11 days SE coast road trip

Jul 28th, 2015, 10:49 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 29
11 days SE coast road trip

Hey all,

My girlfriend and I will be arriving in Atlanta on Sept.2 and have two days there. We then rent a car and have 11 days with it, dropping it off at the Atlanta airport on the last day. Here is our proposed itinerary. Any suggestions and feedback would be great, especially with regards to which plantation houses to visit, etc.

Sept. 2:
- Arrive in Atlanta at 1250pm by bus
- Day in Atlanta
- World of Coca-cola
- CNN (is the tour worth it or just check out the building?)
- Fox theatre (tour worth it?)
- Martin Luther King House
- OVERNIGHT IN ATLANTA

Sept. 3:
- Day in Atlanta
- Rest of what didn't get seen above
- OVERNIGHT IN ATLANTA

Any other recommendations of things to see and do in Atlanta?

Sept. 4:
- Pick up car at 0700hrs in downtown Atlanta
- Drive to Bellwood Quarry
- Drive to Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia (3h15mins) and visit (on way to MB)
- Drive to Myrtle Beach (2hr 30mins)
- Walk around promenade/boardwalk
- OVERNIGHT IN MYRTLE BEACH

Sept. 5:
- Day in Myrtle Beach
o Beach
o Boardwalk/promenade
- Shopping
- Carolina Opry (already have tickets)
- OVERNIGHT IN MYRTLE BEACH

Sept. 6:
- Drive to Brookgreen Gardens (30mins)
- Drive via Pawley's Island (worth a quick look??) and Georgetown (worth an hour??) to Boone Hille Plantation
o Drive to Middleton Place Plantation
- Drive to Magnolia Plantation
- Drive to Dayton Hall
*If not worth visiting all 4 what would be the best recommendations?*
- Drive to Charleston (25mins)
- Horse carriage ride through historic part of town if time permits
- OVERNIGHT IN CHARLESTON

Sept. 7:
- Day in Charleston
o Old city market
o Walk from here around waterfront park to battery/white point gardens and back through streets
o Rainbow Row
o King St (Shopping)
o Fort Sumter national monument
o Charles Town Landing
o Eat – Sticky Fingers? (Ribs)
- OVERNIGHT IN CHARLESTON

Sept. 8:
- Drive to Beaufort (1hr 15mins)
- Visit for a couple hours
- Drive to Hilton Head Island (45mins)
- Day on Hilton Head Island
o Rent bikes
o Go to beach (Coligny)
- OVERNIGHT ON HILTON HEAD ISLAND

Sept. 9:
- Drive to Savannah
- Day in Savannah
o Tram tour of historic district
o Walk amongst squares
• Picture @ Chippewa Square (Forest Gump bench)
o Forsyth park
o Bonaventure cemetery
o City Market
o River St
o Savannah riverboat cruise
o Foody tour
o Cobble stoned river walk
• Eat at lazy lizards (upstairs porch)
• Look for old lady handing out $1 margarita coupons
- OVERNIGHT IN SAVANNAH

Sept. 10:
- Day in Savannah
o See above for things that we don't get to see on day 1
- Tybee island ½ day? (Is this worth it if we are seeing Saint Simones and Jykell the next day?)
- OVERNIGHT IN SAVANNAH

Sept. 11:
- Drive to Saint Simone Island (1hr 22mins)
o Couple of hours
- Drive to Jekyll Island
o What is the best things to do here?
- Turtle farm?
- Gottage tour?
- Best beaches?
- OVERNIGHT ON JEKYLL ISLAND

Sept. 12:
- Drive to Okefenokee Swamp (1hr 20mins)
- Drive to St. Augustine (2hr)
o Afternoon in St. Augustine
- Anything specific to do that we shouldn't miss?
- OVERNIGHT IN ST. AUGUSTINE

Sept. 13:
- ½ day at beach (St. Augustine or Ponta Vedro)
- ½ day at World Golf Hall of Fame
- OVERNIGHT IN ST. AUGUSTINE

Sept. 14:
- Drive from St. Augustine to Atlanta Airport (5 1/2 hours)
- Drop off car at 230pm
- Fly ATL to YVR at 530pm

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
warrenh4653 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2015, 03:01 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
A few too many tourist sites for most Americans, but I love to go to Brighton when I am in the UK!

More plantations than I could manage.

