Charleston, Charlotte or Savannah?

Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:21 AM
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Charleston, Charlotte or Savannah?

Planning a vacation but can't seem to choose--Charleston, Charlotte or Savannah? We like to stay in the historic center of the city & use "mass transit" for travel. Interested in architecture, cuisine & history. Help us choose & give your recommendations for things to see, places to eat, etc. Thanks so much!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:28 AM
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For how long? Without knowing, I would pick Charleston and if long enough a day or overnight trip to Savannah. Never heard of anyone vacationing in Charlotte.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:32 AM
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I agree with previous poster. Charleston - #1, Savannah - #2 - and I would actually find a different #3........ Charlotte is a nice city, but it certainly isn't on the same vein as the first 2....
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:33 AM
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Bev:
I would choose both Savannah and Charleston, that is if you have the time to do at least 4-5 days in each. Savannah is the smaller of the two and is ultra beautiful and interesting. Charleston is steeped in history, with many sites in and around the city.

Both are great walking cities with good public transport also. We've done them both a few times and have sent several friends and relatives to do the same.

I can send you a sample detailed itinerary that I drew up for some friends..it will give you a good idea of what to see and do, where to stay and eat.

Stu T.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:34 AM
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Agreed. Drop Charlotte from your list. Both Savannah and Charleston are great. Charleston has a bit more going on, but either would be a good choice for a long weekend.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:47 AM
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tower,

You mentioned 4-5 days in each. Is that what you meant to write or in total?

None of the posts I've read suggests stays that long in either city.

A Charleston/Savannah trip is on my radar and this surprised me.

Without having done detail planning I figured flying from South Florida to Charleston. Pick up a rental car when ready to leave.

Then possibly visit a plantation on the way out and take a drive and stay over in Beaufort.

Arrive in Savannah and return the car rental. Then after a few days fly back home.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 12:12 PM
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Avoid Charlotte.

I found the food and architecture much better in Charleston. Charleston also has a good History and Art Museum
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 01:01 PM
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I pick Charleston first, Savannah second, drop Charlotte - I am still tryign to finish some notes from my recent stay in Charleston over a week ago - arrived on a Wednesday around 4pm, left on Saturday around 4pm, would have liked another full day and night.....and probably would still go back and would not have seen everything I wanted to - and this was my second trip there, but by first was business related nad I really had only one full day to myself, one night, and one 1/2 day.

Depends on your interests - there are historical homes, tours, restaurants, galleries, antiques, shopping, walking the waterfront area and neighborhood walking tours (self or with tour) ..

do some searches here for Charleston Itineraries and same for Savannah -

for transport in Charleseton we walked, took a pedi-cab or a taxi, but mostly walked - and one day car rental to do two plantations.

My husband and I plan to return with another couple in the spring - and defnitely next year before Christmas b/c I saw p hotos of the decor/historic home candlelight tours, etc. and it looked amazing!

have fun choosing !
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 01:27 PM
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I loved Charleston and Savannah, but honestly, for an "overview", I give 4-5 days to Paris, San Francisco or New York. I'd give 2 days to Charleston and maybe 1-2 to Savannah (maybe a little more if you want to see multiple gardens and multiple mansions/plantations).
 
Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 05:23 PM
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I'd do Charleston & Savannah, with a little more time in the former than the latter. Two of my favorite places ...
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 05:49 PM
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Myer:

We had no trouble spending 4 days in each city..then again, we fly from L.A to Chicago to Savannah..that's one day right there. I've suggested the same to several Californians who agreed after they returned that the time split was just right to soak in the flavor of these two cities.
Stu T.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 05:58 PM
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I live in--and love=Charlotte. I would not recommend it in this threesome.
I would do twice as many days in Charleston as Savannah, for a fomula. MUCH more interesting, better food, more to do, etc.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 07:21 AM
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I agree with others re no Charlotte, more Charleston than Savannah. If you can go early Spring (early to mid April), you will get the best weather and things blooming in gardens and plantations. Charleston has a spring festival late March and early April, with home and garden tours, very special. If you go when something like that is going on, you need 4 full days to do it any justice. Savannah 2-3 days unless you go for their spring festival.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 07:30 AM
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I basically agree with everyone (A first for me!) about Charleston and Savannah with more time in Charleston. But why stop there? Why not continue down I-95 and spend 2 additional days in St. Augustine?
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 08:35 AM
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I am going to disagree with everyone. I could spend more time in Savannah that Charleston. I found that Charleston was a little too yuppie, and hence inauthentic for my taste. I spent every night wandering through the historic squares of Savannah gawking at the intricate architecture of individual houses.

Of course, I went during Savannah's festival of homes and gardens in the Spring. And, I highly recommend getting tickets to their events as soon as they become available.

But, I do love Charleston, too. I especially enjoyed visiting Magnolia Plantation. Just beware of the alligators.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 06:49 PM
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bevkinahan: I've finally started by trip report from my recent visit to Charleston - it might give you some ideas if you are interested in checking it out - and I mention some links in the report that might help too (although not quite finished yet) here is the link:

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...1&tid=35085382
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Old Nov 7th, 2007, 02:42 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions! Charleston & Savannah it is! "Escargot"--I'm amazed at such a detailed trip report.

Thanks again everyone!
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 07:43 AM
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I can see you've already narrowed it down to Charleston and Savannah.

I live in Charleston (but am not native) and have to say there is more to do, but I think Savannah is even prettier!

I'd spend a day wandering in Charleston - shopping and touring one of the intown mansions. Another day I'd start with a morning at Middleton Plantation with the afternoon either at Drayton Hall or back in town doing the garden walk. Drive down to Savannah one day, detouring into Beaufort for lunch. Spend the next day just wandering, eating, drinking and shopping in Savannah.

When and for how long are you coming?
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 08:09 AM
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Agree that Charleston is more manicured than Savannah - it's a matter of taste and both are fun, but I personally prefer Savannah for its surprises and funkiness. But you'll enjoy Charleston a great deal too.

If you wanted a third option, however, I'd enthusiastically recommend substituted Asheville for Charleston.
 
Old Nov 8th, 2007, 08:40 AM
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Being that I live an hour outside Charleston and spend a lot of time there and my inlaws live in Asheville and I spend a lot of time there also, I would never drop Charleston for Asheville.

bev, I did a really detailed trip report for hotel info if you search GoTravel Charleston. It will really help you narrow down your hotel search.
 

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