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FL, Carolinas, and Georgia in 14-18 days

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Jan 26th, 2014, 03:26 PM
  #1
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FL, Carolinas, and Georgia in 14-18 days

Hi all,
I usually post on the Asia Forum as we usually spend some winter weeks in Asia to get out of the cold New England winters.. This year I am planning a 17 day trip to FL, the Carolinas and Georgia for our March trip and I would like your input, especially concerning the # of days I have scheduled for each place we plan to visit. We are flying into West Palm Beach and flying out of Charleston, SC.

My tentative itinerary is :

3 nights -West Palm beach to visit relatives. We will pick up a rentall car on the 3rd day and begin our trip

2 nights - Miami to visit Everglades NP, and see South Beach

1 night-Bonita Springs resort for beach time

2 nights-Sarasota for Ringling Museum

2 nights-St Augustine for historic sights

1 night Beaufort to visit the low country (is this enough nights to visit Beaufort and the barrier islands)

3 nights Savannah- for historic sights (stopping on the way at Hilton Head just to see what it looks like)

4 nights Charleston- for historic sights

We like history, architecture, culture (Gulah) and good food, especially BBQ. We do not like shopping.

What do you think about the way I have allotted time, considering the time it will take to drive from one place to another?. We like pretty full days. Sightseeing and driving from 10 am to 6 PM would be ideal. We do not enjoy a lot of downtime on our trips.

Any advice, tips or suggestions would be appreciated.
shelleyk is offline  
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Jan 26th, 2014, 05:04 PM
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too much time in Savannah. Give up on Hilton Head.
You might enjoy the Georgia barrier islands.
Gretchen is online now  
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Jan 26th, 2014, 05:44 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Beaufort restaurant suggestion-Griffin Market reserve ahead
cmcfong is online now  
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Jan 26th, 2014, 08:42 PM
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Of the places on your agenda, I've enjoyed Miami, St. Augustine, Savannah, Beaufort and Charleston in recent years. From these experiences, I think your allotment of time could make for a fun trip! The Florida side is more jumping around from place to place and the Georgia/South Carolina side seems more chill (my kind of pace), but maybe you'll enjoy the contrast of the two different travelling styles.
Daniel_Williams is online now  
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Jan 27th, 2014, 05:52 AM
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Here are my suggestions for the Savannah-Beaufort-Charleston portion of your trip.

2 nights Savannah
I would cut one night from Savannah if you’ re arriving early enough to see some things on your first day. I think a day and a half for seeing the sights would work. The Savannah Music Festival is in town from March 20 to April 5. It’s a big festival so if it overlaps your plans, book your lodgings well in advance. We liked the Olde Pink House for a splurge dinner and Leopold’s Ice Cream for a treat. Savannah is a charming town to walk around in and the historic homes are well worth a visit.

2 nights Beaufort
If you plan on detouring to Hilton Head for most of a day, here is where you’d place it. Get an early start from Savannah and go there for much of the day, then continue on to Beaufort. There’s a short cut highway between them across Port Royal Sound, that would save some time from going back to Highway 17, then back out to the coast again. Arrive in Beaufort in time for dinner. Another good place to eat is Emily’s Restaurant and Tapas Bar. You then would have a full day the next day to see Beaufort and the nearby islands. If you’d like to find out more about the Gullah Culture, you’ll want to go over to St. Helena Island to visit the Penn Center Historic District. Then just a little further is one of SC’s best coastal islands State Parks—Hunting Island State Park.

4 nights Charleston
There’s plenty written on this forum about Charleston and we have tons of great restaurants. You’ll easily fill your four days. You might want to head to one or two of the plantations along the Ashley River on your way into town, then arrive early evening at your hotel.
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Jan 27th, 2014, 12:38 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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I spent last weekend in Charleston. We had a junior suite at the Ansonborough Inn which was very comfortable. A wine/cheese social and breakfadt are included in the rate. Parking is directly across the street for $15. per day. They are conveniently located just off the main highway so you can park and walk the historic district. It was too brisk to enjoy the rooftop bar for long, but it is quite pleasant. The room had a microwave, wetbar and fridge. Since the hotel is across from a large Harris Teeter grocery store it makes a good base.
Have fun.
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Jan 27th, 2014, 03:06 PM
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I'm bookmarking because I'm interested in some of these same areas. Good luck with your trip!
volcanogirl is offline  
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Jan 27th, 2014, 04:41 PM
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Thanks you all for your suggestions. Based on Gretchen's and kathleen's suggestions I am going to spend 2 nights in Savannah, eliminate Hilton Head and add Huntington Island State Park to our itinerary.

I have 2 more questions which I'd like some guidance on:

1- Is it worth stopping at Jekyll Island for a couple of hours on the way from St. Augustine to Savannah. Is there anything special about Jekyll Island that would add to our trip?

2-Is it worth going to Bluffton on the drive from Savannah to Beaufort. It is a bit out of the way and I wonder if there is enough in Bluffton to merit the detour.

Any input would be appreciated.
shelleyk is offline  
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Jan 27th, 2014, 05:07 PM
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I'm not really familiar with Jekyll Island so I can't comment on it.

I am so glad that you are adding Hunting Island State Park (located near Beaufort) to your itinerary. Be aware that in SC we also have a Huntington Beach State Park, which is also a great coastal state park, but which is located near Myrtle Beach. That's up the coast and way out of your way.

I've never found Bluffton to be that exciting, so in my opinion, I'd skip it.
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Feb 6th, 2014, 07:10 PM
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You haven't mentioned Cumberland Island. On the trip north, I would try to find the time to slip in a trip to Cumberland. And while in Savannah, don't forget Tybee Island.
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