Last week I flew to the US for work. I went to a city I've never been before: Savannah, Georgia. With it's historic and well-preserved city centre (Historic District), a very warm climate (25 Celsius in November) and hospitable locals, it deserves well the title of "hostess city of the south". There are plenty of brickwork buildings and the most affluent houses are in Regency and Greek Revival styles (thank you Wikipedia!). Most residential houses have two stories, with a flight of stairs going from the sidewalk to the first floor. The neighbourhoods feel relaxed and peaceful, with dog owners strolling around and the occasional jogger passing by.
A main characteristic of the city is the abundance of trees and parks in the centre. The trees are majestic evergreen oaks that grow tall on the sides of many streets and often create complete arches over the roads.
The branches are big and twisted, and often draped with Spanish moss. Their shade must be a relief for the locals in the hot and humid summers (expect 32 Celsius and 90% humidity in July and August). However, the hanging moss gives the trees a spooky, ghostly feeling, especially around Halloween time.
If you drive only 30 minutes to the east, you hit Tybee Island, a sandy costal island which is gaining increasing popularity in America. Savannah is more and more often the set of Hollywood movies (they were shooting one when I was there) and the costal area is also used for the beach scenes. It's easy to understand why. The expansive sandy beaches lined by dunes are beautiful and unspoiled. The locals seem to enjoy them too ;)
The South in general, and Savannah in particular, deserve a visit. A good combination is Savannah (Georgia) + Charleston (South Carolina). It's only a 2 hours drive. Maybe next time...