In Part 2 of Presidents’ Quarters Inn’s “Why go to Savannah, Georgia in Summer?” the top tier Savannah mini-hotel continues with its generous list of summer vacation ideas. Family fun includes in-city and day trips along the USA Atlantic Ocean shore near Savannah, Hilton Head Island, and Tybee Island. (Part 1 is here.)
SAVANNAH Georgia (May 20, 2013) – Unique for a top-tier historic inn, Presidents’ Quarters Inn in Savannah invites discerning, exploring young families and multi-generational families to stay in Savannah for a summer vacation with children.
With that invitation the inn shares also family vacation tips for day trip exploring and fun, interactive children’s activities in Savannah and nearby family spots including Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and Tybee Island, Georgia.
Here we recap the short version of Tips #1 – #3 from Presidents’ Quarters Inn’s summer vacation tips — “Eight Travel Ideas In and Near Savannah’s Smiling, Sunny South”. The full details of Tips #4-8 follow.
#1 Tip – Splurge to Save. Legendary place, top-tier services, spot-on area recommendations, a long list of amenities, and unforgettable conveniences top any list of “Why Presidents’ Quarters Inn?”
#2 Tip – During summer months, take advantage of fewer tourists and what’s free during getaways and mini-vacations to Savannah.
#3 Tip – Take full advantage of the helpful, friendly people in Savannah.
Now we continue with the Savannah inn’s Family Travel Tips for a USA visit along the Atlantic Ocean sea shore near Savannah, Georgia.
#4 Tip – Tap all the senses — to play, smell, see, hear, and eat! “Not only yesterday, but today and tomorrow are the good ole days! We’ll help you celebrate life here,” adds Jane Sales, executive innkeeper at Presidents’ Quarters Inn.
One of the sweet parts of any Savannah vacation would be to do the simple things, beginning with what’s nostalgic. Ice cream at Leopold’s Ice Cream Shop would top the list. Boiled peanuts, Cracker Jacks, and a hot dog taste better during a night of Sand Gnats Baseball, a Major League farm team of the New York Mets. Baseball is played at historic Grayson Stadium through September 30, 2013.
How to save? The summer fragrances of the southern, white classics — gardenias and jasmine – are gifts of nature and avid private and City of Savannah gardeners. If you bring along Fifi or Fido, at the time when you buy your lunch, dinner, or ice cream, ask for a cooling puppy treat – free at Leopold’s Ice Cream. Outdoor tables welcome the well-socialized family pup.
#5 Tip – Get out on the islands and see nature in the buff. Stray 18 miles east for a quirky seaside romp on nearby Tybee Island beach, adored for its quaintness. Miles of public beaches lure sand artists, migrating birds chirping their public symphonies, beach Frisbee and volleyball players, kite flyers, board and wind surfers, and kayakers. It’s an opportunity to ‘go back to my parents or grandparent’s favorite summer place’.
The on-island cuisine will surprise travelers, young and old. Spots like The Breakfast Club (they catered John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s wedding) and North Beach Grill (a favorite of Ben Affleck when filming in Savannah) are legendary for good reason. Take a day boat excursion to a Georgia Barrier Island — Little Tybee Island [where the 1996 Olympic Games® Yachting [now Sailing] took place from a floating marina], or Wassaw, Ossabaw, or St. Catherine’s Islands. Check with Bull River Marina about a sand bar picnic, fishing junket, or a boat shuttle for the family with Fido to the protected islands. (Tybee Island does not let pups on the beach.) On Hilton Head Island, SC’s public Coligny Beach is where travelers escape to the sand and surf. Note: Dogs are not permitted on Hilton Head Island beaches between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day.
How to save? Beach fun is free on the islands. The parking meters are not. On Tybee Island and Hilton Head Island, park near the beach in city-owned lots. If you fly in or arrive by train, rent a car. Taxi fare from the Savannah-Hilton Head International airport is $25 each way, plus $5 per extra person. If you are limiting your vacation to downtown Savannah and Tybee Island, a Tybee / Savannah beach shuttle runs from the downtown Savannah Tourist Center to Tybee Pier and Tybee Lighthouse. The shuttle rate is $3/per person, one way.
