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Surprises & Delights: Explore Savannah's Quirky Side

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We hear it all the time. "There's something special about Savannah that I can't put my finger on!" It's ok; we understand. Although many of us would love to solve the riddle of what surprises & delights us about our city, the best advice would be to simply embrace Savannah's quirky side.

Our city is like an onion - encouraging you to peel back the layers as your endorphins take a roller coaster ride to experience the satisfying and delicious thrill you crave.

Hearse Ghost Tours

Surprises & Delights: Hearse Ghost Tours

Are you looking for a mysterious but interesting adventure in Savannah? If so, look no further than Hearse Ghost Ride Tours! This unique experience will have you riding in style in a vintage hearse while exploring the haunted history of Savannah. During the tour, you'll visit some of the city's most haunted locations, including cemeteries, mansions, and a haunted hospital. Your knowledgeable guide will share spine-tingling stories of ghosts, spirits, and other supernatural occurrences that have taken place in these locations. And fear not! There are seatbelts.

A skeleton plays a pinball machine in the arcade at the Graveface Museum

Surprises & Delights: Graveface Museum 

If you're looking for a spooky and intriguing museum, look no further than the Graveface Museum. This showroom is a true gem for those who love the eerie and morbid, but don't worry - it's not all doom and gloom. With a wide variety of exhibits, you'll find something unique to catch your eye. One of the museum's highlights is the collection of vintage taxidermy. While some people may find taxidermy a bit bizarre, there's no denying the skill and artistry that goes into creating these lifelike animal displays. From a towering giraffe to a tiny mouse, the collection and much more is sure to impress.

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Surprises & Delights: Tunnel Through It

Did you know? Candler Hospital once had a secret underground tunnel from Candler that ran beneath Forsyth Park. These tunnels were used to transport the bodies of the Yellow Fever epidemic victims. The tunnels were filled with dead bodies by day and allegedly loaded on horse-drawn carriages by night. The deceased were then taken to be buried. But - just in case you're thinking of "digging around," the tunnel is no longer accessible.

Bonaventure Cemetery

Surprises & Delights: Bonaventure Cemetery

Speaking of secrets - next, take a tour of the Bonaventure Cemetery. This may not sound like an adventure, but trust us; it is worth the grave walk. Well, let's not do that part. The cemetery is full of beautiful and intricate sculptures, and its history is fascinating. Plus, it was the setting for the famous novel "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," so you may recognize some of the locations from the book. If you are feeling adventurous, try one of several ghost tours, such as Bonaventure Cemetery Tours, Shannon Scott Tours & Events and Old Savannah Tours Grave Encounters Ghost Tour. Whether you prefer a walking tour or a trolley tour, you will surely hear some spooky stories and learn about the city's haunted past.

Johnny Mercer

Johnny Mercer.

Surprises & Delights: Johnny Mercer

Since you've already got one foot in the grave, visit Johnny Mercer's gravesite while at Bonaventure Cemetery. Johnny Mercer was an American lyricist, composer, and singer active in the music industry from the 1930s to the 1970s. He wrote the lyrics to many popular songs, including "Moon River," "That Old Black Magic," "Jeepers Creepers," and "Hooray for Hollywood." Mercer was also a co-founder of Capitol Records and was president from 1942 to 1946. He won four Academy Awards for Best Original Song and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1971. Mercer's more than 1700 songs continue to be celebrated and performed today.

plant riverside district baobab lounge

Surprises & Delights: Lounge by the River

Baobab Lounge in Plant Riverside District is an immersive lounge and restaurant experience that explores and highlights the unique African culture. The restaurant features a full bar, small plates and an extensive craft cocktails and wine list. The atmosphere is relaxed and inviting, the decor is superb and the staff is warm and attentive. Whether you're looking for a place to grab a drink with friends, enjoy good food, or explore scenic River Street, Baobab Lounge is the perfect spot. 

Colonial Park Cemetery

Surprises & Delights: Oh Do You Know, the 1000-Year-Old Man?

Did you know? Mischievous and bored Union Soldiers reportedly changed Colonial Park Cemetery's headstones. The Union soldiers who once occupied Savannah made their mark on the cemetery in a distinctive way. Local legend states that they subtly altered the gravestones, particularly those along the east wall. Some say they even dug up and displaced dozens of them. The soldiers reportedly used their bayonets to change the dates on several headstones, resulting in some interesting claims. For instance, one man supposedly lived to be 421 years old, while his neighbor lived for 544 years. Another headstone claimed that a man's son was born 1000 years before his father.

Sea Wolf Tybee

Surprises & Delights: Caution: Sea Wolf Sighting

Nothing says fancy like a glass of champagne and a loaded beef Wagyu hotdog. That's what you can expect at Sea Wolf Tybee, an eccentric hideaway on Tybee Island that combines island life and the casualness of backyard get-togethers. And to keep things interesting, their rotating menu is always full of delectable surprises, but the one thing that doesn't change is the fresh oysters and gourmet hot dogs. Here's to beach life done right!

oatland island wildlife center

Surprises & Delights: Gnome What I Mean?

We knew it! Fairies and Gnomes are REAL and the Oatland Island Wildlife Center will prove it. The Fairy & Gnome Festival is an enchanted event perfect for people of all ages. It's a chance to let your imagination run wild and to have fun. The festival celebrates all things magical, and you'll be amazed at the creativity and imagination that has gone into creating this enchanting event. There are many things to see and do at the Fairy & Gnome Festival. You can stroll through the Enchanted Forest, where you'll see beautiful flowers, trees, and bushes transformed into a fairy wonderland. You can also explore the Gnome Village, where you'll see tiny houses and buildings built by hand and participate in the Fairy & Gnome Scavenger Hunt. Of course, one of the highlights of the Fairy & Gnome Festival is the chance to meet real fairies and gnomes. So gather your friends and family, put on your fairy wings or gnome hat, and immerse yourself in a world of wonder and enchantment!  

