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Southern Comfort: Savannah's Attractions and Museums

Our guide to Savannah's top attractions continues.
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The Andrew Low House
329 Abercorn Street
912-233-6854
www.andrewlowhouse.com

This structure was built in 1848 by cotton merchant Andrew Low. Low's son, William MacKay Low, married Juliette Gordon, founder of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. It is owned and preserved by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of Georgia. The carriage house was left to the Girl Scouts as their Savannah headquarters.

Davenport House Museum
324 East State Street
912-233-8097
www.davenportsavga.com

Located on Columbia Square, the Isaiah Davenport House was built between 1815 and 1820 and is an exceptionally fine example of Federal architecture. It was the proposed demolition of this home that served as a catalyst in the founding of the Historic Savannah Foundation. It features a fine collection of Davenport china and period decorative arts.

Green-Meldrim House
1 West Macon Street
912-232-1251

Completed by architect/builder John S. Norris for wealthy cotton merchant Charles Green, the Green-Meldrim House was the headquarters of Union General William T. Sherman after he captured the city at the conclusion of his "March to the Sea. It is now the parish house for St. John's Episcopal Church and has been fully restored and furnished. The house is graced with magnificent carving and plaster work.

Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace
142 Bull Street
912-233-4501
www.girlscouts.org/birthplace

Built between 1818 and 1820, the Center is the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts. The building has been restored and furnished to depict the 1870s and was named Savannah's first National Historic Landmark in 1965. It is owned and operated by the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A as a memorial to their founder, and is a program center for all members.

Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home
207 East Charlton Street
912-233-6014
www.llp.armstrong.edu/flannery

Author Mary Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah in 1925 and lived in this house until 1938. Today, it is maintained partly as a memorial to her and partly as a literary center for Savannah.

Owens-Thomas House
124 Abercorn Street
912-233-9743
www.telfair.org

Designed in 1816 by William Jay, this house is generally considered to be the finest example of Regency architecture in America. Now serves as a house museum and features one of the few intact slave quarters in America.

River Street
Below Bay Street
912-234-0295
www.savriverstreet.com

Bordering the thriving river port, River Street imparts old world charm. The nine-block brick concourse is ideal for strolling and ship watching. More than 75 boutiques, galleries, artist studios, restaurants, and pubs are housed in one-time cotton warehouses that have been restored to their rustic beauty. First Saturday festivals are held here each month.

Roundhouse Railroad Museum
601 Harris Street
912-651-6823
www.chsgeorgia.org

Savannah's Central of Georgia Railway National Landmark District is the oldest and most complete antebellum railroad manufacturing and repair facility still in existence in the United States. The Roundhouse Railroad Museum now has permanent exhibits in seven of the 13 structures on the site. Exhibits focus on steam engines, belt-driven machinery, locomotives, railroad-rolling stock, and model railroad layouts. This is one of the most extensive collections of rolling stock and machinery in Georgia.

Savannah History Museum
303 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
912-238-1779
www.chsgeorgia.org

Adjacent to the Savannah Visitor Information Center, the museum is operated by the Coastal Heritage Society. The structure is on the site of the 1779 siege of Savannah, a Revolutionary War battle. The attraction has artifacts and displays depicting Savannah's history, a film about the founding of the city and a diorama depicting the siege. Included in this collection is a large quantity of historic women's clothing and accessories from the 1800s to the present as well as military uniforms and weapons and railroad items.

Ships of the Sea Museum
41 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
912-232-1511
www.shipsofthesea.org

William Jay designed this house for merchant prince William Scarbrough, one of the principal investors in the S.S. Savannah, the first steam vessel to cross the Atlantic. This maritime museum houses a large collection of ship models, artifacts, and memorabilia representing man's 2,000-year quest to conquer the sea.

Tybee Lighthouse and Museum
Off U.S. 80 at Fort Screven
912-786-5801
www.tybeelighthouse.com

Located on Tybee Island, the Lighthouse has been the guardian of the Savannah River since 1736. The existing 154-foot tall lighthouse was rebuilt in 1887. The museum was built in 1897 as a coastal artillery battery on Tybee Island, and features exhibits of early life on the Island, as well as Indian and Civil War weaponry and dolls.

Tybee Island Marine Science Center
1510 Strand Avenue
912-786-5917
www.tybeemsc.org

Discover the Atlantic Ocean's mysteries at the center, where visitors can experience touch tanks, aquariums, and year-round beach walks. The museum consists of aquariums and a touch tank containing specimens indigenous to the coast of Georgia. Exhibits provide information on shells, sharks, marine mammals, sea turtles, marine pollution, the salt marsh, and maritime forest. There is also a gift shop and classrooms for group programs and special events.

Telfair Museum of Art and Jepson Center for the Arts
121 Barnard Street
912-232-1177
www.telfair.org

Designed and built in 1818 by William Jay, the Telfair Mansion was the site of the royal Governor's residence. The mansion contains many family furnishings. A large wing was added in 1883 which contains superb American and European paintings and sculpture. It is the oldest art museum in the South. Hours of operation are seven days a week, call for times.

Wormsloe State Historic Site
7601 Skidaway Road
912-353-3023
www.wormsloe.org

Located on Isle of Hope, Wormsloe was settled by Noble Jones, one of Georgia's first colonists. Wormsloe was received into the Jones family by a royal grant in 1756 and has remained the only Savannah plantation in possession by its original owners until 1974, when it was given to Georgia Heritage Trust. This historic site has a visitor center with exhibits and audio-visual programming on Georgia's colonial period, and is the site of the ruins of tabby fortification and the Fort Wimberly earthworks.

City Market
Between Barnard, Congress, and Bryan streets
912-232-4903
www.savannahcitymarket.com

Four blocks in the heart of the Historic District have been renovated to capture the authentic atmosphere and character of the city's old open marketplace. The market features artists working in their lofts and exhibits of works for sale. There are also restaurants, open-air cafes, jazz clubs, theme shops, and stores offering crafts, accessories and gifts.

Factors Walk and River Street
Between Bay and River streets
912-234-0295

Located along the river bluff on Bay Street, this area was a 19th century meeting place and center of commerce for cotton merchants. The top contained offices for cotton brokers, and the lower warehouses on River Street contained the cotton that was shipped from Savannah to the world. Bridge ways connect the buildings now used for quaint shops and restaurants. Cobblestones used as ballast in ships from England pave each ramp and form the walkways.

Last updated: Mar 21, 2006




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