Known as the “town that Henry Ford built,” Richmond Hill is a growing bedroom community of Savannah  in adjacent Bryan County. Sherman’s March to the Sea ended here with much destruction, so little history before that time is left. Most of what remains is due to Ford’s philanthropic influence, still felt in many place names around the area, including the main drag, GA 144, known as Ford Avenue.
After the auto magnate and his wife Clara made the area, then called Ways Station, a summer home, they were struck by the area’s incredible poverty and determined to help improve living conditions, building hospitals, schools, churches, and homes. The Fords eventually acquired over 85,000 acres in Bryan County, including the former Richmond plantation. What is now known as Ford Plantation—currently a private luxury resort—was built in the 1930s and centered on the main house, once the central building of the famous Hermitage Plantation on the Savannah River, purchased and moved by Ford south to Bryan County.
There’s no end to the chain food offerings here, but one of the better restaurants in town is The Upper Crust (1702 U.S. 17, 912/756-6990, Mon.–Sat. lunch and dinner, Sun. dinner only, $7–12), a casual American place with great pizza in addition to soups, salads, and hot sandwiches.
Another popular place, also on Highway 17, is Steamers Restaurant & Raw Bar (4040 U.S. Hwy. 17, 912/756-3979, daily 5–10 p.m. $10–20), home of some good Lowcountry Boil.
To get to Richmond Hill, drive south of Savannah  on I-95 and take Exit 90. Most lodgings in the area are clustered off I-95 at Exit 87 (Exit 90 also gets you to Richmond Hill). Keep in mind the two most important thoroughfares are the north–south U.S. 17 and the east–west GA 144, also known as Ford Avenue.