Can't Miss Sites During the Savannah Publix Women's Half Marathon & 5K
The Publix Savannah Women’s Half & 5K is quickly approaching, and participants can’t wait to toe the line. The race is known for its unmatched energy, perfectly flat streets, and great experience, no matter your pace.
The Half Marathon & 5K provide great sites along the way. The landscape constantly changes, featuring live oak trees with drooping Spanish moss, beautiful city squares and colorful historic buildings. Whether you are attempting to take home a personal best or have fun with your girlfriends, here are the top 5 can’t-miss sites to see along the race course.
1. Chippewa Square
Chippewa Square is one of the most known squares in Savannah, located in the middle of everything! It’s in the middle row of the city’s five rows of squares and on Bull and McDonough Street. Cafes like Gallery Espresso and the historic Savannah Theater surround the beautiful square. The beautiful oak trees will shade every stroll through the square. In the square’s center is a statue of James Oglethorpe, a monument placed for the founder of the Province of Georgia.
Most people know of Chippewa Square because of the movie Forrest Gump, where he is sitting and waiting on the iconic bench for the bus. You’ll be “running” past the square and daydreaming about boxes of chocolates. The original bench (four benches were used in the movie!) is currently housed in the Savannah History Museum but in its place is a beautiful garden.
2. Washington Ave (Ardsley Park)
Cue the architectural beauty! Ardsley Park is centered around the historic street of Washington Avenue and transports passersby to a time of growth and prosperity for Savannah. It covers 400 acres and goes from Bull Street to Waters Avenue, making a perfect rectangle. You’ll run right through the middle of Washington Avenue, basking in the beauty of the architecture. The houses in Ardsley Park range from the 1910s to the 1930s and feature eight different architectural styles, including Neo-Classical, Colonial Revival, Dutch Colonial, Tudor Revival, Arts and Crafts, Mediterranean, Spanish Revival and Prairie Styles. Enjoy the beauty, but remember, you’re in a race!
3. Grayson Stadium
In Daffin Park, Grayson Stadium is the home of the Savannah Bananas, who promise the most fun you’ll ever have at a baseball game. The Bananas do not play your typical baseball game; they have some very particular rules and feature the tagline “We make baseball fun.” You’ll run directly through Grayson Stadium, where before the Savannah Bananas played, so did some big names in baseball. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb and Jackie Robinson played on this field. Franklin D. Roosevelt once spoke at the stadium as well! Hit a home run on your race as you dash through the stadium.
4. Lafayette Square
Within the last mile of the race, you’ll run on East Harris Street and through Lafayette Square to come upon the French Gothic steeples of the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist. The square was originally named in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette, Gilbert du Motier, a French general who served under George Washington in the American Revolutionary War. Gilbert du Motier eventually became Washington’s aide and close friend. The square features the Cathedral and its beautiful French Gothic architecture.
The style of the Cathedral incorporates the High Victorian Gothic style with French building traditions, which includes the prominent aspect of the sense of height. The Cathedral features two steeples, reaching towards the heavens, and inside, the cross-ribbed vault ceilings continue that sense and create a feeling of being closer to God. The outside of the Cathedral uses a High Victorian Gothic technique called polychromy, which means several contrasting colors are used. Don’t get too distracted by the steeples; you have less than a mile to go!
5. Forsyth Park
The city’s most iconic fountain will lead you to the celebration at the finish line! Forsyth Park has one of Savannah’s most famous fountains, and you’ll get an Insta-worthy finish photo! Forsyth Park is 30 acres and was designed with the French ideal of having a central public garden. The famous fountain is said to be the garden’s centerpiece, but it’s not actually at the center of the park, shhh. Fun Fact: the fountain was ordered from a catalog! You’ll finish the race with the Forsyth Park fountain behind you and cheers with your gal pals, a cold beer and a job well done!
Race day will be full of beautiful sights and shaded paths. Come and experience Savannah’s history and beauty through this energizing race!