The Rich History of Savannah’s Moon River District

The Moon River District is made up of seven coastal neighborhoods across the southeastern portion of Chatham County. Nestled just a short 20-minute drive south of Savannah’s bustling downtown, the Moon River District beckons with its captivating charm and historical significance. Named after the river made famous by Savannah’s own Johnny Mercer, this district is perfect for history buffs and those seeking to enjoy beauty and culture. Here’s how us locals think you should spend your first day here:

You have to stop at The Wormsloe Historic Site which stands as a testament to Georgia’s past. The grandeur of the 1.5-mile oak-lined pathway welcomes visitors into the tabby ruins of the colonial estate once owned by Noble Jones. The Spanish moss-draped live oaks offer a glimpse into the region’s colonial history. It is also a very popular spot for engagement photos for local couples! 

Adjacent to Wormsloe is the Bethesda Academy, originating as an orphanage in 1740, it now functions as a private day school and a working farm. Feel free to walk the grounds and take in the academy’s history by exploring the Whitefield Chapel, the museum, and the farm. The experience is a great way to find ties and connection to the history of your new neighborhood. 

Now for lunch head to the Driftaway Cafe. The menu is full of timeless classics with gourmet seafood, garnished with a Southern flair. This is a great spot for lunch or dinner any day of the week, and indulge in weekend brunch on Saturday and Sunday mornings, on the weekends there is live music on the porch, creating a scene out of a movie.

If you’re feeling like absorbing a bit more Moon River history, head over to the Pin Point Heritage Museum. Housed within the historic A.S. Varn & Son Oyster and Crab Factory along the Moon River’s banks, this museum offers a window into the vibrant Gullah-Geechee culture. You’ll  be able to gain insights into how this resilient community thrived off the water surrounding Savannah. The museum’s unique ability to impart this story with the guidance of a local provides an immersive experience that resonates deeply.

The Moon River District has more than just the historical aspects, its natural beauty is equally captivating. Moon River Kayak Tours provide an opportunity to discover the district’s marshes and waterways. Paddling through the Moon River and Skidaway Narrows offers a unique perspective of the area’s ecosystem. With knowledgeable local guides leading the way, this is a great way to explore the uninhabited islands and witness the majesty of eagles, osprey, dolphins, and otters that share your neck of the woods!

A day spent in the Moon River District is a journey through time, culture, and nature. As the sun sets on your day, we hope you feel as at home as ever in the Moon River District, a hidden gem nestled just south of Savannah’s heart.