Jekyll Island is very, very quiet. It used to be a summer colony of the great and the good, and their houses and other arrangements are still there, many still occupied. St Simons and the adjacent Sea Island are somewhat livelier and would be my choice for the overnight, at the King and Prince if the budget allows, mostly for its location.

I would not drive out of my way to see Okefenokee Swamp because you will pass through it or very near on your way back to Atlanta.

Look into Amelia Island and especially Fernandina Beach. I prefer it to St Augustine. Relaxed vibe for beach going.

You are traveling at a good time, barring hurricanes, since children are back in school so only weekends are likely to be at all busy. You need a Plan B if hurricanes are expected. By the way, St Simons is in a kind of protected bight in the coast so hasn't suffered the kind of hurricane damage that areas north and south have had.
Ackislander is offline  
Jul 29th, 2015, 03:44 AM
  #3  
 
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Posts: 15,962
Eat at The Varsity in Atlanta, for your "rest of what to do".
Let's start up at MB.
Brookgreen Gardens is really worth several hours. It is an art and sculpture garden on an old plantation.
Pawley's Island (the historic district ON the island is worth a drive through to see where the rice planters of Charleston spent summers to escape the malarial mosquitoes.
Georgetown is definitely worth stopping by to see a lovely historic Revolutionary War era town.

'way too many plantations!! We like Middleton. Other folks will suggest others.
I think you have SO shortchanged Charleston. Drop Hilton Head and extend at least a day in Charleston.

I think you could consolidate better if you omitted Jekyll and St Simon's also--lovely places but you are rushing many others that deserve a bit more time to really enjoy, IMO.
Gretchen is offline  
Jul 29th, 2015, 03:50 AM
  #4  
 
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Posts: 2,661
That's busy!

I will say, with all the fabulous food in Charleston, you're missing out by going to Sticky Fingers. Go to Magnolia's instead.
suewoo is offline  
Jul 29th, 2015, 12:31 PM
  #5  
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Posts: 29
Thank you for the feedback.

I read a proposed itinerary on Frommer's regarding the plantations around Charleston and it recommended to push through all four in a day. I know realize that it is extremely unrealistic.

My car rental is unfortunately booked in and is not able to be changed so it looks like I will have to leave Atlanta at 7am on the 4th. Also, we are meeting a friend who is staying on Hilton Head so that is why we are going there. I agree that it may not be the most spectacular use of our time but it is unfortunately unavoidable. At the end of the day, a beach is a beach anyways, and we are staying right on Coligny beach.

I have changed things up a bit to hopefully make things more realistic and have more time. Unfortunately with doing so, I was unable to open up much extra time in Charleston due to the Hilton Head commitment. The main thing I am curious about it the day we leave Savannah that I have proposed to go to St. Simone's and Jekyll island. We need to get close to St. Augustine so figured that was a good mid way point and a good day of beach/activities. What would you suggest doing instead of this if this isn't my best option? Only 1 island? Cumberland and sleep in St. Mary's?

Here is the update:

Sept. 2:
- Arrive by bus in Atlanta by 1250pm
- World of Coke (VIP tour)
- Martin Luther King District
- Carter Presidential Library
- (Don't care too much for the aquarium, what else would work? Am 50/50 on CNN tour)
- OVERNIGHT IN ATLANTA

Sept. 3:
- Day in Atlanta
- Rest of list above
- OVERNIGHT IN ATLANTA

Sept. 4:
- Pick up car at 0700hrs
- Drive to Bellwood Quarry (11mins)
- Drive to Riverbanks Zoo ($13.95) (3hr 15mins) *mostly as a stretch legs activity to break up the drive*
- Drive to Myrtle Beach (2hr 30mins)
- OVERNIGHT IN MYRTLE BEACH

Sept. 5:
- Day in Myrtle Beach
o Beach
o Boardwalk/promenade
- Caroline Opry show at 7pm (already have tickets)
- OVERNIGHT IN MYRTLE BEACH

Sept. 6:
- Drive to Brookgreen Gardens ($15) for 9:30 open (30mins)
- Drive to Pawley’s island – drive thru historic district (13mins)
- Drive to Georgetown (18mins)
- Drive to Boone Hall Plantation ($20) (56mins) *Open until 630pm*
- Drive to Charleston (25mins)
o Drinks at Pavilion rooftop bar for sunset?
- OVERNIGHT IN CHARLESTON

