South Carolina, Georgia, North Florida Coast

Nov 22nd, 2010, 07:00 PM
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South Carolina, Georgia, North Florida Coast

We are planning an 18 day trip along the coast of SC, Georgia, and Florida as far south as Cape Canaveral. What places do you recommend we stay along that route? Each place we stay we would like to spend 3-4 nights.
montereybob is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2010, 07:02 PM
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What time of year?
What are your interests?
What kind of budget - moderate, "it depends", splurge?
starrs is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 03:03 AM
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starrs is right. We can give you best recs with more information.
suewoo is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 04:51 AM
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Most any time of year it would be Charleston, Savannah and then......
If they wanted they could start a bit north of Charleston and take in Litchfield/Pawley's Island/Georgetown for a day or so and see Brookgreen and the charming Georgetown as an addendum to the history of Charleston, since that is where the rice planters spent their summers. Brookgreen is a more "modern" treat with the incredible art and sculptures of Anna Huntington. Their home Atalanta is worth a look just for sheer wonder of the strange layout/architecture!
Gretchen is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 05:26 AM
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You should definitely visit Charleston & Savannah. Have you looked into the islands just off the Georgia coast? Also recommend St. Augustine's.
Kwoo is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 05:53 AM
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The obvious choices have been mentioned. This is a VERY leisurely trip with each driving leg ranging from 2 to 2-1/2 hours.

Not sure where you are starting but assuming it's from the northern SC coast:

Myrle Beach SC - 3 nights
Drive 2 hours to Charleston
Charleston SC - 3 nights
Drive 2-1/2 hours to Savannah GA
Savannah GA - 3 nights
Drive 2 hours to Jekyll Island GA
Jekyll Island GA - 3 nights
Drive to St. Augustin FL
St. Augustin FL - 3 nights
Drive 2 hours to Cape Canaveral FL
Cape Canaveral FL - 3 nights

Total of 18 nights - this is a good framework that hits the best of the coast. Check Fodor's "Destinations" for ideas of what to do/eat/stay in each place.
bardo1 is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 06:06 AM
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I agree with bardo, although I'd probably choose a quiet SC island over Myrtle Beach.

If you want to do something very different, take a day trip to Cumberland Island out of St Mary's GA.
If you have $$$ to splurge, take the ferry from Fernandina Beach and stay at the Greyfield on Cumberland.

Clarification - here's the destination
Daytrippers leave from St Mary's GA
Greyfield guest leave from FB -

Cumberland is wonderful. An (almost deserted) island, with miles and miles of beaches, wild horses, nature at its best.
starrs is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 08:40 AM
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Thanks for all the recommendations. We'll be traveling in March. Moderate budget. Interests are history, nature, architecture, scenic hikes, good restaurants.
montereybob is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 09:15 AM
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I'm most familiar with the Charleston area. I agree with Gretchen re Pawley's and Brookgreen. The azaleas will be blooming in March and Brookgreen will be stunning.

While visiting Charleston, decide if you want to stay at the beach or in the Historic District. The nice thing about the HD is that it's easy to walk most of it. I recommend you take a carriage ride first thing. it's a great way to see the city for the first time. The guides for all companies have to pass history tests. The plantations will also be i bloom and worth visiting.

On your way from Charleston to Savannah stop by Beaufort, SC. The Old Sheldon Church ruins (off 17) and Hunting Island are both worth a visit.
suewoo is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 09:21 AM
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Please please don't do MB, and especially for 3 days.
down around Charleston (SueWoo can tell you where) there is Bird Island or Hunting Island that would be WONderful for hiking and bird watching.
On the road between Georgetown and Charleston there are also a number of smaller plantations. I'd need to look up the names, but they could be interesting. The orginal plantation house for Litchfield is also "there"--now a b*B and just wonderful just to drive up the oak lined drive to see it.
Agree about Beaufort, of course. The SC/Georgia coast is rich rich. Plus the cuisine.
Gretchen is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 09:30 AM
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Given your interests and that you are traveling in March, try to be in Savannah during the home and garden tour -
starrs is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 10:22 AM
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I did a similar trip a few years ago - Charleston, Savannah, Amelia Island & St. Augustine. It would also be nice to know who 'we' is ? A couple in their 90's ? A couple in their 20's ? A couple w/17 kids ? You get the idea....
SAnParis2 is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 11:27 AM
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I'm with the "drop Myrtle Beach" crowd. Simply too, too, commercial. It seems now to be a town built for teenagers.

