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.
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.
Parked on a high ledge next to a bust of Ronald Reagan wearing a party hat, a miniature DeLorean patrols The Wormhole, a sit-down coffee shop that doles out caffeine and pop-culture kitsch in equal doses. For children of the 1980s, the cafe delivers a "wormhole" experience, surrounding them in emblems of an era: Nintendo games (available for play), ET collectibles, plush gremlins, and Star Wars doodads. The menu also smacks of the 80s, although it frequently changes to accommodate seasonal tastes. In recent times, baristas have fused espresso with cocoa puffs, and dished out donuts encrusted with Fruity Pebbles. Select beverages come with a Nilla wafer-chaser. As for edibles, Fritz Pastries supplies homemade tarts (a gourmet variation of the kind that come in silver foil) and other handheld treats.
Island Miniature Golf and Games entices guests with a full mini-golf course and multiperson batting cage. Send golf balls along the winding 18-hole course, which is divided by red brick and pale stone enclosures and a pond spouting three fountains. Batters can smack oncoming baseballs within the large, square batting cage, which traps outbound home runs inside its enclosed walls and netted roof. One token prods one of the three pitching machines to lob 14 balls and one pie toward the batsperson.
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