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.
Each of YMCA of Coastal Georgia's branches remains true to its lasting mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages. Staff members uphold the YMCA’s core values of honesty, caring, responsibility, and respect as they invest in their community’s children and strengthen family bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly. They pump up adult fitness regimens with aquatic fitness and boot-camp classes, basketball courts, and personal-training sessions. They’ve also filled their fitness centers with free weights, cardio equipment, and weight machines. When they’re not helping adults trim down waistlines during Brazilian-jujitsu, cycling, and aerobics classes, staff members are getting back in touch with their inner children. They stimulate imagination, mental development, and growth as they lead children’s day camps, after-school programs, and dance classes.
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.
The turrets of Star Castle climb high above Mall Boulevard, its drawbridge lowered to lead visitors into to a grand hall filled with treasure and adventure. Inside the 28,000-square-foot entertainment stronghold, children glide across a solid-wood skating surface, rolling around to top-40 hits and classic tunes spun by a resident DJ. Coats of arms and archways surround the rink and lead to other fun-filled chambers, including a video arcade where guests can test their skills on games both nostalgic and new and redeem tickets for prizes or sew them into giant ticket sweaters. As if that wasn't enough, the castle also contains a 4,000-square-foot laser-tag arena, where future knights engage in simulated battles beset by black lights and fog, all under the supervision of an arena attendant and any friends or family members who wish to watch from the spectator room.
Pines, magnolias, and centuries-old oak trees rise above the kempt grounds of Henderson Golf Club’s 18-hole, par 71 course, forming a scenic wreath around a club that embodies traditional Southern charm. Throughout the 6,700-yard course, spanish moss dangles from branches over thickets of native grasses, ponds, streams, and other wetland features that golfers traverse with the help of wooden footbridges or flotillas of buoyant golf bags. Players have more lenience to hone their swings through an open, links-inspired front nine before reining in their tee shots for the less-forgiving, tree-lined fairways of the second act. After rounds, golfers can head to Grille 19 and enjoy a sandwich or a burger from a brick-lined, pond-front patio or the cozy breakfast nook they built inside their driver's headcover.