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If you are looking for a laid-back part of the country with nice scenery (think Spanish moss!), beautiful architecture, lots of history, rich culture, amazing gardens, plus fantastic food, the Low Country is right for you. It is super easy to travel between Charleston and Savannah by car, and you will not run out of things to explore. You could even focus on just one of the two cities if you only have a few days.
There’s a reason Charleston has been voted the #1 Small U.S. City by Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers Choice and #1 City in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure’s readers for many years. You can feel Charleston’s 350+ years of history while exploring its quaint cobblestone back alleys on foot or taking in all its Southern charm in a horse-drawn carriage. Spring (March-May) is the perfect time of year to visit the city, as flowers will be blooming, crowds will be small, and the muggy, summer heat has not hit quite yet. Be sure to check out at least a couple homes and gardens (there are many!) while you are in the city, such as the Nathaniel Russell House, and report back which is your favorite. There is even a festival dedicated to these each March/April right after the Wine + Food Festival.
My personal favorites are Hotel Emeline (Current JST Hotel of the Month), Hotel Bennett, and The Dewberry.
If you are looking for a few nights of R&R after a few days of wandering the streets of Charleston, I would highly recommend at least 2 or 3 nights at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island where you will find miles of bike paths, or even ride your bike on the compact beach. Kiawah is also great for spa and golf lovers alike. On your 45-minute drive down from the city, be sure to stop and marvel at the 65-foot-tall Angel Oak, which is estimated to be about 300 years old.
Visit-worthy stops between Charleston and Savannah:
Edisto Island + Beaufort + St. Helena Island + Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge
If you are still craving Southern charm after exploring Charleston, head just 2 hours down the road to quaint Savannah. The city has a very similar feel to Charleston: cobblestone streets, pretty homes and gardens, great food, and plenty of history. One thing that makes Savannah special is its Historic District—the largest in the U.S—with over 20 lush squares and plazas to catch some shade on a sunny day. Savannah is famous for its ghost tours—just so happens it is one of the most haunted cities in America. No visit is complete without exploring tree-lined Bonaventure Cemetery.
If you plan on staying in town, I would highly recommend Perry Lane Hotel. If you prefer a property with more space to roam, the Montage Palmetto Bluff would be right up your alley. (Warning: if you stay at Palmetto Bluff, you might not want to leave the property! Allow an extra day or two just to enjoy the grounds and all the property has to offer.)
To end your Low Country Road Trip in style, allow for a few days of indulgence at Sea Island Resort. The Lodge has that old country club feel and is perfect for golfers, or couples who are looking for a more refined experience. The Cloister has a Mediterranean feel and is great for families looking for a bit of sophistication. If golf is not your thing, there are plenty of other fun activities, such as world-class tennis, boat charters along the coast or back in the beautiful salt marshes, falconry, and riding horses on the beach (my personal favorite). If you would rather just relax, there is a fabulous beach club, and the spa is not to be missed. Sea Island is 90 minutes south of Savannah and be sure to stop at Wormsloe Historic Site on your way down for Instagram-worthy snapshots.
Ask about all the wonderful added amenities you get for booking through me, such as upgrades, hotel credits, and more! My partners will roll out the red carpet for you!
Hotel Emeline is a gem of a hotel located right in the heart of Charleston, just steps from all the city has to offer. I always have a thing for boutique hotels, especially with a mid-century modern vibe like Emeline. Set aside enough time to unwind by the fireplace in the courtyard after a long day of exploring and indulge in a delicious dinner at Frannie & The Fox, the hotel’s amazing restaurant. I highly recommend their daily homemade pasta and some of the best wood-fired pizza I’ve had outside Italy! There’s no hurry to get out of bed in the morning, as coffee from Clerks off the lobby is on the house and is delivered to your door. Emeline’s rooms are super cozy, and all suites come complete with a Crosley turntable and custom vinyl collection. Not a big fan of the Bee Gees (the disc I had in my room, and yes I did indeed dig it)? Just call down to the Front Desk, and they will send up something else to get you into the groove. Don’t want to leave your suite for dinner? Not to worry…Frannie & The Fox is also available for room service. If you DO end up hitting the cobblestones, Emeline has fun bikes you can take out for the day. There really is no better way to work off your meal than a leisurely bike ride through the tree-lined streets of Charleston. Before you head home, stop by the charming Keep Shop (one of my favorite hotel gift shops around) in the upper lobby for a unique souvenir or two. Don’t think postcards and neon baseball hats. Think hand-crafted belts, jewelry, and other curated local treasures.
Added Amenities: with 2-night minimum
$100 Dining Credit + Complimentary Upgrade (on availability) + Early Check-in / Late Checkout (on availability)
JST Exclusive Amenity:
Bubbles + Truffles
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We are a luxury travel design studio specializing in once-in-a-lifetime experiences brought to life through a creative planning process. No two travel styles are the same. We specialize in life-changing experiences and are committed to going above and beyond to delivering the exceptional. Whether you are a multi-generational family, couple, or solo traveler, we can tailor a trip specific to you and what makes your eyes light up when you talk about travel.
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