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FL and/or Savannah - help with itinerary!

Old Aug 5th, 2009, 04:51 AM
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FL and/or Savannah - help with itinerary!

My H & I are planning a week-long trip to FL in Sept. We have family in Orlando so wanted to fly there as our base, but were also thinking of driving up to Savannah for a few days, and possibly stopping by St. Augustine. However after researching FL beaches I found Siesta Key in Sarasota looks to be one of the best within driving distance of Orlando. With only 7 days we're trying to figure out our itinerary - fly to Orlando, head up to Savannah, then which beach? Can anyone tell me how St. Augustine compares to Savannah? We don't want to cram in too much & don't know much about either town... The drive to Savannah is 4 hours; and Orlando to Sarasota is 2 hours. Is Siesta Key worth the visit, or can anyone recommend a beach that would be on the way down from Savannah? Thanks!!!
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 05:48 AM
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"...or can anyone recommend a beach that would be on the way down from Savannah?"

Indeed I can! Crescent Beach is about 10 miles south of St. Augustine along Highway A1a. I can't compare it with Siesta Key since I've never been there (despite living in FL 22+ years). However, Crescent Beach is a well kept secret and on a direct line for any trip from Orlando-St. Augustine-Savannah. Crescent Beach is a quiet, semi-secluded, family beach well off the tourist trail. We have owned a beach condo here since 1991. If peace and quiet with clean, soft, sandy beaches appeals to you, this may be what you are looking for. You will find the main public entrance to Crescent Beach 1 block south of the corner of A1a and SR (State Road) 206.

As an aside, some very notable people have purchased oceanfront property here including Michael Jordan, Jane Fonda, Sean Connery and former FL Gators legend, Steve Spurrier. Former Senator and 1972 Democratic Presidential Nominee George McGovern lives (part-time) in nearby St. Augustine Beach, 4-5 miles north on A1a.
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 06:30 AM
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Others my disagree with me, but I found Savannah not worth the drive to get there. To me it was just a congested city with a few over-hyped touristy streets. I don't mean to offend anyone, this is just my personal humble opinion.
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 06:46 AM
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montereybob - I appreciate any input. We've never been to Savannah & like you said, I don't want to waste our time when we could instead go to Siesta Beach - I don't think we can do Savannah AND the Sarasota Area.. but other people have told me they LOVE Savannah.... that's why I'm wondering how it compares to St. Augustine.. plus we love a good ghost tour..
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 07:07 AM
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SAvannah is a one time stop for me, if you've not been there, it will likely be worth the trip. Amelia Island has many great beaches, & is easily accessible from I-95.
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 07:11 AM
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St. Augustine has a haunted pub tour http://tinyurl.com/m7cync
and a hearse ride ghost tour http://tinyurl.com/lyq52m
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 07:13 AM
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Is Savannah comparable to St. Augustine though? which is better?
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 07:31 AM
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I'll put it this way, I've been going to Amelia Island for 15 years (usually once or twice a year). I've visited ST. A & Savannah twice each during that time frame. From a time perspective, I'd pick St. A just because it will save you several hours of drive time.
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 08:41 AM
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If I had to choose between Savannah and Siesta Beach, it would be no contest. SB would win by a landslide!
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 08:47 AM
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Can anyone suggest a good mid-ranged price place to stay near Siesta Beach?
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 08:51 AM
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We did a trip to Savannah and St. Augustine a couple years ago. I don't think they are anything alike, which was a plus for us. Nor is "one better than the other." We fell in love with Savannah, particularly where we stayed (Ballastone Inn), but that is not to say that St. Augustine wasn't great in a different way. We thought both cities had a lot to offer, but we like museums, history, touring famous houses, etc. We aren't beach people so I'm no help there, but you're getting lots of responses in that area.
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 09:36 AM
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I'll speak up in favor of Savannah. Very much liked its historic downtown -- including house tours, attractive old architecture, small museums, small grassy squares, and some good restaurants. Spent two days there and saw much of what interested me.

Whether you choose to go here depends on your interests.
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 10:14 AM
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I lived in St. Augustine for 15 years, before moving 30 minutes South. I still work in St. Augustine and visit various parts of the city often. I agree with Orlando-Vic, Cresent Beach is exactly as he described and a great choice. But I also LOVE Savannah and Tybee Island and visit at least once a year, and just as Giavanna said they are both different. That being said, if I were on a time line and didn't want to spend a lot of it driving, I would not attempt Savannah on this trip.
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