This city has been one of my favorite spots so far, although there wasn’t a lot of training during our stay; we still had a lot of fun. I say there wasn’t a lot of training because Savannah doesn’t have many BJJ gyms. I mainly trained at Coastal Combatives, which has a small matt room at a YMCA. While the facility wasn’t very large, the classes were awesome! There were always 10-14 students at every class I attended, and the Professor was extremely knowledgeable and training there was quite enjoyable. I was also able to train on Fort Stewart, a US Army base that is fairly close to Savannah, as I always try to at least stop in when I’m close to a base.
Now, lets get into why I enjoyed Savannah so much. First off, the downtown area is absolutely beautiful. A well populated place, bustling with movement like any other fairly large city, but the southern charm is what will draw your attention. We spent quite a bit of time Geocaching around the city, which has over 240 spots to find. If you don’t know what Geocaching is, its kind of like a scavenger hunt where you get coordinates and hints to find hidden boxes that are scattered throughout the city. Inside the boxes are filled with small trinkets and knick-knacks. The idea is to take something from the box, and place something of your own in return, sign your name on a list, then move on to the next. My kids really enjoy this type of activity, and some of the spots are located at historical markers such as the Girl Scout Museum.
Another thing we did was go to Tybee Island, a beach town about a 25-30 minute drive from Savannah. There, we were able to enjoy the Irish Heritage Festival, which consisted of a huge parade, lots of booths selling different things, and of course, copious amounts of beer! We left before St. Patrick’s Day, but from what I hear, it is a pretty amazing place to be for that particular holiday and was told the city was expecting over 3 million people to be in attendance for the parade.
I don’t drink alcohol, but I do enjoy food, especially seafood. While in Tybee Island, I found my new favorite seafood restaurant, The Crab Shack. This is not to be confused with the national chain restaurant, The Crab Shack is not just a place to eat, it is truly an experience all by itself. They have ponds where you can see live alligators and even feed them, along with a large room by the gift shop with probably 30 different types of birds. Aside from that, the place is like a big party! There is a large music ensemble that moves throughout the restaurant playing music and keeping the party going. The food, if you order a platter like I did, comes out in a large tray with shrimp, crawfish, crab legs, mussels, sausage, potatoes, and corn, all flavored with Cajon seasoning and is absolutely delicious. The best way I can describe the atmosphere there is Mardis Gras with food and Georgia weather.
I highly advise checking out Savannah on your travels, even if the training is limited; the city is a southern beauty with tons of charm.