Bluegreen Resorts offers The Studio Homes at Ellis Square for visitors who plan to soak up the rich culture and distinctive atmosphere of Savannah, Georgia. Situated in the city that presents a face of architectural treasures and fascinating personal histories, you will enjoy dining in venues that offer cuisines from a mingling of cultures and shopping in some of the finest galleries in the country.
In 1733, General James Oglethorpe landed his ship, the “Anne,” along with more than 100 passengers, at a spot along the Savannah River and claimed the surrounding lands for King George II of England. Savannah, the first city in the 13th British American colony, is also widely known as the country’s first truly planned city. Oglethorpe designed it to feature gridded streets, open areas, and shade-filled public parks and walkways. Most of the city’s original public squares are still in use today.
The wealth that accrued to prominent residents of Savannah from the cultivation of cotton and rice on vast plantations enabled the construction of opulent mansions, churches, and public buildings. Savannah rose to the status of a major port, but the highly destructive fires of 1796 and 1820, along with devastating epidemics of diseases such as yellow fever, forced the city to rebuild itself from the ashes several times.
Savannah earned its image as a restful and gracious city, filled with mossy oak trees and beautiful parks and fountains, even before the Civil War. When Union General William Tecumseh Sherman entered the city in December of 1864, he was so struck by its beauty that he refused to burn it as he had Atlanta. But it wasn’t until after World War II that Savannah experienced the renaissance that defines it today. Historically minded groups fought to preserve significant buildings such as the Pirates’ House inn, mentioned in a Robert Louis Stevenson story, and the Olde Pink House, which served as the state’s first bank.
Many people have become intrigued by Savannah after reading John Berendt’s book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which details the true story of a murder in this haunting community. You can even take a city tour based on the book, and can choose from other tours via trolley, horse-drawn carriage, or riverboat, or join a ghost-themed historical excursion.
The city is home to a thriving arts scene that includes music with an international beat and cutting-edge experimental theater productions. The programs of the award-winning Savannah College of Art and Design, or SCAD, have propelled the region into a leading hotspot for visual arts of all genres, including fashion and photography. Local artists’ studios, cafes, and boutiques offer distinctive venues to develop new interests or purchase one-of-a-kind gifts.
Family-friendly activities include a visit to the Savannah Children’s Museum, which houses an exhibit formed inside the remnants of an old railroad building. Kids may also enjoy meeting timber wolves and panthers in the Oatland Island Wildlife Center or seeing a cannon-firing demonstration at Old Fort Jackson.
Over the last decade, some 50 million visitors have learned to appreciate Savannah’s elegant beauty and often-tragic history. When you stay at the city’s Bluegreen Resorts property, you will find yourself immersed in both the culture of a bygone era and the dazzling arts and creative scenes that define it today.