Tourism information from a different perspective
WedSavMag.com Copyright AATR Publishing, 2008 All Rights Reserved
Rollin’ on the River…Street
allast stones in walls and streets – cargo-hold remnants of long-gone ships. Brick walls dotted with natural ferns and no-parking signs. Sandstone, granite, and quartzite, igneous and sedimentary punctuated with brick fill interstices, lichen-trimmed-all. They define Savannah’s River Street section. Around the corners of the weathered-stone walls and buildings the smell of pralines and taffy waft from doorways mixed with the aroma of pizza, pastries and shrimp.
At the Olympic Café, Nick Pappas mans the register, barking orders to the counter and kitchen help. The menu above his head reads cheeseburgers, fries, gyros and baklavas - true Greek-American fare. The walls are frescoed with Hellenic beauties; grapes and vines, wine bottles. Framed travel photos of ancient-Greek-ruins hang beside back-lit menus; gyros $8, with fries 75¢. Above the back-bar are dozens of mini-flags signifying countries from around the world. They highlight the long list of domestic and imported beers.
Passing the door is a constant stream of ball caps, tee-shirts and tennis shoes; year-round wear for the mostly-moderate Savannah climate. On the street pigeons peck the ground and dodge the occasional size-ten while searching for morsels and crumbs among the children, cobbles and curbs. Visitors from Ohio, New York and other points north search for undiscovered history, happiness-for-the-day and a few treasures – a tee-shirt for Dad, “The Book” for Mom, or an extra snow globe for Aunt Edna, or the boss, or the grandkids, or whoever they've forgotten during the course of their travels. It is a typical day on Savannah’s famous River Street, the short, busy route that hugs the waters of the Savannah River. Now a tourist area, it was once the commercial heart that pumped supplies and necessities of Colonial and antebellum life to the region. It still does. Not through shipments of lumber or pine-tar, or cotton, but through tourism dollars that help form the number-two industry in the city.
Outside of the tourism area things are quieter. Upstream the river meanders past the Georgia Ports and into the piedmont and mountains of North Georgia and South Carolina.
Symbols of Savannah's river front, right, the Talmmadge Bridge and a river tour boat. Below, along River Street the trolleys and trucks “beep” and hum as they deliver tourist, trinkets and beer. Once a rough, warehouse district, it is now family friendly.
Factor’s Walk, Savannah’s brick walled and cobbled passageway was once named River Street. When wharves joined and shoreline filled, the name moved to the river side road. The above alcove was once the Drayton Street Ramp, long closed and buttressed it offers a glimpse of nineteenth-century Savannah.
Romerly Marsh, left, separates Savannah from Tybee Island. A maze of waterways, it serves as a magnet for ecotourism, kayaking, water sports and sport fishing.
Download a copy of this article on Microsoft Word