When choosing a travel destination, I often select a city that lends itself well to sightseeing on foot. (That way I can walk off all of the calories I take in sampling the local cuisine!) The Savannah historic district with its grid-type layout is packed with more interesting sights and photo ops than you can shake a stick at, and is relatively easy to navigate. If, however, you are directionally challenged like me and happen to wander off-course, just ask anyone, “Which way to River Street?” and remember that the river is always north. (Of course, a walking map is a good idea. Grab one at the visitor center or purchase one at Parker’s Market.) Much like Charleston to its north, Savannah is dotted with inviting gardens, intricately fashioned gates, and an abundance of finely crafted wrought iron. Be sure to allow enough time to wander up and down the streets in the historic residential areas in addition to the squares and main drags. You will find bits of beauty tucked into every nook and cranny—flower boxes, trellises, balconies, staircases, lamp posts, decorative grates, hitching posts, lanterns, and railings. It’s fun and it’s free! If your feet get tired, catch the express shuttle or take a trolley tour. There will likely be many other tourists out and about also, but as with anywhere you go, be aware of your surroundings and watch out for traffic!
When asked which U. S. city I most like to visit, my answer is immediate and decisive. Charleston, South Carolina is at the tip-top of my favorites list! We spent a full week there during the summer of 2012 and returned in 2013 following a trip to nearby Savannah, Georgia. We stayed in a boutique hotel in the heart of the city’s historic district within easy walking distance of all of the main attractions. We toured primarily on foot, but also took advantage of the awesome bike cab service and enjoyed a horse-drawn carriage ride. Charleston is pristine and elegant—replete with stately mansions, lavish gardens, and an abundance of significant landmarks and structures reflecting its importance during both the Revolutionary War and the American Civil War. We were impressed with the friendliness and charm of the residents, and admired the pride they so obviously exhibit for their city. We were captivated by the numerous flower boxes that abound throughout the city—each one bursting with lush, vibrant blooms of every imaginable color! We learned that these boxes are equipped with automatic sprinkler systems that keep the flowers looking gorgeous at all times…just breathtaking! Charleston exceeded our expectations in every way. We were sorry that we didn’t have more time to spend there, but certainly intend to return.
Sign by the Visitor Information Center on Front Street
Wrought iron fence leading into Beau Jardin from the Roque House and Garden
Brick Terrace area inside Beau Jardin
The relaxing sound of the waterfall adds to the appeal of the garden
Water flowing under the footbridge
Wrought iron footbridge, Cane River Lake, and the Roque House
Small stream that flows from the waterfall to the river
Looking from Beau Jardin toward the Roque House and the Church Street Bridge
Water cascading down from the highest point in the garden
Gracefully curving brick staircase leading from the riverbank up to the Front Street garden entance
Beau Jardin is an enchanting oasis right in the heart of downtown
It had been several years since I visited the riverbank area behind the Roque House. What I remembered as a grassy hill that housed a gargantuan metal swing set and not much else has been absolutely transformed into a breathtaking garden area stretching from the banks of Cane River right up to Front Street! It is difficult to say which was more delightful—the spring flowers blooming in profusion on every side, a small stream gurgling its way under a wrought iron footbridge, the waterfall cascading over mammoth rock formations, or the brick staircase that gracefully winds its way upward. Apparently Beau Jardin was constructed as a wedding venue, but I found it to be a perfect “get-away” spot for reading, contemplating, strolling along the riverbank, or capturing the perfect photographic moment! Definitely worth checking out…