Road trip to Charleston and Savannah

Decided to take my first COVID real trip, so the concept of a road trip sounded appealing. I was in Florida and I’d never been to Charleston so that felt like a great place to go. Drove up straight to Charleston, stopping on Jacksonville on the way (there is really little to say about Jacksonville so I will leave it at that). Once in Charleston, the way down back to Florida had many more stops. We stayed 3 days in Charleston – here are the highlights.

Walking around historic downtown the houses were gorgeous (yes there are so many pictures as I was obsessed with them). Got to love the second floor balconies!

Great walking suggestion: just zigzag your way down the downtown area towards the Battery, so many cute houses to see. I actually liked the regular houses more than rainbow row, as colorful as that was:

Rainbow row

Here are other pictures of Charleston walking tourism highlights:

I loved this gazebo in the Battery
The fountain at joe Riley Waterfront Park is gorgeous

The Food was excellent throughout the city, I wish we had more days to try more of it. here was were we went :

  • The Ordinary- i think this might have been my favorite meal in Charleston. It has a casual setting but the food is absolutely excellent. the zucchini carpaccio and crab fried rice that I had was spectacular, but I think the highlight of the meal was the Yellowfin tuna!
  • Huskthe food did not disappoint. They were super accommodating making thinks gluten free and i had a steak with rice that was spectacular (i think it might have been much better than how it originally was with faro). Beautiful house and beautiful service.
  • Charleston Grill – this was the first dinner of the trip and set us up to really enjoy the Charleston food scene. Great wine list and super knowledgeable soms. They were also so gracious and let us try some additional wines, that were spectacular. The food was amazing. The picture is of my very simple but absolutely spectacular celeriac, carrot and ginger soup — i need to recreate this at home to eat every other day. The ambiance is much more elegant that some of the others but still had a cozy feel. Bonus for the live music (i had not heard live music in 10 months it made me happy)
  • High Cotton: One that I had a lot of expectations but actually ended up being quite terrible. I mean the She crab soup was amazing (but heavy) but yet I had never tried it so its probably good everywhere. The mains we ordered were generally terrible. Crab cakes that weren’t great, and I had scallops and grits that were just too sweet and not good.

Although i took no pictures of it, the Gluten free baguette at Caviar & Bananas could have its own blog post, that is how excited I was about that.

There was a good scene of Rooftop bars. My favorite, The Citrus bar at The Dewberry, of where we had this view

There are a lot of things to do a short car drive away from the center of Charleston. We did two. The First, Boone Hall, was one of my favorite parts of the trip. As the rom com lover you know I am, I was not going to miss checking out a The Notebook location. How gorgeous are the moss trees? gorgeous moss trees just became a trend on the trip.

We also went to Sullivan island. This might have been one of my favorite beach in the whole of the trip. Very empty, very expansive, gorgeous and super soft sand. Here are some pictures.

Also in Sullivan’s we had lunch at a great restaurant called the Obstinate Daughter.

Although I didn’t have enough time, I would have wanted to go to Drayton Hall and Middleton Place. There is really enough to do around Charleston that it warrants quite a few days. One that probably not worth going to – The Angel Oak tree. We didn’t even go in, this is a picture from the outside but i think it doesn’t warrant having to go in .

There were many cute shop highlights but my favorite one was Candlefish, a candle store. I am obsessed with their no. 78 pumpkin and vanilla candle.

Next stop was Savannah, but plenty of Great stops were had on the way there. Sadly we didn’t have a great weather day for this trek so not the greatest of pictures. First stop was Kiawah island. Apart from the general public beach we also stopped at the Sanctuary hotel which was spectacular.

Lunch stop was at Beaufort. As it was pouring rain we didn’t venture to check out the beach, but we had a fabulous little lunch at Lowcountry Produce Market & Cafe. The pimiento queso was so good.

Also, even in the rain, we got to go through the Woods Memorial Bridge – aka the bridge from Forrest Gump.

