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coastal towns

Beaufort, SC

Bluffton, SC

Brunswick Islands, NC

Charleston & its Resort Islands, SC

Conway, SC

Currituck, NC

Edenton, NC

Edisto Island, SC

Georgetown, SC

Hardeeville, SC

Hilton Head Island, SC

Jasper County, SC

Mount Pleasant, SC

North Myrtle Beach, SC

Myrtle Beach, SC

Northeast NC: Edenton, New Bern, Elizabeth City, Hertford

Outer Banks, NC

Pawleys Island/Litchfield, SC

Savannah, GA

Southport, NC

Summerville, SC

Walterboro, SC

Washington, NC

Whiteville, NC

Wilmington, NC

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Savannah
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Center for Carolina Living Can it get any more gorgeous? We don’t think so. For a dreamy setting, visit Forsyth Park in Savannah, with its central fountain, huge live oaks and historic monuments. Concerts in the fall make the package complete.
Photo courtesy of Savannah Convention & Visitors Bureau
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Savannah, Georgia
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aryce and Jim Cunningham are thrilled with their home in the Landings, near Savannah. “This community has been on our radar since 1984, and we’ve been here for more than two years, so it took a while to get here, but we are so happy,” Mrs. Cunningham explained.

The couple moved from Connecticut, but had lived in a number of different locations. When they began to seek out a community in which to retire, they visited a number of locations but this one won out for a number of reasons.

“We’re golfers and there are six golf courses here, as well as 34 tennis courts,” she explained. “We love the fact that there are four different restaurants, and a great fitness facility. Classes, clubs, programs with speakers – there are almost 100 organizations.”
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r. Cunningham added to the list of positives. “We like the fact that it’s gated, and there are all ages – some retired, and some young families. We all call it an Adult Disneyland.” He also appreciates the fact that the community is resident-owned, with great care being given to maintaining and even enhancing the common property.

In the community of about 8500 residents, there are even clubs representing the different states. If you’re from Connecticut, you can join a club of all former Connecticut residents. It’s a great way to stay in touch with others who’ve had the same experiences. Mrs. Cunningham is active in the ladies golf association, the Connecticut Club, and several more.

Savannah is just a short drive, and they’ll often see neighbors and friends at concerts and special events. “Our daughters live in Richmond and Tampa and they love to visit us here,” Mrs. Cunningham shared. “I think they’d move here, too, if they could.” Her final thought is on the weather. “The climate is wonderful here on the marsh, and we’re so close to the ocean, and yet, because of the geography, it’s almost hurricane proof. Storms just skim by on their way north. It makes for a great combination.”

Think of Savannah as sort of a user-friendly time machine that lets you pick between an arts and crafts bungalow in Ardsley Park and a home on a nearby island.

Savannah is Georgia’s first city, and the last of the 13 original colonies that made up this country. It has survived sieges, wars, plagues and hurricanes – actually not just survived, but thrived. The result is one of the country’s largest historic districts, complete with an impressive urban forest and a city plan that still works more than 250 years after it was conceived.

Around a core of preserved and restored history, Savannah has developed as a modern city with an emphasis on outdoor activities that take full advantage of the subtropical climate and mix of fresh and salt water. To this, the residents have added a patina of eccentricity, a strange mixture of conservatism and joie de vivre that outsiders found to be such fascinating reading in the bestseller, John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Now, we’ll leave the separation of good and evil up to the eye of the beholder, but there’s no disputing the garden part. Savannah enjoys some definite Eden-like touches. The salt marshes make for breathtaking scenery as you make your way to the nearby barrier islands that flank the Georgia coast. Tybee Island is the area’s public beach, and visitors can turn their eyes toward the sea and watch the giant container ships coming and going to the Port of Savannah with the world’s goods aboard.

Savannah has always attracted visitors, but tourism on a scale large enough to be considered an industry is a relatively recent innovation. Its tourism charms can generally be grouped into two parts – the natural gifts, like its beaches and climate, and the gifts of the past, like the still-viable city plan, and the stately mansions which were spared the torches of the Civil War. The city has cashed in on its history, with historic mansions serving as house museums and their slightly younger cousins doing service as romantic B&Bs.

Because tourism is an element of a diverse local economy, rather than the dominant industry, Savannah has been spared the shrill, artificial atmosphere that sticks to areas overly dependent on courting the whims of vacationers. The result? A lovely place to call home, and one that welcomes guests with a graciousness born of long practice.

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Katherine Pettit has worked as a writer, magazine editor, printer and public relations consultant. The Columbia resident has published more than 350 articles in magazines and newspapers. Her writing explores a variety of subjects including travel, lifestyles, business and management.   Center for Carolina Living
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