Posted on 28th November, 2016 in Travel
Story by Shofur
The Best Mini Summer Road Trip
Everybody dreams of the great American road trip. When it comes to the open road, the fascination with travel is a part of our cultural DNA. Escape your small town and see the land of the free in a whole new light. When people hear the word road trip, they assume they have to travel across the country. Well we have decided that you can also take a small road trip and still make the most out of it. Planning out all of the locations you want to see is the fun part but what you really need to ask yourself is, how can I make this affordable? Don’t worry, we have done the dirty work for you. We did some research and we know the best places to go, stay and the best routes to take. Time is precious, that’s why we put together this guide so you can spend the most effort soaking in the experience. When you plan out your trip (obviously using this wonderful guide) one of the hardest parts can be figuring out transportation. Have no fear, we are here to tell you exactly what to do. Nice, right? Drive your own car, rent one or purchase bus tickets to make sure you get to experience every single bit of nature’s beauty. We decided to create a guide to help you explore the South Eastern Coast of the United States. This is not your ordinary traveling bucket list, we have found some awesome places that won’t break the bank. Start in Savannah and make your way through a couple extraordinary beach cities and bring out your inner surfer. Check out our guide below on how to plan the best short road trip this Summer.
If you have never been to this wonderful city then you are more than just missing out. It may be known as the most haunted city in America but trust us, that is not the only thing that this city has to offer. Whether or not seeing ghosts and touring haunted houses is your thing, it is totally something you need to knock off your bucket list. But if you can’t get over your fears, Savannah’s emerald tree canopies, quaint cobblestone streets and majestic architecture will have your head spinning. Ok, Time for a history lesson. Savannah is one of the original 13 colonies and the oldest city in Georgia. It is also home to the second largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in America, where they literally dye the Savannah River green. There are so many incredible things to do and see in this city and we want to make sure you can experience it all and stay on budget.
First Stop: Savannah
Places To Stay
Savannah has some of the most beautiful, and maybe haunted, hotels in the country. Who wouldn’t want to sleep in the same room as a ghost? Only kidding. We are going to show you some of the most historic hotels to stay in because we never settle for boring.
1. The Thunderbird Inn - $92/Night
Everyone loves going vintage, or at least we’d hope so. This hotel brings the 1960’s to life as it redefines historic Savannah’s eccentric and quirky side and is anything but dull. You guessed it, this chic 60s getaway has been up and running since 1964. Needless to say the authenticity of this place holds its own. This road side lodge is genuine and reconnects visitors to the simple comfort of living care free. Enjoy Savannah and let this chic 60’s getaway liven up the free spirit in you.
2. Planters Inn $159/night
A little more on the expensive side but hey, go big or go home. This hotel goes even more vintage, welcoming guests since 1733. Say it with us...holy cow! Boasting superb hospitality and 19th century decor there is a plethora of rich history and breathtaking architecture. Planters Inn sits on historic Reynolds Square, which was laid out on Abercorn street in 1734. Another history lesson, Reynolds Square was the center of colonial government and originally held the House of Assembly, where the first reading of the Declaration of Independence took place in Georgia. Ok, enough is enough, we won’t bore you anymore. On to the good stuff. One of Savannah’s most popular restaurants sits across the street from this inn, The Olde Pink House. This Southern cuisine is sophisticated, yet situated in a casual setting. This 18th century mansion has outdoor dining and live entertainment nightly.
Places To Go
The livelihood of the history and culture can only truly be enjoyed if seen with your own two eyes. We chose this city as our first place because we truly want you to see what the East Coast has to offer. Savannah has so many incredible places to see and things to do when you stop through here. If we were to write about all of them, you would never be able to finish reading this. So, we decided to hit a few places that we deem as necessary to see while you are there.
