Richmond is definitely a paradox. American history buffs celebrate it as a pivotal city in our nation’s 18th-century fight for independence and our 19th-century fight to remain unified. But 21st-century Richmond is populated with textbook-laden college students, piercing-laden hipsters, Blackberry-laden young professionals and stroller-laden young families. And with them have come the boutique-y shopping areas, quirky/cute coffee houses and bars and sophisticated martini lounges and art galleries. So, please, embrace both sides of this capitol city’s coin; spend a few days exploring the history and a few nights uncovering its burgeoning social scene.
Savannah with its Spanish moss, Southern accents and creepy graveyards is a lot likeCharleston. But this city about 100 miles to the south has an eccentric streak. Savannah College of Art & Design students mix with ghost hunters and preservationists, while Southern-fried restaurants share streets blocks with edgy cafés and restored theaters. The quirky characters in the true-crime story, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” say it all. Yes, eccentricity is the name of the game, but if that’s not your “box of chocolates,” as Tom Hanks famously said in the Savannah-filmed “Forrest Gump,” maybe history or nightlife is? Savannah’s antebellum past seeps from nearly every corner, but the city abandons its genteel behavior by nightfall to prove it also knows how to show visitors a good time.
How To Save Money in Savannah
- Book in the off-seasonHotel prices fall in January and February, allowing you to get the ambience of a Historic District inn at the price of a chain.
- Book a hotel near the airportThe rooms near the Savannah/Hilton Head airport are very affordable — about $100-plus less than an inn in the Historic District. And you’re only a quick drive away from all the downtown action.
- Book onlineYou can save a few dollars by booking your trolley tour (a must) online.
Savannah Culture & Customs
Savannah is the model of the Southern city. The people here are well-mannered, polite and friendly. As with other Southern cities likeCharleston, you should dress up a bit if you want to fit in. The city thrives in tradition and upholding its heritage, so you might encounter a slower pace than you are used to in a big metropolis. So slow down — everyone else will.
With the Savannah College of Art and Design here, there is also a younger, artsy demographic. Perhaps as a result of the large contingent of students, Savannah is also well-known as a big party city, so be prepared to loosen up at night.
Savannah is known for Southern cuisine and is becoming a formidable culinary rival to Atlanta. Suggested Southern comfort foods include meatloaf and fried chicken, as well as freshly caught seafood. Barbecue is also popular among residents.