Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC

Jan 26, 2005
Ohio & Florida
On the way home from Florida we took a week to visit Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina.

LOCATION: Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina

Savannah: Lighthouse, Civil War Fort, Historic District, Eighth Air Force Museum
Charleston: Plantation Gardens, Audubon Swamp Garden, Civil War Fort, Navy Carrier, Historic District

Savannah: Comfort Suites Historic District (Would stay again)
Charleston: Comfort Inn Riverview (OK, but there may be better options)

Normal years about April 1.
Savannah: We were there April 10-12. It was probably 2 weeks late for the best flowers in the historic district.
Charleston: We were there April 13-16. The azaleas were really good, but locals said this year they were about 1 week later than normal, so we lucked out.

We spend the winters in Florida and drive back to Ohio in the spring. This year we left a week early and spent 3 nights in Savannah and 4 in Charleston. The cities are about a 2 hour drive apart.

We got to Savannah after noon and stopped at the Eighth Air Force Museum for about 2.5 hours. While it was not particularly photogenic, we found it interesting. The B-17 bombing mission was very well done.

The next day we went to Tybee Island (half hour drive) for the morning and climbed the historic lighthouse (worthwhile) and the associated museum (OK).
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In the afternoon we visited nearby Fort Pulaski (very interesting) which had been damaged during the Civil War, but was well preserved. Back by 3PM and walked in the historic district.
We spent all the next day in the historic district. The town was laid out with 22 squares that are small landscaped parks and most of the old buildings have been preserved.
While the area is walkable, there are open tour trolleys available. They would even pick you up at the motel. On and off all day for about $20pp. Several companies, look for a $5 off coupon for Old Savannah Tours.
Many of the old homes offer tours. We did the Owens-Thomas House built in 1819 (1.5 hours, very good).
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Many of the homes are decorated with fancy ironwork, apparently a trademark of the times.
We drove to Charleston the next AM and got to Magnolia Plantation about 10AM ($13pp grounds, $7pp house, $5pp swamp Garden - opening time 8AM). Good move, the plantations get busy as the day goes on. Did the house tour (half hour+ OK) and the garden (30 acres) walk (super) and the Audubon Swamp Garden (60 acres, nice but not Merritt Island), each has its own fee. Keep your ticket, it is good for a second visit that week. We left about 3:30PM. Lots of other stuff to do there if you have more time: maze, petting zoo, boat ride, gift shop, etc.

We spent all the next day in the historic district. It was interesting, but not as well organized as Savannah. Again a lot of neat old houses and gardens. We took a special tour of 10 private home gardens opened only for that day (they asked not to be photographed).
The next day we went to Patriot’s Point and toured the WW II era Aircraft Carrier Yorktown and a Destroyer ($13pp - both very good 3+ hours). There was also a Submarine and Coast Guard Cutter to tour if you had more time.
We then took the cruise out to Fort Sumter ($13pp) which is on an island in the harbor (2.25 hours including 1 hour at the fort). This fort was badly damaged in the Civil War and only partially restored. Fort Pulaski is better preserved if you are only going to see one, but Sumter is more historically significant. Note, you can also go to Ft. Sumter from the historic district, but you will have to pay to park there.
The last day we went to Angel Oak Park (15 minutes) to see a 1400 year old Live Oak Tree (free!!!). Note Nan standing by the trunk!
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We then went to Middleton Place Plantation (rest of the day $20pp + $10pp for house tour). The gardens here were more spectacular than Magnolia. Formal here vs. informal gardens there. They have a nice restaurant for lunch, go before noon or wait in line. There is also a plantation history section with farm animals, blacksmith, cooper, potter, weaver, etc.
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I have posted photos in Birds & Animals
Charleston #1 - Audubon Swamp Garden:

Savannah #1 - Landscapes & Buildings:
Charleston #2 - Landscapes and Buildings:

Charleston #3 - Magnolia Plantation Gardens:
Charleston #4 - Middleton Place Gardens:

And Planes & Trains
Charleston #5 - Ships at Patriots Point:

More of our trip photos are posted at smugmug here:

Bob & Nan
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Feb 19, 2005
Thanks for sharing...looks like you did a lot of the leg work for anyone that would like to travel to those locations. How very nice...
Patrick and I went to Savannah a few years ago....I think maybe we might go back next spring...Thanks for the tips...I'll store your info for when I start planning our trip.
May 28, 2005
Toronto, Canada

Thank you for posting such beautiful pictures of places you have visited. Savannah and Charleton are now on list.

Mar 31, 2005
Beautiful Shots!! I attempted to get a shot of the tree a few years ago, and the lighting was very difficult! You captured it so well! Thanks for sharing.

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