Sept. 7:
- Day in Charleston
o Old city market
o Walk from here around waterfront park to battery/white point gardens and back through streets
o Rainbow Row
o King St (Shopping)
o Fort Sumter national monument
- Old Slave Mart Museum?
o Charles Town Landing
o Horse carriage ride ($25) last ride at 5pm
- OVERNIGHT IN CHARLESTON

Sept. 8:
- Drive to Magnolia Plantation (28mins) *Opens at 8am*
- Drive to Hilton Head Island (1hr49mins)
- Day on Hilton Head Island
o Rent bikes
o Go to beach (Coligny)
- OVERNIGHT ON HILTON HEAD ISLAND

Sept. 9:
- Drive to Savannah (45mins)
- Visit Bonaventure Cemetery and Wormsloe Historic Site on way in
- Day in Savannah
o Tram tour of historic district
o Walk amongst squares
• Picture @ Chippewa Square (Forest Gump bench)
o Forsyth park
o City Market
o River St
o Savannah riverboat cruise
o Foody tour
o Cobble stoned river walk
• Eat at lazy lizards (upstairs porch)
• Look for old lady handing out $1 margarita coupons
- OVERNIGHT IN SAVANNAH

Sept. 10:
- Day in Savannah
o 1/2 day - See above for remainder of activities
- 1/2 day Tybee island
- OVERNIGHT IN SAVANNAH

Sept. 11:
- Drive to Saint Simone Island (1hr 22mins)
o Couple of hours
- Drive to Jekyll Island
o
- OVERNIGHT ON JEKYLL ISLAND

*This day is still very much up on the air and suggestions on what to do instead/modify would be great*

Sept. 12:
- Drive to Okefenokee Swamp ($25 w boat tour) (1hr 20mins) *Opens at 9am*
- Drive to World Golf Half of Fame ($19.50) (1hr50mins) *Open until 6pm*
o Drive to St. Augustine (20mins)
- OVERNIGHT IN ST. AUGUSTINE

Sept. 13:
- Full day to do anything
o Beach (what is the best around?)
o Poke around town
- OVERNIGHT IN ST. AUGUSTINE

Sept. 14:
- Drive to Atlanta Airport
- Drop off car at 1430hrs
- Fly ATL to YVR

When we travel, we generally like to be busy and see and do as much as we can with our time. We do also enjoy relaxing of course, which is why we have full 1/2 days here and there for beach time and a full day at the end for a whatever day. We are used to getting up early 8am ish and going out for a later dinner 730-8pm ish. We usually like to sit down somewhere for lunch and maybe for a coffee or beer at some point but other than that really enjoy walking and seeing the sights, and are avid photographers.
warrenh4653 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2015, 05:12 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 700
I would drop the Charles Towne landing site from your day in Charleston, particularly if you are doing the Fort Sumter tour. I love the Fort Sumter tour, but it is time consuming. Plan on it taking almost 3 hours by the time you board the boat, travel to the fort, spend an hour at the fort, and then return back to the dock.
BetsyinKY is offline  
Jul 30th, 2015, 01:00 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 29
See revised:

Sept. 2:
- Arrive by bus in ATL at 1250pm
- World of Coke (VIP tour)
- Walk around Centennial Olympic Park
- Check out CNN building (tour not worth it?) Could do 5pm tour if so...
- Walk to see Georgia State Capitol
- OVERNIGHT IN ATLANTA

Sept. 3:
- Day in Atlanta
o Civil and Human Rights Museum
o Martin Luther King District
o Oakland Cemetery? WORTH IT???? (Be there by 5pm to get a self-guided walking tour map)
- OVERNIGHT IN ATLANTA

Sept. 4:
- Pick up car at 0700hrs
- Drive to Bellwood Quarry (11mins)
- Drive to Riverbanks Zoo ($13.95) (3hr 15mins)
- Drive to Myrtle Beach (2hr 30mins)
o Night at the boardwalk
- OVERNIGHT IN MYRTLE BEACH

Sept. 5:
- Day in Myrtle Beach
o Beach
o Boardwalk/promenade/shopping
- Caroline Opry show at 7pm
- OVERNIGHT IN MYRTLE BEACH

Sept. 6:
- Drive to Brookgreen Gardens ($15) for 9:30 open (30mins)
- Drive to Pawley’s island – drive thru historic district (13mins)
- Drive to Georgetown (18mins) for lunch
- Drive to Boone Hall Plantation ($20) (56mins) *Open until 630pm*
- Drive to Charleston (25mins)
o Drinks at Pavilion rooftop bar for sunset?
- OVERNIGHT IN CHARLESTON

Sept. 7:
- Day in Charleston
o Get on 9am Horse carriage ride ($25) lasts 1hr
- Leaves from Market
o Old city market (have between 10am-12pm to explore)
o Buy combo pass and take 12pm boat to Fort Sumter national monument (arrives back at 2:15pm) ($41 with carriage combo)
o Walk from Market around waterfront park to battery/white point gardens and back through streets
• Rainbow Row
• King St (Shopping)
- OVERNIGHT IN CHARLESTON

*Charles Town Landing -- How worth it is this? Worth going to on the way out of Charleston the next day?

