So how do you try to entertain old friends who come to town with a couple of energetic kids in tow? I'm open to suggestions.

Tybee would have been an obvious option for my visitors last weekend, but they were stopping here on their way to south Florida for a few weeks. No reason to rush to the beach.

Since my friends had already toured Savannah at least half a dozen times, they had seen many prominent sites around town. So where to turn for something new?

We ended up at the SCAD Museum of Art, which had enough interactive vibrancy to engage my friends' pubescent boys.

We were met with Adam Cvijanovic's site specific painting "Reconstruction" on the lobby ceiling and enjoyed other exhibits too, including sound installations presented alongside works from the Walter O. Evans Collection, dresses by Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein, Candice Breitz's video installation of singing Madonna fanatics and Ursula von Rydingsvard's massive cedar sculptures. Then we made our way to the Savannah Wildlife Refuge. The lovely visitor center closes at 4:30 p.m., but the free driving loop is open till sunset.

Every time I go to the wildlife refuge, I wonder why I don't go more often.

It was a blustery day with occasional squalls. The weather might have kept some animals hidden, but the majesty of the oaks and moss was heightened by the weather.

So nature was plenty entertaining even before we saw our first alligator just a few feet off the road and before we spotted an anhinga spreading its wings in the distance.

The boys didn't show much overt appreciation of these wonders, but they sure stared at the first alligator for a while.

My friends also had bikes at their disposal and rode all over town for a day and a half.

They were a little surprised that only Lincoln and Price streets had dedicated bike lanes, but they still found their way around pretty easily.

Getting over to the SCAD Museum of Art is tricky, however. The disruptions to Oglethorpe's grid have made the west side of downtown relatively unfriendly to both cyclists and pedestrians.

Ironically, that west side of downtown isn't too friendly to drivers either.

Given current trends, we should prepare for many future visitors to do some of their touring on bikes.

Playing host to visitors forces us insiders to look at the city like outsiders. That's not such a bad thing.


City Talk appears every Sunday and Tuesday. Bill Dawers can be reached and Send mail to 10 E. 32nd St., Savannah, GA 31401.