Girl Scout Trip to Savannah
Visit Savannah, GA!
Savannah, GA is a beautiful Southern city with a lot of Southern charm. If you want to have a vacation where you can slow down and enjoy life - a trip to Savannah is the one for you!
We took our Girl Scout troop to Savannah because it is the birthplace of Girl Scouts. There is a lot of other things to see and do in Savannah. I will give you a lot of ideas on things to see & do while you are in Savannah. Oh, and also some great places to eat! Because Southern Hospitality is also about the food! (You're diet is on vacation too!)
I was a little nervous about taking the troop to Savannah. I am a BIG Girl Scout geek! So I thought the girls might not like some of the stuffy, ancient, history-type of stuff we were taking them to. The girls planned the trip - 100%. But there were still places that might have been boring to them. But they surprised us! They seemed to love it! They asked questions - not questions that we had prompted them to ask - real, genuine questions!
We learned a couple of things from our last trip! Maybe you can apply them to your trip!
- Calculate travel time between destinations (add 5 - 10 minutes). Especially calculate walking time. All of the online & app for mapping include a "walking" feature. This made traveling between destinations a "little" less stressful. Traveling with a group is like herding a group of cats - almost impossible unless you have the right bait!
- Take the recommended number of parents. This can be a life saver to a troop leader. If you have parents/adults that help support what you and the troop have planned it will make the trip better for everyone!
- Have FUN! As a leader it is important for the girls to see you having fun too! On most outings, I am usually the "task master" making sure that everyone gets to the right place on time etc! (The "no fun" leader!) During one of our meals, I took one of the straws & blew the wrapper at the girls. The look on their faces was priceless! I NEVER (according to them) do anything fun! They saw me in a little different light (I hope!).
Transportation to Savannah
Car, Train, Bus, Airplane
Deciding how to get to Savannah depends on where you live in the country - sort of! Our troop lives 6 hours from Savannah.
Train: We could have taken the train (we did took the train to Washington DC!). It was a lot of fun. But when looking at the train schedules, we would have had to changed trains & it would have taken us longer than 6 hours to get to Savannah. Plus, you need transportation to get to Tybee Island.
Tour bus: A tour bus is a great option if you have a lot of people in your group. The city of Savannah has some special rules about tour buses, but the tour company can sort out those details! You really do need a group of about 20 - 40 to make this option cost effective. It is great for the leaders/driviers because they don't have to worry about driving, getting lost, etc. They just have to enjoy the ride!
Airplane: Traveling via plane can be the only option if you're traveling from the West Coast. Savannah is a great walking city if all of your activities are focused within the city of Savannah. There are a lot of activities to do on Tybee Island - which is close to Savannah. You could probably get transportation to take you out to the island while you are there.
Car: A final option is to take cars. We used 2 cars to drive to Savannah. The trip wasn't too bad on the girls - lots of movies to watch kept them entertained for the entire trip! The drivers were tired by the time we got home!
However you get to Savannah, it is worth the trip!
Books on Savannah
The Waving Girl Statue
Savannah PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
Hotels in Savannah
Where to Stay
The hotels in Savannah love tourists! Tourism is the number one form of revenue for the city of Savannah so they treat their visitors special.
If you are taking your troop to Savannah - the hotels love you also! We like staying at hotels that serve breakfast - this makes for one less meal to plan for in the budget! The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace has a guide for troops coming to Savannah. Within the book are ads from local businesses, including hotels that offer special rates for Girl Scouts. Some of the hotels offer pools, make sure you follow the safety activity checkpoints.
Some of the hotels also offer additional patches for the girls to work on during their stay in Savannah. We stayed at the Inn & Ellis Square. They had a patch called "Heartfelt Hospitality" which showed the girls how Savannah residents show their hospitality to their visitors. The Four Points by Sheraton also offers a patch for Girl Scouts.
Many of the hotels are within walking distance of the Birthplace. This is a good option, because there is not a lot of parking around Savannah. It is a beautiful walking city. Some of the hotels are located near trolley stops. The trolleys will also take you by the Birthplace.
Activities to Do In Savannah
Savannah is a great walking city. Everything is within walking distance with plenty of squares to allow you to stop and sit for a spell (and if you're in Savannah in the summer time, you will want to sit!).
Our hotel was close to the riverfront, so in the evenings we were able to go to the riverfront stores for shopping. If you are taking your troop down and plan to be there over the weekend, you may want to leave the area around 8:00pm. There are a lot of bars on the riverfront and there was come drinking activities going on!
On the riverfront, there is a trolley that will take you from one end of the shopping to the other. At one end of the street is the Waving Girl Statue. This is a statue of a girl that was in love with a sailor. She spent all her days greeting ships as they came into the Savannah harbor waiting for her true love to return (you'll have to go to Savannah to find out what happened!).
There are a lot of tourist trolley rides available in Savannah. It would be a good idea to take one of these tours to get a little background information on the city before you explore.
There are also carriage rides. This was my favorite part of the trip. It really allowed you to slow down and appreciate the sights of Savannah. Our carriage ride was a ghost carriage ride so it took place at night. I believe our guide modified the tour for us because of the girls. They "wanted" a ghost ride, but didn't really want to be scared that much! I would suggest taking this tour with adults to find out about all the real ghosts of Savannah!
photo credit: p medved
Dining in Savannah
There are some wonderful places to eat while you are in Savannah! With the ocean just minutes away - you will find a lot of restaurants serving fresh fish!
