Savannah Welcomes You!
As soon as you take your first steps in Savannah, you are struck with the unique allure of antebellum America. Your feet step unevenly on the cobblestone streets. The gaslight lamps flicker. They entice you to journey through low-hanging Spanish moss that bedeck the cozy lanes, pushing through the heavy air. The amiable locals, the regal architecture and the aura of savoir faire that the city exudes, is enchanting. Our city preserves the hospitality of a bygone era and Savannah welcomes you.
February 12, 1733 General James Oglethorpe, a nobleman of King George II of England, founded the city of Savannah.
Early inhabitants and settlers comprised a very diverse group. English settlers and local Native Americans, to Sephardic Jews from Spain and Portugal all occupied the area. Georgia became a royal colony in 1754 and Savannah was the colonial capital of the state. Initially, rice fields proved to be a profitable economic focus for the city. This was until the Treaty of Paris in 1763, opened the interior of North America. Afterwards hunters, trappers and traders went inland and brought back valuable commodities to Savannah. Foremost of these commodities were deerskins. The trade of deerskins enabled Savannah to develop into one of the most significant ports on the South Atlantic coast.
British and Loyalist forces controlled Savannah during the American Revolutionary War, and repelled American and French forces during the Siege of Savannah in 1779. General Sherman took the city by force on December 22, 1864 in America’s next great conflict, the Civil War. In the period after the Civil War, Savannah again evolved and grew into a major player in the cotton industry, ushering in a new era of prosperity, whose fingerprints on Savannah are still evident today.
Due to the British aristocratic influence, as well as the thriving plantation age, the city matured into an iconic representation of architecture.
Savannah’s downtown area boasts one of the country’s largest National Historic Districts. The downtown cordially encourages visitors to walk the area, offering 24 squares. It harkens back to a time when cities were constructed with the enjoyment of their citizens in mind. The city also proudly calls many historic churches, synagogues, homes and cemeteries its own. Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, the Sorrel Weed House, and the Laurel Grove Cemetery among others are must-sees on your visit.
In addition, Savannah welcomes you to River Street.
River Street emanates the appeal of an honest, hard- working age, long ago forgotten. You can imagine southern belles in their elaborate ball gowns taking a carriage down the street to meet their suitor. Today River Street provides an array of bars, restaurants, nightlife and shopping opportunities. Enjoy lunch, a beer, or maybe an evening ice cream cone. Come to River Street at night, and you might meet a few of the oldest locals, as some people believe the area to be frequented by ghosts.
Don’t leave Savannah visiting the Waving Girl.
The Waving Girl is a statue of Florence Martus, a local resident who for years greeted ships. According to legend, she didn’t miss one in 44 years on watch. No monument exists in Savannah that is more iconic or more representative of our Southern charm and hospitality. Charm and hospitality that isn’t just on proud display but also embodied by all the residents that formally invite you to visit our distinguished and warm city.
By Adam Miezio