It’s great when conferences are held in beautiful places and the SIAM conference was great. Savannah, GA has a lot of southern charm. I had only been there once before, more than 10 years ago, but it’s still as pretty as I remember.
Cobble-stoned River Street (above) is a highlight. There are a lot of good seafood restaurants along this stretch, not to mention nice views of the River with its cargo ships and ferries. This is definitely a tourist destination in Savannah, and for good reason.
Getting to River Street can be an adventure, either driving down the cobblestones or climbing down the steep staircases from Bay Street.
In addition to the shrimp and grits, River Street is home to River Street Sweets. Worth the visit for their pralines alone, you can also linger a bit to watch them make salt water taffy before your very eyes.
When you’re done having your fill of pralines and taffy, you can take a ferry ride down the river. You could even opt for a sunset dinner cruise. I didn’t go on one, but just sitting by the water watching the ships roll past is a good use of a lazy afternoon.
While I was there, the Pinta and the Niña were also tied up nearby. I was going to ask where the Santa María was, but I think we all know how that story ends. Apparently you can get tours of these boats while you’re on River Street.
Beyond River Street, Savannah is a very walkable town. There are lots of small parks scattered about town. On just about any street you’ll be greeted by Spanish Moss draped in the trees.
Along the way there are a lot of historical sites to see, including some beautiful architecture. I’m not a good enough photographer to do any of it justice, but here’s the old Cotton Exchange as an example.
I stayed at the Inn at Ellis Square down the street from the Hyatt, where my conference was held. It was a bargain, but perhaps for good reason. The rooms were clean and the staff was friendly, though, so I can’t complain too much. The Hyatt seemed nice enough, too, although the internet was languid at best.
I was in Savannah just a tad too early to see the azaleas in full bloom. I bet right now the place is brimming with color. If you’ve never been, Savannah is a must-visit locale and this is a great time of year to do it. Just don’t forget to try a praline.