Congregation Mickve Israel

Congregation Mickve Israel

Surprises & Delights: Congregation Mickve Israel

Congregation Mickve Israel is one of the oldest Jewish congregations in the United States. Founded in 1733, its history spans over 280 years. Jewish immigrants who'd settled in Savannah came to the New World seeking religious freedom and economic opportunities. The current synagogue is a beautiful building that is an essential part of Savannah's architectural heritage; a Gothic Revival building adorned with stained glass windows, intricate woodwork and gorgeous tilework. The congregation has been involved in many charitable and philanthropic activities and has contributed to the cultural and intellectual life (like the Shalom Y'all Jewish Food Festival!) of the city. It has also been an important advocate for civil rights and social justice. During the Revolution, many congregation members were patriots who fought for American independence. The congregation's Torah scrolls (the two oldest Torah scrolls in North America!) were hidden during the Revolution to protect them from the British. The scrolls were only brought out again when the war was over.

American Prohibition Museum

American Prohibition Museum

Surprises & Delights: American Prohibition Museum

The American Prohibition Museum showcases the history of Prohibition in America from 1920 to 1933. It's here you'll learn about the temperance movement and the rise of organized crime during this time period. The exhibits, including the very lifelike wax figures, create an engaging experience. One of the biggest highlights is the speakeasy exhibit, where you'll witness how people used to sneak alcohol during Prohibition and sample a taste of authentic prohibition cocktails. You've got the password, right? This tour is excellent for anyone interested in history or who simply fancies an excuse to wet their whistle.

Surprises & Delights: When Fish Fly

You catch it; they'll cook it! Flying Fish Bar & Grill is a uniquely satisfying way to enjoy fantastic seafood in one of the most welcoming dining spots on Wilmington Island, minutes from Savannah. When it comes to the menu, they've got it all. From classic dishes such as fresh steamed Georgia shrimp, oysters and Mahi Mahi to burgers, chicken fingers and wings. But if you're looking for something exceptional, why not catch your fish and have it cooked perfectly? The chefs at Flying Fish will prepare your fish just how you like it, whether you prefer it grilled, blackened or fried. In addition to the food, the Flying Fish Bar & Grill also offers a great selection of drinks, including craft beers, cocktails, and wine. And the bonus? You'll meet some great people.

Little Duck Diner

Surprises & Delights: Grilled Cheese for "Big Kids"

Little Duck Diner is as charming as it is delicious. The menu resembles classic American diner dishes with a modern Asian-inspired twist. Sink your teeth into one of their incredible gourmet grilled cheese options. From the childhood classic we all know and love to the California with grilled chicken, avocado, pesto, Havarti and mozzarella to the Duck grilled cheese with turmeric, caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes, cheddar and mozzarella. 

tybee post theater

Surprises & Delights: Tybee Post Theatre

Tybee Post Theatre has a rich and fascinating history that spans over a century. Initially built in 1930 as a movie theater, it became a hub of entertainment for the Tybee Island community and surrounding areas. During World War II, the theater was used as a USO facility, providing a place for soldiers to relax and enjoy live performances. After the war, the theater continued to operate as a movie theater until it closed in the 1960s. It was then used as a warehouse for many years before falling into disrepair. In 2000, the Tybee Island Historical Society purchased the building and began restoration efforts to bring the theater back to its former glory. Today, the Tybee Post Theatre is a thriving performing arts center, hosting various events, including concerts, plays, film screenings and the Tybee Post Music Festival

Vic's on the River

Vic's on the River

Surprises & Delights: Map it Out

Dine in a restaurant where a map drawn by Union soldiers was found in the wall and can still be viewed by restaurant guests. Have you ever wanted to stumble upon something unexpected that made you feel like you had discovered a secret treasure? That happened to a group of construction workers renovating the old Vic's on the River in Savannah. As they were tearing down a wall, they found a map drawn by Union soldiers during the Civil War. How amazing is that? We can only imagine the excitement they must have felt when they uncovered this piece of history. The map is believed to have been drawn in 1864, during General William T. Sherman's infamous march to the sea. It shows the city of Savannah and the surrounding area, including the location of Confederate defenses and Union troop movements. Even more interesting is that the map is more than just a simple drawing. It's a detailed topographical map with contour lines and shading to indicate elevation changes. This level of detail would have been beneficial for military planning and strategy. Incredibly, this map had been hidden for over 150 years, only to be discovered by chance during a routine renovation. It shows that history is all around us, waiting to be uncovered.

Jepson Center & Telfair Children's Art Museum

Surprises & Delights: Wildflower Cafe on Telfair Square

The Wildflower Cafe on Telfair Square is highly recommended. The atmosphere is charming and artistically inspired, perfect for a fresh, relaxing meal. Located in the gorgeous and modern Jepson Center & Telfair Children's Art Museum, the menu contains delicious options, with plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free choices such as Panzanella, grain bowls and flatbreads. The staff is friendly and attentive, making for a wonderful dining experience. Plus, the location on Telfair Square is a beautifully scenic spot to stroll before or after your meal.

Savannah is a city that is full of surprises & delights. It's easy to see why people come from near and far to explore our city's unique and quirky side. Savannah has something for everyone (even we continue to learn something new!), whether you're looking for a haunted adventure, a delicious meal, or a history lesson. Gather as many clues as you'd like; Savannah will remain an unsolved mystery.

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