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.
For more than 40 years, British expats Wally and Doris welcomed guests into Wally’s Sixpence in Savannah, where Wally would talk their ears off and Doris would feed them with lunch she’d prepared in her home kitchen. In 1999, two men who considered Wally’s their favorite watering hole took it over. They renamed it Six Pence Pub, renovated the interior, and converted the menu to a full array of English and American comfort food. The success of bread bowls brimming with Guinness-stout-marinated beef tips and classic reuben sandwiches has enabled the duo to launch another two locations. Although each pub has its own menu, they all pay homage to the Queen’s country with steaming shepherd’s pies, bangers and mash, and more than a dozen sandwiches. On-tap brews, bourbon, or single malt scotches help evenings pass more enjoyably than a staring contest with a Kit-Kat clock.
Each location’s atmosphere is unique: in Savannah, diners can lounge among plants on the patio or perch at a glossy wood bar guarded by unfurled British flags. In Fort Mill, guests know they’re at the right place when they see the unmistakable cherry red of a British telephone booth outside.
The YMCA of Coastal Georgia promotes healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility through a variety of fitness and wellness classes. Membership includes access to gymnasiums, pools, strength and cardio equipment, and group exercise classes such as Contoured Bodies at the Effingham branch, in which simple deep-muscle movements tone the body to improve posture, balance, flexibility, and the likelihood of causing nearby coworkers to sit up straighter in their chairs. Various locations host traditional yoga and flexibility-technique classes, and Zumba classes fuse energetic music with calorie-burning dance moves for a lively workout experience. Groupon buyers also receive $25 to use toward classes, programs, and benefits not included in the monthly membership, such as a 30-minute massage from a licensed massage therapist ($25 for members), or a fall youth soccer session ($50+ for members) that teaches good sportsmanship, the value of exercise, and the importance of being able to manipulate a large object with one's forehead.
Alonzo Boschulte remembers his own stage fright when he guides beginning students onto the dance floor. With years of training, he grew from an amateur to a certified ballroom teacher and professional competitor registered with the National Dance Council. At Savannah Ballroom Dancing, he strives to echo this journey by transforming total novices into confident twirlers.
Lessons in more than 15 varieties of Latin and ballroom dance occupy the school's floor space. With pupils ranging in age from 6 to older than 80, the instructors stress the importance of mixing private, group, and practice classes to expose everyone to different dance scenarios. They also laud the fitness benefits of learning to dance, which hones one's sense of rhythm and muscular strength more safely than being at the bottom of a vertical conga line.
A proud host of several PGA events, Henderson Golf Club presents a scenic and challenging course entwined with lush countryside and running streams. A traditional southern course, the 6,700-yard family of fairways is populated by an abundance of old-growth oak, pine, magnolia, and money trees, deliberately placed to reward straight shooting. Open and scenic, the front nine plays like a traditional links course, and the back nine takes full advantage of the tree-lined setting to intimidate claustrophobic golfers. Rife with wildlife, the course will provide you with an audience of native deer, bald eagles, and the reclusive surviving cast members of The Dukes of Hazzard. The included golf cart will help players travel from tee to tee with limited wear on their ostentatious golf trousers, and the included range balls will help rusty orb whackers find their groove before hitting the fairways.
Crystal and Johnny Mindedahl host riders of all ages and abilities on Rocking M Ranch’s 60 acres of rolling pastures, beyond which lie miles of historical forests and trails. The ranch takes extra care to comfort its horses, and neighs of contentment echo through the 14-stall barn and across the competition-sized arena where students can refine their horsemanship throughout the year. Instructors tailor each lesson to accommodate individual goals, helping beginners gain comfort and advanced students work toward competitions with tutorials in grooming, safety, saddling, and horse anatomy. In addition to lessons, Rocking M Ranch regularly hosts day camps for children and teens. These camps pique kids’ interests with riding lessons, games, and traditional farm activities, such as playing with pet goats and churning butter from an original Nintendo.