At this writing, we’ve been in Savannah for nearly a week. We arrived on Sunday the 29th after a very pleasant cruise from Beaufort, a relatively short run of just over 40 miles. Savannah is not typically part of the ICW cruiser’s itinerary, since it requires transit up about 8 miles of the Savannah river from the ICW. The current can be quite swift on an ebb tide, and an approach against the tide can be a very slow go! We managed to time our approach to be just after slack as it turned to flood, so we had a minimal amount of current to hamper our progress or docking.

Savannah easily eclipses all the historic southern cities we’ve visited up to this point in its beauty, and the sheer number of historic homes and buildings. The city boasts of its historic significance, and the fact that it claims the largest concentration of historic architecture in the country. It is truly beautiful, we have been thoroughly enjoying walking the streets of the historic district, visiting some of the restored homes that have become museums. There are photos in this post, many more in the gallery album that can be accessed by simply clicking on one of the photos on the post, or by clicking on the photo gallery link on the blog navigation bar.


Savannah is a busy port. All the ship traffic to the port must travel the river the 14 miles from the inlet at Tybee Roads. By comparison to Baltimore Harbor, a relatively short hop. There is a tremendous amount of ship traffic in the river, mostly in the dark,. I did not keep close track of the number of ships that passed, but I suspect there were at least 10 in a 12 hour period. Most are container ships, some tankers in the mix. But they are BIG! Usually accompanied by a tug or two. The tankers typically have a tug with a hawser attached to the ship at bow and stern. Very interesting to watch, they travel very slowly past our location, since they must pass under the bridge at a bend in the channel. We’re tied up at the public pier on the river, so all the ship traffic into and out of the port passes us. It is a constant parade of ships, very interesting to watch!

We spent the past several days walking through the Historic District, starting off with a trolley tour to give us an overview, then returned on foot to further investigate interesting sites.


One of our highlights was lunch Monday at Mrs. Wilkes’ Boarding House. Lunch is served daily from 11-2, and is served in the tradition of the boarding house that Emma Wilkes started in 1943 as a place where one could find a simple, quiet room and a communal dining room that served at least two hearty meals a day. The tradition continues today, and locals and tourists alike line up to experience the noonday meal; hearty, plain fare with a variety of home style dishes, served family style. The food was great, and we met some interesting table mates.

Lunch filled us up for the afternoon’s trek, and we covered most of the Historic District, enjoying the bright sunshine and warm  temperatures. We were blessed with several days of similar weather until a front approached Wednesday with severe weather predicted along with a tornado watch. The severe weather never materialized except for some heavy rain overnight, but the front brought overcast skies and temperatures in the high 50’s and low 60’s. Still, many of the businesses shut down early, and schools were dismissed early. We learned from locals that severe weather generally brings flooding and road closures, such is life in the low country!


We toured several of the “museum homes” that are restored and operate as museums to preserve the architecture. The Owens-Thomas home is part of the Telfair Museum that includes the home, the Telfair Gallery, and the Jepson Center. The artwork is beautiful, but frankly is somewhat lost on us! I suppose we’re just not “arty”! I appreciated seeing the construction of the old homes, and being an owner of an old structure, have an immense appreciation for the work involved in the restoration of some of of those homes. The painting maintenance alone in the Historic District just boggles the mind! There are stunning homes at every turn, and much of the day was spent in wide-eyed wonder as we strolled through the city.


Savannah is home to a host of notable historic figures and landmarks, it is the site of many filmings, and several of the local landmarks are featured in well-known films, books, and novels. The home of song writer Johnny Mercer, the site of the park where Forrest Gump recounted his tale while waiting for the bus, and many others. Leopold’s was a highlight, an ice cream spot is always high on the list!


Our visit was filled with lots of wonderful sights, sounds, and experiences, placing Savannah on our list of don’t miss places along the route south!!
For other cruisers, we strongly discourage you from passing this one up!

Forsythe Park

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