A Life to Live
Historic River Street, paved with 200-year-old cobblestones, runs along the length of the Savannah River. Once lined with warehouses holding King Cotton, the neighborhood never fully recovered from the the yellow-fever epidemic and subsequent quarantine of 1818. Abandoned for over a century, it was rediscovered in the 1970s by local landowners and urban planners determined to revive the history and the glory of old River Street.
Savannah also boasts numerous other cobblestone streets such as Jones and Bay Street. All of these beautiful cobblestone streets have been around since the mid 1700’s. Once sandy or wooden, the cobble streets resulted from abundant sources of river cobble and quarried stone being easily available through shipping to the city’s port. Today’s the cobblestones are used for pavement and construction along River Street as well as around Savannah. You can see the beauty and magic of the cobblestones streets and buildings with many walking tours including the famous Cobblestone Tours that put an interesting touch on the city’s history.
In June of 1977, at a cost of $7 million, a new waterfront was unveiled for the city of Savannah. Some 80,000 square feet of empty abandoned warehouse space was transformed in to a colorful array of shops, restaurants and art galleries.
The urban-renewal project stabilized the downtown and revitalized the Historic District. Since then, the area has developed into a popular destination for locals and tourists, alike. Today more than 70 businesses, shops and restaurants, call River Street home. Casual and upscale restaurants sit alongside quaint specialty shops and art galleries.
But there is more to do here than just shop and eat. Be sure to talk a leisurely stroll along the lovely landscaped river walk that runs between River Street and the Savannah River, where you’ll find Savannah’s Waving Girl and the Olympic Cauldron monument. Then explore the bluffs along the river on the old passageway of alleys, cobblestone walkways, and bridges known as Factors Walk.