It’s Hip To Be Square: What A Great Idea, Benjamin Franklin

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Historic Savannah/busybeevacations.comThe Savannah Preservation Festival is all set to celebrate the beauty and preservation of Savannah, so what better way to kick things off than with a salute to none other than Benjamin Franklin!

Laid out along Montgomery Street in 1790, the square once known as Water Tank Square, Water Tower Square and Water Reservoir Square had once housed the city’s water supply.  Benjamin Franklin had been the agent in London for the colony from 1768 to 1778.  He passed away in 1790 and the square was officially named in memory of him in 1791.

On the west side of the square at 23 Montgomery Street is the First African Baptist Church, recognized as the oldest black Christian congregation in the country.  The church was organized in 1788.  Franklin Square was destroyed in 1935 when Montgomery Street became a federal route, but the square and much of the surrounding area were restored in the 1980s to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Georgia.  A memorial honoring Haitian volunteers who fought with Pulaski during the Siege of Savannah, created by sculptor James Mastin, was unveiled in Franklin Square on the 228th anniversary of the battle.things to do in Savannah/busybeevacations.com

The Historic Savannah Foundation protects and preserves Savannah’s heritage through advocacy, education and community involvement. And, it demonstrates the cultural, social and economic benefits of preservation as good public policy by proving that preservation and progress go hand-in-hand.

Savannah is a shining example of what can be saved, restored and protected when we all work together.  I hope to see you enjoying our wonderful city and May is a wonderful time to be here.  Come help us celebrate the Savannah Preservation Festival!

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2012 Savannah Preservation Festival: Let’s Make History

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Things to do in Savannah/busybeevacations.comI want you to come be a part of a very special celebration in my Savannah!  It’s time for the 2012 Savannah Preservation Festival!

Savannah’s newest festival has several spectacular events ready to celebrate the beauty and impact of preservation in America’s most beautiful and well-preserved city.  This festival will be a signature event that emphasizes the Historic Savannah Foundation‘s core mission of education and outreach.

Here are two special events that will help kick off the celebration:

Thursday, May 3rd  6:30 – 9:30PM: Preservation Festival Launch Party Held in the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum Garden.  Hors d’oeuvres by local caterers, live entertainment, a preview of Pennies for Preservation poster contest by Savannah Chatham Public School students, art auction preview by CAS Fine Art featuring commissioned art, unique destination auction packages preview, raffle items preview, and much more during this spectacular event.

Saturday, May 5th 8AM: Work Day at W.W. Law House (710 West Victory Drive) Volunteers from our community and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation will be painting the exterior of this “Places in Peril” structure. Volunteers are invited to assist Historic Savannah Foundation as they prepare and paint the facade of this historic property. Volunteers will meet at 802 West 42nd Street at 8:00am. Contact HSF to register: (912) 233-7787)

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Busy Bee Vacations features historic cottages and townhouses like this luxury Townhomes On Jones.

HSF protects and preserves Savannah’s heritage through advocacy, education and community involvement. And, it demonstrates the cultural, social and economic benefits of preservation as good public policy by proving that preservation and progress go hand-in-hand.  Savannah is regarded as having the largest downtown National Historic Landmark District and there are 12 more National Historic Districts in other parts of Savannah and Chatham County.

Come join me and let’s make history by celebrating and preserving The Hostess City’s extraordinary beauty and culture!

I Love You, Man: Guys Just Want To Have Fun, Too

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Guys Getaways in Savannah/busybeevacations.com

Savannah has always been known as a romantic getaway destination, but sometimes guys just want to have fun, too!

What better way to enjoy bonding with your best buds and your sons than on a Dads and Lads Getaway to historic Savannah where you can indulge the best of your fantasies about trains, planes and automobiles.

