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Charleston, Savannah & Golden Isles Photo Blog

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Charleston, Savannah & Golden Isles Photo Blog

Tour Name: Charleston, Savannah & the Golden Isles

Tour Dates: April 22 – 28, 2024

Tour Director: Laura Bomberger

Tour Director Highlights:

Charleston, Savannah, and the Golden Isles – three beautiful destinations riddled with history, beauty, southern hospitality, and amazing food!

Our trip began in the historical town of Charleston where we explored the Charleston City Market, one of the oldest markets in the United States. As I strolled through the market, I was particularly intrigued by the heritage passed down through the generations.  In my hunt for Charleston’s famous Benne wafers, I met a woman at Edna’s Lowcountry stand who proudly showed me pictures of her grandpa and the stand’s humble beginnings in 1910.  It was clear that she was proud to continue the stand’s family legacy and assured me that their Benne wafers would “make your lips smack!” She was right!  The buttery, sesame wafers did not disappoint!  Equally as interesting were the many sweetgrass basket weavers sprinkled throughout the market, weaving sweetgrass and palmetto leaves into intricately designed (and high priced) baskets. These baskets, a prized souvenir of Charleston, is a craft that originated from West Africa and has been passed through the generations, reminding me once again of the deep history of the South. The remainder of our time in Charleston included a visit to the immaculate Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, Charleston Tea Garden, and, of course, the infamous 66 foot tall Angel Oak Tree!

From there, we headed south to Savannah, Georgia, the “Hostess City of the South!” Upon our arrival, we hopped on an open-air Old Savannah Trolley Tour to explore the city!  Our first stop was the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist, a beautiful, intricately designed white cathedral with immaculate stained glass art depictions from the Bible. For a moment, it felt like we had stepped into Europe! From there, we drove through the quaint neighborhoods of Savannah (including the famous Jones St) featuring picturesque gardens, wrought-iron gates, and French styled architecture. We also spotted the infamous Forrest Gump filming location where Forrest ate his box of chocolates on the bench in the park (though the bench is now in a museum).  Afterwards, we enjoyed a River Cruise and time to explore Savannah’s city market, River Street, and the many parks that line Bull St. 

The next day we ventured to the Golden Isles!  Our first stop was Jekyll Island, a beautiful island formerly owned by a group of millionaires (Rockefellers, Morgans, Vanderbilts and Pulitzers) and used as an exclusive winter retreat. While the island is now owned by the state of Georgia and designated as a state park, the remnants of the island’s elite history remain intact.  We had the privilege of touring the island by tram and entering one of the original cottages of the elite, taking in the intricately designed architecture, unique furniture, and imagining the over-the-top dinner parties held on the property! We then made our way to St. Simon’s Island where we were greeted by Theresa, our enthusiastic, Southern belle step-on guide that took us to Christ Church, Fort Frederica, and slipped in a stop at the Avenue of the Oaks!

Our trip concluded with a stop in Beaufort, SC, where we enjoyed a horse-drawn carriage ride through the historic streets lined with antebellum houses, churches, and memorials to heroes gone by. It was the perfect way to end an incredible trip with a wonderful group of people who laughed, explored, and made memories together!

Until next time,


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