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Hilton Head, Charleston or Savannah Late April 2006

Hilton Head, Charleston or Savannah Late April 2006

Jun 29th, 2005, 09:39 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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Hilton Head, Charleston or Savannah Late April 2006

Greetings from Portland Oregon,
Looking for advice about visiting in late April 2006. We are a 40ish childless couple who like the outdoors (boating ,hiking, fishing), good restaurants, long beach walks, etc.
In addition, we like the urban life and want to see Savannah and Charleston. So, I am thinking of staying in Hilton Head and doing day trips from there.

Seems like there is so much to see an do in all three areas..Is this doable or should we just concentrate on one or two areas.

wallybrenda is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 04:22 AM
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Dear Wally - I think I might opt for a few nites in Savannah and then a few in Charleston and day trips from each of those rather than bother staying in HH. Although it looks close it is deceptive and once you are on HHI it is sometimes tough to get off due to the traffic. It takes about 35-45 min to get to Savannah from HHI - depending on where you are. It would take probably 1 3/4 hr or longer to get to Charleston from HHI - again, depending on where you are.
You can stay on beaches that are closer to both Savannah and Charleston as well..Tybee Is. or Folly/Mt. Pleasant/Isle of Palms.
I think however coming from Portland you would be charmed by staying in the historic sections of both towns. A possible day trip between Savannah or Charleston is the historic town of Beaufort.
leahinsc is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 05:34 AM
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I agree with leahsc...spend a night or two in Savannah, at least two nights in Charleston and the rest in Hilton Head. The drives, although doable, aren't easy with narrow winding roads, plus you'll want to stay and enjoy dinners at some nice restaurants, making a hard drive back to HH at night. Both cities have more than enough to see and do to keep you busy for a couple of days.

Although I could see staying at the beach in Charleston if you really wanted, although the city is SO romantic it's wonderful staying in their historic district, I wouldn't stay at the beach in Savannah (Tybee). I'm a beach person too but when we lived in Savannah we often drove to HH just for their beach. Tybee's is really not-so-nice.
OO is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 05:59 AM
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Same advice. Unless there is something you specifically wanted to do in hilton head, I would skip it. Nothing against HH, but basically one golfs and lies on the beach in HH. You didn't mention golfing, and you can lie on the beach just outside Charleston.

In Charleston, either stay downtown and commute to the Isle of Palms/Sullivans or Folly...or do the reverse. Folly is 15-20 minutes from the historic district in light traffic.

Under no circumstances would I commute to Charleston from HH. If I were you, I would give Charleston the lion's share of my time, whatever I decided.

BTW, late April is too cold to swim, but likely beautiful weather.
Litespeed_Chick is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 06:44 AM
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another reason to elect to stay in Charleston or Savannah over HH is that there is lots more going on in terms of arts and cultural events. HH has occasional concert or art show but it has no where near as much to offer. Like Litespeed said - golf, beach, tennis....picture a gated community on the beach - you can drive from one end of HHI to the other and never realize you are on the ocean/water because of the way the private communities and hotels are situated.
leahinsc is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 07:07 AM
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This is a tough one. But re-reading your likes you listed first: "the outdoors (boating ,hiking, fishing), good restaurants, long beach walks, etc." I think I'd choose to stay in Hilton Head for a few days with a day trip to Savannah and then spend a couple nights in Charleston (staying in the historic district). HH has all of the things you list including restaurants that will rival those in Savannah and Charleston (in food if not in historic atmosphere). Beaufort (which we have been slightly underwhelmed by) is very, very close to HH.

I agree with the above posters that trying to see Charleston while staying in HH is too far. But you wouldn't want to come all this way and miss it. A couple nights should be enough, but if you have time, make it 3.

If you had 7 nights and don't mind moving around, I'd do 4 nights HH, one night Savannah, and 2 nights Charleston. If you prefer to stay more put, I'd do 4 nights HH and 3 Charleston. And I'd try to fly into Savannah and out of Charleston.

BTW, I love Portland and get out there as often as I can. Good luck with your planning.
Brian_in_Charlotte is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 07:13 AM
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Be careful with Brian's description of HH as being "very very close" to Beaufort. If you are on the Parris Is side of Beaufort and barely on HHI you will still be an easy 30-35 minutes away. I used to live in downtown Beaufort and work and travel to HHI and somedays it could take 45 min and somedays it would take an hour depending on traffic/time of year/destination.
leahinsc is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 07:22 AM
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You may want to check out an area less commercialized such as Edisto Island. It is about 30 miles (drive time) south of Charleston. We spent our Honeymoon there. Very nice area. However I agree with others. Not a lot to do in Hilton Head. We drove there for one day. Enough time for us. Charleston is a neat place to visit and quite a bit more to do.
ompa is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 07:45 AM
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leahinsc is right - I was confusing Beaufort with Bluffton. Beaufort is just close, not very, very close. Sorry.
Brian_in_Charlotte is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 08:20 AM
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Blufton! Thanks for reminding me - I was racking my brain to think of the name of that town. They have a very active arts community and usually sometime in the early Spring - maybe even April they used to block off the main street and have an art show - very pretty little town.
leahinsc is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 08:21 AM
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May I suggest moving your visit up a couple of weeks if you can. The last of March and the first of April are usually the absolute best for both Charleston and Savannah. The Spring flower display is spectacular. Even non-flower lovers are impressed. By the end of April, it is beginning to disappear unless there is an unusually late spring. It would still be pretty good, just not as great. Charleston blooming season is usually a week or two behind Savannah, that's why I suggest Savannah first.