The Roundhouse Rail Museum is the oldest and largest existing nineteenth-century railroad operations complex in the nation. Now the State Museum of Railroad History, the complex is owned by the City of Savannah and has been operated since 1989 by the Coastal Heritage Society. Five of the buildings house permanent exhibits, including the roundhouse with its operating turntable. Visitors can see steam and diesel locomotives, rail cars, steam-powered machinery, model railroads, and a 126-foot brick smokestack with privies around its base.

The Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum will take you back to days of active duty flyers during World War II.  On January 28, 1942, fifty-three days after the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor, the 8th Air Force was officially activated in the National Guard Armory on Bull Street in Savannah, Georgia.  In 1983, Major General Lewis E. Lyle, USAF Retired, a B-17 veteran of 70 combat missions during World War II, and with the help of other veterans, began planning a museum. The Museum would honor the men and women who helped defeat Nazi aggression by serving in or supporting the greatest air armada the world had ever seen—the 8th Air Force. These individuals pledged themselves to honor the courage and commitment of more than 350,000 members of the 8th Air Force. Of this number, 26,000 were killed in action and 28,000 became prisoners of war during World War II.

Guys Getaways in Savannah/busybeevacations.com

If you feel the need for speed, the Roebling Road Raceway can help you put together a rental event of anything from club events and corporate events to driving schools.  The 2.02 mile track is just the thing to get your motor running and one of the quickest ways to get your ears pinned back.

But, the fun doesn’t stop there.  Savannah has fishing charters, guided tours throughout the city, and golf nearby.  For age appropriate groups, you’ll also find the best home brews and cigars to complete your male-bonding agenda.  And, there’ll be no shortage of space or time to just hang out when you stay in this luxury Townhome On Jones that sleeps 10.   Who said guys have to rough it?

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You may not fall head over heels for your buddies, but you’ll definitely fall in love with Savannah.  That’s the best kind of bromance!

Get Happy at 1790!

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Last week I was introduced to a local Savannah tradition that I did not know about.

My friend, Katherine (the most social of all social butterflies), invited me to meet up with her before the Historic Savannah Foundation lecture on Archaeology in Savannah. The place? 17 Hundred 90 Lounge. I was a little skeptical as I always saw 1790 as a place where large tour groups led by someone in a period costume stop in to hear Savannah ghost stories.

Exterior of 17Hundred90 Lounge and Restaurant

I love happy hour at 1790 - great drinks, company, and nibbles!

I am now a convert. The happy hour crowd sold me. Katherine knew them all – lots of local folks who come by every day to chat with their favorite bar maid, have a glass or a pint, soak in the historic ambiance, and grab some free nibbles. AND flirt with Katherine.

Katherine was already at the bar when I arrived. She was rubbing elbows with a man next to her who she already knew.  I noticed some folks down the bar  were drinking house made mojitos (a benefit to living in a place where its 80+ degrees in April), so I ordered one as well. It was light and not too sweet as I requested.

Best part (other than visiting with my friend and meeting all the daily patrons?) a FREE HOT DOG! Now, I am not a normal hot dog eater but do eat maybe 1-2 per year. This one was fabulous, slightly browned on the edges, and served up for FREE with fresh buns and condiments. The way I hear it, 1790 serves up little nibbles as part of their daily happy hour – different bites each day.  Reminded me of my Tulane days – bars in New Orleans serve up red beans and rice on Mondays there.

When Happy Hour is over, head next door to their fabulous restaurant. Be sure to check back with our Busy Bee Picks section to check it out.

Restaurant at 17Hundred90, savannah ga, happy hour in savannah, best savannah pub, best happy hour in savannah

I hope to be a regular soon. Thanks to Patrick and the gang at 17Hundred90 for being such a great Savannah happy hour tradition AND for being a huge supporter of Historic Savannah Foundation.

Visit 17Hundred90 daily – 307 E President Street – Lounge entrance is at corner of York Street

A Fairytale Life

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fun things to do in Savannah/busybeevacations.comSavannah is a magical place and I can’t wait to share it with you.

