Charleston, Savannah and The Golden Isles

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The Lowcountry coastline of South Carolina and Georgia has it all and is one of our favorite parts of the country. Charleston and Savannah, with their classic antebellum architecture and southern charm, are two of America’s most captivating cities. The myriad of islands, salt marshes and the moss-draped live oaks, make it a nature lover’s paradise. For history buffs, the area’s rich past spans the three most transformative events in US history: early colonisation, independence and The Civil War.

Charleston

Day 1, 2 & 3

The southern belle of American cities, Charleston epitomizes the charm, manners and hospitality of The South. Originally founded by the British in 1670, it retains a gentlemanly air of times gone by while at the same time being at the vanguard of contemporary southern culture.

From your hotel in the historic district, you’ll be perfectly placed to spend at least two days exploring the city and surrounding areas. Take a private guided tour of some of Charleston’s  historic homes and get a fascinating glimpse into antebellum life in The South. In the afternoon, head inland along the Ashley River to visit the plantation houses and estates that in their day were home to some of the richest agriculturalists in the world.

Boasting one of the most vibrant food scenes in the country, Charlestonians know how to enjoy themselves.  There are few cities of this size where you’ll have such a choice of world class restaurants and refined watering holes.

The following day it is time to take to the water. Your private boat will take you through the maze of waterways that make up this coast to the pristine Capers Island. Keep you eyes peeled along the way for dolphins and bald eagles. Take a walk down the unique  ‘boneyard beach’ before enjoying a cocktail and grilled oysters, harvested on the way.

Savannah

Days 4, 5 & 6

Heading south from Charleston, stop at the picturesque fishing port of Beaufort for a seafood lunch. Nearby St Helena is a fascinating place with a unique Gullah culture. The Gullah,  descendants of West African slaves, lived on these islands in relative isolation from the mainland until very recently. The nearby Penn Center was the first school in America for freed slaves and later became a base for Martin Luther King.

More laid-back and a little less grand than its neighbor to the north, we think Savannah is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Laid out around a series of live oak filled squares by James Oglethorpe in the 1730’s and immortalized in John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, its a place to slowly stroll, soaking up its beauty.

Walking leisurely from square to square with a local guide is the best way to experience the city. Stop and get a mint julep for the journey (Savannah is one of the few U.S. cities that allows drinking in public places). A trip to the moss-bedecked and other worldly Bonaventure Cemetery is a must.

The Golden Isles

Days 7, 8, 9 & 10

Finish your jaunt through the Lowcountry with a several days exploring the hidden gem that is Georgia’s Golden Isles, the longest contiguous salt marsh environment in the world. Head to your very own private island, at Little St Simons, or indulge yourself at one of the countries finest resorts on Sea Island. Miles of sandy beaches, a maze of salt marsh and incredible wildlife make this an area of unique natural beauty.

 

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