1. Savannah Historic District - Free
Can you say, Spanish Moss? Being one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Savannah’s historical value needs no introduction. With art, culture, festivals, concerts, live theater, outdoor cafes, gourmet restaurants and southern hospitality, this is the perfect Georgian vacation. This district contains more than twenty city squares filled with museums, mansions, churches, monuments and famous forts of the Revolutionary and Civil wars eras. Beautiful homes line each square, some even having the ability to take tours of. Take in the moss laden trees and statues and enjoy the fresh Georgian air.
2. Colonial Park Cemetery - Free
If you have the guts, you have to make a pit stop here. This place has a record of having the most paranormal activity of any cemetery in the United States. Located on Abercorn Street, this cemetery is often considered the most haunted city in America. People travel from all over the country every year to see for themselves if all the paranormal claims are true. Here you can hang out with ghosts and experience paranormal activity. Don’t believe in that stuff? You will when you leave there. This place has been around since 1750 but many were buried before then and paved over. There are over 10,000 people buried there and barely 1,000 markers. Gee, I wonder why it is so haunted. I would be upset too. My suggestion…go with a group.
3. Moon River Brewing Company and Restaurant $10-15/Person
So since you are visiting Savannah why not suggest a place to eat that is deemed as being haunted as well? Don’t worry, not many ghost sightings have appeared here and even if there were, the food makes up for it. With plates where you can build your own burger, chicken and sausage creole and St. Louis Style Ribs, this is one eatery you will not want to miss after a long day walking around this beautiful city.
4. River Street - Free
This street is smack dab in the middle of shops, great places to eat and the Savannah River. This street is absolutely gorgeous with some of the buildings dating back to the 1700’s. This place makes for a great place to see the ever-so-famous Savannah sunset.
Charleston was founded in 1670 and is the oldest and second largest city in South Carolina. Defined by cobblestone streets and horse drawn carriages, this city is the definition of pure magic. Pastel pre-civil-war-era houses line the French Quarter and Battery Areas, making this city come to life. Charleston is home to an incredible art scene, unique shopping, pristine beaches and beautiful architecture. People come from all over the country to visit this wonderful city.
Second Stop: Charleston
Places To Stay
Sometimes the best places to stay when you are traveling are bed and breakfasts, especially when you are only spending one or two nights. With Charleston’s charm and quaint aspects, this is the perfect place to stay somewhere else other than your average hotels.
1. The Inn At I'on - $99/Night
This 7 bedroom boutique inn is located in Mount Pleasant, SC, just 7 minutes from Charleston and 10 minutes from the beaches of Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms. With a complete full service gourmet breakfast in the morning and your own private bathrooms, this place will make you feel at home.
2. Meeting Street Inn - $109/Night
This bed and breakfast is located just 0.6 miles away from Waterfront Park. The traditional rooms feature 19th-century decor and is walking distance to all the best restaurants, shopping and visitor attractions. Dating back to the late 1800s, this building holds rich history close to its heart.
3. Palmer’s Pickney Inn - $110/Night
This Inn is located in the Charleston Market in the center of everything. This 5 bedroom house has everything you could possibly ask for in a bed and breakfast. Walking distance to all of Charleston’s most popular restaurants and shopping, the Pickney is your best pick (no pun intended). Across the street is the Cru Cafe where food like poblano and mozzarella fried chicken and maple leaf farms duck breast is served.
Places To Go
On South Carolina’s coastline, Charleston is known for it’s gorgeous sunsets, undeniable weather and sand between your toes. There are so many things to do and see, you are never going to want to leave.
1. City Market - Free (unless you decide to take home a souvenir)
This historic market was established in the 1790s. Stretching 4 city blocks from the architecturally-significant Market Hall, which faces Main Street, the Market Hall has been described as a building of the “highest architectural design quality. The entire complex is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. So what does this place actually sell? Well, there is a day and a night market so it depends on when you pop in.There is everything you could possibly imagine here, from authentic hand woven baskets, bath and body, clothes, arts and crafts, edibles, garden items, glassware and home decor.
