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Best of Savannah: Recreation, Health and Beauty 

Best Veterinarian

Case Veterinary Hospital

111 Eisenhower Dr./352-3081

Carla Case-McCorvey’s great-grandfather began Case Veterinary nearly a century ago, in 1909. When it came time for her to choose a career, did she have much angst about the decision?

“Not really,” she says. “There was no pressure put on me to go into the family business, but it did seem like the natural thing to do.”

As far as Case-McCorvey can tell, Case Veterinary might be the oldest vet clinic in the nation. “It’s stayed in the same family through four generations,” she says. “We think no one else has done that.”

They’re not content to rest on those laurels, however. Case has joined a handful of clinics in the country that offer full laparoscopic and endoscopic surgeries for pets. The former procedure, common in human surgeries like gallbladder removal, eliminates the need for a broad incision. The latter uses tiny cameras which snake their way to the right place in the body.

Case-McCorvey says a lot has changed in other ways through all the decades her family has run the hospital.

“Just about gone are the days of backyard dogs,” she says. “Nowadays they’re inside sleeping with the family, eating with the family, taking a vacation with the family.”

Veterinary care has evolved with the trend of treating pets like people, she says.

“A big thing today is pain management. In my dad’s day, vets generally didn’t offer pain relief. There was a sense that if animals are pain-free, they might reinjure themselves. It’s dramatically different now.”

Case-McCorvey says the single most important thing a pet owner can do for the health of their animals is a twice-yearly exam.

“It sounds like a marketing thing, I know. But you’ve got to remember that pets age much more quickly than humans do,” she says.

“Things can change on a dime. We’re always surprised at what we pick up just in that six months’ time — heart murmurs, masses, arthritis. We’re really promoting ‘twice a year for life.’” - JM

Runner-up: Central Animal Hospital


Best Yoga Studio

Savannah Yoga Center

1321 Bull St./232-2994

Now in a space near Anderson and Bull, Kelley Boyd has finally found her niche in Savannah. Recently she went to New Orleans to give free yoga lessons to local women as part of the V-Day observance.

Runner-up: The Yoga Room


Best Massage Therapist

Dawn Wasserman

Dawn wins a close one in this generally competitive category.

Runner-up: Natalie Scott


Best Pilates Studio

Momentum Pilates Studio

539 E Liberty St, #B/238-0018

No longer an underground, quirky pursuit, Pilates is well into the American mainstream.

Runner-up: Downtown Athletic Club


Best Personal Trainer

Cindy Beauchamp

Islands Spine and Spa

463 Johnny Mercer Blvd./898-7714

One of the great growth industries of the past few years, personal trainers are becoming mandatory for anyone interested in long-lasting results.

Runner-up: Scott Nohejl


Best Doctor

Dr. Karen Turner

11133 Abercorn St. #10/925-3382

Fully trained in osteopathy — the science of manipulating the musculo-skeletal system to bring the body into balance — Dr. Turner is a perfect blend of classic Western medicine and more alternative, holistic techniques.

Runner-up: Dr. Ramon Ramos


Best Chiropractor

Dr. Bart Weatherington

5602 Waters Ave, #B/351-0005

Keeping your spine in line is the name of his game.

Runner-up: Voss Chiropractic


Best Dentist

Dr. Ronald Smiley

920 E 71st St./355-5191

Once again, this aptly-named dentist wins in this category.

Runner-up: Dr. Julie Howard


Best Eye Doctor

Dr. Donald Watson

7203 Hodgson Memorial Dr./352-9356

This optometrist is always a big vote-getter.

Runner-up: Dr. Judith Piros (opthalmologist)


Best Tanning Salon

Tan Tastic Tanning Salon

806 E. DeRenne Ave./352-3111

Just don’t over do it, y’all!

Runner-up: Bronze Tanning Salon


Best Outdoor Outfitters and Best Sporting Goods

Bass Pro Shops

14045 Abercorn St, #7/961-4200

Since its arrival at the Savannah Mall, this megastore has been big in these categories.

Runner-up, Outfitter: Half Moon Outfitters

Runner-up, Sporting Goods: Russell’s


Best Golf Course

Westin Savannah Harbor

1 Resort Dr./201-2000

The Westin hosts the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf Tournament each April.

Runner-up: Tie, Bacon Park and Southbridge


Best Tennis Courts

Bacon Park

6262 Skidaway Rd./351-3850

A longtime southside institution.

Runner-up: Daffin Park


Best Bowling Alley

AMF Victory

2055 E. Victory Dr./354-5710

If you haven’t visited a bowling alley lately, they’re not your granddaddy’s lanes.

Runner-up: AMF Tibet


Best Place to Kayak

Little Tybee

Not much of a run actually, just a quick shot across the Back River. But the pleasure is in the pristine wildness of Little Tybee itself.

Runner-up: Tybee


Best Local Sports Team

Savannah Sand Gnats

1401 E. Victory Dr./351-9150

They’re in the middle of an ownership change, but this New York Mets single-A affiliate is prospering from recent high-dollar renovations to the city-owned Grayson Stadium.

Runner-up: Savannah Derby Devils


Best Bike Shop

Bicycle Link

408 MLK Jr Blvd/233-9401

211 Eisenhower Dr./355-4771

Don’t do it yourself people — that way lies madness.

Runner-up: Quality Bike


Best Coach

Scott Nohejl

Chatham Area Rowing Association

441-9839

This well-regarded coach is the program director for the Chatham Area Rowing Association, which describes itself as an umbrella group with the goal of uniting members of the community in the pursuit of crew, or competitive rowing. Scott first came to town as a rower for the fledgling SCAD crew in 1989, a program the college no longer offers. Nohejl, anxious for the future of the sport locally, actually purchased some of the college’s equipment in a bid to keep the paddles moving in Savannah.

