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Charleston, Savannah, St. Augustine trip needs help.

Charleston, Savannah, St. Augustine trip needs help.

Old Jan 11th, 2013, 06:07 PM
  #1  
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Charleston, Savannah, St. Augustine trip needs help.

Dear Friends,
We're 60, love history, scenery, short hikes, museums and nature. We have 16 nights.
Never been to these cities. Going in Aug. Thought maybe 2 nights in Charleston taking
tours, seeing cemetaries, then 4 nights in Savannah, tours again and some of the tripadvisors choices of activities. Then south to St. Augustine, for 5 nights to see everything there (really sounds like this city has so much history, museums and tours.)

That leaves 5 nights. We have done Orlando,Tampa, Miami, Keys and Washington DC, and Williamsburg.
What area would you recommend to include to make this vacation great. You guys
always come through with the best advise. THANKS for your time.
ehovis is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2013, 06:17 PM
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I don't think there's enough to see and do in St. Augustine for 5 nights - unless you just want to relax on the beach.

If you've not been to Cumberland Island, you may want to go over for the day (ferry from St. Mary's GA) or splurge and stay overnight at the Greyfield Inn (that ferry leaves from Amelia Island).

I love Jekyll Island GA and you need to see the historic "cottages" of the world's wealthiest who spent winters there at the Jekyll Island Club. St. Simons is a short drive away and very nice.

What's your starting point and ending point? That can help us give you more suggestions along the way.
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Old Jan 11th, 2013, 06:27 PM
  #3  
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It would be cheaper for us to fly into Orlando. But Charleston is a possibility if it works out better.
Thanks for the suggestions, will be checking them out.
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Old Jan 11th, 2013, 06:33 PM
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I would put more days into Charleston. Two days will not even really scratch the surface there. Plus, since this trip is in August, it might be nice to have extra time to slow your pace down, because it will be extremely hot and humid in all three of these cities.
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Old Jan 11th, 2013, 06:37 PM
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Greyfield Inn is 500-650 a night, a little out of our range.
But I found lots of B &B's on Amelia Island for around 200/night that look nice, then we could ferry over to Cumberland.
I'm still in need of places that have enough to see to stay
the night. Any ideas?
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Old Jan 11th, 2013, 07:12 PM
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You ferry over from Amelia Island ONLY if you are a guest of the Greyfield.
If not, you take the ferry from St. Mary's GA.

The Greyfield is a definite splurge. If you have 16 nights and can spend $200/night I would seriously consider booking something closer to $100 a night for 4 nights to free up the money for the Greyfield. It's one of a kind on Cumberland Island - which is one of a kind. And that price is all inclusive so your delicious meals are included in the price. JFK Jr got married at the tiny chapel on the island and it's a gorgeous (almost deserted) barrier island with miles of gorgeous beaches, wild horses. Just an idea but definitely a splurge.
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Old Jan 11th, 2013, 08:15 PM
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Cumberland Island sounds fantastic, I will see what I can do to stay at Greyfield. Plan on calling tomorrow to see if they have any discounts, or specials. Thank you!!!!!
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Old Jan 12th, 2013, 03:55 AM
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ust to add a slightly different take on your plan to the mix, I would suggest you add time to Charleston and plan to at least stop for lunch in Beaufort. You will find Daniel Williams' trip report on his recent visit to Savannah and Beaufort helpful. I love the Georgia Sea Islands and would agree that Cumberland is quite fantastic. However, I splurged and did an anniversary trip to Greyfields and caJme away from that feeling like I would have been happier to spend the money other ways and just do a day trip. The
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Old Jan 12th, 2013, 04:00 AM
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Not sure what happened to make my comments post as they did, but here is the rest of it: I found the accommodations very comfortable and charming, the food average and the resort atmosphere stilted and formal. During the day my husband and I cycled on the island and enjoyed it very much so I would certainly recommend a day trip. There are a number of very nice little b and b's in St. Mary's.
One other point as Betsy notes this is a very hot and humid time to visit these spots so plan on down time.
Enjoy your trip!
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Old Jan 12th, 2013, 04:32 AM
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As others say, you have really shortchanged Charleston by a number of days. Too many in St. Augustine. And an echo for stopping in Beaufort.
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Old Jan 12th, 2013, 03:11 PM
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I didn't see a lot on tripadvisor for Charleston. Their top activities are a bridge, a church, a college and a seaside
dock. There must be some great things there to be so highly recommended, I just haven't found them yet.
Will take your advise cmcfong and stay at St. Mary's. I will see if I can do a walk through at Greyfields IF I can't find a really good reduced rate.
Would Beaufort be a good place to spend the night?
If I gave Charleston 4 nights, Savannah 4, St. Mary's 1, and St. Augustine 4, I will still be short 3 nights. Any ideas?
And Thank you all for your input. When we vacation, I always turn to my hubby and say, "My fodorite friends got it right again."
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Old Jan 12th, 2013, 03:31 PM
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How about a few nights on one of the gorgeous Georgia Sea Islands? Jeckyll is my favorite, but St. Simon's is also charming.
Beaufort has a pretty waterside park and an interesting little downtown area with some nice shops and great restaurants. It is about halfway between Savannah and Charleston. The houses on the Pointe are beautiful.
In Charleston I recommend you take a Gullah Tour and visit at least one of the Plantations. Also go to Patriots' Point.
If you have some time you might enjoy reading "Mrs Whaley's Gardens" about life in Charleston in the last century. It is a charming story, well told.
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Old Jan 12th, 2013, 03:58 PM
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WOW, never heard of the Gullah tours, just looked them up, will definately be going, and didn't know about Patriots Point. These are both fantastic ideas. THANK YOU so much!!!
Jekyll has more to do on it than I thought, we will be staying there at least 1 or 2 nights, which do you recommend?
I can't thank you enough for your help.
If you think of anything else we shouldn't miss I would love to hear it.
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Old Jan 12th, 2013, 04:26 PM
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I just topped a trip report I did on my last visit to Jeckyll. I would recommend you stay in one of the new chain hotels on the ocean rather than the Club. It will be more fun. If you are a cyclist of any level, it is a very fun place to ride. Great trails and lots of interesting things. I would be happy with two or three nights...one would really not be enough!

