Getting the flavor of...
A thoroughly modern Savannah
When I was growing up in Savannah, the thing everybody said about the city “was that it didn’t change,” said Bruce Feiler in Garden & Gun. Its cobblestone streets and grand colonial houses were seen as eternal, as were its racial fault lines and condescending attitude toward outsiders of all kinds. Yet in the past 20 years, Savannah has experienced “a remarkable pace of transformation,” driven largely by the Savannah College of Art and Design. Founded in 1978 and initially sniffed at by locals, the college saved the dilapidated downtown by buying and renovating more than 70 buildings, and its graduates have formed the city’s first creative class. Downtown now bustles with cafés, galleries, music venues, and jewelry shops, and celebrity chefs are being lured from afar—including the Grey’s Mashama Bailey, from New York, and Husk’s Sean Brock, in from Charleston, S.C. Savannah “still loves its Ye Olde Time flavors, but now change is on the menu, too.”
Oaxaca’s low-priced Pacific paradise
“As far as cost-effective vacations go, Mexico’s Puerto Escondido is among the best options on the continent,” said Nick Hilden in the Los Angeles Times. Last year, I spent a quiet summer— and not much money—relaxing in the modest beach town on the Oaxacan coast, which has become a top surf destination in recent years, thanks to its big waves and idyllic beaches. But Puerto Escondido is still a poor place, with some tumble-down neighborhoods and a lot of stray dogs, which is why the best local hotels charge about $150 a night—less than half the going rate in Cancún. When you go out to eat, though, “pretty much everything is amazing.” Fresh seafood abounds, and some of the best eateries are run from the owners’ homes. When the sun is up, Playa Zicatela is “where you find the fiesta,” while the more remote Playa Carrizalillo is “the ideal tropical beach.” Take the 167 steps down to the white sand and “prepare yourself for uninhibited beauty.”