I may have never met him. I don't remember a whole lot of the funeral, the day, or the weather. I think it was cold. What I do remember was taps playing, guns firing, and a folded flag.  

It wasn't until I moved to Savannah that I began to recognize what "duty, honor, country", meant. More than words General MacArthur gave. It was real and whole. It has mass and body. Mass, of the many that hear the call to join our armed forces. Body, of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. 

 

 

Savannah is military. Past, present, and future.

We have:
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Hunter Army Airfield, in Savannah, is home of the Army Rangers 1st Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment.

Fort Stewart, 20 minutes south of Savannah, is home of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division and is the largest military base east of the Mississippi. 

Parris Island, 40 minutes north of Savannah, is a Marine training facility turning out nearly 17,000 recruits a year.

Kings Bay Navy Submarine Base, 100 miles south of Savannah, is the U.S. Atlantic Fleet's home port for the Navy's ballistic missile nuclear submarines.

FLETC (Federal Law Enforcement Training Center) ,70 miles south of Savannah, serves as an interagency law enforcement training organization for 91 federal agencies, partner organizations along with state, local, rural, tribal, territorial, and international law enforcement agencies.

All this, combined with Savannah's amazing military history, makes it hard not to notice the non-stop effort it takes to provide our nation's freedom. 

 Just about anywhere in Savannah you can find reminders, markers, and monuments honoring Savannah's importance to the very life of this nation. A visit to Bonaventure Cemetery you can find markers to veterans of the American Revolution, Civil War, Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and nearly every military skirmish in between. 

For those visiting Savannah interested in honoring our military, I would suggest:

Bonaventure Cemetery. Go to the visitors center for a free map to find the military plot and also the somewhat hidden plot of the dead from the Spanish American War. I can't say enough of this cemetery. It's a must do!

The Mighty Eighth Museum. Located 1 exit south of the Savannah airport on I 95. It is a fitting place to honor this prestigious group of airmen and their place in military history. 

Ww2savmemorial

 

Savannah's World War II memorial is a spectacular addition on the west side of River Street. Called "A World Apart" and shows a globe cut in half portraying the European and Pacific theaters. It features names of locals who lost their lives in that war. It's bigger than I imagined it would be, and rivals monuments in our nation's capitol. 

 

 

locals insider tip … Kevin Barry's Pub located on River Street. The second floor of this local and tourist favorite is called the Hall of Heroes and is a moving tribute to our military. I had the privilege to walk through this with one of the survivors of a little battle you may know as Black Hawk Down. He was visibly moved by this place as am I. I personally knew several soldiers that are on these walls. Can't believe they are gone. Guys I knew downtown. Drinking buddies. Friends. Immortally heroes. 

Mason

I dedicate this blog to Sgt. Mason Lewis. A friend, a co-worker, an employee. Killed in Iraq on November 16, 2007 while helping train members of the Iraqi military. Mason was the first person I knew die in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Remembering, honoring, memorializing. It's simply not enough for our bravely fallen, but it's all I can do today. I'm drinking a beer for you today Mason.