This Saturday, April 28th, there will be a magical Fairy & Gnome Festival at the Oatland Island Wildlife Center.  This family-themed day is all about the “wee folk” getting up close with the natural world and encouraging active, outdoor play.  In a contest just for children, homes for fairies and homes for gnomes will be constructed.  

Additional activities will include a scavenger hunt, a costume contest, games, crafts and even unicorn rides!  It’s going to be a magical event the entire family will enjoy and who knows…you might just catch sight of a gnome or fairy frolicking along the trails!

The mission of the Oatland Island Wildlife Center of Savannah is to provide guests with memorable experiences to help them make stronger connections to the natural world.  They provide a quality learning experience with a dedicated and knowledgeable staff, model good conservation-minded behaviors and practices, maintain a safe, fun and engaging environment and follow the highest standards in animal care.

Of course, you’ll want a magical place to stay while you visit my Savannah and I just happen to be the caretaker of many beautiful historic homes that  are just as happy as any fairytale.  I can’t wait for you to start your adventure, so give me a call!

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Land Ho!: Tall Ships Bring High Adventure

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Places to stay in historic Savannah/busybeevacations.comThey’re almost here!  I can’t wait!  There’s something magical about a great adventure on the high seas and the romance of seeing tall ships sailing into Savannah!

It’s always a wonderful time to be in Savannah and the 2012 Savannah Tall Ships Challenge has our historic downtown abuzz with excitement.  You just need to come join us and I just happen to know of a fantastic downtown cottage that’s perfect for you!

The Eugenia Kerr Carriage House offers guests a rare experience to relax in a true historic carriage house and use the main house’s well-manicured courtyard, as well as the balcony overlooking the courtyard.  Our main house fronts Madison Square which features the Historic Pulaski Monument.

Inside the Carriage House you will find a light and bright single room which accommodates separate living and sleeping areas. The canopy bed, with its pillow top Queen mattress, is both romantic and comfortable.  All of our bedding and linens are 100% cotton and we do have extra pillows and blankets for our two twin beds (the day bed has a trundle pull-out underneath). The day bed also serves as extra seating.

Upon walking upstairs from the ground level foyer, you will notice a single French door leading Continue Reading »

It’s Hip To Be Square: Welcome, Mr. President

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Savannah has so much interesting history and I love to learn more about it every day.  I sometimes just pick out a square to visit and something new is revealed to me every time.  Today, it’s Washington Square.

Built in 1790, one of the newer squares was added and originally named for the trustees of Oglethorpe’s colony.  The thinking was that this square would be a test plot for a variety of cash crops for the new colony.  These crops included mulberry (for silkworms), hemp and indigo, but most of these experiments were unsuccessful.  In 1791, George Washington, the first President of the United States, visited Savannah and the Trustees Square was renamed in his honor.  The new Washington Square is one of only two  squares named to honor a then-living person.

For a time, it was tradition to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a massive bonfire in Washington Square, but logically, the practice of lighting fires in a busy downtown area was discontinued by the 1950’s.  Washington Square is one of  the four that now comprise the northeastern quadrant of the Historic District. The new wards added in the 1790’s are slightly narrower east-to-west than the original six, due to space restrictions.

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The Hampton Lilibridge House is also said to have paranormal activity.

The streets around Washington Square are great places to see some of the most interesting examples of architecture in Savannah.  On East Bryan Street are two-story row houses built in 1892 in what is known as the Carpenter-Italianate style.  Around the corner on Price Street are homes  which feature a double gallery – a design feature which was not common to Savannah.  At 507 East St., Julian Street is a post-colonial house.  It was built for Hamton Lillibridge and is Georgian in style.  There have been many reports of paranormal activity here throughout its history.

Visiting our squares is one of my favorite ways to enjoy Savannah and you can, too!  Just give me a call and I’ll help you choose just the right historic home for your visit.  And, the Savannah Tall Ships will soon be here, so you can stay downtown for the best views of the ships!