Savannah, GA

I was in Savannah over a long weekend and I can’t stop thinking about it. The layout of this city, America’s first planned city, is superb for getting around town quickly – especially on a bike. (It was a little rough on the cobblestones but next time I might take a wide, knobby-tread bike instead of my old road bike.)

The downtown area is divided into wards – each intended to be its own self-sustaining urban neighborhood.  The ward was cut into 8 blocks, surrounding a central public square. Today, the square serves as a roundabout making the city bike and pedestrian friendly while keeping stop signs and lights to a minimum. If you lived and worked downtown there would be no need for a car. Forsyth Park lies at the southern end of downtown. I caught a rugby match, had a few beers (open container laws) and read a book while people were playing ultimate frisbee, tennis and basketball.

The main tourist spots are crowded but once you find the way around the squares and onto side streets it quiets down, leaving time to coast and building-watch. I’ve only been in the fall and spring but I can’t imagine it being too hot during the summer because huge gnarled oaks lining the streets and in covering the squares.

*map from savannahmeetings.com

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