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article imagePhoto Essay: Romance and writers await visitors to Savannah Special

By Kay Mathews     Feb 12, 2013 in Travel
Savannah - Southern Living magazine lists the City of Savannah as one of "7 Sinfully Romantic Southern Escapes," and the Savannah Book Festival kicks-off on Valentine's Day.
When searching for a special romantic destination for you and your sweetheart, Southern Living magazine says "look to Savannah, Georgia."
"Cozy inns and local-food restaurants flourish around the tree-shaded historic district," states Southern Living.
Outside the inns, and a nice way spend time with your sweetheart and walk-off the scrumptious calories associated with local restaurants, are the squares located in the Historic District of downtown Savannah.
According to, "The original plan of the city included 24 squares, of which only six were built originally by James Oglethorpe. Four in 1733 and two in 1736. They were, in chronological order, Johnson Square, Wright Square, Ellis Square, Telfair Square, Oglethorpe Square and Reynolds Square." Three of those original squares are featured below.
Johnson Square, which was named after Governor Robert Johnson who was the Governor of what is now South Carolina, has an obelisk in the center of it dedicated to Revolutionary War hero Nathanial Greene.
Johnson Square.  Savannah  Ga.
Johnson Square. Savannah, Ga.
Wright Square, which was originally called Percival Square in honor of the "Right Honorable John, Lord Viscount Percival, Earl of Egmont, the Georgia Trust President," is also the grave site of Yamacraw Chief Tomo-Chi-Chi. A memorial to Chief Tomo-Chi-Chi was erected at the southeast corner of Wright Square, "so that succeeding generations would not forget the man to whom the city owed its early safety and successes."
Wright Square.  Savannah  Ga.
Wright Square. Savannah, Ga.
Oglethorpe Square is one of two that "were laid out when James Oglethorpe returned from England in 1742," states "This was the final square of the six that he laid out during the time that he resided in the colony."
Oglethorpe Square - named for the founder of Savannah  James Oglethorpe.  Savannah  Ga.
Oglethorpe Square - named for the founder of Savannah, James Oglethorpe. Savannah, Ga.
For those who will be in romantic Savannah for Valentine's Day on February 14, and staying through Presidents Day weekend, strolls in the charming city may take them to the Savannah Book Festival. The 6th Annual Savannah Book Festival will be held Feb. 14 - 17.
And, as it happens, a representative of Southern Living magazine will participate in the festival. Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, a designer and an editor for Southern Living, is among the more than 40 authors who are featured at the 2013 Savannah Book Festival.
Five Pulitzer Prize winning writers will be at the festival, including Dave Barry, author of Insane City; Leonard Pitts, Jr., author of Freeman; and, Garry Wills, author of Why Priests? A Failed Tradition. Fans of "The Colbert Report" may be familiar with Wills because he was the guest on the Feb. 11 episode. Former Vice President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore will also be at the Savannah Book Festival where he will discuss his book, The Future, "which is about political, economic and environmental change."
Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize and Pulitzer Prize will be accompanied by legendary rock star Gregg Allman who will sign copies of his book My Cross to Bear, "the story of the Allman Brothers Band as told by someone who lived it."
Other familiar names include David Baldacci, James Patterson, and Hoda Kotb as well as local favorites like Bobby Deen and Griff and Cheryl Day, owners of Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah and authors of Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook.
Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook as featured at Back in the Day Bakery.  Savannah  Ga.
Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook as featured at Back in the Day Bakery. Savannah, Ga. reports that "C-SPAN’s cameras will be rolling" on Saturday, Feb. 16. C-SPAN’s Doug Hemming was quoted as saying, “Savannah has really emerged in the last two years as one of the top book festivals in the country. The caliber of nonfiction authors that Savannah is going to have this year is as strong as any festival we cover.”
As Savannah Book Festival writes, there will be a "full day of author presentations that are free and open to the public, taking place in and around Telfair Square on Saturday, February 16." The 2013 Official Schedule can be found here [PDF].
Digital Journal will be on hand to cover the Savannah Book Festival, which is likely to be a mecca for romantics and bibliophiles alike.
More about Savannah, Savannah Book Festival, Romance, Valentine's day, garry wills
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