River Street is one of Savannah’s most popular destinations, but just steps away is a hidden gem that many visitors—and even locals—miss: Factors Walk.
Located at the bluff’s level behind River Street, Factors Row and Factors Walk are home to a host of unique shops, cozy cafes and historic hotels. Just wander up the cobblestone walk from River Street, climb the steep steps and you’ll find yourself on the bluff. Look north towards the river and you’ll see the backside of the waterfront warehouses, once an activity hub for the cotton industry. Now it is home to many popular businesses and restaurants.
While a burgeoning business scene is still there; it’s much different today than it was in the 19th century, when it got its name, “Factors Walk.”
In these buildings, men used to bale, factor and sell cotton. In the top level of the four- or five-story cotton warehouses, brokers worked with exporters and managed sales. Then, the factors determined the amount of cotton sold to the merchants.
A series of walkways and iron bridges came from the bluff to the third and fourth stories of the building.
It allowed men to make their way from the warehouses to places in the city to sell and buy cotton. This “backside” place of business was named for the cotton factors.
Today, businessmen and women still import products from around the world and sell them. But, they specialize in a very different kind of commerce. Restaurants and cozy cafes now serve toasty croissants and tasty lattes alongside boutiques, specialty shops and art galleries offering an assortment of unique gifts, from Georgia wines to classic cigars and antiques, upscale fashions and accessories and original artwork. Want to stay in the Historic District? Then experience the city’s legendary hospitality at assorted boutique hotels and historic inns on Factors Walk.
by Andrea Six