My wife Diane and I just returned from a wonderful trip the southeast coast of the United States. With the economy still not doing well, the dollar weak around the world and the specter of layoff present, we decided 2009 was not the year to take an overseas vacation such as we do most years.
Rather, we decided to visit someplace in the U.S.A. that neither of us had ever been and that could offer us some warm sunny weather. After pondering it a while, we settled on a visit to the southeastern coastline - namely taking in Savannah, GA; Charleston, SC; and Williamsburg, VA - with stop overs in Wilmington, NC and Nags Head, NC. We figured the food would be great, the weather good, beaches nearby, history prevalent and opportunities for adventure abundant.
Over the next week or so, I'll post some reviews and observations about the places we visited, food we ate, sites we saw and some general observations about the south.
To kick things off, I'll start where we started - Savannah, GA. Some of you may recall that Savannah was the setting for the book and movie Midnight In the Garden of Good & Evil.
After a long day of coast-to-coast air travel, we alighted in Savannah in the early evening. After checking into our wonderful accommodations of The Bed & Breakfast Inn near Forsyth Park, we walked though the warm breezes and lamp lit streets of the old quarter on down to where the action was to kick our trip off with, well, a haunted pub crawl of course. And why not.
This actually works really well in Savannah. Here's why:
First, Savannah is one of the only cities in the U.S. where you can walk the streets with open containers of alcohol, drinking as you go. Needless to say, this adds a nice dimension to any pedestrian activity - most especially a pub crawl!
(Left: Our pub crawl kicks off)
Second, Savannah is one of the most haunted cities in America - or so "they" say. It's an old town with lots of Revolutionary War, Civil War and slavery history and, according to our tour guide Jeremy, the city's people do not have a historical track record of treating the dead very well.
Jeremy pointed out that there are several mass graves from the 1800s that today are paved over parts of the central city, not to mention the deaths and graves related to the Civil War and other conflicts fought in or nearby Savannah. (Right: Tour guide extraordinaire Jeremy tells the group about a particularly disturbing haunting)
At any rate, off we went - walking the balmy streets of Savannah on a Saturday night with a group of other revelers. We stopped at a number of pubs, each with its own haunted story. Some of these places apparently still are haunted with proprietors reporting unusual activities regularly.
Regardless of what you think of ghosts or hauntings, we really enjoyed this two hour tour as a fun way to see the city and get our bearings the first night - not to mention meet some cool
Savannah is a beautiful city with lots of parks, plazas, squares, neighborhoods filled with elegant old homes, a river waterfront and an "old quarter" with tons of restaurants, bars, antique shops, boutiques and more. We took most all of this in our two days there. Here are some highlights: