The Best of Savannah

Best of Savannah 2009: Recreation, Health and Beauty

Kelley Boyd with the Savannah Yoga Center

Best Yoga Studio: Savannah Yoga Center

With 25 yoga classes per week offered by 10 certified instructors, the Savannah Yoga Center (SYC) more than lives up to its moniker. The classes offered seven days a week at the facility at Bull and Anderson Streets anchor a full complement of  mind/body/spirit enhancing activities.

The philosophy behind SYC is “service in the truest of forms,” says owner and director Kelley Boyd.  “Making sure that every person that walks in that door feels comfortable and doesn’t feel out of place.”

Beginners to advanced, gentle to “dynamic” yoga sessions, mothers with babies, and a 200-hour certified yoga instructor training course—SYC classes run the gamut of offerings.

“People have different needs,” says Boyd. “The more diverse our classes and teachers, the more people we can reach.”

Launched five years ago on East 41st Street, SYC moved to its current location in September 2007.

In addition to yoga classes, SYC sponsors a monthly book club, a monthly vegetarian potluck supper, and workshops in a variety of wellness topics--ayurveda, hip-opening, paddle surfing, and seasonal meditation. 

They even offer concerts.  In July, New Orleans’ Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band will present Calling the Spirits: An Evening of Mystical Mantra Music.

In 2008, Boyd and Jeanne Seaver founded Youth Yoga Initiative, a nonprofit offshoot of SYC that brings yoga to the public schools as part of their physical education curricula.  This school year YYI held classes at Myers Middle School and taught yoga to students with felony records at Scott Alternative Learning Center.

Sue Finkle attended her first yoga class last March. “The instructors at SYC focus on a balance between accepting where your body currently is and pushing it just the right amount.”

This month, Finkle will bring the SYC experience full circle, when she graduates from SYC’s instructor training course and begins leading classes.

“I’ve met an amazing and dynamic group through my [yoga] practice,” says Finkle.  “I’m so grateful to have a place to go that simply feels like home.” -- RWG

Runner-up: Ashram Savannah



Best Massage Therapist : Dawn Wasserman, A Heavenly Massage

For the second year in a row, Dawn takes the award for the best hands-on therapist in town.

Runner-up: Susanne Ridgeway, Vanilla Day Spa


Best Pilates: Universal Balance, Inc.


A fully equipped Pilates studio owned by Janna Cleague that offiers private training, 30-minute core circuit training, Thai massage, cranio-sacral therapy and Reiki healing sessions.

Runner-up: YMCA


Best Fitness Club: YMCA of Coastal Georgia

Various Locations

Is there a moratorium on referencing the Village People for this one? There is? OK.

Runner-up: Downtown Athletic Club


Best Physical Therapist: Dr. Eric C. Bull of Spine & Sport

Dr. Bull is one of the founders of Spine & Sport, which has locations downtown, on Whitemarsh Island, in Hinesville, Richmond Hill and Effingham County. An orthopedic clinical specialist and licensed physical therapist, he is considered by his peers to be an expert in the examination and treatment of orthopedic conditions.

Bull did his doctoral research on spinal pain, which led to the development of new techniques and technology to help his patients achieve faster results. He has lectured internationally on spinal and shoulder pain and developed programs for rapid post-surgical return to work and pain reduction techniques.

Runner-up: Bryant Kist  of Spine & Sport


Best Personal Trainer: Cindy Beauchamp, Island Spine & Sport

463 Johnny Mercer Blvd., 912/898-7714.

The winner of this category last year, Beauchamp has been teaching national and international group fitness classes since 1986 and became a national Certified Fitness trainer in 1987.

Runner-up: Lynn Geddes


Best Doctor: Dr. Ramon Ramos

313 Eisenhower Drive, 354-3400

Dr. Ramos, runner-up in this category last year, is a Savannah pediatrician who practices integrative medicine.

Runner-up: Dr. Timothy Daugherty


Best Chiropractor: Whelan Chiropractic Inc.

They’ve got a motto that can’t be beat: "We’ve got your back."

Runner-up: Bart Wetherington


Best Dentist: Dr. Brad Durham, Abercorn Dental Associates

1317 Abercorn St., 912/234-8282

Dr. Durham is a cosmetic dentist, specializing in facelift dentistry, full-mouth rejuvenation and porcelain veneers to make you look better, and providing help for migraines, TMJ pain relief and sedation dentistry to make you feel better.

Runner-up: Dr. John Jamerson


Best Eye Doctor: Dr. Judith M. Piros, Opthalmology Associates PA

2 E Jackson Blvd., 352-7941

A specialist in optometry, Dr. Piros puts her patients’ care above all else.

Runner-up: Dr. Donald Watson


Best Veterinarian: Case Veterinary Hospital

111 Eisenhower Dr.


This 100–year–old practice has gotten national attention this year, not only because it has reached the century mark, but because four generations of the same family have practiced as veterinarians there.


