After our whirlwind few days in Atlanta, we drove down to Savannah. It's a pretty easy drive, just under four hours if you don't make any stops. I couldn't wait to get to Savannah because of the absolutely gorgeous photos I had seen of it, and all the recommendations that my photographer friends had made.
The outskirts of Savannah weren't as pretty as I expected, but as we got closer to the historical district, I began to see the charm. Our very first stop was Monterey Square, one of the many charming squares peppered throughout the historical district of the city. We parked and decided to explore on foot, as this was the best way to take in those amazing details that the city is known for!
Despite the heat, humidity, random rainstorms (don't get me wrong - I LOVE rain, but not when I don't have an umbrella and am carrying my camera!) and the mosquitoes that bit me alive, I loved every minute we spent in Savannah!
I just couldn't get over the details that we saw in each of these buildings - the wrought iron railings, intricate frescoes, gorgeous arches, and beautifully curated gardens. Even the colors were bright and cheery! Not to mention, the bright, sunny day only made everything look that much prettier.
One of my favorite things about Savannah was the foliage - a mix of tropicals, gorgeously towering live oaks and other trees, and familiar trees and plants that you find in the DC area, too (like hydrangeas and crepe myrtles - which we saw around every corner!). The tropical plants - bright green palms, giant, colorful hibiscuses, banana trees - made me feel like I was in India, especially with the heat, humidity, and rain! The architecture, too, reminded me of India - there was something about the colors and details that made me feel like I was home.
Once it rained, everything took on a magical quality - the cobblestoned walkways glistened, the air cooled down, and the foliage looked bright and quenched. Our first day in Savannah, we caught the rain right after dinner - and to our surprise, the the sun shone brightly on one side the street, while the other side looked like the apocalypse! The sun illuminated the raindrops into beautiful, molten gold droplets, and we even got to see a gorgeous double rainbow in the sky!
Despite the rain, we made an excursion down to Tybee Island, which is just a 20 minute drive from Savannah. As much as I had been waiting to explore the beautiful beaches, the pouring rain and wind deterred me from going too far near the ocean on that suddenly chilly day. I took a few photos on my phone and called it a day!
While in Savannah, we also got a chance to visit the historic Wormsloe Plantation, which features the famous 1.5 mile long driveway lined with towering live oaks. The day was hot and extremely humid, but the drive and our bit of exploration around Wormsloe was absolutely worth it. The driveway was as scenic and gorgeous as I imagined it would be, and the live oaks - draped beautifully in feather light Spanish moss - had a quiet majesty to them that I loved.
One of the highlights of our trip to Savannah came at the tail end, when we visited the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge has a 4 mile long driving trail, which we slowly made our way through, taking the time to stop and look at the foliage and birds. During our drive, we spotted not one, not two, but six alligators in the wild! I wish I had brought along my telephoto lens, but made do with my 50mm and phone. Some of the alligators were a mere 10 feet away from us, so it was a bit of nerve-wracking experience to watch them, but so so exciting at the same time!
Can you spot the gators in these photos? (Hint: they're in the 3rd and 4th photos!)
Savannah certainly has its own charm. It may not be for everyone, but if you feed on beautiful details and aesthetics, gorgeous foliage, and semi-tropical weather - like me - you'll love this charming little city. Definitely a must see for photographers and lovers of beautiful things!