14 April 2011

We recently spend a week on vacation in the southern cities of Savannah and Charleston. I'd heard good things about both cities in terms of their beauty and historic interest - and I can confirm those good things. Both are well worth a couple days of wandering around.

  • Early April is a good time to go. It was nicely warm without being too hot and the azaleas were in full bloom. Sadly we were a week or so too early for the jasmine.
  • The two cities have a quite different atmosphere. Savannah reveled in quiet squares under canopies of live oak and spanish moss; Charleston felt more open. So they made a good contrast for a one week trip.
  • For accommodation we arranged a couple of houses to rent from VRBO. Both houses worked out really well and we'll consider doing something like this again. I spend too much of my life in hotels.
  • It seems mandatory to read The Book before you go to Savannah. We were told that The Film of The Book wasn't very good, but since our rental house had a DVD on hand we gave it try. We agreed with them - don't bother. If you want a visual version of The Book a better option is a TV documentary that's available on YouTube.

Although we liked the cities a lot, we also got out to some nearby places

  • Middleton Place is a former plantation which they've turned into a lovely garden. We gladly spent a full day there.
  • Jekyll Island, south of Savannah, is an old vacation ground of wealthy magnates in the gilded age. We enjoyed the historic tour and pottering around the paths near the beach. This would be a great place to explore with a bike.
  • Beaufort made a good stop in between the two cities. Plenty of old houses to gawp at and a good lunch at Blackstone's

Restaurant recommendations: