Savannah or Charleston

Nov 14th, 2009, 01:45 PM
  #1  
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Savannah or Charleston

I am planning a short vacation in January and am debating whether to go to Charleston, South Carolina or Savannah, GA. Are they usually about the same warmness that time of year? I am leaning towards Charleston because it is more well known.
Thanks-
asdaven is offline  
Nov 14th, 2009, 02:42 PM
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Hi, first of all just wanted to let you know that the temperature will be roughly the same between the two. And then secondly, while I am a Georgia girl and love Savannah, Charleston is truly the jewel of the south. The abundance of beautiful southern architecture in Charleston give it the edge and also, they seem to have less of a crime problem. Both cities have great dining and lots of history. Good luck. I think you will enjoy either one. But Charleston would be my first pick.
chinahart is offline  
Nov 14th, 2009, 02:47 PM
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Charleston. January weather is often miserable in that area of the country (either city) - damp, raw, cool.
gail is offline  
Nov 14th, 2009, 03:17 PM
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You'll find that Fodorites on this board tend to favor Charleston about 3-1 over Savannah. Several posts on here detailing the two specifically.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2009, 03:58 PM
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Charleston would also have the advantage because savannah is a longer drive as I live in Maryland. Charleston would probably have much warmer weather than here in January.
asdaven is offline  
Nov 14th, 2009, 05:59 PM
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Avg Jan high 57 degrees/low 42 - For Baltimore avg high 44/low 29. Not sure if that is much warmer. (source - weather.com)
gail is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 04:24 AM
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Charleston will probably feel temperate to you since you are from Maryland. I wouldn't let the potential for cold weather discourage your trip. It could be 40 or it could be 70, you just never know. But there is plenty to do inside and out. Hope you enjoy!
chinahart is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 05:25 AM
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All true. I'm in Charleston. I LOVE Savannah, but I can give better recs for here.

It will not be warm enough for beach activity other than a nice walk. I love it in winter-nobody around.

Take a carriage or walking tour downtown first thing. It will help you get your bearing and find places you may want to explore further. Hope you enjoy it.

Restaurants to try should include High Cotton, SNOB, FIG, Jestine's, Hominy Grill, and, for true specialness, Peninsula Grill.
suewoo is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 05:39 AM
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How many days do you plan on? The cities are only about 2 hours apart and many people do both the same trip.

I used to live in Savannah and find it beautiful, with all the pretty squares with their oak trees dripping with moss and nicely landscaped year round, usually a monument or some focal point in each square, pretty homes lining the squares.

Charleston is more of a lovely city. Lacking the squares, it just never seemed as green to me, but I LOVE that city none-the-less. The dining selection was much better, as was the shopping. We actually drove to Charleston just for clothing shopping a couple times a year, as Savannah's selection was lacking. The antique shops along King St (Charleston) are wonderful as well.

So if you have the time, while I would spend more time in Charleston, I'd also plan on seeing Savannah. When my brother visited us his favorite city of the two was Savannah. He's not at all into shopping, so that wasn't a factor for him and he loved the quieter beauty of Savannah.
OO is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 06:03 AM
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My favorite saying about the two cities goes something like this: Charleston and Savannah are sister cities with Charleston being the prim and proper one and Savannah being the partying, loose one. Both cities are full of history, beautiful architecture, restaurants and museums and/or houses to tour.

I took my SILs,(six of them) and MIL to both cities a few years back, thinking that they would prefer Charleston over Savannah. They surprised me and all liked Savannah better.
They thought that Savannah was easier to walk around in.

DH and I love both cities and if we are at one we usually take a day and go to the other. But if we can only go to one Savannah wins hands down.
cgenster is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 06:04 AM
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A vote here for Savannah, just to round the picture out a little. Charleston is indeed more orderly, more amenable to tourist interests, etc. But I like Savannah's funkiness, the little discoveries you can happen on such as the array of gardens, the history you can absorb that doesn't come in history books, the quirkiness and the natural and less landscaped grace of it. It's kind of the difference between an upscale regional resort hotel and a boutique/local-landmark hotel, not so much on account of size as atmosphere.
Cyanna is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 06:19 AM
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GREAT comparison Cyanna...that should earn you a spot in some Fodors guide as a "word of mouth" quote!
OO is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 08:21 AM
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I have been to both cities and I prefer Charleston.
janiekins is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 09:03 AM
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Have been to both, and while I'd pick Charleston over Savannah if I had to choose, am agreeing with OO that it's easy to see both in a single trip. Two full days in Savannah and three full days in Charleston is a good basic amount of time for a visit, though one can spend longer as well.
bachslunch is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 10:40 AM
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I was watching some show about Savannah on TV. A lady on there said "In Charleston they ask you who are your people. In Savannah they ask you what you want to drink." So true!
suewoo is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 01:48 PM
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Sounds like i ll be visiting both places then, focusing on Charleston more with a daytrip or maybe longer in Savannah.
asdaven is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 02:05 PM
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We've only been to Charleston, but we found it to be really charming. Lots of interesting history with the plantations and beautiful architecture. Great restaurants too.
volcanogirl is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 03:27 PM
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We were in both cities on the same trip -- it was a Charleston/Hilton Head trip, but while in Hilton Head, we made our way to Savannah for a very quick "look-see". We loved both cities, so I agree if you have the opportunity, visit both. Charleston is urbane and beautiful, with fantastic architecture, great shopping and eating. Savannah oozes southern charm.
sf7307 is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 04:24 AM
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MIND YOUR SPEED on Highway 17 between Charleston and Beaufort. There's onstruction on the road and the speed changes. The cops are there so be aware.
suewoo is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 04:52 AM
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8 of us went for a girlfriend getaway for 5 days in Savannah the end of October. We spent 1 full day in Charleston, we did a city tour and a Plantation tour. The consensus of the group was we enjoyed Savannah the most. Being able to walk past the beautiful houses, thru the squares, and meander back was our highlight. We also drove to Bonaventure Cemetery and Tybee Island - which pleased the ones that wanted a beach day. Charleston was beautiful and big.. I wouldn't want to drive too much in that city.. it was congested. Savannah was more relaxing and you could walk the town with an alcoholic drink in your hand. If you are looking for a relaxing time, I would recommend Savannah.. to just sit in one of their parks and absorb the scenery with all the spanish moss hanging from those huge trees - just beautiful.
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