Charleston & Savannah - Timing & Hotels

Old Mar 6th, 2011, 09:36 AM
  #1  
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Charleston & Savannah - Timing & Hotels

I am planning a 6-day trip at the end of March to Savannah and Charleston (flying into Atlanta, renting a car and driving to both). It's a short notice trip and I'm feeling very unprepared so any advice that people have, I'd be very happy to hear.

I am thinking that we'll spend three nights in each city...Thursday-Saturday nights in one city and Sunday-Wednesday nights in the other. The weekend seems to be less appealing since the hotel rates go up and it sounds like parking becomes harder in both cities. I am thinking of staying in hotels removed from the city center in order to save money so parking will be a consideration. Given this, would it be better to spend the weekend in Savannah or Charleston? Does the weekend present more difficulties in one or the other?

Any thoughts on the hotels I'm considering would also be appreciated:

Charleston:
Best Western Sweetgrass ($80/night weekdays; $114/weekends)

Savannah:
Country Inn & Suites, Historic District ($109/weekdays; $119/weekends, plus $10 parking/night) - this is a bit more than I wanted to spend but maybe it is worth it for the location?

Super 8 ($60/night) - seems to be about a half hour drive away but it has great reviews and seems like a bargain
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Old Mar 6th, 2011, 09:51 AM
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Is this your first visit? If so I highly recommend you stay in the Historic District in Charleston. I know it's more expensive, and that Best Western is ok. It's on a busy thoroughfare and there's only one good restaurant out there IMHO-Glass Onion. You have a short stay and will spend much of it driving and finding a parking place. It's no more crowded on weekends here than it is during the week. You may be lucky enough to catch some of he azaleas in bloom.
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Old Mar 6th, 2011, 10:09 AM
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suewoo, thank you for your response. It is my first visit to the area and it does go against my usual style to stay outside the downtown but I was trying to be more economical on this trip. I take your advice though...do you have any thoughts on the Best Western Plus Downtown (146 Lockwood Drive)? It would be around $110 on weekdays and $140-170 on weekends (depending on what discount I was eligible for).
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Old Mar 6th, 2011, 11:50 AM
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The Lockwood location is a bit of a hike from the HD and it's on a busy street. The Best Western King Charles would be a better choice. They have free parking which will save you @ $20+ per day. And you can just walk to the places you want to see. I know it's more expensive but you'll get more out of your short visit if you don't have to spend time driving and parking.
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Old Mar 6th, 2011, 07:02 PM
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I've reserved rooms in the Best Western King Charles ($180/night) and the Country Inn & Suites Historic District Hotel in Savannah ($135/night). It's much more than I was originally hoping to spend but I understand location is important. Thanks for the help suewoo.

That being said, if anyone knows of a deal that would cut down the cost of this trip, I'd be very happy to hear it.
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Old Mar 7th, 2011, 05:34 AM
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We usually ask if the hotel has a corporate rate for the company we work for, you might try that. We just stayed in Savannah over a weekend for 109.00 a night and either 5 or 7 a day to park at the Staybridge Suites with our company's corporate rate...I believe the original rate was $129.00, so not a huge savings, but better than nothing. We use to always stay at the Hamptonn Inn for about the same price, but their parking is $10 a day.
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Old Mar 7th, 2011, 05:54 AM
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I'd stay longer in Charleston than Savannah. Don't forget you'll have a pretty good drive to and from Atlanta. Did you look at coming into Charleston?
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Old Mar 7th, 2011, 07:05 PM
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Unfortunately I don't work for a company that gets discounts, but thank you for the thought, eeyorelvr.

Gretchen, I am meeting up with a friend in Atlanta so that's why I booked my flight the way I did. I know it isn't ideal but I'm hoping it won't be too big of a problem. We could stay longer in Charleston but the hotels there are even more expensive on the weekends. I thought we might leave Savannah early so that we get most of that travel day in Charleston, giving us 2 full days in Savannah and 2 3/4 days in Charleston with 2 travel days at either end of the trip. Would you recommend cutting Savannah down to just one full day? Or would you cut out Savannah altogether?
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Old Mar 8th, 2011, 05:21 AM
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This should help your decision:
http://www.lakesidepress.com/Charleston-Savannah/

Which first? Savannah is under 4 hours from the Atlanta airport
Charleston is over 5 hours from the Atlanta airport. Do you want to your first or last day driving longer or shorter to the airport?
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Old Mar 8th, 2011, 06:34 AM
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There are some of us that like Savannah better than Charleston and would advise you to spend more time there. In other words, this is an age-old discussion and there has never been "a right answer". Most of the time I don't even enter the conversation anymore, but please don't let anyone make you rethink the time you plan to spend in Savannah.

If you are staying at the Country Inn and Suites but are looking for a less expensive option, see what the rates are for the Thunderbird Inn. It's basically around the corner so the location won't be an issue. It's a former motor hotel that has been spruced up and I stayed there recently. I love the funky, Route 66 vibe. The rooms are the standard motel room you've stayed in ever since Holiday Inn standardized the motor lodge experience. It's the basic motel room, but spruced up with a modern vibe. The parking is free so that helps even more. There's just donuts, juice and coffee in the lobby in the morning so the CI&S may offer more. Anyway, if you are looking to save $$$ the Thunderbird may work.

Here's a pic of the room -
http://thethunderbirdinn.com/savanna...l_rooms/queen/

Free parking vs $10 at the other hotel.

Parking is free on the street on the weekends - good to know if you choose to move your car from the hotel parking lot. I've not had a problem finding street parking on weekends in Savannah.
http://www.savannahga.gov/cityweb/mobilityweb.nsf/f43552dd7c50cae2852573b000734940/2ab08a175e341797852576fd005f07ba/$FILE/ParkSmart%20Downtown%20Brochure.pdf
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 04:30 PM
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Savannaoaks & starrs, thank you both for your very helpful information. I think I'll stick with my original plan of splitting the week between the two cities. I realize it's too short to really get to experience them, but I'd like to at least see each one and will hope to return for a longer visit in the future.

starrs, the information about the parking is great, thank you. I hadn't realized that weekend parking was free and since we will be there over the weekend, that will save me $10/day! The price difference between the Thunderbird and the Country Inn is fairly small but I appreciate the suggestion, it seems like an interesting place. I think I may look deeper into B&Bs just to be sure they won't work. They were my first choice but a quick exploration of them showed them to be expensive and already booked. I'll give it one more look though to be sure.
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