Travel Stage: Left Yemassee, SC and drove 1 hour to Savannah for a day and a night
Date Range: Dec 28 – Dec 29, 2015
Summary: We leave Yemassee and South Carolina and head to Savannah where we overnight in their Visitor Center parking lot. We spend the day touring the city via trolley and bike, and meet up with some fellow RVers for dinner at the 2nd oldest restaurant in “The Hostess City of the South”.
We were so excited to be on the road again after our stay in Yemassee. Plus, we had found some awesome cheap parking at the Visitor’s Center in downtown Savannah for convenient exploration of the city.
“The Hostess City of the South”
Savannah is the oldest city in the state of Georgia, and its fifth largest. It is known for its historical significance, its architecture, and it’s Southern charm and hospitality. We biked many of its 22 squares – little courtyards located throughout the city plan with monuments, fountains, and gardens. We saw many of its historic churches and toured the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
Forsyth Park was a huge park in the city with a large beautiful fountain and picturesque oak trees draped in that iconic Spanish moss.
Downtown we explored the riverfront walk and shops. Here there are still cobblestone streets – which are very annoying to bike on! The Savannah lies on the Savannah River, approximately 20 miles upriver from the Atlantic Ocean, and is a port for industrial container ships…as well as other more exotic ships! This beauty, the super-yacht “Thalia,” was docked downtown all day long. After some research online, we found that it is for sale for a bargain $9M (down from $14M). We were trying to get some of the other admirers on the dock to go in on her with us ; )
We found a number of Savannah candy shops making their famous praline and giving out delicious free samples (our favorite!), as well as a fascinating shop called the Savannah Bee Company.
Savannah Bee Company
The Savannah Bee Company lured us in with free honey samples. Once inside, we found the store full of everything bees and honey. They also had mead sampling so we stepped up to the tasting bar. We were fascinated to find that some of the meads and wines they had that were produced in Northern Michigan!
We got to talking to our mead server, Usher, who turned out to be a beekeeper himself. We asked him about the trade and about the problem that has been hitting the news recently: the bees are in danger.
He told us about the varroa mite that came over from Asia and has been instrumental in collapsing colonies worldwide. It is a honeybee parasite that weakens the honey bee’s immune system and leaves them very vulnerable to other diseases and environmental factors.
Beekeepers are constantly fighting to keep their populations alive and as healthy as can be. Without human help, the honeybees would all but be gone, and since they are the primary pollinator for most of our food supply the impact on our food supply would be devastating. Luckily, they have brilliant minds working on this problem! As we were standing there a former congressman working on the honeybee problem handed Usher his card and asked him to contact him.
We enjoyed this interesting stop very much. This company really seems to care about their products, the bees, and take pride in their work!
We met up with some friends at the historic Crystal Beer Parlor (est. 1933) for dinner. Savannah was hopping the day we were there and so were all the restaurants in town. The Parlor doesn’t take reservations, so we ended up waiting an hour for a table!
Don’t worry, the food was well worth the wait! My Crab Stew was to die for, and Tom had one of their famous burgers.
RV Parking in the Savannah Visitors Center
RV parking in cities can be a nightmare. Luckily, good ol’ southern hospitality and charm in Savannah means they thought of us RVers! The Savannah Visitors Center allows RV parking up to 48 hours in their lot. One spot is $8.00/24hrs and $14.00/48hrs. We in our 33’ fifth wheel couldn’t fit in their wider, longer RV spots, so we took up 2 regular spots, so paid $16.00 for an overnight.
Word of advice: get there as early as you can! We fortunately got there around 9AM when the lot was practically empty. By noon it was completely full. We couldn’t have gotten in (or out, for that matter!) if we wanted to. We got going by 9AM the next day too so we wouldn’t get blocked in.
Also, the lot was well-lit and we saw a security car pass by from time to time in the night.
Savannah: Assessment & Travel Tips
Very fun town with a lot of history and character! Lots to see and do, and lots of seafood places to choose from (and we hear the shrimp is VERY good here!). Not hoity-toity, but not dingy either. Free trolleys will get you wherever you want to go, and the free ferry over the river is also fun. The City Market is a fun place, and if you want to get famous Leopold’s Ice Cream you’re going to have to get their early, on an off-day, or wait a long time in line!
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