I'd do a couple of days in the Litchfield/Pawleys area. Hit Brookgreen, Huntington Park, Georgetown, Eat at Lee's Inlet Kitchen in Murrells Inlet at least once. Try the crab cakes at the Rice Paddy in Georgetown. Perhaps stay at the Litchfield Inn, or if you are a beach person, and want to stay in an old Inn going back more than 50 years, try the Pelican Inn on Pawleys itself. Rudimentary but quaint. One the only two commercial places on the entire island.

On the way to Charleston, I'd take a left at McClellandville and drive thru the community that was hit hardest by Hurricane Hugo and see how they have built back a beautiful little town after being under 12 feet of water. Only one restaurant but they know how to fry shrimp and fish. Another lunch alternative on the way to Charleston is the SeeWee restaurant in Awendaw. On your right. Down home.

I'd opt for staying in downtown Charleston simply to avoid driving to dinner at night and avoiding the parking problem during the day.

I'd do a couple of nights in Beaufort. Do the town, Hunting Island, Sheldon Church. Take Jon Sharpe's walking tour or a buggy ride. Eat at Plums, Breakwater, Emily's, Blackstones, and maybe Dockside. Stay downtown at Beaufort Inn, City Lofts, or Rhett House Inn. Outside of the downtown area are Hilton, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn, all new and nice.

Don't know where you are from but if serious oyster picking and shucking has any interest for you, on your way to Savannah stop by the Bluffton Oyster Company and watch them in action. The family has been in the oyster business for over 100 years.

I'll leave Savannah and south to those who know it better.

A few years ago I had great couple of weeks just starting in North Carolina and driving south on Hwy 17, I took every road that went to left all the way to Jacksonville. I found many neat and interesting places at the end of those roads. Shallote and Sneads Ferry in North Carolina, Bennetts Point and Edisto in South Carolina. Darien in Georgia.

I'd encourage you to get off the beaten path, step back a bit in time, and get a feel for the lives of the people who make their living off the marshes and the rivers.
weber6560 is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 11:49 AM
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Thanks for all the great advice.
montereybob is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 02:54 PM
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The Litchfield Inn has been renovated and it is RIGHT on the ocean--the only "hotel" that is. It should be available at pretty good prices that time of year. The hotel at Litchfield by the Sea is nicer, not on the beach. Litchfield Inn also has a restaurant that is being run by a chef who used to run Austin's. It could be a pretty good place to stay.
Lee's is not our favorite place but is good. There are a multitude of just wonderful restaurants in Pawley's/Murrell's Inlet. Probably the best seafood north of Charleston, and better than most IN charleston!!
That part of the coast really is worth a few days of such a nice long trip. It is also a good shoulder season for prices.
Gretchen is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 03:31 PM
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One hotel I do like in the area is the Hampton Inn Oceanfront. It's a lovely Hampton Inn, south of the craziness of Myrtle Beach and closer to the restaurants that Gretchen refers to at Murrell's Inlet. The Myrtle Beach airport is very easy to fly into, and you could get a "touch" of MB if you want.
The tripadvisor reviews came up when I googled for the link and the average is pretty much 5 stars (out of 5)

It's a short, easy drive from there to Murrell's Inlet for dinner.

GoTravel recommended several restaurants to me and I enjoyed Creek Ratz. Especially nice is the chance to stroll the wooden Marsh Walk after dinner -

Click on the video here to get a preview of the marsh walk -
starrs is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 04:20 PM
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Id stay in titusville if you go the Cape--the new Holiday Inn is great---visit Kenndey Space Center and do the shuttle ride and Imax.Also do the bus ride to the shuttle building.Astronaut Hall of Fame is very nice, as is Merrit Island Preserve.Id check to see if there are ANY laiunches while youre there. Pumpernickels has good food, and theres a very good Italian On 1A--cant recall name.Theres a seafood spot at the base of the bridge as well--of course cant recall name either,sorry.If you have time, its a good spot to do a airboat ride--theres a spot a few miles East of the hotel--try for a smaller boat
bigbomoho is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 06:45 PM
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Is Daytona Beach a good place to stay for beaches and swimming in North Florida? Is it currently a spring break destination?
montereybob is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 10:50 PM
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OOHHHHH yeah, it is.
suewoo is offline  
Nov 24th, 2010, 03:20 AM
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Definitely Jekyll Island, GA. Midway between Savannah and Jacksonville, stay the the Jekyll Island Club Hotel or choose the new Hampton Inn that is on the beach. Bring your bike or rent some so you can enjoy the miles of trails. Golf, dolphon excursions, birding, etc., etc. Safe and friendly. Enjoy!
Eric_Garvey is offline  

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