Where are the Best Places to Bike in Savannah?

Posted: October 27, 2016

savannah-bike-toursExploring Savannah by car may seem like a good idea, but you’ll certainly miss out on much of the city. Slowing down your travel by biking will ensure you see more, enjoy more and discover more.

Savannah, Georgia is a beautiful city with an incredible downtown, beaches and so many attractions to enjoy. Here’s a look at just a few of the best places you can bike in Savannah.

Savannah Bike Tours

An excellent way to see the city is through the Savannah Bike Tours. These tours have been going on since 2010 and provide a great look at the history of the area. Whether you’re new to the city or visiting with considerations of moving to Savannah, taking one of the bike tours will help you see plenty of what Savannah has to offer.

Each bike tour will head through the historic district and includes a licensed guide. You’ll get to enjoy fascinating history, pause for pictures and discover some of the most popular thoroughfares throughout the city. Of course, some of the lesser-known attractions and side streets will also be a part of the tour.

Savannah is known as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country and a bike tour provides a great way to see the squares, enjoy the outdoors and discover where the best shops, cafes, restaurants, museums and schools are found throughout the city.

McQueen’s Island Trail

Maybe you want to enjoy some of the best beach scenery and wildlife found in Savannah. The six-mile McQueen’s Island Trail provides a beautiful place to bike with plenty of possibilities.

This trail was crated on a stretch of the old Savannah & Atlantic Railroad line. You might discover wildlife, such as the bobcat, osprey, pelican, alligator, diamond back terrapin, box turtle or even dolphins as you ride along this trail.

The Historic Loop

A 2.4-mile loop covering some of the best Savannah attractions, The Historic Loop is a great choice for biking in Savannah. You’ll cover plenty of ground throughout the downtown area while enjoying some of the best the city has to offer. Some of the places you’ll see along the way include Chatham Square, Ellis Square, Telfair Square, Pulaski Square, Orleans Square and so much more.

South of Forsyth Park

mcqueens-island-trailIf you’re up for a 5-mile bike ride, the South of Forsyth Park route is a great choice. This loop will not only take you through some of the historic squares of downtown, but it will also take you past Forsyth Park, which offers some of the best attractions you will find in the city.

Tom Triplett Park

Another park offering incredible trails for biking is the Tom Triplett Park. This park provides paved and off-road trails to give you plenty to enjoy. It’s actually found in Pooler, GA, but offers an incredible afternoon of biking. You can also enjoy fishing, tennis or disc golf at the park.

Other places to bike in Savannah include:

  • Ride to Daffin Park – 8-mile loop
  • Jekyll Island
  • Liberty Trail
  • Okefenokee Swamp
  • St. Simons Island
  • And More!

As one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country, Savannah offers the biking community plenty to enjoy. Along with the trails, loops and great biking routes, you will also find the Savannah Bicycle Campaign to be a great asset to the city. This organization helps to ensure the biking community remains safe throughout the city.

Perry Rubber Bike Shop is another great establishment serving the biking community of Savannah. You can get work done on your bike, rent a bike for the weekend or even purchase a new bike at Perry Rubber Bike Shop.

If you want to see the city in a way you simply cannot from a car, get out the bike, follow the rules of the road and enjoy Savannah at a slower pace.

12 Things You Might Not Know About the Savannah Squares

Posted: October 20, 2016

chippewa-squareOne of the most interesting things about the way Savannah is set up are the many squares. There are several of them and they provide many attractions throughout the city. Here are 12 things you might not know about the Savannah squares.

1. Forrest Gump Told His Story at Chippewa Square

You may already know this, but it’s still worth mentioning. Chippewa Square is where Forrest Gump sat and told his story for the movie. The famous bench was actually made for the movie and is found in Savannah’s history museum.

2. There were Three Lost Squares

Three squares were considered lost, but only two remain that way today. Ellis Square was reclaimed and turned into a beautiful public space. It includes a green lawn, visitor’s center and dancing fountain.

3. Five Squares Feature Fountains

There are five squares in Savannah with fountains. Of course, Ellis square has the dancing fountain, but Orleans, Columbia, Johnson and Lafayette all feature fountains, as well.

