The genteel Carolina Coast awaits
9 Nights From €1469 (Per Person)
Fly Drive Holidays
Atlanta (Georgia) - Charleston (South Carolina) - Savannah (Georgia) - Georgia's Golden Isles (Georgia) - Brunswick (Georgia) - Macon (Georgia) - Atlanta (Georgia)
Envision Scarlett gliding down the steps of an antebellum mansion, far from the cares of the world, or the lovely daughters of wealthy Carolina planters getting ready for a ball during high society season in Charleston. Transport yourself to this world by boarding a horse-drawn carriage for a ride through streets lined with graciously preserved buildings decorated with a timeless patina. Stop to tour the most intriguing ones.
Welcome to the genteel Carolina Coast, which stretches from Charleston, South Carolina to northern Florida. Charleston is a remarkable journey through time. Renowned as America’s best preserved city, you’ll discover splendid architecture at every turn. Meander down the cobblestone streets, bask in sea breezes, discover antique shops and galleries and be enticed by delicious fresh seafood and other Lowcountry cuisine. You’ll experience all of this along with the best of the genteel nature and gracious hospitality of the South.
Ask visitors what they think about Savannah and you’ll hear things like “the most genteel city in the South,” “intriguing,” “striking,” “historic,” and even “unusual.” Savannah is beautiful in a way that is different from other Southern cities. General Sherman was reportedly so enamored with it on his famous March to the Sea that instead of burning the city, he gave it to President Lincoln as a Christmas present. With such a rich, colorful history, local customs and traditions, visitors over the past century and a half have had the same reaction.
Visiting Georgia’s Golden Isles, you’ll experience another contrast. Sitting on a quiet island, you’ll enjoy birds chirping, golden sunshine, and waves gently lapping at an uninhabited coastline. Together, Jekyll Island, St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island, Cumberland Island and Brunswick make up the beautiful and relaxing necklace of “Golden Isles.” Having been governed by five different nations throughout its history, and later a private retreat for the likes of J.P. Morgan, the Rockefellers and the Vanderbilt’s, the area is as rich in heritage as it is in natural treasures. You can explore historic sites, scenic drives, and a wide variety of exciting recreation. Take it all in and enjoy each distinct destination. We’re confident that you’ll take home memories to last a lifetime.
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Day 1: Arrive Atlanta
Welcome to Atlanta, capital of the New South. The impressive gold dome of the Georgia state capital presides over the fastest growing center for hip young professionals and multicultural residents in the country. You can still find glimpses of the Old South, but here they’re intertwined with sophisticated shopping, great museums, the Inside CNN Center, the Centennial Olympic complex and major league sports. Take the Inside CNN Atlanta Studio Tour, explore a bit of Buckhead and try some of the great food the south is famous for.
Day 2: Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston was the most important city in the colonial South. At one point, it rivaled Boston as the seat of power. The opulent architecture you see everywhere was mostly constructed by prosperous planters who wanted a home in the city for the social season. White Point Gardens, or The Battery as the area is commonly called, is flanked by quintessentially ornate antebellum Charleston “painted ladies.” The Charleston Museum and its two house museums provide an excellent overview of how the city came to be and how the genteel lived in its early days. A horse drawn carriage tour is a great way to see Charleston first hand. It is also a very walkable city, with blocks and blocks of historic district to tour on foot.
Day 3: Explore Charleston
Plantations, plantations, plantations. That’s what you’ll see up and down the Ashley River Road National Scenic Byway. Magnolia Plantation, with its Audubon Swamp Gardens, and Drayton Hall, both open for touring, were once both owned by the prominent Drayton family. Fort Sumter, where the opening shot in the Civil War was fired, is located on Sullivan’s Island out in the bay. Don’t miss Patriot’s Point and Boone Hall Plantation, the latter of which has survived as a working plantation for more than 300 years.
Day 4: Savannah, Georgia
A side trip on your way to Savannah this morning takes you to the lovely coastal town of Beaufort, where moss drips off the live oak trees and diners eat pleasant meals in historic cafes right on the water. When you reach Savannah, you’ll soon discover that much of its attraction is the city itself. The 16 original squares, or “green spaces,” laid out by General Oglethorpe in 1736, are surrounded by hundreds of historic homes that survived the Civil War. Take a walking tour or a carriage tour to view resplendent architecture on every square. In the evening, explore the legend of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, most of which is true.
Day 5: Explore Savannah
This great southern city warrants another day of exploring, starting at the Savannah Visitor Center and History Museum, where multi-media displays chronicle the city’s history. The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace was the home of the founder of the Girl Scouts of America, while The Owens Thomas House is considered one of the finest examples of English Regency architecture in the United States. Telfair Mansion was built by highly educated and culturally minded Mary Telfair and Old Fort Jackson has been a part of Georgia’s history for nearly two centuries. We also recommend visiting Savannah’s City Market, referred to by the locals as the “Art and Soul” of Savannah.
Day 6: Georgia’s Golden Isles
As the Golden Isles slogan advises, “come coast awhile” in this unique area that encompasses the mainland and four barrier islands off Georgia’s coast. Rich history, great recreational opportunities, and breathtaking scenery combine to make your stay here a holiday within a holiday. A carefully routed Driving Tour takes you past the highlights of all of the islands. An evening carriage tour of Jekyll Island is a wonderful way to take in the stunning sunset.
Day 7: Explore the Golden Isles
Today you have the option to explore more of the Golden Isles by car or take the ferry to Cumberland Island, accessible only by boat. If you want to venture farther afield, you can drive south to Amelia Island to enjoy 40 blocks of the most elegant Victorian homes in Florida as well as abundant wildlife. Amelia Island is home to 90% of all nesting sea turtles in the US.
Day 8: Brunswick to Macon, Georgia
Swinging north on your way back to Atlanta, when you reach Macon, get your bearings on a Historic Walking Tour to learn about the city’s history. It was discovered by Hernando de Soto in 1540. The Ocmulgee National Monument reveals the story of the ancient Native Americans who occupied the area about 13,000 years earlier. Visit the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, the state’s official music museum featuring Little Richard, James Brown, Otis Redding and the Allman Brothers Band. Even though the Cannonball House Museum was constructed for a prominent local judge in 1853, it’s named for the ammunition that General Sherman left behind. The incredibly ornate Italianate Renaissance Revival Hay House Museum was once known as the Palace of the South.
Day 9: Explore Atlanta
Back in Atlanta, you can choose to visit the High Museum of Art, Atlanta History Center and the World of Coca-Cola. The High’s light-filled contemporary galleries make the building as spectacular as its contents. True to form, the Atlanta History Center is housed in an 1845 plantation. The Georgia Aquarium, shaped like a ship, features aquatic life particular to the state coupled with beluga whales and whale sharks. Centennial Olympic Park was created for the 1996 Olympic Games. For history buffs, there’s the Margaret Mitchell house, where the author wrote the famous novel Gone with the Wind. Underground Atlanta still has great shopping, trendy restaurants, and fascinating history.
Day 10: Depart Atlanta
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