If you want to experience fall in Savannah go downtown before Halloween is over and the Christmas furor begins.
Let’s face it; Savannah doesn’t have much of a leaf change going on this time of year. With most of our tall trees being evergreen or with leaves that turn brown and then fall off, the overwhelming shades of autumn here are brown and green unless you visit the mall parking lot or a doctor’s group office where more colorful Asian trees have been planted which have prettier fall foliage but are smaller and less intense than trees in their natural state in the woods.
If you are lucky you may find a red maple or a white oak or ash tree that are starting to turn a yellow green in color intermingled with the pines and live oaks, but generally speaking, you don’t know fall has come to this coastal town until the seagulls return from the shrimp boats on the open water to the Walmart parking lot; their winter home.
Still, if you want to see fall color, you don’t have to travel to the north Georgia mountains to find it.
The best place to see fall colors is to visit the historic district, where unlike small neighborhoods with big blow up pumpkins and horrific yard displays with tattered bodies hanging from gallows and green and purple monsters laughing hideously, you will see mostly tasteful displays of mini mums, straw, flashy red and yellow variegated plant leaves and wreaths made of fall foliage and rich orange ribbons.
Miniature pumpkins line the steps of the eighteenth century townhouses with curious tastes laying pumpkins in the hands of bronze statues in the garden or more uniquely designed spreads with white pumpkins, giant orange pumpkins left uncarved and lots of corn husks and wheat straw brooms and bales of hay with scarecrows stuck on top.
The historic district of Savannah really turns fall into a month long festival that will leave you feeling in a festive mood all the way through Thanksgiving.
Check out Jones street and veer off the main roads of Bull and Abercorn and wander down Barnard Street and the side roads on Gaston near the park and you will be well rewarded with autumn themed houses and gardens, with a few ghouls and goblins thrown in for fun.
Don’t forget to check out River Street where the shops have also decorated for fall. You can buy a candy or caramel apple at the Sweets shop on the River to make the feeling more authentic.
If you go to visit, go early in the season before the Christmas rush to decorate precedes Thanksgiving in some neighborhoods. Brew a pot of apple cider or go by Starbucks and pick up a pumpkin spice coffee and inhale deeply as you peruse the parks.
The hotels and inns go all out with decorating indoors as well, so stop by and ask if you can take a peak inside or gather up the family and sit them on the lower steps of one of the more fashionably decorated stairways and snap a quick picture and run! It will make a great holiday family photo for certain.
We may not have a lot of brightly colored leaves in Savannah, but we definitely have a lot of fall themed decorations that can be more magnificent than a few red leaves.
If you wait until mid-November and then go to one of Savannah’s parks, you may just located some real colorful foliage, but if you are wanting to get into the fall feeling today, head downtown and enjoy the view. You will be craving hot apple cider and spice cookies in no time and might even convince yourself to put up the Bermuda shorts for another season and drag the sweaters out in anticipation of the winter that wasn’t and will not be in Savannah if last year was any indicator of our weather change.
Just remember that even though we live in a city of green palm trees, evergreens and blooming flowers, we can still help get into the spirit of the fall season by wearing bright fall colors, painting fingernails to look like fallen leaves, baking up a pumpkin pie or even making a pot of chili.
Where there is a will there is a way and just think, in another two months you can go down to Tybee Beach in your flip flops, hoodies and Bermuda shorts and gaze upon the artificial Christmas tree with mini beach balls ornaments, starfish and lobsters.