Welcome to my place ... Savannah, Georgia

Track down where Forrest Gump said his most famous line ‘life is like a box of chocolates’

Stephanie G Foy has gone from Galway to Savannah.

Stephanie G Foy has gone from Galway to Savannah.

 

Stephanie G Foy is originally from Galway and is a professor of fashion at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She now calls Savannah home and welcomes visitors to her Airbnb, which she established two years ago

Where is the first place you bring people to when they visit Savannah?
One of your first stops in Savannah should be its world-famous Historic District. More than 20 cobblestoned blocks contain colonial mansions, historic churches such as St John’s cathedral, manicured gardens, and parks shaded by towering live oaks. There are 22 historic squares, each with a different personality. I usually advise people to walk through Forsyth Park, the 30-acre heart of Savannah’s Historic District. There is plenty to see here as you walk through the oak trees dripping in Spanish moss. Through the shaded paths you will find memorials dedicated to the Confederacy and the Spanish-American War, the Fragrant Garden for the visually impaired and the 300-year-old Candler Oak tree. Savannah’s Forsyth Park has an urban cosmopolitan vibe, with locals and tourists alike picnicking, dog walking, while viewing historic sites. You can have your pick of coffee shops, bars and restaurants while in its hauntingly beautiful hub.

Where is the best place to get a sense of Savannah’s history?
It is one of the original 13 colonies and the oldest city in Georgia, due to union general WT Sherman gifting Savannah to president Lincoln and saving it from war. To this day, having the second largest St Patrick’s Day Parade in the US, there is no end to its history. Savannah is also recognised as America’s paranormal paradise so there is no shortage of ghost tours.

After a leisurely stroll through the historic district, you will reach the area known as River Street where you will find the soul of Savannah’s history. Walk along the Savannah River and view many aspects of Savannah’s dark history. There is plenty of Irish heritage to be found along these walks.

The top three things to do in Savannah that don’t cost money are:
As Savannah is a pedestrian-friendly city there really is an array of free things to do. Track down where Forrest Gump said his most famous line “life is like a box of chocolates” or visit the 150-year-old Bonaventure cemetery on your way to Tybee island to hit the beach.

Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia.
Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia.

Bonaventure cemetery is the final resting place for many famous Savannahians. Visitors will enjoy exploring the hauntingly beautiful grave sites, many of which date back to the mid-19th century. You can take in the breathtaking view of the nearby Wilmington river. This can be a stop on your way to the beach island known as Tybee. For such a small stretch of heaven, Tybee Island is full of activity. So many treasures await, from Civil War-era lighthouses, to seaside cottage shops, beach walks, to kayak and powerboat rentals. So you won’t be surprised to know that there’s something here for everyone.

What should visitors leave room in their suitcase when leaving Savannah?
As Georgia is such a warm climatic state it makes for ideal beekeeping, so the Savannah Bee company is a must. Tupelo is my favourite honey of theirs. There is such an assortment of honey gift soaps, body butters, lip balms, candles. Don’t leave without trying the delicious honey, honeycomb samples and mead tasting. You won’t leave empty handed.

Where do you recommend to eat to get a sense of Savannah?
Go to The Olde Pink house. This was once the personal mansion of a former governor. The food is delicious. Ask for a crab cake appetiser. It’s delightful, as is the shrimp and grits and (eat this separately) the fried chicken. Complement it with a “Pink lady” cocktail in the downstairs piano bar and you won’t be disappointed!

savannahwelcomesyou.com

If you’d like to share your little black book of places to visit where you live overseas, please email your answers to the five questions above to abroad@irishtimes.com, including a brief description of what you do there and a photograph of yourself. We would love to hear from you.

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