Savannah definitely has it all when it comes to places in which to live. You can have your choice of surrounding yourself with history, stepping back into small-town America, enjoying the security and luxury of a gated community or lazing the day away in a laid-back cottage at the beach. There’s all that and more.
A Quick Look at Our Neighborhoods
Many residents of the 2.5-square-mile Historic Landmark District can claim the city’s verdant squares as their front yards. Although the north end of the District is commercial in character, numerous blocks of the area are solidly residential. Historic homes in need of restoration are still available. Newcomers will also find a good selection of restored homes, the result of 50 years of preservation efforts, and new construction in the form of townhouse condominiums crafted to blend into the historic atmosphere of the District.
Adjacent to the Historic District, this first southward expansion of the city is attracting more and more folks interested in restoring two- and three-story frame houses in need of repair. The area becomes more popular in this regard as the number of restorable houses in the Historic District shrinks.
Savannah’s first suburb, laid out in 1910, is a mixture of prestigious four- and five-bedroom mansions and quaint, craftsman-style bungalows situated on tree-lined streets. The Ardsley Park area — located in Midtown — has become one of the city’s “hottest” neighborhoods, favored by young professionals and families.
This secluded neighborhood in eastside Savannah is similar to Ardsley Park in character, but it’s considerably smaller and hasn’t been “discovered” to the extent that its “big brother” to the southwest has.
Located just east of Savannah’s city limits, Thunderbolt is an historic maritime town and the site of docks used by shrimp fishermen. Originally incorporated as Warsaw in 1856, Thunderbolt owes its current name to the legend of a lightning strike that created a freshwater spring along the Wilmington River bluff. A number of luxury condominium developments with breathtaking views have sprung up along the riverfront.
Home buyers in search of a less-historic but easy-going setting might consider the islands east and southeast of downtown Savannah. One of these, Tybee, is a barrier island fronting on the Atlantic Ocean. The others are separated from the mainland by rivers or tidal creeks, but all of the islands exude the “getting-away-from-it-all” feeling that comes when you cross a stretch of tranquil marshland on your way home from work or school.
Oatland Island Wildlife Center’s environmental education facility operated by the Savannah-Chatham County public school system takes up much of heavily wooded Oatland. The remainder of the island is residential.
Although near to commercial activity, Talahi conveys the feel of countryside living. Many of the homes there sit on large tracts bordered by waterways.
While for the most part residential, Whitemarsh offers islanders opportunities for shopping at several retail centers and is the home of an elementary school, a middle school, a high school and the area’s police substation.
The largest of the several inshore islands east of Savannah, this area is mainly residential in nature and is dotted with heavily forested neighborhoods, parks and recreational facilities. The island’s business district is the site of numerous restaurants, two supermarkets and a variety of retail stores.
Located 18 miles from Savannah, this small seaside island is graced by a wide, 3-mile long beach that draws sun lovers and water-sports enthusiasts from throughout Georgia and the rest of the Southeast. While Tybee is a resort replete with a full complement of restaurants, modern hotels and motels, luxurious condominiums and quaint rental cottages, it’s also a residential area whose offerings range from historic homes to classic beach-style abodes.
This gated community of spacious homes and manicured yards is about 20 minutes from downtown Savannah.
Isle of Hope
One of Savannah’s most picturesque neighborhoods, Isle of Hope exudes the look of the Old South. Beautiful old cottages adorned with white picket fences line narrow streets and overlook the Herb and Skidaway rivers. Bluff Drive, which rambles along the Skidaway under moss-strewn oaks, is one of the area’s most alluring streets.
The residential jewel of Skidaway is The Landings, a large gated community that’s the site of upscale homes featuring a variety of styles — Southern Lowcountry, Colonial, Federal and traditional ranch — set on beautifully landscaped grounds. The Landings is a retirees’ paradise, with its two deepwater marinas, six private 18-hole golf courses, 34 tennis courts, fitness center and four clubhouses.
West Chatham County
Much of the Savannah area’s industry is concentrated in west Chatham, and it’s also the site of four municipalities and Southbridge and Savannah Quarters — two fast-growing golf communities. The towns of the area — Bloomingdale, Garden City, Pooler and Port Wentworth — are well-established residential areas that serve as home to much of the work force of the industries located there.
This town of some 2,600 residents is conveniently located near both the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport and the city’s port. Residents enjoy a country lifestyle and a small-town ambience.
Standing amid a variety of industrial developments, Garden City has a population of about 9,400. Garden City is literally on the move, creating a new town center south of Interstate 16 off Dean Forest Road. The center boasts a new 33,000-square-foot city hall that will house governmental offices, the police department and the municipal court. The 40-acre center opened in September 2009.
With more than 14,000 residents, Pooler is a fast-growing, family-oriented town with affordable homes and a wealth of recreational opportunities.
This town of 4,500 — home of the flag-waving “Stand Up For America Day” celebration each May — captures the essence of small-town USA.
The homes at this planned community just off Interstate Highway 16 feature beautiful landscaping and architecture that’s traditionally Southern. The development covers 1,100 acres and offers residents the pleasures of a golf club and a tennis and swim club.
Westbrook at Savannah Quarters
Nestled within Savannah Quarters’ 2,600 acres, Westbrook is a gated neighborhood with a variety of homesites, club homes, custom homes and villas surrounded by lagoons, woods and nature preserves. The heart of Westbrook is the 18-hole Greg Norman Signature Golf Course.
This county south and southwest of Savannah offers a unique blend of piney woods and marshland. The fastest-developing part of Bryan is near the coast. It’s Richmond Hill, a bustling bedroom community that was once the winter quarters of famed industrialist Henry Ford.
Twenty miles south of Savannah lies Richmond Hill. It is one of two incorporated cities in Bryan County and has been one of the fastest-growing communities in the nation. Richmond Hill offers a number of housing developments, schools and opportunities for recreation and shopping. Its proximity to interstate highways 95 and 16 makes it a popular choice for commuters.
Bryan County’s first incorporated city, Pembroke, has served as the county seat since 1935. It is a charming town offering peaceful county living and an upscale golf-course community.
Fast-developing Effingham offers home buyers a choice of residential areas with different characters — on-the-go Rincon, quaint Guyton, and Springfield, the county seat. Rincon, beginning to resemble a bedroom community of the magnitude of Richmond Hill, is mushrooming as the Savannah area gradually spreads west. However, all three municipalities retain their country-style atmosphere.