Image Source: twosidedtravels.com
The Starland District, that colorful community located short ways south of downtown, is not just thought of by locals as a hub for art, music, and creative minds. It’s also gotten national mentions. Like its inclusion on a USA Today “10 Best” list for Savannah neighborhoods and things to do, and the “star treatment” it has received in New York Times features of up-and-coming communities.
In their 2015 article, the Times spoke of the Starland District as an emerging area hitting its stride, essentially referring to the neighborhood’s evolution over a period of close to 20 years.
It was 1998 when two graduates of Savannah College of Art and Design pictured the then neglected neighborhood as a community come back to live. In 2000, they bought two city blocks with rundown historic buildings on the site of the old Starland Dairy (thus the district name), and rebuilding began.
Today the Starland District is an eclectic live-work-play community where the iconic milk-processing plant, which dates back to the days of milk delivered in glass bottles via horse-drawn wagons, still stands. And it anchors this walkable neighborhood that is described by residents and tourists alike as quirky cool. And if you were to ask most any of them why that’s so, here’s what they’d likely say.
An artsy vibe is ever present in the Starland District.
You can feel the creative energy emanating from the art galleries and artist studios that pepper the neighborhood. Color spills from building surfaces that serve as canvasses for impressive street art. Creativity overflows from the nearby Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). And frequent one-off events plus ongoing event series like First Friday Art March—a strolling monthly showcase of art and music—help make the neighborhood most apropos for celebrating art, culture and community.
The area boasts intriguing indie shops. Image source: twosidedtravels.com
Shopping in the Starland District is an adventure in and of itself that takes you from retro to trendy and the every day to the eccentric. Score all kinds of vintage goods from locally owned shops—toys, clothing, trinkets, games and vinyl records (for your old-school turntable). Don’t be surprised to find curiosities like taxidermy and talking boards. Art supplies are among the offerings of course, as are assorted other products like lavish soaps, one-of-a-kind furniture, local zines, and books.
You can take your pick of imaginative cafes.
Individuality and imagination are also apparent in the area’s array of eateries. You can chow down on locally-sourced fare at a quaint café in a Victorian-era house or a farm-to-table pub named for its pseudo mascot, the owner’s 1965 Chevy Stepside truck (often parked out front). Grab a coffee and pastries made-from-scratch at a vintage bakery. Or get your caffeine fix, grab a bite, and enjoy live music at a café billed as equal parts coffee shop, bakery and Tex-Mex cantina. And the list goes on.
The real estate scene—as the old saying goes—has something old and something new.
As it has evolved, the Starland District has—like other Savannah neighborhoods—preserved the fabric of history while undergoing redevelopment. Lovingly restored Queen Anne, Greek Revival, and Craftsman-style homes sit next to one another and share real estate with lofts and modern residences, as well as with historic commercial and community buildings. You could say it’s the polar opposite of cookie cutter and you would be right. You could also say that it’s a peachy keen mix of old and new that fits right in with the creative vibe, and you’d be right about that too.
Starland is still blossoming, so there are new things to fall in love with.
Another cool thing about the Starland District is its continuing rejuvenation. While it’s an already growing area, the word is that it’s anticipated to become even more vibrant. That makes it increasingly attractive as a leisure hotspot and a special place to call home whether you’re a newcomer to the area or a long-time Savannah resident looking for a change.
So, take your time to explore Starland if you haven’t. Been a while since you stopped by? Pay a visit to see what’s up. Thinking of taking up residence there? Let Live Love Savannah show you around.