Updated: Sep 5
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A day is hardly long enough to spend exploring a new area, but sometimes a day is all you have. If you find yourself on a long road trip and need somewhere to stop, the quaint coastal city of Savannah, Georgia is a pretty good choice. For fans of history and the paranormal, it makes for a phenomenal vacation spot. Sure, you should come back for longer sometime, but for your one day excursion, here's what you can squeeze in.
Eat at the Moon River Brewing Company
The Moon River Brewing Company has worn many hats in its time. First, it was a hotel, then a post office, and in the 1900's, it was a printing press and store. In 1999, it finally became a brewing company as it's known today. Along with a sizable selection of original and local beer, several menu items are impressive as well. I recommend a burger and fries or the low country crab melt.
Like many places in Savannah, the brewery has a haunting reputation. Area ghost tours stop in the basement to see Toby, a spirit who's known to push staff. On the upper floor, there's said to be the ghost of a woman who died in the building after being pushed down the stairs. You can see this stairwell while you dine at the restaurant.
Walk Along the Historic District and Riverside
River Street offers one of the most beautiful views in Savannah. The historic district is full of antique shops, restaurants, and old cotton warehouses. One of these warehouses has been transferred into the Cotton Sail Hotel, which offers amazing views from a rooftop lounge. Scenic riverboat tours allow visitors to sail along the Savannah River, and 22 park squares leave you fully immersed in nature.
Visit the Kehoe House
In 1892, Ireland businessman William Kehoe commissioned the Kehoe House for him and his family. He and his wife, Anne Flood, had 10 children upon moving in. Though it's said that two of the children died in the home, it was later proven false. Curiously, house guests claim they hear the sounds of children playing. It's unknown why the house is said to be haunted, but the best way to find out is by staying there yourself.
Stroll Through the Colonial Park Cemetery
A cemetery doesn't seem like a fun vacation spot, but its beauty and storied past warrant a quick stroll. Almost 700 people died in Savannah in 1820 from the Yellow Fever, an illness that sometimes caused sudden death. Due to the volume of deaths, people were thrown in mass graves, and some were even buried alive. Tons of tombstones are vandalized, which was likely caused by Sherman's Union Army during the Civil War.
Marvel at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Steering away from the haunted stuff for just a moment, this Roman Catholic Church was built after the denomination was banned after the American Revolution. The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist was built in 1873 and rebuilt after it was destroyed in a 1898 fire. A visit to the church will feel spiritual to members of the Catholic community. Others will appreciate the agriculture and beauty of the structure.
Tour the Old Sorrel-Weed House
Another haunted hot spot, the Old Sorrel-Weed House's story began with the owner, Francis Sorrel. According to history, Sorrel cheated on his wife Matilda with a slave named Molly. Following the affair, both Matilda and Molly committed suicide in the house. However, the details of this story are a little murky. One tale states the suicides took place in the house next door, and another says that Molly never existed. A third theory is that Molly was actually murdered. It's a bit confusing, but the house is still said to host paranormal activity.
Enjoy the Beauty of Forsyth Park
A walk through the 30 acres of Forsyth Park will have you marveling at Southern Live Oak trees and the gorgeous Forsyth Park Fountain, which has been featured in movies such as "The Longest Yard" and "Forrest Gump." Each St. Patrick's Day, the fountain's water turns green to represent the Irish influence in Savannah. You'll also get a taste of history with a Confederate memorial statue and a Spanish-American War memorial called The Hiker.
Above, I recommended the Cotton Sail Hotel, which is housed in an abandoned Cotton Warehouse, and the Kehoe House for fans of the paranormal. Another hotel in a great walking area is the Hampton Inn located in the historic district.
I hope this list wasn't too overwhelming to accomplish in one day. Whether it was or wasn't, though, I still recommend you go back in the future and learn more about the history - and the haunted places - Savannah is known for.