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There is an old saying about having sand in your shoes, and therefore, becoming emotionally linked to a place. Savannah, Georgia is that type of travel destination.
It is a place that grabs you emotionally with its moss-draped oaks, lining the Savannah historic district and antebellum mansions that hint of drama from another time. It is the sense that this is a place where history was made, lives were lost in dramatic fashion, yet dreams were fulfilled just as spectacularly.
Savannah is steeped in history. It is a fact embedded in every single one of Savannah's squares that still exist today. The city's wards were plotted in a grid pattern, and each grid was anchored by a square that was then surrounded by blocks dedicated to residential housing and civic blocks for churches and other needs. There are 22 of these squares near the Savannah historic district. Each one commemorates a historic event or person and is decorated with plaques, statues, and other memorabilia to explain the event. History lessons come alive in these squares that also serve as green spaces and meeting places for locals and visitors.
If you wish to experience the depth of Savannah's place in history, there is no better way than to take walking tours of the cemeteries. Bonaventure Cemetery figured prominently in the 1997 film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. However, it is Savannahs houses that provide major clues to the stories behind the city's development. Many of these properties have become Savannah vacation homes after preservation-guided renovations, creating opportunities for guests to observe history up close.
The plan laid out by General James Oglethorpe for the city ensured that Savannah would grow differently from other cities. There was no push to build townhouses as in-town residences for the wealthy because the mansions and large houses were usually the primary and only family homes. Detached and independent housing was the trend for Savannah vacation homes in the earlier times.
Townhouse developments typically refer to two or more units clustered together as attached or semi-detached residents. A townhouse is a multi-level unit with a small footprint, but the larger space capacity comes from being built upwards with two or more levels. This is a useful design where buildable land is limited. There is scant evidence that Savannah ever needed stringent land planning to accommodate the growing population. Squares and wards were added as the population grew. More than likely, the townhouses available as Savannah vacation homes today were developed more recently as the demographics changed.
The townhome design requires less square footage in terms of land, so it is conceivable that this became the preferred housing style as the Savannah historic district grew quickly. Some of these developments sprouted beside historic Savannah rentals and the exteriors were designed to complement the surroundings to remain true to neighborhood aesthetics.
Staying in a townhome rental means that you get enough space even for larger groups. The interiors usually define each level according to the purpose. One floor may be dedicated to living and entertainment spaces, and the next floor may be the designated dining area with a full kitchen in the background. Bedrooms occupy the higher floors, which is the preferred layout for those concerned with privacy and quiet.
Views from the townhouses' higher floors can be quite majestic compared to single-story historic Savannah rentals. Much of the scenery from the higher vantage point will include green spaces such as Forsyth Park and its walking paths and fountain if your unit happens to face toward the Victorian historic district. Balconies are not common townhome features, but opening the windows will suffice to bring in the balmy breezes. Savannah's nighttime views can be quite dramatic without the neon distraction common in more metropolitan areas. If you have a view of the Savannah River, watch for the lights from fishing boats and river barges.
When visiting the city, it is likely that you would be faced with parking issues, especially with historic Savannah rentals. The downtown area can become particularly congested especially when special events such as the Savannah Film Festival or the annual Jazz Festival are scheduled. Travelers work around this issue by choosing in-town accommodations that provide easy access to shopping and entertainment venues. Some townhome developments were built with easy access in mind so that residents and guests can walk to restaurants, parks, and shops.
Additionally, the terraced floor plan makes it easy to use the ground level for parking. Some townhouse units squeeze in the much-needed parking space by using at least part of the first level for it. Make sure to inquire about this feature if you plan to have your own or a rental vehicle during your stay.
Your townhome rental may not be a historic Savannah vacation home, but you can be sure that it was designed to provide the modern conveniences that make it worthy to be your home away from home. Some of these properties are stocked with basic supplies to make sure your vacation starts off on a relaxing note instead of a hectic trip to the store. This is typical Savannah hospitality and graciousness: Always put guests' comfort ahead of everything else. It is no wonder that travelers end up with the proverbial sand in their shoes.