I’ve been mulling over in my mind how I would describe Savannah, Georgia to you. It was difficult, but finally it came to me. It’s Pleasantville! It’s the place that I live in in my head. Charming, impeccably kept buildings and homes, green lawns and streets with canopies of trees. Beautiful squares with towering oaks and park benches around fountains and monuments. It’s charming and genteel and electric. Yes, electric. Because when you walk around the streets of Savannah, you’re body is coursing with history and stories and character. You feel as if you are becoming part of the narrative. It’s history all cleaned up like a shiny new penny. So, if I could make the Pleasantville in my head into a bricks and mortar place, it would be Savannah.
Savannah was established in 1733 by General James Oglethorpe. It was America’s first planned community set around 24 squares, 22 of which are still in use today. Oglethorpe had a somewhat Utopian (Pleasantville) vision in mind when planning Savannah, originally setting out rules like no slavery (awesome), no lawyers (brilliant) and no alcohol (boo hiss). For the record, my Pleasantville has martini’s (and thankfully, so does Savannah now).
The residents of Savannah today clearly know they have a little piece of heaven. You can tell by how immaculately the streets, homes and squares are maintained.
We visited Savannah for two days just before Christmas. I wish I had planned for more time. Savannah is best enjoyed at a leisurely stroll, rather than a hurried pace. While we saw a lot in the two days we there, it’s the lingering in Savannah that is so incredibly pleasant. We’ll be back for sure to absorb more of that Southern charm. In the meantime, I’ll watch this video and dream of our return.