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Roadtrip Atlanta, Macon, Savannah, Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Atlanta

Roadtrip Atlanta, Macon, Savannah, Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Atlanta

Old Nov 27th, 2013, 03:22 AM
  #1  
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Roadtrip Atlanta, Macon, Savannah, Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Atlanta

Hi all,

I'm new to this forum but already found a couple of very helpful tips and suggestions for cool road trips. Just to get all my bases covered, the following questions;
We are a couple (35-40) from Amsterdam, Netherlands and are in love with USA. Our honeymoon we spent traveling highway 1, last year we did Florida, we never miss a year without going to NYC, in short; we love America!
The next trip i wanted to plan i really need your advice;

Next May we will fly to New Orleans, spent a week there for the road trip:
New Orleans - Vicksburg - Meridian - Montgomery - Mobile - New Orleans
Then we will fly to Atlanta for a weeks trip of:
Atlanta - Macon - Savannah - Charleston - Myrtle beach - Columbia - Augusta - Atlanta

These cities/towns i indicated are not set in stone, they are just the points in our route which way we would like to travel (1000km in a week seems do-able)

We're a big fan of the south, would love to experience southern way of living; the food, music and culture. Love the "True Blood' feel of plantations, swamps, humidity etc. I know; may sound weird, but you will get it once you've been in Amsterdam ;-)
My dream was also Savannah due to "Midnight in the garden of good and evil", also; you'll find me nuts but again; visit Amsterdam ;-)

Would really appreciate all tips and suggestions ons both road trips, maybe visit other cities/town, or take an entire route altogether?
Would love to hear from you.
Jikke is offline  
Old Nov 27th, 2013, 03:36 AM
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Since you are flying "somewhere" from NOLA, I might suggest you omit Atlanta and Macon and maybe fly to Charlotte to make your loop. It will be a little less distance so more time to spend.
Charlotte is only 4 hours from MB and 3.5 from Charleston. With just a week you really don't have time to do justice to the "jewels" of your trip--Savannah and Charleston.
I know Atlanta figures mightily in Civil War type history, but it has lost its sheen to urban sprawl. Macon and Augusta and Columbia can be charming, but I'd concentrate on the others.
And Myrtle Beach is just not charming at all!! If you want a beach experience on this trip, do it around Charleston or Savannah/
I suggest Charlotte as a flight only because it has a lot of service and you can get out of town pretty quickly. If you flew to any of the coastal towns you probably would change in Charlotte, BUT it could be quicker to just fly to MB or Charleston.
Long story short, I'd concentrate on the coast--you have seen Louisiana, and Mississippi which have a great southern flavor.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Nov 27th, 2013, 06:05 AM
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Thanks Gretchen for your reply. We choose Atlanta as our starting point because we wanted to visit friends of ours after both our road trips to the US who live in Bonaire, flying from Atlanta seems the most convenient, but due to you post we might want to change our plans. Maybe then change it from New Orleans flying to Charlotte and from there road trip along the coast as far as Jacksonville? What would you say are the "jewels" en route from Savannnah-Charleston?
Jikke is offline  
Old Nov 27th, 2013, 06:36 AM
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Not Jax!! YOu don't have time!! The jewels are Savannah and Charleston. And a week with some driving time is just "about" enough. You may want to explore an open jaw return to Netherlands ticket.
IF you fly into Charlotte and want to end in Atlanta then head for Charleston, Beaufort, Savannah and then to Atlanta. You can more than fill a week.
Ask your friends to road trip with you for a while!! Meet in Charlotte?
There is a LOT to see along the SE coast around Charleston and Savannah that is totally unique and so worth your time.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Nov 27th, 2013, 10:02 AM
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From your original list of destinations, I would drop Montgomery from the first leg (and maybe Vicksburg and Meridian - though I have no personal knowledge of those) and Macon, Myrtle Beach and Columbia from the second. Macon is a nice enough place, though with little of interest, Myrtle Beach is a sprawling coastal resort area with a lot of commercial ugliness (though can be fun in a party/tacky kind of way), and Columbia is just not a nice place especially in hot weather.

If I understand correctly that you only really have 2 weeks, I'd spend most of my time in the New Orleans area then Charleston and Savannah, giving you time for drive bys of Mobile, Macon and Augusta.
Brian_in_Charlotte is offline  
Old Nov 27th, 2013, 10:16 AM
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I'd visit Natchez, MS instead we went there several years ago after New Orleans, lovely towns with some nice plantations to tour. We were there in the spring and they were giving lots of plantation and garden tours including some to places that are not normally open to the public.
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Old Nov 27th, 2013, 10:23 AM
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Second Brian, but I would keep Montgomery and Vicksburg in the mix for the first part of the trip. Montgomery is an important city historically as is Vicksburg.

Also, once you get to Montgomery, you're pretty close to Atlanta, so rather than drive back to NO and fly north, you could just continue driving. Mobile is pretty close to New Orleans so see that before going north.

On the coast, you could go from Charleston as far south as St. Mary's, Georgia, so that you could see some of the Sea Islands. I really don't think there is a week's worth of stuff to do between Charleston and Savannah, and the Sea Islands (Jekyll, St Simon's and Cumberland) are all quite different and worth a visit.

