A Taste of Southern Charm: Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and Savannah
If you're planning a getaway down south this year, you won't be the only one. Cities like Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Savannah have been some of the most popular destinations with travelers for decades. All three allow visitors to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of the South, to golf some of the most highly regarded courses in the nation and to experience a bar and culinary scene that rivals the likes of Boston, New York and Chicago. Whether you're planning to paint the town red on a bachelor or bachelorette party or to simply enjoy some sun and sand, this trio of cities will most certainly give you the opportunity to experience the best that the South has to offer.
Myrtle Beach: The Riviera of the South
Myrtle Beach may be known for it’s golf, however, it is also very well known for its hundreds of bars and restaurants. Whether you're looking to slam beers and stuff your face with bucket after bucket of all you can eat shrimp or to savor a glass of Pinot Grigio as you enjoy the delicacy of the freshest Flounder you’ve ever tasted, you’ll find what you are looking for here.
Yet another attraction you'll find as you tour the Grand Stand, which includes all of the coastal communities from Little River to Georgetown, are the numerous settlements just south of Myrtle. Settle into the laid back vibe while you explore Myrtle Beach and the Low Country. The closest is the community of Murrells Inlet. It was not only one of the nation’s first resorts, but also where the most respectable and illustrious of the Southern gentility summered. A bit further down the coast you’ll come to All Saints Parish, Waccamaw, which was established in 1767. Once the wealthiest parish on the Waccamaw River, this historic community is within minutes of the famous Hammock Shops of Pawley’s Island. While the name may imply that these shops sell nothing but hammocks, the truth is actually far more pleasant. The Hammock Shops form a small village of clapboard cottages that house unique shops and restaurants. As you stroll between the cottages on rustic paths that wind past flower gardens and beneath ancient oaks and pines, you will find a myriad of hammocks that are open to all. They're an ideal place to take a moment to reflect upon the history and idyllic scenery that makes the Grand Stand such a special place.
Charleston: The Paris of the South
Charleston is not known as the Paris of the South because of its smokey cafes or surplus of starving artists who seem to be more interested in drinking wine than creating. Charleston was awarded this nickname because it is a city of culture, elegance and sophistication. It is a city that is home to dozens of museums and galleries, as well as a cutting edge food scene that can definitely hold its own against traditional, Southern cooking.
While the city has become a hub for young artists, entrepreneurs and health care workers, it still retains its old school feel. The cobblestone streets of the city's downtown reveal the deep connection that many of Chucktown's residents have to their Southern heritage, particularly when it comes to the history of their vibrant city. This is just one of many reasons why Charleston has been both a popular tourist destination and a city that typically finds itself ranked among the best places to live in America. Yet another reason is because it is the friendliest city in America.
Explore with a historic Charleston city tour that will allow you to step back in time to visit such notable sites as Fort Sumter, which is where the first shots of the Civil War were fired; the city's plethora of old and storied churches (so many, in fact, that Charleston is often called the Holy City); the historic downtown area with its open-air market; and the palatial homes of Charleston's elite. Experience for yourself why the Paris of the South continues to be one of the most popular destinations in South Carolina.
Savannah: The Hostess City of the South
Charming is one way to describe Savannah. Yet another would be almost freakishly accommodating. Though Charleston won the 2014 honor for friendliest city in America, Savannah was a very close second.
Savannah is not polite. It is friendly. There is a big difference between the two. Whereas a polite city welcomes you with a quiet smile, a friendly city buys you a beer. Savannah is most certainly the latter. While it may be renowned for its rich history, its youthful and spirited character is perhaps its biggest draw.
Speaking of spirits, Savannah's history isn't just found on plaques or in the city's charming architecture and bucolic parks (though these are certainly attractions that everyone should visit); it is far more animated than that. Frequently on the list of most haunted cities in America, Savannah's history can sometimes tap you on the shoulder or call out your name in the middle of the night. For those who are brave enough, Gray Line Savannah offers nightly tours of some of the city's most ghostly sites.
Speaking of spirits that are far less terrifying, Savannah is a city that loves to party. This is evinced by the fact that the city more than quintuples in size for its St. Patrick's Day Parade. Furthermore, there are dozens of bars on Congress Street and City Market that sell drinks to-go year-round.
Whether you're paying the Hostess City of the South a visit in order to walk around its historical downtown, to give yourself a scare or to give yourself a buzz, it is truly the crown jewel of the Georgia coast.