Southeast · Travel · United States

The Road Taken: Highlights from our Spring Break Road Trip to the South

If you have been keeping up with the blog, you are probably very up to date on our road trip to Charleston, Savannah, & Myrtle Beach last week. While the entire trip was amazing, there were definitely some parts that we would do over in a heart beat, others that seeing once was enough but we’d recommend to a friend, and a few things we would have done differently or will do next time. We spent the most time in Charleston, which is good because it ended up being our favorite of our three stops. We managed to pack quite a bit into our 3.5 days there. Below you’ll find our favorites.

Top 10 Favorite Activities in Charleston 

  1. Charleston Tea Plantation (part of the Sip & See Tour)
  2. Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
  3. Charleston Free Tours by Foot (especially learning how to spot Philip Simmons Ironwork)
  4. Sunset Cruise on the Schooner Pride 
  5. Boone Hall Plantation
  6. Angel Oak Tree (also part of the Sip & See Tour)
  7. The Stained Glass at St. Michael’s Church 
  8. Shopping at the Historic Charleston City Market
  9. Rainbow Row 
  10. Seeing the amazing transformation of the Dock Street Theatre

If you read our post about planning this trip, you know that we planned out our activities in Charleston more so than any where else. Even with all of that planning, we only ended up doing a little over half of the things we had planned. A few things we changed due to weather such as switching to a sunset cruise instead of the Charleston Harbor Tour and foregoing the Evening Carriage Ride Tour. Others such as the History & Homes Tour and Upper King Street Culinary Tour were either sold out or cancelled for the day we were planning to do them.

While we were sad we didn’t get to do everything we had originally planned, we definitely found that waiting until the last minute to book things worked in our favor since we had rain for a few hours two of the days we were in Charleston and we were able to rearrange things as we went. While the food tour would have been cool, we definitely made up for not going by trying out a lot of local restaurants. Below are some of our favorites.

Top 5 Restaurants in Charleston 

  1. Slightly North of Broad (S.N.O.B.)
  2. Hominy Grill
  3. Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House
  4. Pearlz Oyster Bar
  5. Bowen’s Island Restaurant

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By the time we made it to Savannah, we were pretty tired and with only about 24 hours to spend, we tried to see the highlights and get a feel for what we would like to do next time we go. Here are our picks for must do activities & restaurants:

Top 5 Must See & Eat in Savannah

  1. Savannah Free Walking Tour
  2. Shopping at Savannah Bee Company Store (including Honey & Mead Tasting) & The Paris Market
  3. Bonaventure Cemetery 
  4. The Public Kitchen & Bar 
  5. The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist 

  

So you may be wondering what we would change if we could do it all over. I think Tori & I both agree that we would have been better off picking a beach closer to Charleston & Savannah than Myrtle Beach was. That would have given us a lot more flexibility if we had bad weather because we could have just gone back into the city for more exploring. It probably would have also been best to put the beach day in the middle of the trip instead of the end so we could have had a chance to sleep in and rest our feet before heading to Savannah. Next time I think we’ll try Hilton Head or one of the beach towns right outside of Charleston. Now that we have had a taste of each city and what it has to offer, there are definitely a few things we will be adding to our must see list. For starters, I think we’ll probably stay in Summerville again since that worked out well after a long day of driving. Instead of being in a huge rush to get to Charleston in the morning though, we’ll plan to tour one of the plantations on Rt 61 on our way to Charleston instead of just driving past them.

In Charleston, I think we’ll plan out where we want to eat about a month before we’ll be there and make reservations. There were quite a few restaurants such as Husk that we would have liked to try, but were already completely booked up. While it was interesting to see the Old Exchange Building, I’m not sure that it would be one of my go to historic tour activities if I could do it over. I think next time we’ll focus a bit more on the historic homes and learn more about them by going on a carriage ride or architecture tour and actually taking tours of a few of the houses. While we loved the quiet location of the Hilton Garden Inn and shuttle (which ran every hour to Waterfront Park), it might be nice to spend the extra money and stay in a historic Bed & Breakfast at least one night.

In Savannah, we’ll definitely want to see a bit more of the city and historic homes and maybe try out a trolley hop on & off tour if we stay close to the starting point like we did this time. We’ll also want to take advantage of Savannah’s lax open container policy and do a bit of bar hoping with to-go cups. A haunted tour or haunted pub crawl will also be on the to do list so that we can really get to know more about the most haunted city in the country. Besides that, the Olde Pink House and Lady & Sons restaurants are definitely going to be on our must eat lists.

Overall, we can’t wait to make our way back to Charleston & Savannah since there are still so many places to see & great restaurants to try. Plus, between the amazing weather, being right on the water, and the slower pace, they are the perfect places to go and slow down while still getting to learn and experience new things.

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5 thoughts on “The Road Taken: Highlights from our Spring Break Road Trip to the South

  1. Great review! I just visited these cities also and totally agree there is so much more to do there than I could fit in in the short time I had. I’d love to tour Charleston’s surrounding islands in particular.

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  2. Wow, Charleston and Savannah looks amazing! Its fun to see like, whats USA its like. I just really know the big and famous cities! Looks very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

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