Savannah, GA: Finale
Coming directly from Charleston – one of the most charming of all southern cities I’ve been to – I was wondering if Savannah could even compare. The Pineapple Fountain surely couldn’t be beat. The Cooper River, Waterfront Park and Battery Park had the history we always look for on our vacations. Surely the historic homes with iron gates and flowers heaving from their containers couldn’t be topped here by Savannah… or could they?
On our last day here, we set out on foot to visit parts of the city that are away from the main drag to get a feel for the essence of the city – away from the fancy houses on display for folks who are content in the historical district. What we found was a very livable city – where everything is close and tight-knit, clean and colorful. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of grand and beautiful homes, but there are others less grandiose, where the front porch just looks like home. I could easily sit on that porch swing with a good book for – the rest of my life. How about you?
Some houses were so expansive, it was unclear whether they were single- or multi-family homes. The blue house below was for sale. I’ve always been told that if you have to ask, you can’t afford it, so we didn’t because we knew we couldn’t. The three distinct front porches on both levels lead me to wonder if it was six flats, three two-story houses or – since it was all painted the same color – one big house. While writing this post, I looked online at the realtor’s website so I could fill you in, but it was no longer available – and I can see why. It’s unfortunate they didn’t wait until I won the lottery so I could have put in an offer.
There were areas with row houses and some were painted completely different colors to signal an address change. In the case of the brick building below however, there is only a slight difference in the accent color, with the style of the doors being the distinctive feature. I guess I do see an accent color of red on one and green on the other. Let’s hope you are of sound mind when you return from a long night at the local pub and go into the correct house!
As a person who loves the little details, there were plenty to keep me busy. I couldn’t help wishing my time had come to retire somewhere warm.
The Kehoe House below has a long and mostly happy history. William Kehoe immigrated to America from Ireland and worked his way from apprentice to owner of an iron foundry in Savannah. “After World War I, he built a new foundry on the riverfront and quickly became one of Savannah’s most successful and prominent businessmen.”
The Kehoe House cost $25,000 to build and was completed in May of 1892, when William and his wife Anne and their ten children made this their home.
“Mr. Kehoe’s heirs sold the house in 1930. In the thirty years following the sale, the property was used as a boarding house, funeral parlor, and held for a time by Alabama and New York Jets football star, Joe Namath. In 1990, Mr. Namath sold the property, and after a two-year renovation, the property opened as a Historic Bed and Breakfast Inn aptly named The William Kehoe House. The property was sold again in 2003, and purchased by its current owner, HLC Hotels, in May of 2007.”
It looks like one of the most spectacular Bed & Breakfasts I’ve ever seen! If you think the outside is something, check out KehoeHouse.com for a peek inside. Although it costs a pretty penny to stay there, it looks to be worth it, with lots of added amenities to make a special occasion even more so.
As we strolled down the street, I couldn’t help wondering what this big red building was all about. As we came closer, I told Jim that we had to go in there and snoop around if they’d let us. And they did! Again, if I have to ask, I probably can’t afford it, but I looked it up online. Mid- to upper-$400s/night. Not gonna happen. 🙁
“This Kessler Collection boutique property — with a AAA Four-Diamond distinction — is the city’s most recognized, iconic hotel. Renovated and reopened in 2005 by Savannian and avid art collector Richard Kessler, Mansion on Forsyth Park is a work of art unto itself.” – READ MORE about Mansion on Forsyth Park
A gorgeous building with loads of history and a cooking school that offers cooking classes for the public in the lower level, I definitely would love to come join the chefs as they “cook, chop, mix and prepare incredible dishes in a state-of-the-art kitchen with all the goodies and gadgets.”
“But with our Chefs leading the way, you’ll leave with more than a new way to sauté. Our culinary team invites you to become a part of the story – gathering guests around for an interactive and entertaining experience where good food is the centerpiece but people are the common thread.
You’ll laugh, let your guard down, dare to try things you never have before and discover a balance you never knew existed. Cuisine paired with the connection of people – friends or family you share this class with – create a moment where you are suddenly exploring life in a new way. You’ll come curious and leave full, in many delicious ways.” – READ MORE about the Classes by Kessler
The lobby is well-appointed, with chandeliers, a baby grand piano and an art collection that will take your breath away. There are three cases containing a vintage hat collection spanning 100 years (1860-1960).
Back to reality. Let’s look at some more houses.
The house below looked to be in great shape, but the landscaping was a little overgrown, giving it a dark and spooky vibe, but how cool is it? There’s another photo at the top of this blog.
Another B&B called the Azalea Inn looked very homey, and a white picket fence completed the beautiful picture. I may have saved the best for last with this one, with its beautiful gardens (and a swimming pool), a staff of great cooks and some deep roots in the Savannah that they love. Check out the video of the Azalea Inn here and this could very well be an option when we come back to this great city.
In my opinion, while there are distinct differences in the two cities, the southern charm is apparent in both and we will definitely be visiting both cities again soon. If for nothing else – for the great food, sweet tea, southern hospitality and the fabulous weather in early November.
This blog ends our road trip of November 2016. I can’t wait to start planning our next one!