Sept. 8:
- Drive to Magnolia Plantation (28mins) *Opens at 8am*
- Drive to Hilton Head Island (1hr49mins)
- Day on Hilton Head Island
o Rent bikes
o Go to beach (Coligny)
- OVERNIGHT ON HILTON HEAD ISLAND

Sept. 9:
- Drive from HHI (leave by 830am) to Wormsloe Historic Site for quick picture of driveway ok Oaks/Hanging moss (1h8mins)
- Drive to Bonaventure cemetery (12mins) (spend 1-1.5hrs)
- Drive to Tybee island (24mins) (spend 3hrs or so)
- Drive to Savannah hotel (26mins)
o Savannah river boat cruise @4pm-5pm
o River St walk along waterfront
• Appy at One Eyed Lizzy’s (upstairs porch)
• Look for old lady handing out $1 margarita coupons
o Haunted tour? 10pm? WORTH IT?
- OVERNIGHT IN SAVANNAH

Sept. 10:
- Day in Savannah
o Wander around town amongst squares/City Market
o Savannah Taste Experience food tour 1145am-245pm
• HAS ANYONE DONE THIS? WORTH IT?
o Walk amongst squares not yet seen
• Picture @ Chippewa Square (Forest Gump bench)
• Forsyth park
- OVERNIGHT IN SAVANNAH

Sept. 11:
- Drive to Saint Simone Island (1hr 22mins)
o Spend a couple of hours
- Drive to Jekyll Island
o Spend afternoon
- OVERNIGHT ON JEKYLL ISLAND

Sept. 12:
- Drive to Okefenokee Swamp ($25 w boat tour) (1hr 20mins) *Opens at 9am*
- Drive to World Golf Half of Fame ($19.50) (1hr50mins) *Open until 6pm*
o Drive to St. Augustine (20mins)
- OVERNIGHT IN ST. AUGUSTINE

Sept. 13:
- Full day to do anything
o ½ day at beach (what is the best around?)
o ½ day poke around town:
• Fiesta Falls mini-golf at La Fiesta Inn near beach?
• Fountain of Youth (worth it? How long does it take?)
- OVERNIGHT IN ST. AUGUSTINE

Sept. 14:
- Drive to Atlanta Airport
- Drop off car at 1430hrs

Thoughts?
warrenh4653 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2015, 02:52 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
No thoughts that I didn't offer first time around, with one exception:

what do you do when it rains? It will, not likely all day rain but semi-tropical thunderstorms at times when you have outdoor activities planned.
Ackislander is offline  
Jul 30th, 2015, 03:23 AM
  #9  
 
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Posts: 15,962
One way to get another day or so in Charleston would be to do your Atlanta stuff on the end of your trip. Cut down on Jekyll and St. Simon's. Just make a "travel day" to ST. A. It would free up a lot of time, IMO
Gretchen is offline  
Jul 30th, 2015, 07:43 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,661
I don't think going through the city market in Charleston will take 2 hours, unless it's so packed it's hard to get through.

Drayton Hall is the plantation with the original (not restored) house. The house at Boone Hall is not original. The gardens at Boone are nice, but by September little is blooming because of the heat. It will be ungodly hot. You know that, right?
suewoo is offline  
Jul 30th, 2015, 09:27 AM
  #11  
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Posts: 29
As for the rain, we obviously cannot predict the weather. We will go in with a plan and adapt if it rains. For example, the morning we head from Charleston to HHI, if it is raining then we will stick around in Charleston for a bit longer and at least enjoy the cuisine. Other cities have museums, etc which we can do in place of a few other things if the weather does not cooperate. I like to plan for the best and adapt where needed.

Like I said, we have a few things we are stuck on, and HHI is one of them. Another is the dates of the car rental. Therefore, it is not possible to do Atlanta at the end of the trip unfortunately.

