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Savannah - Charleston Advice/Suggestion?
Old 08-21-2008, 09:42 PM   #1
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Savannah - Charleston Advice/Suggestion?

My wife and I plan to fly into Savannah on Sat, Sept 6th, arriving mid evening, will spend Sun and Mon morning in Sav. Hope to have a meal at Paula Deen's place, may not be able to due to their reservation policy.

Will rent a car on Mon in Sav and drive to Charleston, will spend Mon, Tue, and Wed in Charleston and leave on Thurs. Hope to visit Middleton Plantation.

Looking for suggestions on things that we should not miss or nice restaurants in both cities. Not much time in Savannah though, may not have a lot of time for a decent meal.

Hope the weather will not be too hot and too humid - we are coming from CA.

All suggestions are welcomed.

mP
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:12 PM   #2
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We were in Savannah back in May. To get a nice overview of the city and it's history you can take one of the many trolley tours that are available. We also went on a late evening "Ghost Carriage Tour". The guides on both the trolley tour and the "ghost tour" gave a lot of the history of Savannah and it's now-deceased citizens. The historic district of Savannah is also very conducive to walking.....maps are available at most if not all of the hotels (as well as brochures for all of the tour options available....there are 'squares' every few blocks that offer plenty of benches and shade for resting, and there are restaurants, cafes, and little shops of all sorts all over the place. We got 'day passes' for the trolleys, so we had unlimited access to ride them, jump off and sightsee or eat, jump back on and ride a ways, jump off to explore something else, jump on, etc, etc.

We went to Paula Deen's restaurant, "Lady & Sons", for dinner one evening. It was good, but maybe a little over-rated...of course what they serve there is the same food that I grew up on, and still eat most everyday.....southern cookin'. We also went to Paula's brother Bubba's restaurant for lunch one day.....it's "Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House". It's a few miles outside of town, but worth the short drive. I think the food there was better.....just my opinion. Also had really good food down along the river front at "Riverhouse Seafood & Bakery" which is in an 1850’s King Cotton warehouse....good grub & good service!

Savannah is a tourist's city....easy to get around.....lots to see and do...lots of good food......and a strong police presence that keeps the ne'r-do-wells and panhandlers at bay.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:27 PM   #3
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We stayed at one of the historic B&B's in Savanna and loved it. There are several around, all in 1800s row houses. Check it out if you have time.

Just walking around the city is very nice, too. The squares with different configurations (statues, fountains, trees, etc.) make it interesting.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:31 PM   #4
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Thanks, we will be staying at the Mansion on Forsyth Park.
My question is if we need to have a car while in Savannah?

Originally was not planning to rent a car until the day we leave for Charleston.

mP
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:49 PM   #5
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Carey Hilliards has some good fish and Bate's Rest has the best Fried Onion Rings I have ever tasted along with some very good chicken. Jerri's Kinfolks is worth walking around in. It is a block or so off of River Street and is a good size warehouse chock full of antiques. River Street is a nice stroll but way too much of the tourist trap crap.
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Old 08-22-2008, 12:00 AM   #6
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We had a car and I don't remember seeing a lot of public transit. However, depending on how big an area you want to roam, you can probably manage it on foot. Parking is a bit tight, and you may end up walking a couple of blocks to your destination if you decide to rent a car.
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Old 08-22-2008, 12:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Thanks, we will be staying at the Mansion on Forsyth Park.
My question is if we need to have a car while in Savannah?

Originally was not planning to rent a car until the day we leave for Charleston.

mP
If your staying in the 'historic district', then you probably really don't need a car. The trolleys run continuous loops...about every 15-20 minutes. IIRC, you don't have to walk more than 2-3 blocks (max.) from the trolley stops, to get to just about anything and everything. You can download a PDF map of the historic district here.

Also you might want to check out the Savannah Area Convention & Visitors Bureau website.

We were there for 5 days and didn't have or need a car. We took our motorcoach out to Uncle Bubba's Oyster House, other than that, we took the trolleys (most of the time) to where we wanted to go, or else we walked if it was a only a short distance....which most things are.

