On Location: Kinga Philipps Discovers Savannah
Journalist, traveler and adventurer, Kinga Philipps, discovered the beauty that makes up Savannah’s charming landscape, people and cuisine. I asked Kinga a few questions about her trip to this Southern Gem.
What brought you to Savannah?
Kinga: The South is a fascinating place. It’s full of history, traditions, mysteries, charm, spooky corners and stereotypes. Savannah is one of my favorite cities in the states and I personally chose it as a location for the REAL series. The city has always captivated me with its dual personality of traditional southern town and totally hip modern city. I wanted the audience to see Savannah as I’ve come to know her. In one sense, she is a movie backdrop of a film set in another time - set decorated to perfection - with stunning old homes, Spanish moss on every ancient oak, fountains, squares...and those accents. But there is so much more.
What were your expectations while filming in Savannah?
Kinga: We knew it would be hot and humid because I chose August as the month to go. I did it on purpose. I firmly believe that the sticky southern summers are part of the magic of the place. The cicadas buzzing, cool drinks enjoyed on a wrap around porch, warm water at the beach… and the thunderstorms. It doesn’t get much better than that. I also knew we would meet some special characters. Savannah is full of the most fantastically wild and whacky individuals who breathe life into her streets.
What were some unforgettable moments?
Kinga: Oh…every one of them. Boogie boarding Tybee Island with a thunderstorm approaching, hunting for oysters in the mud flats, eating ice cream by the fountains while listening to cicadas, weaving crab nets with Isaac and Abraham in Pinpoint, wandering Bonaventure Cemetery. However, I think my favorite memory was the low country boil we attended at one of the beautiful southern houses right on the river. We feasted on shrimp, sausage, oysters, and corn and then all jumped into the river to swim and catch up on local gossip.
What are your recommendations for things to do in Savannah?
Kinga: Eat ice cream at Leopold’s. Wander around the squares and side streets, or rent a bike. Take a cup of your favorite spirits to go…because you can. Visit Tybee Island for some beach time and look for sand dollars with your toes in the warm water. Bonaventure Cemetery is a must. If you like ghosts there are plenty of tours to show you the spooky side of Savannah…supposedly the most haunted city in the states. Savannah has some of the best restaurants I’ve been to. Ask for local recommendations and they will direct you to what the top choices of the moment are.
If you can hire a boat you will have access to one of my favorite Savannah activities, hunting for fossilized shark teeth. The dredging of the river creates deposits of sediment on the riverbanks, and there you can find everything from Megalodon teeth to various fossils. The locals will direct you on where to go.
What are your tips for planning a trip to Savannah?
Read about the history of the city before you go, so you have a bit of depth to your understanding of her past. Plan your trip according to your weather sensitivities. If you like the heat, come in the summer. It’s great. Holidays are a beautiful time to come as well and it’s much, much cooler. The main riverwalk area is a lot of fun but explore beyond that and get out into the Lowcountry, Pin Point and the waterways.