You are going to have a great time. Keep your eyes peeled in early April for a trip report on Beaufort. A fodorite is going to be there for a while and we can only hope she will discover all sorts of things you should see.
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Old Jan 12th, 2013, 04:35 PM
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I noticed that in my trip report on Jeckyll I said I would prefer to continue to stay at the club in one of the cottages...a bit inconsistent with my recommendation above, so let me explain. I love the beach but in that particular place I wanted to be able to walk at leisure early in the day before DH rose. The club grounds are beautiful for that. For views and very comfortable options, the newer beachfronts would be the choice. I hope that isn't too confusing.
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Old Jan 12th, 2013, 05:15 PM
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Charleston has so much to do that seems right up your alley, since you mention that you like scenery, history, and museums. I feel like it is one of the most historic towns you can visit, since it played important roles in both the American Revolution and the Civil War. You have a gorgeous historic downtown area to explore, that includes the Battery, the Market, and loads of historic homes to tour. My favorite downtown homes are the Aiken-Rhett House, the Edmonston-Alston House, and the Nathaniel Russell House. There are historic churches, such as St. Michael's, where George Washington worshipped on a visit to Charleston. The church graveyards are beautiful to wander through and many contain the graves of important early Americans, such as John Rutledge and Charles Pinckney.

You have both Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter to visit, as well as Patriot's Point, with the USS Yorktown. Fort Moultrie was a very important part of the American Revolution and of course Fort Sumter was significant to the Civil War. The boat ride out to Fort Sumter is lovely and the hour at the fort is quite interesting.

There are several interesting plantation homes in the area, including Drayton Hall and Middleton Place, which are my personal favorites. Drayton Hall is the oldest surviving example of Georgian-Palladian architecture in the United States. It survives in close to its original condition and the tours of it are fascinating. MIddleton Place has the oldest landscaped gardens in America and is a beautiful place to visit. There most likely won't be tons of blooms in August, but the gardens and reflecting ponds are still lovely to see. You can also tour America's only tea plantation and sample teas grown right there in Charleston.

All of this in a city that is stunningly beautiful and also has beaches and nature just a few short minutes away. I encourage you to investigate it a little further and add a few more days for Charleston to your itinerary. You won't be sorry!
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Old Jan 12th, 2013, 05:18 PM
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Four in Savannah might be too much. Five in Charleston could be about right.
If you aren't finding "much about Charleston except a bridge, dock andX " I would stop using that as a reliable source. Ridiculous.
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Old Jan 12th, 2013, 07:32 PM
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BetsyinKY I want to thank you for all the great details.
I always looked at VA, and states No. for all the historical
sites. We looked at New Orleans for plantations. And Military was found in Oahu. I can't wait for Charleston now. I don't know why I hadn't heard of any of this being there before.
Will switch my days around to put more in Charleston.
Still unsure if 1 night in St. Mary's is enough, and 2 nights on Jekyll Island, with a stop in Beaufort.
Thanks guys!!!
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Old Jan 14th, 2013, 11:55 AM
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Trip Advisor always ends up some weird sorting for attractions. Click on my name to see my trip report from Charleston last year - we did a long weekend and there was plenty we didn't get to see. Boone Hall Plantation is one that we didn't get to see but was reccomended to us. Nor did we see Magnolia Plantation. I would also like to go back and see Fort Sumter. It was January when I was there, so I would imagine you wouldn't accomplish as much in a day as we did. You'll need more time to chill and enjoy the AC.
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Old Jan 14th, 2013, 03:51 PM
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Two nights if fine for Jekyll. Rent a bike while you are there.

You are wise to lengthen the Charleston part of your stay.
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