4. One Square Doesn’t Feature Spanish Moss

johnson-squareWhile Spanish moss covers most of the city, it’s not found at all in Johnson square. Even though there are live oak tree here, it’s simply not here. The local legend will have you believe it’s due to paranormal reasons.

5. All Original Buildings Remain at Calhoun Square

History buffs will love Calhoun Square. It was created in 1851 and it’s the only square with all original buildings surrounding it.

6. Chief Tomo-chi-chi is Buried in Wright Square

Yamacraw Chief Tomo-chi-chi was one of the most important historic figures of Savannah. He befriended Oglethorpe when he arrived and when he died, the chief was buried in Wright Square. His grave is found under the Gordon monument and a granite rock dedicated to him.

7. Inconsistent Names are Found with Squares and Monuments

One would think the Oglethorpe statue would be found at Oglethorpe Square. However, it’s actually found in Chippewa Square. This isn’t the only inconsistency with the monuments and statues found in the squares. Nathaniel Green is also buried in Johnson Square, not Green Square.

8. Jingle Bells is Found at a Square

The holiday song Jingle Bells has a historic marker in Troup Square. This marker is there due to the song being written at the Savannah Unitarian Church in 1857. It was written by John Pierpont Jr.

9. The Fourth Highest Attraction in the Country is in One of the Squares

According to TripAdvisor, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is the fourth highest attraction in the entire country. It’s found right here in Savannah on Lafayette Square.

10. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Covered some Square Attractions

monterey-squareNot only is the famous Bird Girl statue found on the cover of the novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, but the book also made the Mercer Williams House found in Monterey Square famous when it was made into a film. The Bird Girl statue is actually fond at the Telfair Academy, which is on Telfair Square.

11. The Oldest Operating United States Theater is Located in a Square

The Savannah Theater is the oldest operating theater in the entire country. It’s found on Chippewa Square.

12. John Mercer has Two Landmarks in the Squares

John Mercer is one of the most famous musical sons of Savannah. He was commemorated with a statue located in Ellis Square. There is also a bench in Johnson Square in his honor.

The Savannah Squares are some of the most historical and fascinating attractions in the entire city. There are a number of very interesting facts about each one. Visit all of the squares and you’re sure to add to this list of 12.

10 Facts About Spanish Moss You Might Not Know

Posted: October 13, 2016

spanish-mossWith so much Spanish moss found throughout Savannah, it’s important to understand what it is and some of the facts about it. Many of the live oak trees throughout the city feature the moss and provide a natural beauty and charm. It has even become a symbol for the city. Here are some of the most unique facts about Spanish moss, which you may not be familiar with.

It’s not from Spain

Even though it’s called Spanish Moss, it actually originates from South America, Central American, Mexico, the United States and the Caribbean. From Texas to Virginia, you will find Spanish moss in the moister areas of the country. It prefers tropical or subtropical climates with healthy trees.

It’s not Moss

So the entire name is a lie. Spanish Moss is actually not a moss at all. It’s part of the pineapple family.

It was Named by the French

Even with the name Spanish Moss, it wasn’t even named by the Spanish. Instead, it was named by French explorers. Native Americans first named it and told the French it was called itla-okla, which meant tree hair. However, it reminded the French of the long bearded of Spanish conquistadors, so they decided to call it Barbe Espagnol, which means Spanish Beard.

The Spanish did play a role by trying to get revenge. They named it Cabello Frances, which means French Hair. However, the French name stuck and later on, it was changed to Spanish moss.

It’s used Widely by Wildlife

Spanish moss is very important to the area wildlife and used by many different creatures. Birds are probably the largest users of the moss as they use it to build nests. However, spiders actually call it home and Boil weevils love it. After the moss touches the ground, it also becomes a home for chiggers and snakes.

It has been used Commercially

In the early 1900s, Spanish moss was used for the padding of car seats. More than 10,000 tons were processed in 1939, but it’s not used the same way today. The moss is still collected and processed, in much smaller amounts, and used in arts, crafts and for flower garden beds.

It’s not a Parasite

Typically, something growing on another plant is known as a parasite. However, Spanish moss doesn’t put down roots or take from the tree. It thrives on fog, rain, airborne dust, waterborne debris and sunlight.

