Q. My sons and I are planning a trip to Atlanta next month to visit relatives, and I'd like to take a drive down to the Savannah area and tour historic homes. This will probably be of little interest to my 9 and 12 year old. Anything a little less "magnolias and doilies" in this area that you might know of?
A. Ooof, magnolias and doilies, eh? You may try reviving them with a trip to the Pirate House for dinner. Formerly an inn for pirates and other seafaring types as far back as the 1730s, it's one of the oldest homes in Georgia. There's even a secret tunnel connecting the inn to Savannah's port, used by pirates whenever they needed to make a quick getaway.
And you could also visit nearby Cumberland Island, a private wildlife reserve complete with wild horses and untouched dunes. If you'd like to stay the night, check into the Greyfield Inn, the only available lodgings on the island.
And if they're still complaining about how you forced them to tour of homes for 5 hours, pull out the big guns, by which we mean alligators. Okefenokee Swamp is just a few hours south, with park access in both Waycross and Folkston. Depending on water levels, you can even take them for a little boat ride.