Any Savannah / Charleston experts here?

Oct 1st, 2006, 01:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Any Savannah / Charleston experts here?

Hi! Do you live in Savannah or Charleston? Or have you traveled there recently or often? My husband and I are trying to find an interesting place to take our 15 yr old daughter and her 16 yr old male cousin for a trip the first week of April, and this area is on the top of our list. It seems early, but I need to book something soon so we can use frequent flyer miles to fly. The trip will be one week long, and we have never been to that area. I think the weather should be decent that time of year, or so the weather website says. I know we can't swim in the ocean there, but want a hotel with a decent outdoor heated pool because pool time is a great thing to do to break up sightseeing jaunts. Want to keep the room at $150 a night or less. Any suggestions for a good place to stay? We are very willing to stay in a suburb to save money and/or get a nicer pool area. Should we stay in Savannah or Charleston? We are also looking for day trips or any suggestions you might have for things to do. We like nature/beach hikes, interested in the historical architecture, boat cruises, just about anything except for nightlife after 10pm because of the kids. Is there enough to do in that area for a week? We are good at making our own fun, but it's always nice to go somewhere with lots to see and do. Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks!
loangalsal is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 05:47 AM
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I have just completed my Great Southern Journey. Included both Charleston and Savannah. I created a website as I went. You can see my photos and journal at:

cchottel is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 06:02 AM
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Why not do both?

You can fly in and out of Charleston, spend four days there, rent a car and drive to Savannah.

It's only a couple of hours drive between Charleston and Savannah.
Oct 2nd, 2006, 06:03 AM
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Oops, you are traveling Easter Week right?

For reasonable Charleson hotel, book the Andrew Pinckney. Do not attempt to stay out of town.

The King Charles Best Western has a pool but it is a little on the expensive side.
Oct 2nd, 2006, 06:07 AM
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Forgot to mention. Make sure you look at my post on my website about my hotel in Charleston. I got a priceline price, but their website says these suites go for $107. It was in the suburbs, but convenient. Had a great pool and a full breakfast and if you're interested, an outlet mall. One bedroom and a sofabed in the separate living room. You could probably get a cot brought in for your nephew. They might have two-bedroom suites. I have a link on my website to the Quality Inn Convention Center.

In Savannah, look in the Pooler area. It is a little distance into Savannah, but easy. Also, the Gray Line tours will pick you up at your hotel if you want to go that route.
cchottel is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 06:09 AM
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cchottel, staying in the suburbs defeats the purpose of going to Charleston.

While I'm sure you had a nice trip, it isn't the same.
Oct 2nd, 2006, 06:16 AM
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Charlene, the pictures are great. There is a problem on the website, for several days the photos don't come up or show the Luray photos again. I will check back in a day or so, since what I read so far is terrific. Thanks for sharing.
cmcfong is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 06:49 AM
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Stay in the historic district of BOTH cities.
starrsville is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 07:49 AM
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Loved the photos and trip report cchottal!
Oct 2nd, 2006, 07:51 AM
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The Savannah Wildlife Refuge is a short ride from the city, and a fabulous place to spot wildlife, especially alligators! The trail is best enjoyed, I think, on bikes, if you can rent them, but you can also walk or drive. Sort of a mini-Everglades experience.

Charleston (our favorite city of the two) is very walkable. I'm not sure how interested the kids will be in the fascinating-to-adults architecture and history. You can get a walking-tour map at the visitors center, or take a tour. Your teens would probably enjoy a boat trip to Fort Sumpter (sp). There's a great historical park with cannons by the waterfront to throw a frisbee around. We saw many people fishing off the wall over the water. Perhaps they would enjoy that. Also, a huge shopping area that runs the length of the city.

Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House is sort of an institution in Savannah. You sit at a long table with other diners and enjoy dishes of southern cooking. They don't take credit cards. The whole thing was not relaxed enough for us (not enough time to both eat and talk, they ran out of some dishes before everyone at our table got to sample them), but might be fun for kids.
Molly2 is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 08:20 AM
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My wife and I went to Charleston with a younger child for over a week, and there was lots to do. I have been a couple of times. I have written pretty extensive, illustrated travelogues at
dan_woodlief is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 07:40 PM
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I agree that there are a lot of advantages as to tasting the flavor of a city like Charleston by staying in the historic district, but given the Easter week AND desiring a pool in peak season with two older teens of different sexes, I think it is going to be very, very expensive. No way at $150 a night.

I wouldn't have traded the Quality Suites for any downtown hotel. It was spacious with separate rooms (nice for a week to be able to have some privacy), had a free full breakfast buffet and omelet station everyday, a free happy hour of wine and beer in the lobby. A pool and hottub. Free parking. Very, very convenient including if you wanted to go in town. I was so pleased, I don't feel I missed anything and saving money is always a good thing when traveling (especially when you are gone for 16 days like I was).

Frankly, I think it will cost them at least $700 a week more in the historic district. Especially if they want a pool, etc. Also, if they want to go to one of the beaches, plantations, or Mt. Pleasant, staying downtown as no advantage whatsoever.

They also need to be careful, because some reservation sites call the Ashley River as Historic Downtown and frankly I wouldn't call it that at all. There were some areas that I wouldn't want to walk in between the Ashley River and the historic district.

cchottel is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 04:59 AM
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Out of curiousity, how do you know if you've never stayed downtown?

Huge difference.
Oct 3rd, 2006, 05:23 AM
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Depending on the dates, you can get a room at the Savannah Hampton Inn Historic District - right in the midst of things with a rooftop pool - for that price point with a AAA discount.

I stay at Abercorn locations sometimes. I stay at airport locations sometimes. There is no comparison with staying right in the Historic District if you want to fully appreciate the charm of Savannah - IMO anyway. The Hampton Inn has a free breakfast with hot items. There is a charge for parking, but when your car is in the garage you don't have to worry about parking when you are in the city - a BIG plus for me.
starrsville is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 08:43 AM
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We just returned from 10 days in Savannah and St. Augustine. We didn't get to Charleston, but did visit Beaufort, SC and thoroughly enjoyed the few hours we spent there and the drive from Savannah.

Agree that staying in the Historic District in Savannah is the way to go. We splurged, so won't even talk about where we stayed. Expensive but worth every penny!!

We started with the Red Trolley on/off tour which was very good actually. Gives you a taste of the whole area and then you can decide where you wish to return.

We also did an evening Ghost Tour that was pretty hokey and not worth the money IMO, but maybe the teens would get a kick out of it.

We loved Telfair Museum (the Bird Girl statue is here now), Savannah History Museum (Forrest Gump's bench) and very interesting exhibits (ate afterward in an old silver railroad car), walking on River Street and browsing in the many stores, river cruise. You might enjoy a performance at either the restored Savannah Theatre or the Lucas Theater.

I think Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House is a must! We sat at a table for eight (there were four of us) and had two couples from Canada that were great tablemates. One of our party counted 21 dishes being passed. The food was good, the price reasonable, and the whole experiencee lots of fun.

We love lighthouses so went to Tybee Island and saw Cockspur Island light (not accessible) as well. After our visit we ate at the Crab Shack--fun place with baby alligators, cats everywhere, some birds--critters everywhere. I think the teens would enjoy this and the food was actually pretty good. Not all restaurant tables have a hole in the middle with a garbage can underneath! LOL

There are many historic houses to visit. Savannah is an absolutely beautiful city. We very much enjoyed our stay. Lots to see and do. Feel free to e-mail me if you have questions about our trip or would like some of the websites I used. Don't have them at my fingertips or would include them here.

Giovanna is offline  
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