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Brickell

Southern Vacation

Where should I go  

84 members have voted

  1. 1. Where should I go

    • Charleston
      39
    • Savannah
      20
    • Wilmington
      8
    • Fernadina/Jacksonville
      17


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My girlfriend is taking me on a road trip for my birthday. She asked me where I wanted to go.

Preferably someplace in the south. Someplace that has enough stuff for non city lovers to do, yet enough for a city lover to enjoy as well. I like the water.

My choices so far (if you can think of more let me know).

Charleston

Savannah

Wilmington

Fernadina/Jacksonville

DC is a possibility but I'll leave it off the list.

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I have always loved St. Augustine, oldest city in NA (except for that one in NM never did follow who won that debate). For a history lover and a romantic like myself there is nothing better then to go down cobblestone streets that carried the French, Tequestas, Seminoles, Spanish, English, etc. etc. 450 years or so ago. Watching the sun come up one the pier just south of the port is AMAZING. To go there during a shuttle launch at the cape and on one side of you seeing the oldest fortification on the continent and the other watching the exhaust trail of the shuttle is spinetingling. Theres a fee to go on the pier but if your nice and let them know your just watching the sunrise they let us go for free. I'll never grow tired of St. Augustine, just thinking if those buildings could talk, the 1500s, the Spanish gallions, the escaped slaves, the french, english, the southerners the 1920s tourist boom with Flagler. Closest thing we have in the states to walking through history. Savannah and Charleston as well as a little town called Mt. Airey NorthCarolina (off I-77) where Andy Griffith grew up (GET IT?) it is "Mayberry" USA, ok corny I know but I love that show ;).

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Savannah is nice; I went in March of last year. You can take the historic tours, and there's a sizable number of restaurants as well... For the city lover you might enjoy the cable-stayed bridge (US 17) that crosses the river, and South Carolina is a few hundred feet away. As a Floridian, it's always interesting to cross into another state without having to drive hundreds of miles.

St. Augustine is also pretty interesting if the two of you like history (I went there one time to visit the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind). But then you probably want to travel farther, so go with Savannah or Charleston, and stop in Jax on the way... humble opinion.

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wow, Pgh... I can't believe we both posted about St. Augustine at the same time! :)

So, that means, for you Brickell, there's a stop you must make on the way, if you have time..

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I've done St. Augustine a few times over the years, and yes it's a great place. Just not on the list this time. Besides, it doesn't count as a real vacation unless you leave the state.

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If you get to the point where you're left scratching your head, the next question to ask is, of all the places mentioned, where can you get the best sweet tea in the world (alluding to a previous post)?

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Second choices for me (then again I'm a big time history buff) are Savannah and Charleston, Mt. Airey as I mentioned above but thats kind of a drive (off I-77 in NC).

Being that your screenname is Brickell you have probably done the Keys already (lol) I know lots of Floridians from Tampa or Jax or Daytona never have--thats always a fun thing to try--the conch republic and all.

Outside of big city Atlanta or southern Appalachia not too many touristy destinations come to mind other then the historic coastal cities.

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If you've never been to Charleston, go there. You'll be amazed at its big city urban atmosphere. Its like a smaller East coast version of New Orleans. You could also make pit stops in Jax and Savannah for lunch or something on the way there and back to Miami.

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My only problem is that Charleston has gotten so touristy and exclusive that it no longer resembles the historic city it proports to be. One of my relatives (who grew up there) was remarking during Christmas that King street is nothing but chains now and resembles a shopping mall.

There is still a lot of history there, and it is worth seeing if you have never been, but don't expect the unique shops and restaurants that used to be there. They are all tourist traps now. If it were me, I would go there, walk around for the day and head to Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach is the definition of a touristy place but at least they admit it. And there is a lot more to do there in the winter than Charleston.

BTW, I've got some Wilmington pics in the Carolina's coastal section if you would like to see what it is like. It is also nice, but will be very slow this time of year.

Saturday in Wilmington Part I

Saturday in Wilmington Part II

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The only thing about Myrtle Beach, is that it isn't that different from Daytona and its a downer, when Miami Beach is in your backyard or your from a state surrounded on three sides by water.

Charleston's King Street has become commercialized, but overall the old city is still a unique urban environment that every urbanist should try to visit, at least once.

Here's a link to some Charleston pictures I took last May.

Charleston photo thread

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If you've never been to Charleston, go there.  You'll be amazed at its big city urban atmosphere.  Its like a smaller East coast version of New Orleans.  You could also make pit stops in Jax and Savannah for lunch or something on the way there and back to Miami.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Got to agree with Lakelander on this one.

As monsoon stated, Lower King Street (South of Calhoun) is largely chain stores, but from what I understand, Upper King Street (North of Calhoun) has more locally based stores.

If you go to Charleston, you have to see the "big items" like Rainbow Row, the Battery, City Market (very touristy but historic too), Four Corners of Law, Riverfront Park and Aquarium Wharf but leave time to see some others less-publicized areas too. For instance, Marion Square, Old Citadel (now a hotel), The Citadel, as well as neighborhoods such as Ansonborough.

Also, they have a new Cable-stayed bridge under construction, if that appeals to you. Not to mention, the old bridges are unique also.

