Seductive Savannah, Georgia's first city, beckons with sophisticated stature: iron fences and balconies adorn stately antebellum mansions; renovated townhouses abut cobblestone streets; green squares blossom and aged live oaks drip with Spanish moss. She flaunts mystery with tales of murder and ghosts.
Neighboring Tybee Island, a 20-minute drive, bespeaks an altogether different aura; she tempts visitors to tiny raised cottages, marsh grass, tidal beaches and sea breezes. Where Savannah oozes Southern charm and elegance, Tybee prefers laid back relaxation. Both vacation spots offer ideal springtime getaways.
Savannah's historic district is divided into a grid. Walk or hop on a tour bus to review her past and visit high-end antique shops, quirky boutiques or art museums. Fans of John Berendt's, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, will enjoy touring sites from the book, including the Mercer Williams House and serene Bonaventure Cemetery.
Make sure to dine at Paula Deen's The Lady & Son's Restaurant, probably the most sought out reservation in town or Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room, a former boardinghouse that dishes a lunch that lasts all day. Another favorite, The Pink House, serves elegant southern cuisine. If you want to splurge on lodging, check into The Mansion on Forsyth Park or consider numerous bed-and-breakfast inns at www.historicinnsofsavannah.com.
Cross the causeway and let your hair fly. Tybee Island's claim to fame is Fort Pulaski, where a famous Civil War battle occurred, and Tybee Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in Georgia. Sign-on for deep-sea fishing charters, perhaps a dolphin cruise, rent a bike or kayak, bird-watch, surf or simply rest on her shores. The beach is perfect for weddings and many couples choose to wed along the five miles of sandy dunes
Island shopping offers beach-themed kitsch, bait and tackle shops, and art exhibits. May 15th is the date for the 21st annual Beach Bum Parade. Spectators line the parade route armed with buckets, squirt guns and hoses. What results is an all-out water war.
The Savannah Beach Inn on Tybee, offers lodging in a restored 1898 Victorian house. The owners prepare a luscious gourmet breakfast, featuring Bananas Foster French Toast, host daily wine and cheese receptions and leave bedtime, milk and cookies.
For dinner try the famous Crab Shack for seafood low-country boil or catch a sunset meal at a local's favorite, A.J's Dockside Restaurant.
Give yourself a springtime fling in one of America's loveliest cities or interesting islands.