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Ideas/tips for a 4-5 day Road Trip: Orlando to Charleston (roundtrip)

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Jul 17th, 2011, 12:22 AM
  #1
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Ideas/tips for a 4-5 day Road Trip: Orlando to Charleston (roundtrip)

I'm flying to Orlando to spend a week at WDW with family in mid-August. I'd like to take a few days on my own for a road trip but after researching cost of a one-way car rental (ie. starting in Orlando, ending in Atlanta) vs. a roundtrip rental from Orlando, the savings of $200 to do a roundtrip rental is looking like the standout option.

It's not a long roadtrip but I'd really like to make it from Orlando - Savannah - Charleston and back within 4-5 days. I've heard a stop in St.Augustine's is very worthwhile. I really need all the help I can get with suggestions on a driving route/itinerary to make this trip feasible in this timeframe. I'm thinking about doing this road trip after WDW which would mean a roadtrip starting August 21 for 4-5 nights return.

If you have time, I'd also appreciate tips on:
- beating the heat/bugs in August
- inexpensive but comfortable accomodations
- must-see landmarks (photo ops)

THANK YOU!
Dolly_Hsiao is offline  
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Jul 17th, 2011, 12:54 AM
  #2
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Oh dear. I checked my flight options and looks like I may need to lose a day on the road. I can get a cheap flight into Orlando arr. @ 10 am on August 11th. I have a few days for a road trip but need to be back in Orlando on Augusut 14th to meet up with the family!!! What can I do in 3 days!
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Jul 17th, 2011, 05:37 AM
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Can you be a day late meeting the family? Or even two, since they will be there for a week?
You might just need to go enjoy St. Augustine.
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Jul 17th, 2011, 05:49 AM
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That was my thought exactly. You don't have time to enjoy Savannah and/or Charleston. I'd just go to St. Aug.
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Jul 17th, 2011, 08:34 AM
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I'd head for Savannah -- much more to do and see, and more more exotic than St.A (IMHO at least). It takes me about 4 hours to drive from Orlando to Savannah, or you'd be just in in time to check in, have dinner, and perhaps an evening walking tour. Spend two days sight seeing, and drive back on the 14th after lunch. While I could easily spend weeks in Savannah, two days will give you a good overview.

Lots and lots of photo opps in Savannah. Just turn around, and you'll find them at every corner!

It'll be hot. Do your exploring in the mornings and evenings, go to the beach after lunch.
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Jul 17th, 2011, 01:29 PM
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Tour stops in Jacksonnville are the following: Sally Corp (A free tour of this animatronic factory that makes theme park robots!), the Federal Reserve Bank in J-Ville is free too! Budweiser also offers a factory tour with free samples of their beverages after! When it comes to Charleston, try the Charleston Tea Plantation and the Frenh Hugenot Church in downtown. It's the last reminaing structure of it's kind in the US. Good luck!
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Jul 17th, 2011, 01:34 PM
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Only takes three hours to Savannah from Jacksonille, but St. Augustine is a wonderful city and bursting with phot ops and wonderful churches, history,& buildings to enjoy. You might want to do a ride up scenic A1A (from Daytona north) and hit Ft. Matanzas (a fort with free ferry!), the Aligator Farm (Wonderful birding opp and see other special creatures bedides allgators ...and all under cover of canopy trees! -well thought of too...) and then spend a day in St. A and J-Ville before returning to Orlando.
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Jul 22nd, 2011, 11:05 AM
  #8
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Thank you all for your helfpul suggestions! I'm from booked my flights and car. I'm flying into Orlando on August 14th and staying in a WDW resort for a week with family. After all that, I need some time on my own so I decided it was worth the extra cost of a 1-way car rental from Orlando to Charleston from Aug. 21-25. I may not get away until mid-afternoon on the 21st but I'll try to be flexible with my stops heading up to Savannah.

Any food suggestions that are easy roadside stops? (Since i'm travelling alone, i'll probably avoid any fine dining) but I'd love to find someplace I can enjoy some local foods and get out of the heat!

I better invest in a travel fan! It's a comfortable 73 degrees in Vancouver, BC right now!
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Jul 22nd, 2011, 11:58 AM
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Oh OH PLEASE don't not eat well just because you are travelling alone. That part of the coast is seafood heaven (although coming from Vancouver, you are also in seafood heaven).
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Jul 22nd, 2011, 01:38 PM
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Gretchen is so right. Charleston is the friendliest city in the US and the food here is wonderful. If you're uncomfortable eating alone at a table (don't be-I do it all the time), then eat at the bar. You'll be with other solo diners.

If you want a cocktail with a view, go to the rooftop at Market Pavilion (pricey, but you pay for that view) or go across the bridge to Shem Creek in Mt Pleasant. Vickery's and Red's have great views of the sunset over the harbor and you can watch dolphin go by in the creek.

I highly recommend FIG, High Cotton, SNOB, Magnolia's, Cru Cafe, Hominy Grill. There are so many others. Please don't come to Charleston and miss the best part!
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Jul 24th, 2011, 02:13 PM
  #11
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Thanks Sue and Gretchen! You've renewed my confidence to travel alone (in style!) Grateful for both of your suggestions.

I'm wondering what area of Charleston you suggest I stay in? I do not need high-end but I don't want to stay in a place so dated that there is no A/C! I'll need to factor in cost for parking.
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Jul 24th, 2011, 03:44 PM
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Stay in the Historic District. I just plugged your dates into kayak.com. The Mills House came up at $108-a great deal. I'd grab that. It's nice to stay where you want to be. You can walk right out the door into all the action. AND you can stop in during the day to cool off and take a water break.
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