Savannah and Charleston Peas - places to stay and things to do recommendations...

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Posted 6/24/2011 by JanellK in NSBR Board

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 49,424
September 2002
Posts: 8,144
Layouts: 128
Loc: Colorado girl currently in Oregon

Posted: 6/24/2011 6:19:27 PM
Hi Peas

My sisters and I are going to visit there in September (for sure Savannah - we're hoping to fit in Charleston, as well).

None of us have ever been. What should we see/do for sure? I LOVE a city tour - is there a hop on/off bus tour?

We also need a place to stay recommendation. We probably won't be spending lots of time in our rooms, but would like something fairly nice.



PeaNut 291,511
January 2007
Posts: 1,478
Layouts: 0

Posted: 6/24/2011 6:33:28 PM
We took horse drawn carraige rides in both cities. Soooo good, you get so much history that way. I would stay away from paula Deens, the lines were outrageous and I have heard it isn't worth it. I wish I could remember the name of the resturant we went to there, the best food ever! There are tons of tours in both places.

A plantation tour is a must do, we went toAshley ? plantation in Charleston, beautiful and the old slave mart in charleston was incredible. It will give you the chills. An amazing look into that period of time, (as awful as it was)

SAHM to my 2 little cuties <><

PEAS Porridge Hot

PeaNut 93,127
June 2003
Posts: 19,207
Layouts: 169
Loc: Somewhere over the rainbow

Posted: 6/24/2011 7:06:44 PM
My favorite place to stay in Savannah is The Marshall House and I also like The Mulberry Inn - I highly recommend you stay in the historic district. It costs a little more but you can walk to just about everything.

You will want to see Forysth Park and it's famous fountain. I suggest taking a trolley tour - they have several and you can get on and off all day.

Take a ghost tour too - I prefer the walking ghost tours but they are all good.

River Street is a main hub - lots of shopping and restaurants - there is a tourist information center here too and you can find out about trolleys and tours there. (Make sure you go to River Street Sweets for your free Praline samples!!)

Some will say don't go to the Lady and Sons (Paula Deen) but personally I like it - very good and the last time I was there, there was not a long wait (maybe 15 mintues or so) - maybe we just got lucky - I find that if you go later (like an hour before closing), you will usually get in without any problems.

For good pizza - go to Vinnie Van Gogh Gogh's

The Pirate House is a fun and historic place to eat.

If you have time, ride out to Tybee Island and see the lighthouse and the beach.

Bonaventure Cemetery is on the way to the beach. It is a beautiful old cemetery that was mentioned quite a few times in the book "The Garden of Good and Evil" (if you haven't read this book, try to read it before you go - it will put you in the Savannah kind of mood).

Have a great time !

PEAS Porridge Hot

PeaNut 93,127
June 2003
Posts: 19,207
Layouts: 169
Loc: Somewhere over the rainbow

Posted: 6/24/2011 7:14:18 PM
I've only been to Charleston twice but loved it both times.

I took a walking ghost tour there too. We rented a condo the 2nd time we went and it was too far out for me (I didn't pick the place) - the first time I went on business and I don't recall the name of the place we stayed but it was under renovation at the time.

Try to stay close to the historic part of town, you can walk everywhere, just like in Savannah. Go to Ft. Sumter if you have time and make sure you go down to Rainbow Row to see all the beautiful houses.

I highly recommend taking a carraige tour - they will give you some historical information and you get to see a lot at a nice slow pace.

We went to one of the planations when were were out there the last time, well worth the time to do that.

I have eaten at Justine's Kitchen both times I was there (lunch) - it isn't a big place but the shrimp is really good. I also ate at Bubba Gumps and it was good too.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 49,424
September 2002
Posts: 8,144
Layouts: 128
Loc: Colorado girl currently in Oregon

Posted: 6/26/2011 10:19:15 AM
Thanks so much for the info!!

Has anyone stayed somewhere that they'd recommend?

I'm really looking forward to this trip!!