Savannah was beautiful and here are some of the highlights. In general I would say you definitely need more time in Charleston than in Savannah if you are doing this trip. We stayed three nights each (although the first night of Savannah was mostly driving towards there) but it definitely could be Four and two.

There was some really good walking done in Savannah. We walked around all of the 23 squares (I’m only sharing some of my favorite pictures!).

The square highlights for me were Chipewa square, where Forrest Gump famous scene was filmed and Monterey square where the Mercer William house is from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil fame.

My favorite part of downtown Savannah was Forsyth Park. It’s just gorgeous, especially the fountain with the moss trees (another moment to reiterate how obsessed I am now with Moss trees)

Another Highlight, was Bonaventure Cementery. The moss there against the stone was spectacular- why are no more movies filmed here?

One thing that I really enjoyed in Savannah was the Ghost tour. It might not be for everyone, but i really enjoy being told a story and seeing the city under the beautiful lights. There are plenty of tour options, I chose Ghost City Tours, basically because they were the only ones hat required masks (in the crazyness that is Georgia that was a must)

One little Savannah road trip that did disappoint a tad was Tybee beach. Yes its a nice beach but compared to the other ones we had been in the sand was much rockier. It was also fuller and as I could tell the mask situation was way worse in Georgia than South Carolina. We capped our Tybee excursion having lunch at the Original Crab Shack, and it was good but below expectations .

Speaking of food, There was some great food had here too, although it was evident that the food scene is much more robust in Charleston than in Savannah

The Grey was the best meal we had in Savannah but it wasn’t without complications. The food scene is not as large and given that we did our trip last minute we obviously didn’t get reservations. We got an email saying that the diner Bar started seating at 5 and waitlist opened at 530 so we went at that time. However we followed the rules too close and things didn’t work out as well. At 530 the people who shouldn’t have stayed did so and got ahead of us on the list so we got second seating. When we arrived 3 hours later we still didn’t have a table. Two drinks later and at almost 930 we finally got a table. However, all our dishes were delayed (with many apologies) so we left close to midnight. The food was excellent, but after an almost 6 hours odyssey some of the luster was gone. But the lamb with the potatoes might have made it all worth it.

Our first meal in savannah was at a restaurant called Old Pink House. I mean how could i not go eat to a restaurant called Old pink house? (and if you are wondering yes I wore a pink dress to the old pink house). It was a beautiful house and a very traditional setting. The food was very good, not great, but still very much worth going.

in Savannah we also went to Husk, and it might have been even better than the one in Charleston. Pictured below, butternut squash Caesar salad and pimiento cheese.

and in Covid times, Rooftop bars are a great way to go, especially with the great sunsets. We tried two, one ok: Myrtle & Rose Rooftop Garden and one great: Peregrin

One store highlight worth sharing in Savannah, the Paris market. Such a cool eclectic mix and the Fancy Aristocrat jewelry was amazing.

The trip from Savanah back to Miami had some great highlights. The mid stop this time was Orlando, which is always a good idea!

Saint Simons Island was cute and a good first stop, but nothing really to write home about as where we really wanted to go, sea island, we couldn’t get in as they were being really strict about only letting members in. Not even he excuse to eat inside worked this time.

My favorite part was, Jekyll island, especially Driftwood beach. It was spectacular!

The last stop was St Agustine. I was looking forward to it, as I had never been, however it was a bit of a disappointment. A nice small fortress but the town looked fake to me, a little to Disney in a bad way (as Disney usually has all the positive connotations to me). Also so many people without masks just turned me off.

And since most of my travel posts are usually in the 10 things I love about format, why not finish it off that way? Here’s my summary of the trip, the 10 things I loved …

  1. Moss Trees
  2. Avenue of the oaks in Boone Hall
  3. Driftwood beach
  4. Kiahaw island (and the sanctuary hotel)
  5. Forsyth Park
  6. The Ordinary
  7. Bonaventure Cemetery
  8. Beautiful House Balconies
  9. The Grey
  10. Sullivan Beach

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