Morning Gypsies! Is everyone recovering from the weekend? A few Monday’s ago I was taking it easy, waking up slow in warm Savannah… can I go back yet?
If you haven’t read my first post on Savannah go check it out, it definitely hits on some of the city’s highlights! As I said the city is very easy to walk around in but if you are willing to do just a bit of driving you can see some pretty amazing things.
About 15 minutes outside of the city is the Wormsloe Historic Site, an old plantation that breathes southern history. Upon entering the site you are greeted with an eery archway sheltered by the oaks with Spanish Moss. Looking through the gated arch you see the seemingly endless road lined by the trees that twist and turn almost making a tunnel over the road; it’s breathtaking.
Wormhole was established by Noble Jones, who arrived in Georgia in 1733 as one of Georgia’s colonial founders. The colony survived starvation, the plague, war and other hardships but Wormsloe was kept alive through it all. The State of Georgia acquired the 822 acre property in 1973 and now you can visit as well as enter the small museum. The site also contains the family’s large mansion, which is still in use today by the family.
The drive from the gate to the back of the site is the longest moss tree lined street in the state! At the back of the site you can take a short walk through the forest that leads you to a marsh and the tabby ruins where you can see the early ways of colonial life. The tabby ruins are also the oldest standing structure in Savannah. The walk through the woods is a mix of oaks, brush, palms, dirt and sand. The air had the warm smell of salty water and the afternoon heat made me feel as if I was in a jungle.
The site does have a $10 admission fee but it’s honestly worth it, playing in the trees out in nature was a very extraordinary and the old plantation is a huge part of the city’s history. The gates do close at 5pm though so make sure you give yourself plenty of time! If you’re still thrown by the price, don’t let it stop you- head to the site and pull up, you’ll still be able to see the entrance and the long drive, you just won’t be able to go deep into the property.
Did you guys know that Savannah is one of America’s most haunted cities? Think about it, the South has such a tortured past filled with scandal and dates back to the beginning of the country. If you want to get a sense for truly how old this city is, and maybe give yourself a slight case of the heeby-jeebies head to the Bonaventure Cemetery. It was originally an old plantation and then was sold in 1846 and transformed into the cemetery. Walking through the cemetery will give you chills as you see the tombs of young and old. Gracie Watson has one of the most recognizable, beautiful and haunting graves sites in the cemetery as her headstone is a giant marble carving of her… she was only six when she died. A legend about the cemetery is the hell hounds that snarl at guests who linger too long. No one has ever seen the dogs but visitors have claimed to have felt the creature’s breath on them. I did not experience any hell hound spooks, but I did feel a bit like I was in the movie Haunted Mansion.
Outside of the cemetery if your looking for some other spooks around the city you can check out one of the many ghost tours… one of them you even ride in a hearse! They also have a ton of haunted pub crawls… I didn’t have time to do that one but next time for sure. The most haunted house in the city is Sorrel-Weed House. Visitors of the house have claimed to have unexplained nausea, throat tightening and inexplainable electronic malfunctions in the house. The home was owned by wealthy plantation owner Francis Sorrel. He was believed to have had a long affair with a slave, Molly, when they were discovered by Sorrel’s wife… who then jumped from the second story balcony. Molly was found a few weeks later… hanging from a noose. You can tour this house during the day, during early evening or those who are really brave can go to an 11:30 pm paranormal investigation. Unfortunately I was there on a Sunday/Monday and the paranormal experiences are only available on Friday and Saturday nights but the next time I’m in Savannah I definitely plan on trying my hand at ghost hunting!
A less haunting area of the city but nonetheless beautiful is Forsyth Park, the largest park in the historic district of Savannah covering 30 acres. The park is well known for its large fountain and you can find all sorts of people in the park from kids on the playground and splashing in the water pools, to sunbathers, joggers, people picnicking and many fury creatures out for a walk with their humans. It’s a beautiful park and I could easily see myself lots of time there. It's also pretty easy to walk to so for this one a car isn't needed!
It certainly is a hauntingly beautiful city full of wonder and well worth exploring.