Drink in the atmosphere of the Old South when you visit Savannah and Charleston. Wrapped in the trappings of long storied histories these two cities are showcases of Southern culture and charm. Start in Savannah, whose Spanish moss laden trees arch over the pediments of graciously ageing antebellum Georgian mansions, filled with the voices of yesteryear. Walk its many parks and pass supernaturally populated cemeteries and homes. Venture to Charleston, the sparking point for the conflagration that was the Civil War. Move through narrow cobbled lanes, past colonial churches, public buildings and mansions of the merchants that built this elegant city. The taste of the Lowcountry fills your palate with flavors of regional dishes and the nose with the mix of salt air, sea grass and oak.
Slightly Active. May involve some walking and climbing.
Savannah is a party city, and year-round popular. However, in the Spring, the magnificent azaleas, magnolias, peach blossoms and dogwoods are in full bloom, and it’s a sight to behold. Summer is quite humid and sticky, and winter is mild with day temperatures in the low 60’s, cooling to as low as the 30’s in the evening. Similar weather can be expected in coastal Charleston. Generally, the most touristy months are April/May/October.
Arrive today in the charming and idiosyncratic city of Savannah. Situate into your historic environs located within the beautifully preserved antebellum area of Reynolds Square. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner at The Olde Pink House, an 18th century culinary landmark in Savannah. ANDAZ SAVANNAH. (D)
Let the misty past of Savannah seep into your pores on today’s tour of the city. In the morning, ambulate through Savannah’s Historical District, taking in some of its famous squares and cemeteries before ending at the City Market, where you will enjoy lunch on your own. At the waterfront, you’ll board a boat for a cruise along the Savannah River. This evening you sup at Paula Deen’s Lady and Sons restaurant and afterward, take a ghost tour of what is purported to be America’s most haunted city. ANDAZ SAVANNAH. (B,D)
Today begin early with a visit to the iconic Southern Bonaventure Cemetery, replete with oak trees that drip with Spanish moss and the weathered headstones of such permanent residents as the first Governor of Georgia, Edward Telfair, and poet Conrad Aiken. Drive a short two hours through the lush Lowcountry towards Charleston as you pass over tidal rivers, past marshes, and rolling fields. Arrive in Charleston, located on a peninsula that separates the Ashley and the Cooper Rivers. Visit one of the oldest public markets in America where you will find tasty treats as well as exquisitely woven sea grass baskets crafted by Gullah women. Within walking distance of your elegant lodgings you will enjoy exclusive boutique shopping on King Street and the College of Charleston, the 10th oldest university in the United States, founded in 1770 and whose founders include signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. For dinner tonight try the She Crab Soup at the incomparable Poogan’s Perch or any one of the other excellent dining establishments in historic Charleston such as Halls Chophouse, The Ordinary, and The MacIntosh. For a more casual option, you’ll find oysters and martinis at 39 Rue de Jean or delicious fried pickles at Virginia’s on King. THE FRANCIS MARION HOTEL. (B)
Today tour the venerable streets of Charleston founded as Charles Town in 1670. What you will find are expansive antebellum mansions, cobbled lanes, and extensive flower gardens which fill the air with sweet fragrances. You will also see a prodigious number of churches of many denominations which has earned Charleston the nickname “The Holy City”. After lunch, cruise to Fort Sumter on an island in the Charleston Harbor. Along the way you may see dolphins as they glide alongside the ferry. This evening learn the art of Lowcountry cooking at Charleston Cooks! located on East Bay Street where you will prepare, then relish a proper Southern meal. THE FRANCIS MARION HOTEL (B,D)
Continue you discovery of this living museum when you visit the historic Charleston district, South of Broad. Broad Street bisects the Charleston peninsula, and the area that lies on the southern tip features neighborhoods whose streets are lined with palatial antebellum mansions. Walk to the intersection of Broad and East Bay Street where you will find the Old Exchange Building and the Provost Dungeon. These historic edifices are a testament to the importance of trade in the founding of Charleston. Excavations related to the renovation of the Dungeon have uncovered the original fortifications of Charles Town which helped to protect the fledgling settlement from pirates. Continue on to four beautifully preserved antebellum mansions stewarded by the Preservation Society of Charleston, the oldest community based historic preservation organization in the nation. After lunch venture off the peninsula and along the Ashley River to Middleton Place Plantation to breathe in the myriad of scents emanating form its 65 acres of landscaped gardens. Tour the museum home and the stable yards before you return to Charleston. Tonight you will enjoy a farewell dinner at the Swamp Fox, conveniently located within the Francis Marion. THE FRANCIS MARION HOTEL. (B,D)
This is your last morning in Charleston. Enjoy breakfast and then make your way to the airport for your return flight home. Take with you the feeling of the moist Lowcountry air on your skin, the smell of moss and roses, and the salty wisps of sea fed breezes. (B)
From the height of Lowcountry sophistication, journey to the Southern hinterlands in the clutch of the Blue Ridge Mountains and to Asheville. Where Charleston and Savannah preserve the traditionalism of the Old South, Asheville represents its progressive, creative spirit with its performing arts venues and vibrant music scene. Here enjoy regional BBQ, fine craft beer and visit the Biltmore mansion, Thomas Wolf Memorial and the Basilica of St. Lawrence. End with a walking food tour of Asheville and discover incredible sights and tastes with Asheville’s ultimate foodies!.
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