Category Archives: Science

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

The winter doldrums are upon us. That stretch of time, from the excitement of the fall/winter holiday seasons until St. Patrick’s Day (our unofficial start to spring), where Savannahians can get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Savannah and its neighboring towns are dotted with community parks, state parks, and many different parks managed by the National Wildlife Refuge System.  Within 40 miles from downtown Savannah are 5 National Wildlife Refuges. They are; Pinckney Island NWR, Harris Neck NWR, Tybee NWR, Wassaw Island NWR, and Savannah NWR.

Welcome SignSavannah National Wildlife Refuge is free for all to enter though our four legged family members are not allowed. It is located about 7 miles from downtown Savannah, and was founded on April 6th, 1927 on what was a rice plantation started in the mid to late 1700’s. Inside it’s nearly 30,000 acres you will find a new visitors center, miles and miles of cycling/walking trails, and Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive. Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive is a 4 mile drivable loop, open daily from sunrise to sunset, that makes wildlife viewing accessible to all from the comforts of their own vehicle. It features many pull off areas as it winds through tidal creeks, lowland hardwood swamps, and freshwater impoundments utilizing earthen dikes from the original rice plantation.

Gator       Warm winter days are my favorite time to roam the refuge. These days are prime for seeing alligators, the refuge’s most popular guest! On a warm day, particularly after a cold front has blown through, it is not unusual to see over 30 alligators during your visit. In addition to alligators visitors can see migrating waterfowl, wading birds, song birds, turtles, raccoons, osprey, bald eagles, owls, other birds of prey, deer, fox, coyotes, and bobcats. The cooler months of winter also provide relatively bug free outdoor enjoyment, though I would suggest taking some bug repellant with you.

I would definitely suggest stopping by the new visitor’s center located at 694 Beech Hill Lane.
It is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 4:30 pm and is closed for all federal holidays. It features an exhibit area with historical information about the area and its wildlife, a gift shop with everything from tee shirts, hats, posters, toys, and many books on birds, nature, and local history.
Visitor Center II
Upon request the visitor’s center also features a very well done short film on the refuge system and on the Savannah refuge in particular.

The refuge is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy nature at your own pace. Whether you are nature nut like me, a photographer, a bird watcher, looking for some fresh air, or a quiet picnic spot Savannah National Wildlife Refuge is well worth the time.

Staying at Savannah Getaways Laura’s Cottage with the Haint

As many of our guests here at Savannah Getaways have shared over the years have come to know, Laura’s Cottage is not only available for your personalized vacation rental stay but you just might share the night with a haint that lives there as well if one guest that shared her story with Trip Advisor is to be believed.


"Laura visited 3 times – The cottage is said to be haunted by Laura, a black lady who lived in it for 50 years. The first week was very chilly in Savannah. Laura made herself known to us on 3 visits. The first was by opening a downstairs window from the bottom up on one chilly morning. The window was locked! Soon after she flickered the lights over the dining table, and the bulbs were in nice and tight. On the coldest night of the year, you could smell wood smoldering like a campfire after water had been poured on it. It was on and off, but so strong that we checked the cottage. Laura was telling us she would keep us warm. We never saw or heard her, but she was there."


So if hanging out with ghosts while visiting America’s most Haunted City is what you had in mind, well you’ve come to the right place assuming you can handle the walking tours that come by from time to time right outside your front door of this cottage built in the 1700’s. Savannah Getaways has your fright night accommodation covered. Send an e-mail for availability and rates today!

An Inconvenient Truth to be screened at the Sentient Bean

Mg172_2001100_bx01_subarctic_wager_0204t Normal_inconvenient_truth_globe_2 Earlier this week on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Al Gore spoke of thousands of venues across the nation that will be screening his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, a movie investigating the signs of global warming and recommended remedies. Ex VP Gore is attempting to educate Americans in particular this coming weekend to the challenges we face as a nation to the dangers posed by Global Warming. Barely on the radar for many Americans, more and more ecologically aware individuals are well on the way to mobilizing to offset undeniable environmental changes the planet is going through due to the lack of a coherent plan and a committment to implement prudent stewardship of the environment.

As this important film is screened all across the country, it can also be viewed locally in Savannah on Saturday, December16 at 7:00 P.M. at the Sentient Bean Coffee House. Located in the back of the historic district just south of Forsyth Park across Park Street, follow this link to see the approximate location on our historic district map this popular coffee house is located in.Acf55c0 The Bean is an environmentally aware and socially conscious gathering place to hang out with other like minded individuals as well as those that are in attendance merely to be educated to the global warming problem. Make it a point to position yourself to be part of the solution and not part of the problem in overcoming this tremendous challenge facing us world wide as a people and a culture. As the Cherokee wisdom keepers were fond of saying, “what we do and say today will affect seven generations from us.” Hopefully humankind has the promise of seven more generations in light of our conspicuous consumption over the modern era.

How about a saltwater fishing excursion to coastal Georgia?

When fishing off the barrier islands in coastal Georgia for the first time or going after different species of fish than you are used to, hire a top notch charter boat skipper that knows the tidal flows and navigational charts that first time out. Fl_add

Now that you are ready to hire a good local captain for your next fishing charter while visiting Savannah, here are some points to consider. We start with the assumption that you have a half day or full day set aside, here are a few tips that should serve you well. Don’t always hire a guide on price alone. A good rule of thumb is the less expensive the captain is, the least amount of fish you will likely catch. The better captain is typically found waiting at his boat for your party of anglers to arrive and ready to cast off, not vice versa. His rods and reels are in good functioning condition for the day’s fishing. Bwcover2003

Once underway, both the captain and the mate will be quite forthcoming about where you are fishing, how they rig, and will let you hook the fish. They will make sure you want to eat the “keeper fish” you catch to begin with, otherwise they will release your catch along with any other undersized or marginal fish caught. And one final tip, even if you want to fish in your own boat, there are many captains that will hire out to come with you which is a great way to learn if you are equipped with the right tackle and instrumentation.   And if this quick primer leaves you even more confused, then peruse our roster of expert fishing guides at our fishing and boating directory on our Visitor’s Guide to Savannah and the Lowcournty or call our local favorite Miss Judy at Miss Judy’s Fishing Charters.