PeaNut 283,593
November 2006
Posts: 196
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Loc: danville, illinois

Posted: 6/26/2011 11:16:24 AM
We just went to both in May. We stayed at the john rutledge house and would recommend it to anyone. They have excellent customer service and recommendations for the area (including using bike taxis to get to area to take the boat to ft sumter) Also had a package that included ft sumter, the carriage ride and the room for two people. I cant say enough great things about the service we received. Included all you can eat breakfast each morning. (you order on card the night before). Including, eggs bacon cereals fruit juices was wonderful. It was also located in a great location and safe walking after dark.

We also purchased the passport for various historic homes in the area at the charleston vistors center. Definately, the way to go if visiting several different homes and museums.

In Savannah, we booked ahead for the old towne trolley tour. (cheaper if pay in advance online) You can get on/off at several different stops throughout town. We stopped at Two lady and sons (paula deens) first to make our reservations for later in the day. Came back early for our reservations and wasnt taken straight to a table. Skip the buffet and get the chicken pot pie...

If you have any additional question, peamail me. Things are still fairly fresh in my mind since just returned mid may...

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 12,875
March 2001
Posts: 8,668
Layouts: 11

Posted: 6/26/2011 11:26:04 AM
We did the Oglethorpe Trolley Tour in Savannah. It was only $10 per person and after the tour, you could use them to hop on and off all day to get around town. Do the Riverwalk. It's just some cute shops, pubs, and cafes but it is nice. There is a Greek restaurant there that has the most amazing calamari I have ever had. We ate at Paula Deen's (big thumbs down) and the Pirate House (thumbs up). I have heard good things about Mrs. Wilkes Dining Hall. We also ate at a place on the Riverwalk called Huey's. That was very good also. Jambalaya and po boys were both really good.

In Charleston, go to the old Slave Market. They have crafters with some nice stuff. I got some pottery pieces and all of the women in our group got some really nice silver jewelry at amazing prices. We walked around the battery and the area where all of the historic homes are. We started talking to a construction crew and it turned out that the supervisor was from my hometown. He ended up giving us a tour of two mansions they were renovating, which was awesome. We were standing on a corner trying to figure out where to go and a woman stopped to ask if we were lost. We asked her for a suggestion of where the locals eat. She recommended the Blind Tiger. If you go and the weather is nice, ask to sit out in the gardens. We loved it.

Harley Riding Pea

PeaNut 10,051
January 2001
Posts: 8,026
Layouts: 9
Loc: 10,000 Lakes and Double Cities!

Posted: 6/26/2011 12:32:27 PM
Dh and I were there last fall!

In Charleston, stay in the city. Even the Holiday Inn downtown was beautful. DH and I should have done that, but we were limited in time. We did the midnight ride on the Schooner Pride and it was cool to be in the haror. But going during the day would have great pictures of the harbor. We at at High Cotton and it was WONDERFUL food. I still dream about it. Poogan's Porch is famous for it's breakfasts. They don't take reservations, but it you get there early enough, the wait isn't that long. The market in the middle of town has pretty cool crafters.

In Savannah, we did both the day tour and the ghost tour at night. Really, they're both the same. I'd choose the day one. We took the trolley tour and the information was great. But walking around on your own was good too. Some of the tours are all day trolley rides so you can get on and off at any point and continue the tour. We ate at Olde Pink House . Very good food also. Pretty cool to eat in an old supposedly haunted mansion. The river walk was very internesting and sops all over the town. There is a walking tour called Savannah Dan that is supposed to be the best. It was raining when we were there so we did the trolly tour.

Really, check out TripAdvisor. They never steered DH and I wrong on our trip down south last year in those 2 cities.


PeaNut 40,147
June 2002
Posts: 24,330
Layouts: 2
Loc: Flowood, Mississippi

Posted: 6/26/2011 12:41:27 PM
I really like the Harborview hotel in Charleston.
Charleston is one of my favorite cities. It reminds me of a clean New Orleans.


Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 49,424
September 2002
Posts: 8,144
Layouts: 128
Loc: Colorado girl currently in Oregon

Posted: 6/26/2011 4:50:52 PM
I love when the Peas help plan vacations!!

I had to laugh when one of my sisters asked me if I was getting some info together for our trip - I told her that I "had my best peaple on it"!

Thanks so much!

Vintage Loving Pea

PeaNut 186,782
January 2005
Posts: 6,261
Layouts: 235
Loc: Tarheel Country!

Posted: 6/26/2011 6:53:59 PM
We are staying at the French Quarter Inn in Charleston - I will try to update when we get back. I made lunch/dinner reservations based on recommendations on some of the foodie sites for Fig, Tristan, SNOB, CRU, Penninsula Grill and we will also try to fit in Hominy Grill for breakfast.


PeaNut 288,430
December 2006
Posts: 964
Layouts: 0

Posted: 6/26/2011 7:22:19 PM
Sign up for the Groupon for those cities. You might get some good deals from that before you go.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 39,386
May 2002
Posts: 7,486
Layouts: 28
Loc: Charlotte, NC

Posted: 6/26/2011 7:24:21 PM
In Charleston we stayed at the Francis Marion, Mills House & Holiday Inn, all nice. If money is an issue, stay in Mt. Pleasant, way cheaper and only a few minutes away.

Basil is our favorite restaurant. We also like Blossom, Mercato, and Rue de Jean. Save room for dessert at Kaminski's. (Our daughter went to school there and we had to remind her that her credit card was for emergencies and there are no "Kaminski's" emergencies. ) We always ate breakfast at Joseph's or Sunday Brunch at High Cotton. For casual dining, The Noisy Oyster, Andolini's Pizza or Juanita Greenberg's, and Kickin' Chicken are good. Bubba Gumps is a chain. DO NOT GO TO HYMAN'S. It's all greasy fried fish and although there's always a line it isn't good.

There are also some nice restaurants on Shem Creek overlooking the water.

Take a carriage ride in lew of a ghost tour. The tour guides on the carriages are required to really know their stuff whereas a lot of the ghost stories are made up. You also see more from the carriage.

The market is fun. You'll love Charleston.


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PeaNut 239,162
December 2005
Posts: 29,196
Layouts: 417
Loc: The final frontier

Posted: 6/26/2011 7:47:46 PM
We also did the Oglethorpe tour in Savannah and really like the hop on/hop off service they offer all day. We ate at Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House and still talk about how fantastic it was. We waited in line for 2 hours and it was worth every minute. If you eat there, be aware that it's cash only.

I could have spent a whole day at Bonaventure Cemetery.

We did a self-guided tour in Charleston due to time constraints and that was fine but someday will go back and do a carriage tour. I agree that you should go to the Slave Market. If you have time, drive out to St. John's Island and see the Angel Oak tree.

ETA: We also went to Charleston in early fall and got to go to Taste of Charleston at Boone Hall Plantation. It was great! You should check and see if it corresponds with your dates.


PeaNut 151,822
June 2004
Posts: 2,908
Layouts: 5

Posted: 6/26/2011 8:05:23 PM
Charleston native here!! I love giving advice to visitors!!

Most of what was said here is true. I definitely would try to stay in downtown Charleston if you can afford it. I'd say prices average $150-250/night, but they're right in the heart of the city and within walking distance of pretty much everything you need to see. I'd recommend the John Rutledge House, the Mills House, even Charleston Place if you've got the cash. Here's a link for a list of places worth checking out Charleston hotels Someone mentioned staying in Mt Pleasant, that's a good option as well, there are plenty of corporate hotels and it's a quick drive over one of the most beautiful bridges in the US.

In addition to what's mentioned already, I would venture to Middleton Plantation if you have an extra day. It's about a 30 minute drive from downtown, but worth seeing.


Absolutely true. They give out coupons to the hotels to drum up business but the food is crap. If you want real seafood, take a trip to Bowen's Island on Folly Beach (about 15 min from downtown).

PM me if you need more info!!

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