An alternative plan would be to continue north from Vicksburg as far as Memphis, TN. If you're into music at all, you could visit Clarksdale, MS, home of the blues and Memphis, home of Rock and Roll.
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Old Nov 27th, 2013, 12:49 PM
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Agree about dropping Myrtle Beach. If you're interested in a beach venue for a few days, there are much better places (maybe Hilton Head).

Savannah: Do the tour of the Mercer Williams House, which was the site for the filming of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." It's an interesting tour conducted by a local. Lasts about an hour. As for the city, I would budget about three days. That should do it. Have a meal at the Pink House for a little elegance and at the Crystal Beer Parlor for a local touch, and use one of the hop-on/hope-off trolley buses to get around. Don't bother with boat tour of the harbor.
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Old Nov 27th, 2013, 01:03 PM
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Hilton Head is a massive sterile beach development. There are much more attractive and charming beach venues along the coast between MB and Savannah--and particularly near Charleston. Just a thought.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2013, 05:53 AM
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Thanks so much for all your comments; food for thought! Seems i make the same "European" mistake every time underestimating the distances. I've linked all the highlights and changed some stuff around and am now gravitating towards:
Amsterdam - New Orleans flight, 2 days NOLA, via Baton rouge to Natchez, then Greenwood and Memphis. From there we will fly to Charleston for 2 days there, drive through to Savannah, stay there for 3 days, then on to Jacksonville via the sea islands (and from Jacksonville on to Bonaire). Does this seem do-able? And are there any good restaurants, bars, sightseeing (tours), b&b's you would recommend? Thanks again for all your help!
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Old Nov 28th, 2013, 05:59 AM
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Hilton Head?

I agree with Gretchen that anywhere between MB and Charleston will give you access to a beautiful beach without the craziness of MB or the manufactured atmosphere of Hilton Head. One of my favorites is the Hampton Inn Oceanfront south of MB and going to dinner at one of the wonderful restaurants on the boardwalk of Murrell's Inlet.

I'd pretty much skip Macon, Columbia and Augusta and spend more time elsewhere.

"We're a big fan of the south, would love to experience southern way of living; the food, music and culture"

Go to the Atlanta History Center and visit the Swan House for a taste of the south. (And if you've seen the new Hunger Games movie, you'll recognize the house). From Atlanta, head east on I-20 and stop in the little towns of Covington, Social Circle and Madison to see some of the prettiest antebellum houses around. Twelve Oaks in Covington was the inspiration for the house in Gone with the Wind. Eat at the Blue Willow Inn in Social Circle. Head south on 441 to Dublin and then get on I-16 going to Savannah. That drive will give you a taste of the south, old and new. I-16 will take you to Savannah and enjoy the low country of Savannah and Charleston with Beaufort in between. If you want an amazing experience, take the ferry from St. Mary's GA to an almost deserted barrier island, Cumberland Island. If your budget allows, stay at the Greyfield Inn (their ferry runs from Fernandina Beach/ Amelia Island, just over the state line in Florida.
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Old Nov 28th, 2013, 06:17 AM
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Based on your new itinerary, I'd do 3 days in Charleston and 2 in Savannah. And flying from JAX, I think you're going to have to connect through Charlotte or Atlanta, so you may want to head back to Atlanta from Savannah anyway. The Jacksonville area is fine, but not worth a detour.
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Old Nov 28th, 2013, 07:56 AM
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If you decide to visit Murrells Inlet, you should not miss Brookgreen Gardens, just a little further south.

Murrells Inlet
http://www.murrellsinletsc.com/history-legends.php

Brookgreen Gardens
http://www.brookgreen.org/
Patrish is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2013, 08:07 AM
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I totally agree with Brian--it just isn't worth the time--or is Bonaire in Florida (I began to think it is with that itinerary).
Patrish is right on about Brookgreen Gardens. It is a little treasure, and because of it, Litchfield is protected from the further beach sprawl from the north that could happen (Huntington Beach state Park across from Brookgreen).
Starrs, DH and I may have to "do" your itinerary sometime!!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 03:59 AM
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Haha Gretchen, you're so right; you guys really should do our itinerary sometime, it all sound really great and i've been building up quite a booklet of things to do and places to see. For your info Gretchen; Bonaire is the Dutch Antilles, 3 islands in the Caribbean sea, consisting of Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba (last one you might have heard of), so thats the reason we want to get as southern as possible to fly out from there.
Jikke is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 04:45 AM
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Well, I was really talking about Starrs' itinerary through the little Georgia towns--we've done "yours".
Thanks for the Bonaire education--I've heard of it, of course, and actually been to Curacao. charming.
I still might suggest Charlotte, if the Caribbean connections are OK for you.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 10:45 AM
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In your new itinerary, I think only two days in NOLA and three in Savannah is backward. There is much, much more to do in NOLA than in Savannah.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 11:41 AM
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TOTALLY agree about the days in Savannah vs. NOLA. This is getting complicated!! ;o)
What I really think it comes to is to see the big sites adequately and I don't think 2 days in NOLA is enough. So if you have to cut something else short, choose from your list and maybe some of the cities (Memphis, Greenwood) before the southeast coast could be shortened. I think 2 days in Savannah is sufficient.
AND you do have the 3 days tacked on for Jax. There is a lot to see around Charleston--Beaufort, Edisto, a couple of days on the beach?
Gretchen is offline  
Old May 28th, 2014, 08:01 PM
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