When I said '2 hours' in the market, I put that down as a filler. I didn't figure it would take that long and figured we could probably see/do something else close by between that time. I was setting it up that way more to get feedback on whether or not that seemed like a reasonable day.

As for the plantations, everyone seems to have their own opinions about what the see and do. Although a few people have mentioned Drayton, is appears to be near the bottom of everyone's list. I made the call to choose two that looked interesting for different reasons (magnolia for the gardens/swamp, and boone for the gullah show). I was hoping to pop by Drayton to take a look at the architecture and snap a photo if viewing from outside of the ticket booth allows. If not, that is ok too.
warrenh4653 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2015, 09:42 AM
  #12  
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Posts: 29
Some parts of the trip just can't be changed due to certain reasons. I appreciate all the feedback, however I guess I should outline where I need some guidance.

Any thoughts of the Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta?

Is the Charles Town landing something major that we are missing? Or is it not the end of the world if we skip it?

Do our 2 days in Savannah seem logical? Is it possible to have 2 1/2 hour and then another 3 1/2 hours to wander most of the squares and soak it in?

Any thoughts on the Fountain of Youth? We are going to St. Augustine mostly for the World Gold Hall of Fame, hence why I did not change the plan to your suggestions of Amelia Island. I looked it up, and although beautiful, a half day on the beach anywhere will be nice to me if it means being able to see the Hall of Fame.

We do not have any time to do any attractions on our way back to Atlanta ad the drive is already 5 1/2 hours and we need to drop off the car at 230pm. Even if we got up and left at 7am, which I don't want to do, we would be rushing the swamp at that point. This is why I did not modify that suggestion.
warrenh4653 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2015, 10:05 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,962
find the Charleston market to be a LOT of kitsch--just so you know. Historically, it is wonderful.
I would take some time out of HH to see more of Charleston--as you suggest you could if it were raining.
I'll let someone speak to "Charlestown Landing" but have never gone in MANY years of visiting Charleston.
OH, and PLEASE don't spend your one memorable meal in Charleston at Sticky Fingers--it's a chain.
Gretchen is offline  
Jul 30th, 2015, 10:06 AM
  #14  
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Posts: 29
Also, I am not set on spending the night on Jekyll island, however when most people are advising me to drop that section, they are doing so with the idea that I can add that day in Charleston. Due to the commitment on HHI (meeting a friend that afternoon/evening) in between those two stops, that would mean we would have to back track driving, which doesn't make sense. Based on these factors, what would be the advice for this day? Stick to 1 island? Skip by them all together and do something else?
warrenh4653 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2015, 11:26 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 957
I would skip the Charles Town Landing. It's in the general vicinity as three of the plantations you are considering, so if you do have extra time, I would go to another one of them instead.

Middleton Plantation offers a combination ticket with the Edmondston-Alston House in downtown Charleston. I shouldn't suggest more to your itinerary, but it is an historic house. If you are going to tour one house, downtown, you might want to consider this one.

http://edmondstonalston.com/
kathleen is offline  
Jul 31st, 2015, 08:36 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,661
I agree with kathleen. With your limited time, skip Charles Towne.
suewoo is offline  
Jul 31st, 2015, 10:50 AM
  #17  
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As much as I would love another day in Charleston, it doesn't look feasible.

Does it seem reasonable to be able to wander around a lot of the main sights and pop into the Edmonston house in a 4 hour time span?

I figure we will do the carriage ride, have a couple hours at the market and shopping/pictures with the pineapple fountain before our boat trip to the Fort. Then we should be back by 230 and probably have until 630ish to explore before well deserved drinks and dinner.

From google maps, it seems like this is not a lot of walking so I figured we should be able to see most of the sights at a leisurely pace during that time?
warrenh4653 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2015, 11:58 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,962
Charleston is very walkable

most people are advising me to drop that section, they are doing so with the idea that I can add that day in Charleston. Due to the commitment on HHI

No, I'm not suggesting that. I suggested it so you could add ATLANTA at the END of the trip and add some days in Charleston instead.
Why not check to change your car rental.
But.... enjoy whatever.
Gretchen is offline  
Jul 31st, 2015, 12:26 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,661
You also need to factor in the heat. You might need a cool off break after you get back from Ft. Sumter. Are you staying in the HD (I hope)?
suewoo is offline  
Jul 31st, 2015, 04:29 PM
  #20  
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I did check about the car and to change it would cost me an extra $160. Not worth it.

And yes, hotel is in HD
warrenh4653 is offline  

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