#6 Tip – Go to the affordable (or free) see-and-be-seen places. Include Savannah’s own U.S. Poet Laureate’s favorite spots. From the poet’s home (Oglethorpe near Abercorn St), stroll through the historic district, ending on a river walk bench with a thermos of martinis in tow. That’s what Pulitzer Prize® winning writer and U.S. Poet Laureate, Conrad Aiken and his artist wife, Mary Hoover Aiken would do with regularity. For an impromptu picnic, stop along your walking route at Savannah City Market to pick up a pizza from Vinnie Van Go Go’s (cash only), some Scottish Oatmeal Byrd Cookies (baked in Savannah), and (for the kids’ beverage) a big [insert flavor] organic shake from nearby Café Gelatohhh! If Fido is along, stop at Oliver Bentleys (York Street on Wright Square) for an organic treat.
For a side trip to Bonaventure Cemetery, the Aiken’s placed a marble bench graveside hoping that visitors would sit and pause with a cocktail in hand during their visit. Of world-famous Bonaventure Cemetery it is said, “It is better to be buried in Bonaventure Cemetery than live in many places”.
How to save? Walk or stroll in the historic district. On the warmest day to move about downtown Savannah more quickly, hop on the free DOT shuttle, hail a pedi-cab (fee is tips only), or call for Savannah Hoppers ($3/person) shuttle. On the second Sunday of each month, the Bonaventure Historical Society hosts free guided walking tours in the world-famous cemetery. Take the water taxi to see the city’s waterfront from the Savannah River. Recently we’ve spotted real tugboats at play in the river, spraying water on each other!
#7 Tip – Discover the storybook places that grandchildren will love to visit. Those Uncle Remus-type moments of happy songs and stories of The South are still happening on nearby Hilton Head Island. “Before arriving from California with our grandchildren, my daughter-in-law tracked down Gregg Russell, a guitarist and storyteller. In the southern tradition of gathering for joyful times in the grass, he shares family-style games, songs, and fun in his entertaining group performances under the old Liberty tree in Harbour Town.” On Thursday and Friday morning, Mr. Russell is on the Bubble Gum Cruise aboard Harbour Town’s Vagabond, sailing into the Calibogue Sound for dolphin watching and even more fun and songs.
Take a short day-boat trip to Daufuski Island, SC. Do some golfing. Taste Gullah and Geechee style seafood and southern cooking. Pat Conroy’s book The Water is Wide (1972) was set on the remote Daufuskie Island, fictionalized as “Yamacraw Island”. In real life, the 20-something teacher/Conroy taught the children of Daufuski by experiences.
In Savannah drive to the little fishing village of Pin Point on Moon River, the home of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. At the Pin Point Heritage Museum you’ll hear tales of freed slaves and their descendants who never went hungry. The story goes that they simply went to the river to fish, catch crab, and toss a net for fresh shrimp. The Georgia Railroad Museum is the place to ride the steam engine and hear the whining “whoooo whooo” of the train whistles. Those whistles inspired Johnny Mercer, Savannah’s famous song writer who wrote lyrics for songs like “Blues in the Night” and “Hooray for Hollywood”. See Mercer’s bronze statue and hear his lyrics, “You’re in Savannah” in a short film at the Ellis Square visitor’s center.
BLUES IN THE NIGHT LYRICS (excerpt)
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Now the rain’s a-fallin’
Hear the train’s a callin’, whooee
My mama done tol’ me
Hear dat lonesome whistle Blowin’
‘cross the trestle, whooee!
Christopher Elliott writes that Fort Pulaski [a frequent movie location], ice cream and candy shops appealed to his children, in his Insider column, Sweet on Savannah: Traveling with Kids, for National Geographic Traveler magazine. Funded in large measure by the Newman’s Own Foundation, Exploration Station located at the new Savannah Children’s Museum (Twitter/savannahkidschs) and Georgia Railroad Museum is an interactive hot spot. Archeology, art and science camps are happening during summer 2013.
How to save? Children welcome a cool splash in Ellis Square’s interactive fountain (free), or the one in Forsyth Park. August 25 (National Park Service Birthday) admission is free to Fort Pulaski. In fall, more fee-free admission dates to Fort Pulaski are on September 28 (National Public Lands Day) and November 9-11 (Veterans Day weekend).
