Carrie A. Mitchell
Content Creator
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RoadTrip: North to South (East)

I grew up doing road trips out west with my family every summer, and each year, as the warm weather approaches, I itch to get back on the road and find adventure.

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After a quick train ride, I arrived to beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. It’s like the elegant, older sister to Savannah and offers unlimited things to do (from the City to the plantations to the beaches) and an incredible dining scene. Add in its own impressive history (Founded in 1670 as Charles Towne) and a City rule to restore all historic buildings, you have a gorgeous place to explore. And did I mention it’s only a short plane ride from NYC?¬†It’s no wonder¬†Travel + Leisure named Charleston #1¬†on its top North American City list.

Watch: The Patriot, Cold Mountain and the Notebook

Do: Same as Savannah, get acquainted with the town and history with a quick horse-driven carriage tour. There are a bunch of them available from the City Market.

See: City Market, Shop along King Street, Charleston Museum, Waterfront park, and just stroll around downtown Charleston to see all the unbelievable historic homes south of Broad street. Drive down towards Kiawah island where there are some tea plantations (and Boone plantation), and a very old huge oak tree (Angel Oak). Kiawah island is a private island but there is a public beach at one of the ends. (Kiawah Beachwalker Park). Or drive down towards Sullivan Island, you will cross the bridge and end up at the beach (Isle of palms beach is adjacent to it)

Eat:¬†The grocery, Fig, Leon’s, Circa 1886, The Ordinary, Husk, Martha Lou’s kitchen. Also, Bull Street Cafe (on king) and fabulous sandwiches, and even dinner. And grab a piece of famous coconut cake from Peninsula grill!

Stay: I stayed at the historic Mills House (Wyndham Grand Hotel) which is both lovely and centrally located. I could literally walk everywhere from there, from the City market to the water front.

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While I grew up taking road trips all over North America, the South (being the complete opposite location to where I lived) was never on the list.¬† After meeting some incredible Southerners over the years, and watching one too many movies set on various locations in the area, I thought it was time, and¬†Savannah, Georgia¬†was high on my list.¬†Savannah has a slow & easy style, friendliness and charm. From the houses to the history (est. 1773 A LOT happened here, from early colonization to the civil war to civil rights) to the approved open cocktail ‘roadie’ policy, I thoroughly enjoying my first trip here. It’s exactly the right balance of laid back/friendly/pretty backdrop I was looking for, and arriving on the 4th of July, among fireworks over the river and a glass of wine in my hand was too perfect!

WATCH:¬†Movies to see while you are pack, set in Savannah: “Midnight in the Garden of good & evil“, “Forrest Gump” (sorry, famous park bench is now gone), “Legend of Bagger Vance”…and what the hell, “Gone with the wind”, just because it’s the South, people.

DO: Get an overview of the city first with a hop on-and-off Old Savannah history tour, and maybe a night walk ghost tour (I did both, apparently this City is extremely haunted. I personally keep smelling the same perfume scent everywhere, not sure what that means). Everything is close anyway, so you can walk (or bike) everywhere!

SEE: Shop stores on broughton street to the City Market (small but quaint), River Walk (you can even cruise down the Savannah River on a boat if you like. Also, hit River sweets for candy), savannah colonial park cemetery (seriously found dueling pistolier grave, fantastic!), Owens-Thomas house museum (or other Telfair museums, but this is restored to exactly how homes were 1820s-30s and gives you a true sense of place), and just walk in general to admire the architecture & Savannah’s Squares, which is a triumph to city planning and elegance. And finally, relax at Forsyth Park, or head out to Tybee for the day if you are able.

*It should be noted, while in Savannah…relax already! I left my LA/NYC behind.

EAT:¬†The¬†Olde Pink House¬†(*A staple, food is beyond…I’m still full. Mansion built in 1771), Elizabeth on 37th, Local 11 Ten, Soho South. Lunch at Belford’s. Breakfast at Goosfeather’s Cafe or Savannah coffee roasters. Beware the line at the beloved Leopold’s ice cream. I also heard good things from locals about Southbound brewing company, Circa 1875 and the famous chicken sandwich at Zunzi’s, but I only have 1 stomach

STAY:¬†I chose the new Kimpton hotel –¬†The Brice¬†– conveniently located, in walking distance to everything in historic Savannah and across the street from the River walk. Large rooms (this is my living room in the above photo), fun/hip interior design, very pet friendly, outdoor garden to sit with a cocktail, and has a great Italian restaurant (Pacci) too. I strongly recommend it!

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