Boating and hiking is not the usual thing to do in either place. It's WALKING around the Historic Districts. That means sidewalks, not wooded trails. There are deep sea charter boats available if that's what you mean by fishing.

The first Saturday in April would be a dandy time to be in Savannah as there is always a First Saturday Festival down on the waterfront. The one in April is usually a great one. Good food, fun, music, and crafts. but as usual....the weather controls the outside activities. It's usually pretty nice in April.

I would not plan on going back and forth to Hilton Head either. Go to Savannah first, stay a couple of days, see the City, check out the beach (which isn't as great as some, but that time of year will not be crowded) go to Fort Pulaski. Then, take I95 back up to Charleston one morning, stop in at Middleton Place, and Magnolia Gardens on your way to Charleston. Check out the beaches around there if you want to. Spend a couple of days there. Then if you want to, go to Hilton Head. If you have to cut things short....skip Hilton Head. Beaufort is a neat little town to visit, but if your time is limited, I would skip it too.
aileen679 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 08:58 AM
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Thanks for all the great advise...I am definely rethinking the HH idea.
We have a timeshre week we need to use before April 30 so thats why I was considering basing in HH and doing day trips.
Perhaps I'll look around the Charleston area then find a B&B in Savannah for a few days.

Great advise about the spring flowering season..sounds like a beautiful time to visit.

HMMM, lots of options!
Have a great 4th!

wallybrenda is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 09:19 AM
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re: first weekend in April

That's Cooper River Bridge Run, 30,000 (give or take) runners and walkers, most from out of town. Make your reservations EARLY (now)if you come that week.
Litespeed_Chick is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 11:11 AM
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I am paying $250 per night for the Days Inn Historic District the first weekend in April 2006 because I am running the Cooper River Bridge Run. Expect nicer hotels to run $350+.

Last year, we had 42,000 people registered (www.bridgerun.com) and expect more this year because it will be the first year on the new Ravenel Bridge.

As a side note, anyone interested, there is a Burn The Bridges Run which is the last 12K over both the Silas Pearman and the Grace Memorial Bridges before they bomb them and open the new bridge. www.CharlestonRunningClub.com for more info, the run is July 30th.

The week after that will be a glut of Easter Week visitors. If you can time your vacation midweek downtown Charleston, you'll be doing yourself a favor.

The beaches will also be crowded with Easter crowds.

The flowers can bloom as early as February and as late as the beginning of April. Don't plan your trip around azaleas blooming however we always have something blooming.

I did a pretty extensive hotel investigation this past February for Charleston downtown hotels so if you search using my screen name, it should help you out.

My suggestion is skipping Hilton Head and booking instead at Wild Dunes. It is 20 minutes from downtown Charleston.
Jun 30th, 2005, 11:42 AM
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I agree with Aileen679 about early April in Charleston, also because they have homes and gardens tours in historic homes not otherwise opan to the public.
xkenx is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 01:36 PM
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Would March be a better month?? When is spring break in SC as that's one time of year I stay home and try not to drive any where here!
Weather looks similar to April..nice temps and some rain, which I am used to here in the PNW.
Ya'll have been very helpful..thanks for all the info!
wallybrenda is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 01:50 PM
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Spring break fall for most schools around Easter - but not always...College of Charleston will be out - not a big factor though. Are you thinking of college kids or parents and families? The former won't bother with HH etc - not warm enough.
leahinsc is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 01:53 PM
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I was thinking of both..neither fraction usally makes for a relaxing time!
wallybrenda is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 04:42 PM
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You won't see the college kids in Hilton Head - they'll be in FL, TX or the islands. As far as kids and families - try and avoid Easter week and it should be ok. Charleston isn't really a spring break destination as much as FL(Disney).
leahinsc is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 05:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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If you are interested in the garden tours in Charleston, they are sponsored by the Historic Charleston Society - and the info usually goes out about Nov and often sell out by late Jan. Their website is www.historiccharleston.org and you can sign up for their mailing list. Another thing you might find interesting, depending upon how your timing works out - is the Family Cup Tennis Tournement that is now played on Daniel Island in a beautiful new facility. It is tentatively scheduled for April 8-16, 2oo6. Again, tickets usually go on sale about Dec and can be accessed at www.familycirclecup.com. It is not difficult to walk up and get tickets the early part of the week.
ausc59 is offline  
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