By Karen Callaway
Photography By John O’Hagan
The tree-shaded streets of downtown Savannah are 22 pockets of perfectly manicured squares knit together, giving the illusion the town is one big patchwork park. Planned in detail by founder James Oglethorpe in 1733, the compact area is quite walkable, allowing visitors to enjoy the city at the same easy pace that the eponymous river flows by on its way to the Atlantic. Radiating from Forsyth Park with its oft-photographed fountain, the National Historic Landmark District is a montage of venerable buildings, each infused with a charm found only in this quintessential Southern gem. Savannah is a study in architecture, with Federal, Greek Revival, and more showcased in the businesses and residences lining the squares.
Among them are the home of Girl Scouts of America founder Juliette Gordon Low and the Mercer Williams House of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Secret gardens are tucked here and there, competing with the famed cemeteries for sheer loveliness. The riverfront still bustles—though the cotton warehouses have become restaurants, shops, and galleries.