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article imagePhoto Essay: Survey says, 'You can't have a bad time in Savannah' Special

By Kay Mathews     Aug 3, 2013 in Travel
Savannah - Condé Nast Traveler announced the winners of its Readers' Choice Awards and Savannah, Georgia was rated one of the "friendliest" cities in the United States. One reader noted that, simply put, "you can't have a bad time in Savannah."
This is the 25th year Condé Nast Traveler has conducted its readers' choice survey and "a record 46,476 readers participated." Readers are asked to rank the Top 10 in a number of areas including cities, resorts, cruises, airlines and hotels.
The 2012 Readers' Choice Awards winners were just announced and Savannah, Georgia took the No. 3 spot in "The Friendliest Cities in the U.S." category.
When it comes to "friendliness," according to Condé Nast Traveler, "Southern hospitality shines on that front—in the Top 10, all but three of the cities are in the South." Charleston, South Carolina was ranked No. 1 followed by Galena, Illinois at No. 2, Savannah at No. 3, Asheville, North Carolina at No. 4, and Austin, Texas at No. 5. The remaining cities on the list are Jackson, Mississippi, Natchez, Mississippi, Telluride, Colorado, Sonoma, California, and Branson, Missouri came in at No. 10.
In terms of Savannah, the oldest city in Georgia, one visitor told Condé Nast Traveler, “you can’t have a bad time in Savannah.” Southern hospitality truly does shine in this "hostess city of the south."
The Condé Nast Traveler article notes that there are “lovely places to stay and eat” in Savannah. Many visitors choose to stay and eat in the downtown historic district where they will find friendly folks in restaurants and other businesses there to greet them. Some begin their journey at the Riverfront right along the Savannah River. River Street is considered a "must see destination," and it is place where visitors can catch a ride on the Savannah River Queen or Georgia Queen cruise boats.
A view of the Riverfront area looking east down River Street with Savannah River Queen and Georgia Q...
A view of the Riverfront area looking east down River Street with Savannah River Queen and Georgia Queen riverboats and Savannah River seen on the left. Savannah, Georgia.
A large number of restaurants, hotels, and gift shops are located on River Street. One excellent place to dine is Tubby's Seafood above River Street. The second-story location gives diners a very nice view of the river combined with the opportunity to eat great food.
Tubby s Seafood on River Street in Savannah  Georgia.
Tubby's Seafood on River Street in Savannah, Georgia.
I recommend Tubby's Fish Fry, which is "a heap of delicious goodness, fried perfectly in tubby's trans-fat free oil. includes shrimp, oysters, scallops and fish fingers."
Tubby s Fish Fry seafood dinner.  Savannah  Georgia.
Tubby's Fish Fry seafood dinner. Savannah, Georgia.
Of course, many restaurants and hotels are located south of River Street. To make your way from River Street south to Bay Street, it is often necessary to walk up age-old brick stairways or cross beautiful pedestrian bridges like the one seen below.
A bridge from River Street to Bay Street in historic downtown Savannah  Georgia.
A bridge from River Street to Bay Street in historic downtown Savannah, Georgia.
One of the restaurants south of River Street is housed within Savannah's only 18th century mansion. According to its website, "The Olde Pink House is one of Savannah's most popular restaurants, offering new southern cuisine in a sophisticated, yet casual setting." Keep in mind, advance reservations are highly recommended.
The Olde Pink House in Savannah  Georgia.
The Olde Pink House in Savannah, Georgia.
One restaurant that remains popular, despite the recent woes that Paula Deen finds herself in, is The Lady & Sons. Hungry patrons often gather around the buffet while others choose to order off of the menu.
Buffet at The Lady & Sons in Savannah  Georgia.
Buffet at The Lady & Sons in Savannah, Georgia.
One tasty starter item on the menu is Paula’s Original Black Pepper Shrimp, which consists of "Fresh Georgia shrimp sautéed in butter, crushed black and red pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. Served with toast points."
Paula’s Original Black Pepper Shrimp at The Lady & Sons in Savannah  Georgia.
Paula’s Original Black Pepper Shrimp at The Lady & Sons in Savannah, Georgia.
It is said that that no visit to Savannah is complete without a sightseeing tour by horse-drawn carriage. The friendly, licensed, and well-informed tour guides give visitors many insights into the history, architecture, and ghosts of Savannah. Carriage Tours of Savannah is one of the company's offering horse-drawn carriage tours and they can be found at the City Market in the heart of historic downtown Savannah.
Horse-drawn carriage rides are available in Savannah  Georgia.
Horse-drawn carriage rides are available in Savannah, Georgia.
When a horse-drawn carriage ride ends, it is not uncommon for folks to offset summertime heat with a cold ice cream cone at Leopold's Ice Cream. Don't be put off should you see a line in front of the shop. It always moves very quickly and the brief wait is worth it. The owners of, and staff at, Leopold's make you feel right at home.
Line at Leopold s Ice Cream in Savannah  Georgia.
Line at Leopold's Ice Cream in Savannah, Georgia.
From time to time, the weather is not as agreeable as the friendly people in Savannah. Even so, for those heading to their cars that may be in parking garages, that makes for an opportunity to see the gilded dome on top of Savannah City Hall and the Talmadge Memorial Bridge from a different viewpoint. According to the Savannah Morning News, "The dome was first gilded in 1987 when then Mayor John Rousakis described it as 'a jewel on top of a lovely place called Savannah.'" And the cable-stayed Talmadge Memorial Bridge, completed in November, 1990, replaced a cantilever truss bridge that was built in 1953.
Savannah City Hall s gilded dome and  in the distance  a section of the Talmadge Memorial Bridge.  S...
Savannah City Hall's gilded dome and, in the distance, a section of the Talmadge Memorial Bridge. Savannah, Georgia.
The top levels of downtown parking garages are excellent spots from which to view the City of Savannah - one of the friendliest cities in the United States. Without doubt, however, it is when you walk on the charming streets and meet so many friendly people that you come to know why Savannah ranked No. 3, and those who do visit will surely think - It should be No. 1 because it's true...you can't have a bad time in Savannah!
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