Best Hospital & Best Place to Give Birth: St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System

815 E. 63rd St.



602 Abercorn St., 912/232-1900




Once again, SJ/C has been recognized by Connect readers as its favorite hopsital. SJ/C’s Mary Telfair Hospital at Candler was recognized for the second year in a row as the best place in Savannah to give birth.

Runner–up: Memorial Health






Best Tanning Salon:Palm Beach Tan

107 Charlotte Dr Suite B


Just don’t overdo it, y’all.

Runner–up: Sol Boutique


Best Outdoor Outfitters and Sporting Goods Store: Bass Pro Shops

14045 Abercorn St.


With indoor and outdoor waterfalls and a giant fish tank, Bass Pro has become a tourist destination as well as a great place to shop.

Runner–up Outfitters: Half Moon

Runner–up Sporting Goods Store: Thompson's




Best Golf Course: Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa

1 Resort Dr.


Home of the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf Tournament each April.

Runner–up: Crosswinds


Best Tennis Courts: Bacon Park Tennis Courts

6262 Skidaway Rd.


A longtime Southside institution.

Runner–up: The Landings Club


 Best Bowling Alley: AMF Victory Lanes

2055 E. Victory Dr.


Again, our readers’ favorite place to bowl.

Runner–up: AMF Savannah Lanes


Best Coach: Scott Nohejl, Chatham Area Rowing Association


No one is more passionate about the sport of crew than Scott Nohejl, who founded the Chatham Area Rowing Association in 2007. "It’s an association made up of high school, college and adult league programs for the Savannah area," he says. The name is the "Chatham County" Rowing Association to ensure everyone from Tybee Island to Pooler is welcomed. "I wanted to include everyone," Nohejl says.

Currently, the association’s teams compete against other varsity programs or clubs around the country. "I came to Savannah to SCAD to row crew in 1989," Nohejl says. "They didn’t have a team at that time."

A new team was organized in 1990 and Nohejl became its captain. Later, he helped Country Day School form its rowing program.

"From that, I got education from the Princeton team," Nohejl says. "I started winning and never looked back." — 

 Runner–up: Tommy Cannon, former basketball coach at Benedictine Military School


Best Marina: Isle of Hope Marina

50 Bluff Drive


You couldn’t ask for a better location. The Isle of Hope Marina is directly on the Intracoastal Waterway, smack dab in the middle of a historic district. It’s near Wormsloe Plantation, yet is just minutes away from downtown. Despite the history, the marina offers the latest in boating technology, having undergone a three–year multimillion dollar makeover completed in 2003. Boaters who are going south should note that Isle of Hope is the last marina and fuel stop on the Intracoastal Waterway for 93 miles. —

Runner–up: Hogan’s Marina



Best Local Sports Team (professional or college): Savannah Sand Gnats

1401 East Victory Dr.


Savannah’s own minor league baseball team is a member of the A–level South Atlantic League and an affiliate of the New York Mets. Home games are played at Historic Grayson Stadium, which opened in 1927 and seats 4,700 fans.

Runner–up: Chatham Area Rowing Association


Best Bike Shop: Quality Bike Shop

1127 E Montgomery Cross Rd.


The latest in bikes, gear and equipment and repairs.

Runner–up: Bicycle Link


 Best Hair Salon: B Street Salon

418 E Broughton St.


Get the latest look or a full makeover at the B Street Salon.

Runner–up: JW Salon


 Best Hair Stylist: Laura Carter of B Street Salon

Laura is a favorite in this very competitive category.

Runner–up: Rob Horton



 Best Colorist: Kim Padgett of Salon Aqua

110 W Gaston St.


Kim is the person to see if you don’t want your hair to turn green — or if you do.

Runner–up: Charles Rudd


Best Barber Shop: The Barber Pole

110 Bull St.


This is the best place for guys to get the latest style or a professional cut.

Runner–up: Boyz II Men


 Best Day Spa: Vanilla Day Spa

1 E. Broughton St.


When you really need to pamper yourself.

 Runner–up: Savannah Day Spa


Best Piercing Parlor: Planet 3

1702 Abercorn St.


A perennial winner in this category.

Runner–up: Smiling Buddha


Best Tattoo Shop: Black Orchid Custom Tattoo Studio

118 W Victory Dr


Not just tattoos, this is art where the canvas happens to be skin.

Runner–up: Anonymous Tattoo


Best Novelty Store: Sunset Novelties

6614 Waters Ave.


Need some novelty (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) in your life?

Runner–up: Joker's


Best Nail Salon: Golden Nails

4741 Waters Ave.

(912) 353–7040

Despite the name, the polish comes in all colors.

Runner–up: Sassy Nails


Best Wedding Planner: Anastasia Stevenson

Sweet Dreams Designs, 912/484–2317

The only wedding planner in this area and one of only a few Georgia wedding vendors to be featured in the 2008 edition of The Knot magazine’s "Best of Weddings" edition.

Runner–up: Rhonda Martinez







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