It has many Uses

savannah-spanish-mossSpanish Moss has been used in many ways from Native American dresses to roof material or even privacy. Using the moss for anything means it will have to be replenished, though. It only grows on trees, so if it’s used for chain-link fence privacy or in clothing, it has to be replaced after is dies.

It was also used to make mortar for houses and when it’s dried, it’s good tinder for starting fires. Some of the other uses include mattress filling, rope and blankets.

The Seeds are Feathery

Just like a dandelion seed, the Spanish moss seed is feathery. This allows the seed to float to another tree and start to grow.

It has very little Nutritional Value

While it may have been tried as a feed for livestock, it wouldn’t work. Spanish moss has nearly no nutritional value.

There are many interesting facts and even some legends about Spanish moss. It certainly adds to the beauty of the city and provided plenty of uses for Native Americans and early settlers. Today, it’s not used nearly as much, but still provides beautiful picture opportunities and a symbol of cities, such as Savannah.

Best Hikes for Incredible Scenery Near Savannah

Posted: October 4, 2016

The many technological advancements have caused us to enjoy a more sedentary lifestyle. However, this type of lifestyle has been linked to many illnesses and heart-related issues. Getting outside and enjoying exercise, fresh air and time away from screens may be the answer.

Living in Savannah, Georgia makes it easy to want to get outdoors. There are so many great places to enjoy incredible scenery, whether you prefer to go fishing, golfing, hiking or enjoy one of the many events.

It doesn’t matter what time of year you head out for a hike in Savannah, you’re sure to enjoy plenty of beauty. Here are a few of the best hikes to enjoy, if you want to capture great scenery on your camera or just bask in the natural beauty of the area.

Wormsloe State Historic Site

Wormsloe State Historic SiteMaybe the most scenic place in the entire city, Wormsloe State Historic Site provides live oaks and Spanish moss creating an amazing view. The nature trail is perfect for a hike and allows you to enjoy time with your family and even your dogs.

Along with the nature trail, you can enjoy a museum tour, interactive interpreters in costume, picnic areas and the oldest tabby ruins in Savannah.

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

Found just six miles from downtown, the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge provides over 29,000 acres of space to explore. It’s the perfect spot for hiking with plenty of trails, incredible wildlife and many picture opportunities.

Along with the hiking and the scenery, you can enjoy fishing and hunting at specific times of the year. This is also one of the top spots in Savannah for bird watching.

Skidaway Island State Park

A variety of trails make Skidaway Island State Park a great choice for a hike. You can choose from the one-mile Sandpiper Nature Trail, the one-mile Avian Loop Trial or the three-mile Big Ferry Trail. These trials even connect to make your hike even longer, if you prefer.

The hiking will include beautiful marsh views and many other incredible views throughout. You can also enjoy the Colonial Coast Birding Trail here or one of the ranger programs. If you want to stay for the weekend, they even offer cabins for overnight and weekend stays.

If you love to camp, this is a great spot for camping, as well. Stay in a cabin with a screened porch, kitchen, bathroom and even separate rooms for the kids. The campground is found under beautiful live oaks with Spanish moss, which makes it even more scenic.

McQueen’s Island Trail

McQueen's Island TrailAn old railroad track built in 1887 is now the six-mile McQueen’s Island Historic Trail. It has undergone many renovations and visitor can enjoy views of the marshes and plenty of wildlife. You can even visit Fort Pulaski before you leave.

Savannah-Ogeechee Canal

A museum and nature center with two miles of hiking trails the Savannah-Ogeechee Canal is one of the top hikes in Savannah. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places and provides some of the best relics in the area.

Along with the history, this is a great place to enjoy a guided nature walk or the ecology program. They even offer a canal history tour, wetlands walks and more. Enjoy a picnic while you’re here or just enjoy the view as you hike throughout the area.

The Savannah area offers plenty of amazing scenery. While pictures on your computer might be great, they don’t do the scenery throughout Savannah justice. Instead of staying inside on the beautiful days throughout the year, get outside and enjoy some of the incredible nature found around the area.