When we were researching restaurants in Savannah, we wanted something different - "not another chain" restaurant. There is a lot of locally owned restaurants in Savannah. We also wanted the girls to have a unique experience while we were there!
The Pirate House gave our troop a very unique experience! It has several small dining rooms through out the restaurant. Pirates roam around the restaurant to give you the "feel" of the adventure! When we made the original reservations, our group wasn't large enough to have a private dining room with a buffet - we were going to order off the regular menu. When we arrived, we were pleased to discover that we would be in a private dining room with several other Girl Scout troops enjoying the buffet. A pirate came to visit us! It was a very fun experience.
When our troop decided to take a trip to Savannah, one of the requests was to visit Paula Deen's restaurant - Lady & Sons. We stopped at her restaurant for Sunday brunch. We thought this would give everyone a variety of choices/options. There were even options for dessert (gooey butter cake is awesome!).
Overall, I don't think you can have a bad experience dining in Savannah!
The Pirate House
Paula Deen Restaurant
Dining in Savannah
Dining PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
Girl Scouts & Savannah
Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace
Did you know that over 40,000 Girl Scouts visit Savannah each year? I heard that fact as a tour bus was driving past the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace. The reason Girl Scouts visit Savannah in great numbers is because it is the birthplace of the founder of Girl Scouts - Juliette Gordon Low. Her birthplace is now a museum open for tours to everyone. It is a beautiful house full of beautiful rooms!
Girl Scouts also have a couple of unique options available to them at the birthplace. They can take sessions called - Special Interest Sessions. These sessions give girls an idea of what Girl Scouting was like in the beginning or how Victorian girls lived. There are a lot of choices available for the girls.
If you don't have a lot of time to spend at the Birthplace, you could take the house tour. It is open to everyone - it is a museum where a guide will lead you through all the rooms and describe what the family life was like during Juliette's time. It was a really cool tour for girls & adults.
Birthplace PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
We spent an entire day on Tybee Island! Tybee Island is beautiful. There is a lot to do & see while on the island. We PACKED the day full of things to do.
We started our morning with a dolphin tour. There are many companies that offer dolphin tours. Ours also had a Girl Scout patch that went along with the tour. I was worried that we would not see any dolphins in November (too cold!). When we got there we were reassured that indeed the dolphins were still here & they had seen some that morning! I think I was excited as the girls to see a dolphin up close! The ride out was nice & calm. Our first mate entertained us by pointing out cool homes owned by some stars (Sandra Bullock!). We saw about 3 dolphins - it was really hard to get good photos of them! They are fast!
Next we ventured on to Old Fort Jackson. The girls didn't know it but they were being mustered into the Girl Scout Militia! Old Fort Jackson has an individual in official uniform treating the girls as if they are joining the militia of the 1860's. They learned how to march, use flags for signaling, and the steps to firing a cannon. Then their "Captain" actually loaded & fired the cannon! When we were finished, they were able to wander around the actual fort.
Our next stop was for lunch at a park on the island. We had preordered lunch & had it delivered. It was very convenient & gave the girls a chance to burn off some energy!
After lunch, we visited the Tybee Island Lighthouse. There are 178 steps to reach the top of the lighthouse. I don't know personally, I'm a big chicken! Someone else counted the steps! However, my daughter took some fabulous photos from the top of the lighthouse! The view was awesome! There are also a couple of buildings to tour that were a part of the original lighthouse.
Our final activity on Tybee Island was at the Tybee Island Marine Science Center. Located - on the beach! There are 4 different sessions the girls can pick from (they choose 2). Our group choose the sand sifting & marsh walk. The sand sifting did involve the girls getting into the water (oh no!). They dug up sand & the instructor later would show them what kind of animals lived on the beach. While they were getting their sand, a jelly fish was brought to shore. The instructor was able to talk to the girls about jelly fish and they were able to hold it safely without being stung. The final session involved walking in the marsh. We were told ahead of time to bring old shoes or rain boots. The rain boots were a very good idea! The instructor told the girls what kind of animals call the marsh their home. They found & held fiddler crabs & saw raccoon tracks. We also brought along trash bags (one for every girl) to put their shoes/boots in for the ride home. This kept the marsh contained and not all over the cars!
Our final adventure on Tybee Island was to eat at The Crab Shack. One of the reasons we choose this location is because they had live alligators that you could feed!
Tybee Island Links
- The Crab Shack
The World Famous Crab Shack: Where the Elite Dine and Shop in their Feet!
- Tybee Island Light Station and Museum
Tybee Island Museum and Light station. Open to the public. The light house has all its original associated buildings. Weddings and events accepted
- Tybee Island Marine Science Center
We offer programs for Island Visitors, Student Groups, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts on the beach, in the marsh, on the water, in the classroom and in our Coastal Georgia Gallery
- Coastal Heritage Society
Coastal Museums AssociationStay connected with the Coastal Heritage Society!
- Fort Pulaski National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)
Fort Pulaski National Monument
Tybee Island PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
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