(BTW, the PDF map listed above shows all of the trolley stops.)
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Parking is a bit tight, and you may end up walking a couple of blocks to your destination if you decide to rent a car.
Very true! And if you do find a parking spot near your hotel, and then you decide to drive somewhere....good luck finding a spot when you return. And most of the streets are very narrow......especially when they park on both sides and some morons people don't know how to park close to the curb! It's much easier to walk and/or hop the trolley.
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Old 08-22-2008, 02:46 AM   #8
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Patriots Point Naval Museum in Charleston was a great day for my family,Lots of stuff to see on the aircraft carrier,the cruiser and the submarine.
Stayed at the Best Western downtown and had a great supper next door at Sticky Fingers
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:35 AM   #9
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Hey Disappointed, I'm in Charleston. Glad you are coming! Probably pretty hot and humid, it is September after all. Are you flying out of Charleston or driving back to Savannah?
The drive up is really pretty, the ACE basin area is so picturesque, but don't drive it at night if at all possible. One stop that would be nice to break up the journey is near Gardens Corners (when you exit I-95 at Point South, onto Hwy 17 North)--Old Sheldon Church. It is a beautiful ruins of a church, with an old cemetery and lovely live oak trees. Good place to stretch your legs. You'll see signs for it a few miles after you exit on to Hwy 17.

Are you staying downtown in Charleston? That is nice for walking around and very convenient. There are a ton of good restaurants. I recommend that you try one of our rooftop bars for a nice sunset, either the Market Pavilion or the Rooftop Bar at the Vendue Inn. Pretty view of the city. Hard to get a bad meal here, but what do you want--seafood, Southern food, barbecue, etc?

Middleton is a great place, lots to see there. Also you might want to check out Charles Towne Landing, a real hidden jewel and the site of the original settlement in Charleston. Beaches are all nice: Isle of Palms is pretty and has the quintessential beach bar in the Windjammer, Folly Beach is laid back surfer with cute restaurants, including one on the pier beachfront.

PM me if you want some more details--I'd love to help in any way I can. Also, as always for friends on the forum, if you'd like to take a boat ride in the harbor, let me know. We'd be delighted to take you on a sunset harbor cruise--it is a great way to check out the city and we like an excuse to get on the water.
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Savannah and Charleston
Old 08-22-2008, 10:15 PM   #10
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Savannah and Charleston

We took the same trip but threw in Hilton Head Island as well. Hilton Head is not far from Savannah and has many attractions.
After the trip I read the book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It is a non-fiction book that reads like fiction and provides intimate details about Savannah. Next time I go, hope to find a tour that goes to actual places in the book.
Savannah has 23 squares, and is a jewel of the South. Sherman did not burn it down and gave it intact to Lincoln as a gift.
There is a place on the Riverfront where you can get beignets for breakfast and creole food for lunch.
Also enjoyed eating at the Pirate House.
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Old 08-23-2008, 03:10 AM   #11
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Try Hyman's seafood in Charleston... Historic District.
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Old 08-23-2008, 06:51 AM   #12
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been to savannah a few times. love it. never use the car once i'm there. i like to just wander through the historic downtown and take in the details of the place. sorry i don't keep in mind names of places but last time i wound up in a really good restaurant with great music and later in a bar with this ancient & amazingly talented jazz pianist. she was just sooo good.

i got too tired on my last trip and missed a sidestop that i'm told is a mustn't miss. between savannah & charleston is beaufort, sc. seems picturesque enough as apparently more than just gump was filmed there. http://www.beaufortusa.com/Films.htm
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:57 AM   #13
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Go to "Hueys" on the river...great fried green tomatoes!
Enjoy,
Chris
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Old 08-23-2008, 12:55 PM   #14
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When I was there, there were many "Midnight Garden" tours offered (not at midnight, though!). I also recommend reading the book before you go. It gives the place a lot more context.
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Old 08-23-2008, 01:24 PM   #15
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After the trip I read the book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It is a non-fiction book that reads like fiction and provides intimate details about Savannah. Next time I go, hope to find a tour that goes to actual places in the book.
The 'Ghost Carriage Tours" and the Trolley Tours point out the locations mentioned in the book. You can also find maps or guides that show the locations (as well as other historic places), then you can jump on the regular trolley and go to each of those spots on your own to spend time and explore.
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