#8 Tip — Dive into the local lore, culture, and history. Experience more than a typical tourist. Let the inn help with arrangements for a private picnic, ice cream or tea party in the inn’s garden courtyard. The celebratory spirit of Savannah is a daily, low-key observance, except for July 4th and First Friday fireworks on the River (monthly). Sleep where heroes slept including General Robert E. Lee — the classmate and friend of General Alexander Lawton. General Lee’s first engineering assignment after graduating West Point was the construction of Fort Pulaski. It’s easy for history lessons to come to life when playing, walking, eating, or sitting in one of America’s original 13 colonies where soldiers and literary heroes, cannons, and battlefields are part of the beautiful landscape and character-rich stories. Unlike Atlanta, Savannah’s 19th Century mansions, including the twin Federal style townhomes of Presidents’ Quarters Inn (ca. 1855), survived the American Civil War (1861-1865), still “the war of northern aggression” according to some Savannah tales. The Civil War Sesquicentennial is commemorated 2011-2015.
Walk a few blocks to the magnificent Harper-Fowlkes House on Orleans Square, a movie scene in “The Conspirators”, directed by Robert Redford. You’ll see the bedroom furniture of Judge William Bell, the grandfather of Mrs. Woodrow Wilson (Ellen Axson of Savannah), who lived in the President Quarter Inn’s north townhouse facing President Street. The inn’s property was a movie location in “Roots,” the celebrated television mini-series, and the residential site of colonial Georgia’s First Royal Governor.
Drive to see historical reenactments happen at Wormsloe Plantation. “Experience three centuries in two hours in one place — Colonial Wormsloe!” says the Georgia State Park web site. The plantation is Georgia’s oldest, located near Isle of Hope, with its picturesque 1.5-mile oak-lined avenue leading to the 18th century tabby architectural ruins.
If you have not seen Wormsloe’s colonial plantation and the surrounds of the coastal tidewaters in movies, you will soon. Annette Haywood-Carter’s historical drama “Savannah,” starring Jim Caviezel and Chiwetel Ejiofor is based on real events and due for theatrical release August 23, 2013, and DVD/VOD on September 24, 2013. “Savannah,” based on John Eugene Cay Jr.’s book “Ward Allen: Savannah River Market Hunter,” is set in the 1900s and centered on Allen, who leaves behind a life of privilege in Savannah to live off the land with a freed slave. Jaimie Alexander, Hal Holbrook, Sam Shepard, Bradley Whitford and Jack McBrayer also star.
Dine at the Olde Pink House where the ghost of a Georgia-born “Liberty Boy” James Habersham roams.
How to save? Self-paced strolls through Savannah’s historic district, including Forsyth Park are free. Lunch at “Betty Bombers Sandwich Shop”, a café reminiscent of a World War II canteen is very affordable. It’s located just south of Forsyth Park in the American Legion building.
“People are getting out a little more” and “smiling more” were among the comments in a recent NPR Talk of the Nation episode discussing confidence to travel. Presidents’ Quarters Inn is beating louder the drum to entice families to consider a Savannah, Georgia – a friendly, best travel destination in the USA – for their extended or mini vacation anchored at the top-tier breakfast inn.
For more information contact Presidents’ Quarters Inn, toll free 1/800-233-1776 in the USA and Canada or 912/233-1600 locally; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily ‘in Savannah’ travel tips flow through the inn’s social media streams, Twitter @PQInnSavannahGA and Facebook.
P.S. The well-socialized family dog is welcome, too, at Presidents’ Quarters Inn. The pet-friendly inn’s staff knows the spots in Savannah’s National Historic Landmark District that welcome your family pup. A leash is required.
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About Presidents’ Quarters Inn
Comparable to a European private small hotel, Presidents’ Quarters Inn is two adjoining Federal style townhouses (circa 1855) that are transformed to marry 21st century amenities with old world elegance. Located on Oglethorpe Square in the National Historic Landmark District, the award-winning inn is where history meets hospitality. The historic breakfast inn is featured in Southern Living “The South’s Best Scenic Drives” (summer 2012), Southern Living (2011 & 2009), Delta SKY (2007), Travel Girl Magazine (2008), Fodor’s short list of Savannah and Charleston’s Best B&Bs & Inns (2007), and was chosen the Best Savannah Bed and Breakfast Inn by the readers of Savannah Magazine (2008-2013).
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Press Contact: Sandy Traub
912-398-9828 or straub(at)spatior(dot)com
Copyright (2013) Presidents’ Quarters Inn / Sandy Traub