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SAVANNAH ATTRACTIONS



Atlanta Attractions | Geogia Coast Attractions | Savannah Attractions

Tybee Island
Type: Islands
Location: Tybee Island
Phone: 800-868-2322
Tybee is an Indian word meaning "salt." The Yamacraw Indians came to this island in the Atlantic Ocean to hunt and fish, and legend has it that pirates buried their treasure here. The island is about 5 mi long and 2 mi wide, with seafood restaurants, chain motels, condos, and shops -- most of which sprang up during the 1950s and haven't changed much since. The entire expanse of white sand is divided into a number of public beaches, where you can shell and crab, charter fishing boats, and swim. It's 18 mi east of Savannah; take Victory Drive (U.S. 80), sometimes called Tybee Road, onto the island. On your way here stop by Fort Jackson and Fort Pulaski National Monument. Nearby, the misnamed Little Tybee Island, actually larger than Tybee Island, is entirely undeveloped.

Scarborough House
Type: Houses/Mansions/Museums/Galleries
Location: Historic District Savannah
Address: 41 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Savannah, GA
Phone: 912-232-1511
This exuberant Greek Revival mansion, built during the 1819 cotton boom for Savannah merchant prince William Scarborough, was designed by English architect William Jay. Scarborough was a major investor in the steamship Savannah. The house has a Doric portico capped by one of Jay's characteristic half-moon windows. Four massive Doric columns form a peristyle in the atrium entrance hall. Inside is the Ships of the Sea Museum, with displays of ship models, including steamships, a nuclear-powered ship (the Savannah), China clippers with their sails unfurled, and Columbus's vessels. $5. Tues.-Sun. 10-5.

Savannah History Museum
Type: Museums/Galleries
Location: Historic District Savannah
Address: 303 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Savannah, GA
Phone: 912-238-1779
This museum in a restored railway station is an excellent introduction to the city. Exhibits range from old locomotives to a tribute to Savannah-born songwriter Johnny Mercer. On top of the site of the Siege of Savannah, it marks the spot where in 1779 the colonial forces, led by Polish count Casimir Pulaski, laid siege to Savannah in an attempt to retake the city from the redcoats. They were beaten back, and Pulaski was killed while leading a cavalry charge against the British. The dead lie underneath the building. $4. Daily 9-5.

Owens-Thomas House and Museum
Type: Houses/Mansions/Museums/Galleries
Location: Historic District Savannah
Address: 124 Abercorn St. Savannah, GA
Phone: 912-233-9743
English architect William Jay's first Regency mansion in Savannah is the city's finest example of that architectural style. Built in 1816-19, the English house was constructed mostly with local materials. Of particular note are the curving walls of the house, Greek-inspired ornamental molding, half-moon arches, stained-glass panels, and Duncan Phyfe furniture. In 1825 the Marquis de Lafayette bade a two-hour au revoir from a wrought-iron balcony to a crowd below. $8. Mon. noon-5, Tues.-Sat. 10-5, Sun. 1-5.

Mighty Eighth Air Force Heritage Museum
Type: Museums/Galleries/Military Sites
Location: Pooler
Address: 175 Bourne Ave. Pooler, GA
Phone: 912-748-8888
The famous World War II squadron the Mighty Eighth Air Force was formed in Savannah in January 1942 and shipped out to the United Kingdom. Flying Royal Air Force aircraft, the Mighty Eighth became the largest air force of the period, with some 200,000 combat crew personnel. Many lost their lives during raids on enemy factories or were interned as prisoners of war. Exhibits begin with the prelude to World War II and the rise of Adolf Hitler and continue through Desert Storm. (14 mi west of Savannah) $8. Daily 9-5.

Mercer House
Type: Houses/Mansions
Location: Historic District Savannah
Address: 429 Bull St. Savannah, GA
This redbrick Italianate mansion on the southwest corner of Monterey Square became Jim Williams's Taj Mahal; here he ran a world-class antiques dealership and held the Christmas party of the season; here also Danny Hansford, his sometime house partner, succumbed to gunshot wounds. Williams himself died here of a heart attack in 1990, near the very spot where Hansford fell. Today his sister lives quietly among the remnants of his Fabergé collection and his Joshua Reynolds paintings, in rooms lighted by Waterford crystal chandeliers.

King Tisdell Cottage
Type: Houses/Mansions/Museums/Galleries
Location: Historic District Savannah
Address: 514 E. Huntington St. Savannah, GA
Phone: 912-234-8000
Tucked behind a picket fence is this museum dedicated to the preservation of African-American history and culture. The Negro Heritage Trail Tour visits this little Victorian house. Broad steps lead to a porch, and dormer windows pop up through a steep roof. The interior is furnished to resemble a middle-class African-American coastal home of the 1890s. To reach the cottage by car, go east on East Bay Street to Price Street and turn south (right) on this street; continue for about 30 blocks to East Huntington Street and take a left (east). The building is in the middle of the block. $3.50. By appointment.

Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace/Girl Scout National Center
Type: Houses/Mansions
Location: Historic District Savannah
Address: 142 Bull St. Savannah, GA
Phone: 912-233-4501
This majestic Regency town house, attributed to William Jay (built 1818-21), was designated in 1965 as Savannah's first National Historic Landmark. "Daisy" Low, founder of the Girl Scouts, was born here in 1860, and the house is now owned and operated by the Girl Scouts of America. Mrs. Low's paintings and other artwork are on display in the house, restored to the style of 1886, the year of Mrs. Low's marriage. $8. Mon.-Tues. and Thurs.-Sat. 10-4, Sun. 12:30-4:30.

Fort Pulaski National Monument
Type: Military Sites/Parks
Location: Fort Pulaski
Address: U.S. 80, Fort Pulaski Savannah, GA
Phone: 912-786-5787
Named for Casimir Pulaski, a Polish count and Revolutionary War hero, this must-see sight for Civil War buffs was built on Cockspur Island between 1829 and 1847. Robert E. Lee's first assignment after graduating from West Point was as an engineer here. During the Civil War the fort fell, on April 11, 1862, after a mere 30 hours of bombardment by newfangled rifled cannons. The restored fortification, operated by the National Park Service, has moats, drawbridges, massive ramparts, and towering walls. The park has trails and picnic areas. It's 14 mi east of downtown Savannah; you'll see the entrance on your left just before U.S. 80 reaches Tybee Island. $3. Daily 9-5.

Armstrong House
Type: Houses/Mansions
Location: Historic District Savannah
Address: 447 Bull St. Savannah, GA
Antiques dealer Jim Williams lived and worked in this residence before purchasing the Mercer House. On a late-afternoon walk past the mansion, Berendt met Mr. Simon Glover, an 86-year-old singer and porter for the law firm of Bouhan, Williams, and Levy, occupants of the building. Glover confided that he earned a weekly $10 for walking the deceased dogs of a former partner of the firm up and down Bull Street. Baffled? So was the author. Behind the house's cast-iron gates are the offices of Frank Siler, Jim Williams's attorney, who doubles as keeper of Uga, the Georgia Bulldog mascot.


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