2.Magnolia Plantation and Garden $8-$15
You know if it has been chosen as one of “America’s Most Beautiful Gardens,” then it must be...well, beautiful. This house and garden has been standing tall since 1676 and is the oldest public gardens in America. This is one stop you have to make while you are visiting Chuck Town. The tranquil landscape and romantic style gardens will absolutely take your breath away. The manicured landscaping is not the only thing that draws people here every year. The Plantation House located on the property is nonetheless extravagant. Go back in time and take a tour of the Drayton family home. You get a glimpse of what life was like in the 19th century.
3. The Battery - Free
Many visitors say you can't leave Charleston without seeing this stretch along the city's southern tip. This row of Southern-style mansions overlooking Charleston Harbor was formerly the heart and soul of the city's maritime activity. Named for a civil-war coastal defense artillery battery at the site, it stretches along the lower shores of the Charleston peninsula, bordered by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, which meet here to form Charleston harbor. You cannot visit Charleston without visiting this spot.
4. Folly Beach - Free
After you have made your way around Charleston, it is time to kick your feet up for a bit. Overlooking the Atlantic from the West Islands, these white sandy beaches are calling your name. Come here for a day of sun, swimming and surfing. Cast a line or sit back in your chair and relax, this beach’s atmosphere is a great place for all ages.
Off to North Carolina for a bit. Why? Because we believe that Wilmington totally gets overlooked.It is a port city with so much to offer and now you are going to be able to see for yourself why so many people visit this city every year. Explore the celebrity-designed golf courses and brown-sugar-colored beaches and let all of your worries fall by the waist side. There are so many unbelievable restaurants and exciting activities to do while you are here. Check out the places we thought deserved to be talked about. Wilmington features a scenic riverwalk lined with boutiques, cafés and vibrant nightlife along the Cape Fear River. The city’s historic charm comes from its brick-lined streets, Victorian and antebellum architecture, and mossy oaks. A short drive away are three island beaches—Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach—each with its own festivals, seafood restaurants, family-friendly attractions, and watersports.
Third Stop: Wilmington
Places To Stay
1. Rosehill Inn - $119
Rosehill Inn is located in the heart of Wilmington's historic district. This inn has been meticulously restored as an elegant, yet comfortable, bed and breakfast with an appealing mix of historic craftsmanship, antiques and beautiful gardens. Step outside and be surrounded by the Victorian charm of Wilmington's renovated riverfront. The historic district provides abundant opportunities for fine dining, outstanding entertainment, and unique shopping. The blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean beaches are within a 20 minute drive from the inn.
2. The Wilmingtonian - $115
This hotel is located in downtown Wilmington surrounded by restored nineteenth century homes and beautiful greenery. Located a block from Route 17 and 2 blocks from Cape Fear River, it is also a 6-minute walk from the Cape Fear Museum. This hotel is in the heart of everything, located near many shops, restaurants, museums, walking tours and carriage rides.
Places To Go
1. Battleship North Carolina - $14
The lead ship of North Carolina-class battleships and the fourth warship in the US Navy to be named in honor of the state of North Carolina. This ship was the first newly constructed battleship to service during WWII. It now serves as a museum ship for and memorial kept at the seaport in Wilmington.Step back in time and let history come alive through the crew's stories.
2. Wilmington Beach - Free
Voted America’s #1 best riverfront, Wilmington has 3 spectacular island beaches that bring people in from all over the country. Carolina beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach boast great shopping, restaurants and vibrant night life. Take a moment from your trip and enjoy some sunlight and sandy beaches.
3. Downtown Wilmington - Free
Downtown Wilmington is dynamic and filled with many shops, restaurants and places to sit and hang out. Weeknights and weekends are filled with people and. With an abundance of locally owned and operated shops, you get a feel for the people that actually live there.
There ya have it folks! You’re super easy guide to a short but nonetheless activity filled amazing road trip. Get your friends together and don’t wait! You have nothing to lose with this easy to follow Summer road trip guide.