The visitor's center on Meeting Street is a good starting point to plan your trip.

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My only problem is that Charleston has gotten so touristy and exclusive that it  no longer resembles the historic city it proports to be.    One of my relatives (who grew up there) was remarking during Christmas that King street is nothing but chains now and resembles a shopping mall. 

There is still a lot of history there, and it is worth seeing if you have never been, but don't expect the unique shops and restaurants that used to be there.  They are all tourist traps now.  If it were me, I would go there, walk around for the day and head to Myrtle Beach.  Myrtle Beach is the definition of a touristy place but at least they admit it.  And there is a lot more to do there in the winter than Charleston.

BTW, I've got some Wilmington pics in the Carolina's coastal section if you would like to see what it is like.  It is also nice, but will be very slow this time of year.   

Saturday in Wilmington Part I

Saturday in Wilmington Part II

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Myrtle Beach? Talk about a tourist trap! King St is indeed alot of chain stores, but King St is not what its all about. That should be maybe 45 mins of your trip. You have to go to the Battery, Ft Sumter, Do a carriage tour, or a ghost tour, there are some great plantations around the city (but you have to drive there). Ft Moultrie on Sullivan's Island is really cool. Not to mention the things that vicupstate mentioned. The beaches aren't anything to write home about, but the city offers so much more that you really don't need to go there.

You can spend a whole day just wantedring around the city looking at houses and the narrow roads. Waterfront Park is nice, and its definately worth your time to go to the old market- called the "Slave Market" it didn't actually sell slaves- slaves sold their master's products. College of Charleston is also an interesting walk. I think that the tourist office there has some interesting walks that you can take. There are still some interesting shops there, just not on King St. Charleston has so many great and unique restaurants that you really can't begin to describe them all. I think you would really appriciate this city.

Savannah is also a very interesting place to go, but IMO, Charleston is better :)

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BTW, I've got some Wilmington pics in the Carolina's coastal section if you would like to see what it is like.  It is also nice, but will be very slow this time of year.   

Saturday in Wilmington Part I

Saturday in Wilmington Part II

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Nice pics! Never been to Wilmington have heard good things about it, looks very nice!

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Myrtle Beach? Talk about a tourist trap!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Huh? Maybe you missed how I described Myrtle Beach.

It really boils down that what you want to do. BTW, I posted some pics of Charlestons new bridge somewhere on the forum.

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Two cities stick out to me for what you are looking for. First is certainly Charleston...went there this past spring with my wife, and so glad we did. That place is LOADED with interesting things to see and do, and it's a bit more hip and young than what I had expected. More of a living, thriving place than a museum...which pleasantly caught us. The food is tremendous, and the place just leaves you with a feeling as you look back on it. There are the nearby islands if you want to get out of Charleston as well.

Also, you may consider Asheville if you've never been. A friend of mine compares Asheville to a little east coast Portland. It has that small-city mountain feel, and indeed...the downtown is extremely walkable with a ton of great sites, restaurants, cafes, etc. The plus is that you're right off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and you can check out some gorgeous high country scenery!

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Since you like the water I think you'd definitely like Charleston. Also, Charleston is much bigger than either Savannah or Wilmington. It is also older and has more history preserved than those other two cities combined. Charleston has great restaurants and there are things to do all year round. I would not, however, go there in the middle of summer unless you love hot and muggy weather. Of course the same really goes for any of the cities you mentioned.

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That Asheville/Portland comparison is pretty cool, now that I think about it that is a good comparison though Asheville is probably more intimate being slightly smaller.

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Asheville is nice, but it is very cold this time of year. It was 16 there this morning. Much of the parkway north of Asheville is closed as well due to iceing conditions at the very high elevations. Though Wolf Laurel ski resort is nearby and you can head to that.

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Since you like the water I think you'd definitely like Charleston. Also, Charleston is much bigger than either Savannah or Wilmington. It is also older and has more history preserved than those other two cities combined. Charleston has great restaurants and there are things to do all year round. I would not, however, go there in the middle of summer unless you love hot and muggy weather. Of course the same really goes for any of the cities you mentioned.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Late March or April is an excellent time to visit Charleston as that is when the dogwoods and azaleas are in bloom. They also have home tours then that take you inside the homes. I highly recommend those.

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We've done New Orleans and it was nice, but not someplace I'd say I need to go back to anytime soon.

And we'll be travelling in spring, so Charleston sounds perfect.

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^^that is some great advice, much more intimate then some of the tour busses. You can really take your time with the cities that way. The forts (Pulaski and Sumter) would be must sees for me, but then again I'm a history buff.

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My pick would be Charleston, I love the place. Not only do you have all the things downtown people already mentioned but you can go to the Beach at Folly, Sullivans Island or Isle of Palms, you can go see a battleship at Patriots point, they have interesting botanical gardens in West Ashley among other places, and my favorite, fishing on one of the three rivers (The Ashley, Cooper, or Wando). I loved going out on Yellow Creek for the day. Not only is the fishing great but it is neat seeing Dolphins and Alligators in the same water. A buddy of mine cought a 34 inch (12 lb) red drum out there one time.

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