64 FOCUS - JULY 2017 along a potential road. Live Oak trees are named such, because the leaves stay on the trees year round. A tour of the house includes the pri- vate residence of the current owners, and most of the furniture dates back to the civil war era. The gardens are well maintained, but a stroll along the slave cabins is an eye-opener for the way history has recorded the co-existence between African Americans and Euro- pean descendants who settled in the area. Boone Hall is one of America’s oldest, working, living plantations, and has been continuously growing crops for more than three hundred years. Another plantation, Middleton Place, is also worth a visit, as it has been in existence for over 250 years. It was planned by an architect who designed most of the gardens at France’s Ver- sailles Palace and has the distinction of being known as America’s oldest land- scaped gardens. There are two lakes with unique outbuildings and many giant oak trees. Watch your step though, as you may run into a ‘gator’ or two along your trek. The mansion has been fully restored and the furniture dates back to the original times. Guides explain in de- tail the workings of the plantation, and at times it seems you have travelled back to a bygone era. Continuing on to Savannah is a pretty drive, especially if you stay off the Interstate highways. Small farmhouses dot the country side and quaint villages appear around bends. Beaufort is worth the stop, as it is a seaside town with a spectacular beach. Unique shops and eateries are found among many souve- nir haunts. Once you reach Savannah, be pre- pared to be immersed in history. Large antebellum houses line most of the streets in the old city. Many have been restored and are worth a visit. Daven- port House may be the most famous as it is fully restored, but my favourite was the Harper Fowlkes House with its interesting history. The house was built in 1842 and was neglected for many years. It was in a less desirable part of the city and there was little interest in anyone purchasing it. The house went up for auction and in 1939 when Alida Harper, a Georgia socialite, purchased it for a mere $9,000 (about $150,000 in today’s economy). Although not for sale, the property is valued at five million. Savannah has a pedestrian area known as the City Market, where one can find many eateries, boutiques and of course, pecan shops. It is next to Broughton Street, the main shopping street of the city. A stroll along the water- side opens up an entire new world with dozens of restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and clothing boutiques, keeping visitors busy for hours on end. Charleston and Savannah are two amazing cities to visit, especially if you are thinking of a fall or spring getaway. Temperatures can vary, but September and April tend to hit the low eighties. Bring your sunscreen and a hat and get ready to travel back in time to America’s mid nineteenth century. Jonathan van Bilsen is a photographer, author, columnist, keynote speaker and can be followed at photosNtravel.com DO YOU KNOW…...... the meaning of antebellum? Email me your best guess at jon@photosNtravel.com. Answer, next month. Last month’s ‘Do You Know’ was … What is the difference between a cem- etery and a graveyard? A graveyard is attached to a church, whereas a cemetery stands alone. One of the many beautiful antebellum house fronts. Charleston’s Rainbow Row, affectionately known as the Painted Ladies. Beautiful Forsythe Fountain in downtown Savannah. Savannah (continued from page 62)