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Savannah GA

The Landings on Skidaway Island
A quick boat ride from downtown Savannah, The Landings, on Skidaway Island, knows how to balance city life with desultory rural enchantment. Folks love it here, for all the best reasons.
Photo credit: The Landings on Skidaway Island

Maryce 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, two marinas, and a great fitness facility, classes, clubs, programs with speakers – and there are almost 100 social organizations including a New Neighbors group which helps new residents get connected, involved in activities, and facilitates the ability for newcomers to make lifelong friends!”

Mr. 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, debt-free, 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, New Neighbors and several more.

Savannah is just a short drive, and they’ll often see neighbors and friends at concerts, restaurants, festivals 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.”

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.

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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