A Tale of Two Coasts: Savannah, GA & Wexford, Ireland

Savannah Film Office Carriage tour

In a world filled with diverse cultures and breathtaking landscapes, we find discovering unexpected similarities between seemingly disparate destinations fascinating. Savannah, Georgia, and Wexford, Ireland, are two such places that share a surprising number of commonalities.

From their iconic lighthouses to their vibrant waterfronts and from their historical museums to their rich immigrant heritage, these two coastal treasures offer a unique blend of history, civilization and authentic hospitality. Journey with us as we discover our Irish connection even further.

Guiding Lights

Hook Lighthouse and Tybee Island Lighthouse 

Both Savannah and Wexford boast iconic lighthouses that have stood as beacons of hope and safety for centuries. In Wexford, the Hook Lighthouse reigns as one of the oldest operational lighthouses in the world, dating back to the 13th century. Similarly, Tybee Island Lighthouse in Savannah has been guiding ships since 1736, making it one of the oldest lighthouses in the United States. These towering structures not only symbolize the maritime heritage of their respective regions but also offer visitors breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

Historical Waterfronts

New Ross and River Street

New Ross in Wexford and River Street in Savannah are vibrant waterfront areas that have played significant roles in their regions' economic and cultural development. Located on the shores of the River Barrow, New Ross is a delightful town that has served as a thriving harbor since the medieval era. Similarly, Savannah's River Street, located along the Savannah River, was once a bustling hub for cotton trade and shipping. Today, both areas are lined with quaint shops, lively restaurants and picturesque views, inviting visitors to stroll along their cobblestone streets and soak in their history and vibrant atmosphere.

Maritime Museums

Ships of the Sea Museum and Dunbrody Museum 

For history enthusiasts, both Savannah and Wexford offer captivating maritime museums that delve into their seafaring past. The Ships of the Sea Museum in Savannah showcases an impressive collection of ship models, maritime artifacts, and exhibits that highlight the city's maritime heritage. Similarly, the Dunbrody Museum in Wexford tells the story of Irish emigration during the Great Famine, with a focus on the replica of the Dunbrody ship, which transported thousands of Irish immigrants to North America. These museums provide a glimpse into the lives of sailors, immigrants and the impact of maritime trade on both regions.

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Industrial Legacy

Kehoe Iron Works 

Another shared historical gem between Savannah and Wexford is the Kehoe Iron Works. In Savannah, the Kehoe Iron Works, established in the late 1800s, was once a thriving foundry that produced ornamental ironwork for buildings across the city. Similarly, in Wexford, the Kehoe Iron Works played a vital role in the industrial development of the town, producing ironwork for local buildings and infrastructure. Today, both sites stand as reminders of the industrial prowess of their respective regions and offer visitors a glimpse into the craftsmanship of a bygone era.

Irish Immigrants

A Shared Heritage 

Both Savannah and Wexford have deep connections to Irish immigration, which has left an indelible mark on their cultural fabric. Savannah, known as the "Hostess City of the South," has a long history of welcoming Irish immigrants who played a significant role in shaping the city's identity. Similarly, Wexford has a rich history of Irish emigration, particularly during the Great Famine, when many sought a new start in North America. The shared experience of Irish immigrants in both destinations is celebrated through festivals, cultural events and the preservation of their heritage.

Warm Hospitality

A Common Thread

Perhaps the most striking similarity between Savannah and Wexford is the warm hospitality that greets visitors in both destinations. Whether it's the friendly locals, the cozy bed and breakfasts, or the lively pubs, both places exude a welcoming atmosphere that makes visitors feel right at home. The authentic kindness and welcoming nature of the locals in Savannah and Wexford make for an unforgettable stay, leaving visitors with cherished moments and a longing to return.

By examining the commonalities of Savannah, Georgia, and Wexford, Ireland, we uncover an intriguing fabric of intertwined past, customs and welcoming nature. These two coastal destinations offer a remarkable parallel, from the iconic lighthouses that guide ships to the vibrant waterfronts that tell tales of trade and commerce and from the maritime museums that preserve their seafaring past to the industrial legacies that shaped their landscapes. Moreover, the shared heritage of Irish immigrants and the warm hospitality that permeates both Savannah and Wexford create an enchanting experience for visitors. Whether you are taking a leisurely walk down River Street or exploring the roads of New Ross, get ready to be enthralled by the surprising parallels that connect these two beautiful seaside treasures.

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