Runner-up: Radek Parnica


Best Hair Stylist

Wade Calhoun @ Salon 67

604 E. 67th St./352-1967

Wade is a repeat winner from last year. He must be doing something right.

Runner-up: Niki Suszynski


Best Hair Colorist

Charles Rudd

7601 Waters Ave./353-8555

Another longtime favorite wins again.

Runner-up: Leslie Gideon


Best Barber Shop

The Barber Pole

110 Bull St./234-3831

It’s really hard to find a good hair-cutting place anymore. This is one of them.

Runner-up: Christy’s


Best Hair Salon

B Street Salon

418 E Broughton St./443-0043

A perennial favorite downtown spot.

Runner-up: Color Box


Best Park for Kids

Forsyth Park

No-brainer if there ever was one.

Runner-up: Daffin Park


Best Park for Sports

Daffin Park

In a typical eight-hour span on a typical warm-weather day, Daffin will host soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, RC aircraft, to name a few.

Runner-up: Forsyth Park


Best Marina

Hogan’s Marina

36 Wilmington Island Rd./897-3474

A full-service location tucked into Turner’s Creek.

Runner-up: Isle of Hope


Best Fitness Club

Downtown Athletic Club

1 E. Broughton St./236-4874

A busy downtown hotspot.

Runner-up: 24 Hour Fitness


Best Day Spa

Vanilla Day Spa

1 E Broughton St./232-0040

Another repeat winner in this category.

Runner-up: Savannah Day Spa


Best Piercing Parlor

Planet 3

1702 Abercorn St./236-7772

Another win for this favorite Savannah institution.

Runner-up: Smiling Buddha


Best Tattoo Shop

Anonymous Tattoos

9 E Bay St./234-3900

It takes more than a steady hand to be a tattoo artist.

“It certainly helps to be an artist,” says Ricky McGee, owner of Anonymous Tattoos. “If you plan to do anything other than designs off the wall, you definitely should be an artist.”

McGee is such an artist, as are his employees Clay McCay, Kimberly Reed, Zack Spurlock and Ron DeCosta. Anonymous Tattoos, which is located directly above Tony Roma’s on Bay Street, opened Jan. 1, 2005.

The best tattoo artists apprentice with an experienced artist, McGee says. “You find someone who can teach you the ropes,” he says. “You don’t have to do it that way, but it’s a more efficient way to go. Otherwise, you have to unlearn a lot of things you are doing the wrong way.”

McGee chose to become a tattoo artist after being tattooed himself. He has a fine arts degree, and after seeing lots of tattoos, thought it might be a good way for an artist to make a living.

With its location on Bay Street, Anonymous Tattoos attracts a lot of business. “I would say the majority of our customers are local but being downtown, we definitely get tourists who are walking around and see our sign,” McGee says.

Those planning to get a tattoo will have thousands of designs to choose from. The amount of time required to get a tattoo varies. “It could be anywhere from 60 seconds to 6 hours, depending on what’s going on,” McGee says.

The big question is, “Does it hurt?”

“Everyone has a different tolerance for pain,” McGee says. “Some spots hurt more than others.” - LS

Runner-up: California Tattoo


Best Hospital & Best Place to Give Birth

St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System

815 E. 63rd St./352-2297

Savannah is blessed with excellent health care systems, says Paul Hinchey, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s/Candler -- but it’s still nice to be recognized as the best by Connect readers.

“We were thrilled, very honored and very humbled for a number of reasons,” Hinchey says. “The health care from all hospitals in this community is excellent, and to be recognized among the group is very gratifying for us. We’ve tried, in spite of how fast we’re growing and all the technology here, to maintain a community hospital environment,” he says. “

“We’ve really been striving for a holistic view of the patient, not only focusing on the physical needs of patients, but the psychological and spiritual needs, as well,” Hinchey says. “Apparently, that is resonating with people in the community who come here.”

Patient care is the most important duty for hospital employees, Hinchey says. “We’re especially proud of the care at the bedside because it is the platform upon which the system is built. The care at the bedside means not only the nursing care, it’s all the components that touch the patient. It starts with the time you register, goes through X-ray, through care on the floor until a transportation worker takes you out the front door. We can’t fix everything all the time, but we can care all the time.”

Every employee plays a part in a patient’s care, Hinchey says. “We have more than 80 different licensed and certified people, and during a patient’s stay, the patient probably comes in contact with 60 or 70 different disciplines. It’s dietary, transportation, the lab person who comes in to stick you with a needle and pastoral care coming in to see if the patient’s spiritual needs are being addressed.” - LS

Runner-up: Memorial Health


Best Pet Grooming

Petsmart

11132 Abercorn St./925-1116

This megastore gives you a one-stop shop for this booming segment of the pet industry.

Runner-up: Marka Barkstar


Best Novelty Store

Sunset Novelties

6614 Waters Ave./355-9610

We don’t really want to know what you’re doing with the merchandise from Sunset, but we do know you’re buying a lot of it.

Runner-up: Joker’s Novelties


Best Nail Salon

Golden Nails

4741 Waters Ave./353-7040

A big win in this very competitive and growing category.

Runner-up: Angel’sNails


Best Wedding Planner

Tricia Windom

285 Center Dr./356-0488

Tricia is the only winner in this relatively new category, introduced last year.

Runner-up: Rhonda Martinez

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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