Tour Charleston and Savannah because of their rich history, unique culture, and beauty. Both are easy walking cities with historic districts conveniently arranged around plazas and parks.
Charleston boasts rainbow houses, ornate churches, riverside parks, sidewalk cafes, and the Old City Market, four blocks of open air buildings with hundreds of vendors. In spring to early summer the air is scented with gardenias. Check out the month long Festival of Houses and Gardens, including Glorious Gardens, where guests can stroll leisurely through 8 to 10 private gardens. Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began, is a great learning experience for kids and adults. At Magnolia Plantation you’ll drift back in time. Plentiful restaurants, offering local Low country cuisine to top European fare, make Charleston a culinary delight. I especially love the shrimp and grits at Slightly North of Broad restaurant. Take a carriage ride around the city and also do a Gullah city tour to get an African American perspective. Gullah is the language spoken by the city’s first black inhabitants.
In Savannah, travel time 2 hours south, Forsyth Park is hard to miss. It’s 30 acres in the heart of the historic district, anchored by a huge fountain reminiscent of ones in Paris and the Confederate Memorial Statue. It’s the perfect place to sit under moss draped centuries old trees with a praline or ice cream. The renovated Forsyth Mansion hotel overlooking the park is a high cotton experience, offering fine cuisine, entertainment, and showcasing an expansive art collection. Although sometimes noisy during summer the river front is where to stay. Lined with cafes serving up live music with fried green tomatoes and mint juleps, and solo saxophonist jazzing up the street corners, it’s a symphony of the senses. Visit Telfair, the oldest art museum in the South,enjoy southern cuisine at Paula Deans’ Lady and Sons restaurant. Nearby Tybee Island with it’s beautiful beach makes a great day trip.
If you have a couple days more do visit Hilton Head Island between the 2 cities. The beaches there are superb. Vacation rentals are what I recommend here, although many do not rent for less than a week during peak times. Hotel rooms are generally expensive. This is time for fun in the sun, great for families, and golfing too. Rent a bike. The trails through the oaks and pines are a good way to explore this beautiful island.