5 Best Photo Opportunities in Savannah
Lee Van Grack
Most Romantic Spot
Visitors with romance on their mind will be hard pressed to find a more beautifully romantic photo opportunity than Forsyth Park and its famous fountain. Installed in 1858, the Forsyth Park Fountain is a two-tiered, cast-iron fountain which has become one of the best photo ops in Savannah. In March, the fountain's water is dyed green to kick off Savannah's St. Patrick's Day celebration. While some might find its beauty diminished by this yearly makeover, both the fountain and its St. Patrick's Day finery are treasured parts of Savannah tradition. When the water runs clear, it is an unforgettable place to "pop the question," and early spring, when the azaleas are in bloom and all of Savannah is in its glory, is a wonderful time to capture the graceful curves of the fountain.
Forsyth Park, Bull Street corridor, Savannah, Georgia 31401; 912-651-2128
If you're keen on capturing the peacefulness and eeriness of a cemetery in Savannah, the best photo can be taken in Bonaventure Cemetery. Set amidst majestic live oak trees on a scenic bluff above the Wilmington River, this final resting place is a quirky favorite of visitors and photographers alike. Prominently featured in John Berendt's book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and the subsequent film adaptation directed by Clint Eastwood, Bonaventure Cemetery is the final resting place of several notable Savannahians, including prolific singer/songwriter Johnny Mercer, who penned, among hundreds of other songs, Moon River. Although Johnny Mercer never lived there, the role of Mercer House in both the book and movie of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil has made Johnny's grave a favorite, although macabre, spot for photos. I wouldn't recommend trying to take one at midnight, though, especially if you've seen the movie.
Bonaventure Cemetery, 330 Bonaventure Rd, Savannah, GA 31403; 912-651-6843; Daily 8AM-5PM
Mercer Williams House Museum, 429 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401; 912 -236-6352, 877-430-6352; Mon-Sat 10:30AM-3:30PM, Sun 12:30-4:00PM.
If fun family photos are more your style, Tybee Island, considered "Savannah's Beach," may be the place for you. Just 18 miles from the heart of Savannah, Tybee offers miles of gorgeous beaches for sand castle building and fun in the surf, as well as historical sites like the Tybee Island Light Station. Here you can climb the 178 steps to the top where you find a nine-foot-tall, First Order Fresnel lens and amazing vistas of the barrier island. The lighthouse is a great spot for some of the best photo ops near Savannah and is a place your whole family is sure to enjoy.
Tybee Island Light Station, 30 Meddin Ave, Tybee Island, GA 31328; 912-786-5801;
Wed-Mon 9AM-5:30PM; Adults $7, Senior (62+) $5, Children (6-17) $5, Children under 5 free, Military (with ID) $5,
For those in search of scenic photos, Highway 80 from Savannah to Tybee Island offers some of the most breathtaking views around. The drive takes you past marshes that fill with water at high tide, but change drastically in appearance as the tide flows out. Suddenly areas that were under water are now filled with birds searching for a meal in the pluff mud, the dark, soft mud of the marshes that has its own particular smell well known in the Low Country. As you cross the bridge over Lazaretto Creek, you can see boats of all kinds, including shrimp boats, a staple at the Lazaretto Creek Marina. Although you aren't allowed to stop on the bridge to take photographs, you can drive to the marina for some spectacular scenes, and while you're there, you can book a dolphin tour or sunset cruise. If you're there at the start of the fishing or shrimping season, you may be fortunate enough to view the ritual of "The Blessing of the Fleet."
Lazaretto Creek Marina & Captain Mike's Dolphin Tours, 1 Old Highway 80, Tybee Island, GA 31328; 912-786-5848, 800-242-0166; Tickets $8-18
For classic photo opportunities, Savannah has no short supply. Just take a tour of the historic downtown district of the "Hostess City of the South." Your photo album wouldn't be complete without pictures of The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Factor's Walk and the Cotton Exchange, the Waving Girl Statue and the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts of America. Likewise, photos of historic buildings like the 17 Hundred 90 Inn and Restaurant are must-haves, as are snapshots of the surrounding landscape. Live oaks form natural arches over the downtown streets, while pink azaleas bloom in early spring and resurrection moss covers trees in vibrant green. And don't forget River Street, which is composed of cobblestones once used as ballasts in ships coming from Europe and lined with old metal staircases leading down to the river. In Savannah, the best photo is sometimes the simplest, like water lapping at battered stone.
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, 222 E. Harris St, Savannah, GA 31401; 912-233-4709
Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, 10 E. Oglethorpe Ave, Savannah, Georgia 31401; 912- 233-4501; Mon-Sat 10AM-4PM, Sun 11AM-4PM, closed Wed Nov-Feb; Adults 21 & older $8, Registered Girl Scout adults $7, Students (ages 6-20) $7, Girl Scouts (ages 6-18) $6, Family (up to 2 adults and 4 children) $25, Children (5 and under) free
17 Hundred 90 Inn and Restaurant, 307 East President St, Savannah, GA 31401; 912-236-7122; Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30AM-3PM, Dinner 6PM-10PM, Lounge Sat-Sun 12PM-midnight
If you enjoy travel and photography, Savannah is the place to be, as it's one of the most beautiful and photogenic cities in the US, maybe even the world. You'll want to take photos of every place in the city you visit, so it's a good idea to bring an extra image card for your camera. Have a great time, y'all!
- Overview: Savannah Travel Guide
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