To tell the heroic tale of the Mighty Eighth Air Force requires more than a simple history book or channel can handle. At the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, displays of tangible, lovingly preserved relics preserve the harrowing and inspiring stories of the Eighth Air Force's greatest achievements, paying respect to those who risked, and often lost, their lives. The exhibits narrate how the Mighty Eighth earned its nickname as the all-time largest air armada for its role in World War II, and a combat gallery of scale models and authentic flying machines, including a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber that's now being painstakingly restored, allows visitors to nab up-close views of the planes that made it all happen. Other exhibits detail how the men and women of the Eighth helped repel the Nazi menace, while the memorial gardens and Chapel of the Fallen Eagles salute all of those in the armed forces from WWII through today.
Appearances can be deceiving, especially when it comes to Oglethorpe - Gray Line Savannah Trolley Tours' signature vehicles. They certainly look like classic open-air street trolleys, complete with bright blue exteriors and friendly drivers ready to greet each boarding passenger. But in reality, these nostalgic vehicles are more like oversized, revved up history books on wheels.
Oglethorpe - Gray Line Savannah Trolley Tours?a locally owned TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013 award winner?takes participants into Savannah's historic past, rolling down the waterfront and through the full 2.2 square miles of the city's historic district. The drivers double as historians, and they illuminate the stories behind each point of interest. They point out old homes, such as the birthplace of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low and the home of Button Gwinnett, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and tell how Historic Colonial Park Cemetery became the final resting place for many of Savannah's earliest citizens. From start to finish, the signature Historic Savannah Trolley Tour lasts 90 minutes, and customers can prolong journeys into the past. Trolleys stop at key points throughout the city, and drivers invite passengers to hop on and off as often as they like.
When night falls, the streets explored by Oglethorpe - Gray Line Savannah Trolley Tours take on a spookier ambiance, one that is best explored during the Haunted Tour. Like the main tour, the dark adventure lasts 90 minutes, but it focuses exclusively on Savannah's haunted past and present. Entertaining guides spin tales of ghosts and famed citizens?long dead?who may still be walking Savannah's streets.
The Savannah Walks leads newcomers and locals alike through the shadowy, moss-laden squares of Savannah’s historic colonial district during informative guided tours. Each outing provides a unique twist on the city and its unmistakable charm, covering topics such as Savannah during the Civil War, historic fine homes, majestic gates and gardens, and local pubs. Tour guides all boast scholastic bona fides, including among them three published authors and three college professors. The Savannah Walks easily accommodates school groups, civic organizations, corporations, celebrities, and animals standing on each other's shoulders under an overcoat.
Stu and Donald Card didn’t always have time to meander down low-country roads, stopping to snack on barbecue and pralines and chat with the local bullfrogs. One brother was a partner at a national law firm, the other a media coordinator for NFL championships and international sporting events. But they found that something was missing from their fast-paced careers—something delicious. Deciding to make culinary pleasure their business, they founded tour company Savannah Taste Experience on a tripod of family, food, and friends. Their flagship tour showcases Savannah’s unique contributions to the culinary world—such as shrimp and grits, fried oysters, and the gourmet honeys of the Savannah Bee Company—through the town’s historic squares, while other routes travel off the beaten path to favorite local hangouts.
Mounted atop a fleet of two-wheeled city seers, Savannah Bike Tours' groups glide past scenery on two-hour guided tours. Cruising at an easy pace through Savannah's quiet side streets, broad boulevards, and picturesque historic district, city-licensed guides answer questions and expound upon architecture, botany, local history, and glory tales of the bicycle's predecessor—the gravy train with biscuit wheels. As the tour rolls by points of interest, such as the emerald landscape of Forsyth Park, stops are made to accommodate the numerous photo opportunities that present themselves. Helmets and bicycles are included in the cost of the tour, though tourers can choose to bring their own pedal-powered two-wheeler and hollowed-out coconut shell.
Daufuskie Discoveries creates opportunities to explore Daufuskie Island's lush, historic habitat with customized guided or private outings. An enclosed or open-air water taxi quickly shuttles small groups from Hilton Head or Savannah to the island's three-mile stretch of sandy beach in 30 minutes, with captains tossing out facts about Calibogue Sound and Cooper River. Customers disembark and board their conveyance of choice—golf cart, boat, or shoes—before bursting through the tree line into specific isle regions, such as Bloody Point, which houses the Bloody Point Cemetery and Bloody Point Lighthouse & Silver Dew Winery. Three-hour private cruises skirt the coastline as a guide artfully describes the sun dipping beneath marshes as a hot air balloon deflated by a stampeding herd of storks.
In 1820, an upwardly mobile carpenter named Isaiah Davenport designed a 6,800-square-foot Federal-style home to live in with his wife, children, and slaves. After his death, Davenport’s wife turned the stately brick house into a boarding house, though it later devolved into a run-down tenement—until the Historic Savannah Foundation saved the landmark when it was threatened with demolition in 1955. The organization’s award-winning preservation, their very first effort, jumpstarted an organized preservation movement that spread across the entire port city.
Today, the Davenport House Museum’s rooms are filled with antique furniture from the 1820s, acquired after careful research relying on estate inventories and detailed artist renderings of long-ago games of musical chairs. These period-accurate tables and chairs join ceramics, textiles, and books to form the museum’s collection of about 500 historical items. Behind the home, where a carriage house, garden, and privy once stood, a garden designed by renowned landscape artist Penelope Hobhouse flourishes. After walking among its flowers, visitors can drop by the museum shop to pick up jams and jellies, books about Savannah, and reproductions of early 19th-century items.