Southern USA road trip: cities & beaches

Trip ideas
Duration (in days): 9

From: Charleston

To: Savannah

From

£1,060

Exc. International flights (per person, based on 2 sharing) 
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Overview

Explore the colonial cities and endless beaches of South Carolina and Georgia on this Southern USA road trip. Start amongst the cobbled streets of Charleston, where you can stroll past historic mansions and learn about Gullah culture in the former slave plantations. Next head south, stopping in at Hunting Island to climb the lighthouse and enjoy views over the Atlantic, before arriving at Jekyll Island to spend a couple of days on the sandy beaches. Finish your road trip in the city of Savannah, famous for its elegantly manicured parks and crunchy fried chicken.

This Southern USA road trip can be tailored to suit your requirements please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream American road trip.

Highlights

  • Stroll around the historic centre of Charleston
  • Wander amongst the moss covered oak trees at Boone Hall Plantation  
  • Enjoy views of the Atlantic from the Hunting Island lighthouse
  • Take photos of the bizarre trees on Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island
  • Sample locally brewed beer in Savannah
  • Play in the waves at Tybee Island on the coast
Itinerary

 

Itinerary in brief:

  • 3 nights Charleston        
  • 2 nights Jekyll Island     
  • 3 nights Savannah          

 

Day 1: Arrive Charleston     

On arrival in Charleston, you will pick up your rental car and make your own way to the hotel, where you will check in for three nights.     


Days 2 & 3: Charleston        

Charleston is a small city of cobblestone streets and colonial mansions, where southerners know their neighbours and greet people on the street. Wander through Waterfront Park with a coffee, taking in the views, before strolling over to the City Market for lunch, which has been serving customers for over 200 years. Take a carriage ride through the city to Rainbow Row, a series of colourful buildings, and continue to admire the colonial architecture before enjoying a delicious seafood boil, made of ruby red crayfish and bright yellow sweetcorn.

On your second day, you can venture out to Mount Pleasant and explore Boone Hall Plantation, one of the oldest in the area, with rows of oak trees covered in Spanish moss and a huge house to explore. You can learn about the slave trade here, as well as the Gullah culture which rose from the African slaves. It’s a fascinating insight into a horrific era of history.


Day 4: Hunting Island State Park  

Today you’ll drive south past Savannah to Jekyll Island. On your way, why not stop in at Hunting Island State Park, with endless sandy beaches and twisting nature trails tempt. The historic lighthouse here is the only one open to the public in South Carolina, with idyllic views over the Atlantic from the top. Nearby, you can visit the ruins of Old Sheldon Church, a chapel that was supposedly burned by the British during the revolutionary war, before driving on to Jekyll Island, where you’ll check into your hotel for two nights.


Day 5: Jekyll Island     

The furthest south of the Golden Isles, Jekyll Island is a gorgeous little spot to explore between the big cities of Charleston and Savannah. Take a boat tour to spot dolphins, ride a horse along the beach or just take a long hike on the 20 miles of trails through the protected island. One highlight is the George Sea Turtles Centre, where you can fond out how the locals protect the turtles that lay their eggs here and meet rescued turtles.

Make sure you spend some time on Driftwood Beach, where the north end of the island has eroded into the sea, leaving the beach littered with gnarled ancient oak trees. These look incredibly beautiful as the sun sets behind them – perfect for photographs. Finish your time on the island peeling and eating  fresh shrimp overlooking the river. 


Day 6: Drive to Savannah     

After a couple of days at the beach, you’ll make the short 1.5-hour drive to Savannah, checking into your hotel on arrival for three nights.              


Days 7 & 8: Savannah 

Savannah is made for strolling, thanks to its colonial architecture, big squares and pretty parks full of oaks draped in Spanish moss. Wander along River Street to Johnson Square and have lunch at the City Market before spending the afternoon at Forsyth Park and the Cathedral of John the Baptist or taking a riverboat cruise along the river. Savannah is world famous for its delicious southern food so make sure you try Mrs Wilkes fried chicken and a slice of peach cobbler for dinner.

On your second day why not take a ghost tour to learn about Savannah’s haunted history before visiting the Bonaventure Cemetery outside the city to see the ornate graves. After all this time in the city you’ll be craving the beach again, so why not finish your time here by driving 20 minutes out of the city to Tybee Island, where you can watch the sky turn pink as the sun sets.


Day 9: Depart Savannah       

On your final day, you’ll drive to the airport in Savannah in time to drop off your rental car and catch your onwards flight.    


            

Info

The Deep South has very distinct seasons – cool evenings in the Spring, hot and humid summers with afternoon showers, long warm autumns and quite cold winters with rain. Spring and autumn are beautiful times to visit, but July and August will be full of atmosphere as people head to the islands for the summer break.

This Southern USA road trip is purely a suggestion, and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you

What's included: 

  • Accommodation for 8 nights     
  • Car hire               

Not included: 

  • Meals   
  • Fuel      
  • Tips and personal expenses      
Accommodation

8 nights in 3* standard accommodation.

Hotels in this category include:

  • Hampton Inn Charleston

  • Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island

  • Embassy Suites Savannah

 

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