Neither one of us had ever really been to the Southeastern part of the country, so when we had a special wedding to attend in Hilton Head, we wanted to make the most of our trip.  First up...


We instantly fell in love with this city on the water.  What could be better than beautiful weather, fresh seafood and a little bit of history?

The Mills House (managed by Wyndham)
115 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 577-2400

Our hotel had quite the story.  Legend has it, the great Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee liked to stay at the Mills house.  Check-in proved to be pretty interesting.  When we unlocked our room, there were suitcases unpacked (not ours... whoopsie) and we were pretty sure someone was in the bathroom.  When we went back down to the front desk to share our news, the staff looked as puzzled as we were.  We were instantly upgraded to a nicer room, yay! 

10 Guignard Street  
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 853-3747

Quick Facts on Carriage Works:
- The ride is a one hour tour.
- 9:30 is early bird special for $20 a person.
- All other ride times are $25 a person.
- Tours start at 10 a.m. and run every half hour.

We did a lot of research on which carriage company to choose.  Believe us, there's an overwhelming amount of options.  We settled on Classic Carriage Works.

We knew we selected the winner when our driver started making fun of a competitor company driven by a person dressed in a historically inaccurate costume of a confederate solider.

In our opinion, this is the best way to see historic Charleston.  From driving by graveyards where you aren't good enough to be buried at (no seriously, the driver said you must be a third generation Charelstonian to be buried there... THIRD generation) to gazing at the historical Rainbow Row which overlooks the water.  We had a lovely time!

If you hear someone talking about Charleston, chances are they are either talking about history, houses or food. There are a lot of great food options in Charleston.  Needless to say, we had done our research (like always) and had our list of "must eats" while we were there.

City Market Great Hall
Market and Church Streets
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 577-7757

We found this gem recommended by USA Today.  At Caviar & Bananas (what a name!) they believe that gourmet belongs in your every day (can we get an amen?) It is a great spot to grab breakfast or lunch and was just around the corner from our hotel.

We stayed close to the City Market - you could walk almost anywhere, including the historic King Street Shopping.  Even if you aren't a big shopper, it's a beautiful walk and there are good cups of coffee along the way.

Their BLT with Pimento Cheese should be illegal... just sayin'

185 E Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 577-7771

Recommended by Travel Channel, Magnolias is everything you dream about when you think about Charleston.  From the old world decor to the southern inspired seafood.  This is a great dinner option, and lots of other people think so too... we'd suggest making a reservation.

78 North Market Street
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 853-8270

One thing that you'll learn quick about us when we travel is that we love to enjoy a good dessert because calories don't count when you are on vacation... right?

Kaminsky's has a cozy atmosphere and entices you with with a rotating selection of delectable desserts made in house daily.  Milkshakes, coffee and beverage creations - they've got it all.  Be on the lookout, it sits right beside the City Market and can be easily missed.

Hilton Head

If there's one thing we learned about Hilton Head, it's that it's expensive.  Someday it would be fun to rent a house on the beach, but for this quick trip we selected The Omni for accommodations.

It carries a big price, but it's well worth the convenience of being right on the beach at a nice resort.  Pricey, the rooms are all suite like (very nice) and if you were staying here with a family for a weeks vacation, the dinette with seating is ideal.

23 Ocean Lane
Hilton Head SC 29928
(843) 842-8000

We didn't have a lot of time in Hilton Head so we were either hanging out near Coligny Beach or at our resort.  Had there been more time, we would have rented bikes (like every other person in Hilton Head) and explored.  Bike riding seems to be the means of transportation for most vacationing folks on the island - be careful! 

 Doesn't a drink on the beach just taste better?
One of the places we had to visit while in Hilton Head was The Sea Shack.  The Sea Shack is Hilton Head Island’s best hidden seafood secret.  We'll just say that Dave was much more excited than Jess... fried everything!

Disclaimer: you can actually order things grilled or blackened - but we doubt that anyone really does.  Oh, and don't forget to check the catch of the day Blackboard Specials, which change daily.

6 Executive Park Road
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
(843) 785-2464

This shack of a restaurant, literally it's a shack, reminds us of everything that's good in the world. Friendly people and food as it should be.  The fried clams were great with the tarter sauce housed in a little paper cup to keep you humble.

This was the perfect lunch spot, just a ten minute drive from our hotel.  With outdoor seating, it's a great place to take the kids or pups.

Hudson’s on the Docks
1 Hudson Road
Hilton Head, SC 29926
(843) 681-2772

Hudson's on the Docks was another spot with a lot of history that was on our list.  Hudson's offers dayboat seafood served in a 1912 factory that is still partly used to process fish, with dockside seating.  We recommend that you take advantage of sitting dockside.  The view is beautiful.  Hudson's was about a 15 minute drive from our hotel.

It wouldn't be a vacation without our dessert recommendation. We suggest checking out Pino Gelato in Hilton Head.  This is a counter-serve chain for Italian gelato & sorbet made with natural ingredients.  They have lots of locations and you can probably ride your bike to one of them. 

On our list for the next time we visit Hilton Head Island:
- Take Hopsen... HHI is very dog friendly!
- Take a yoga class on the beach. (says Jess)
- Rent bikes and ride everywhere.

The only good thing about leaving the beach is having more vacation ahead! Next up...


Savannah might be the hottest place on Earth.  The humidity there is unlike anything we've ever experienced, and we're from Kentucky.  It's beautiful, just hot.

Like a fire breathing dragon constantly following you around and breathing down your neck hot.  But, if you're into beautiful architecture and history... it's worth the sweat.

When we travel, we like to soak in everything our destination has to offer.  To us, this means really experiencing places for their elements - the food, history, culture... everything.

So, when we decided to visit Savannah “America’s Most Haunted City" we took our one night stay seriously and picked The Marshall House.  If available, book a balcony king room.  They offer access to a wrought-iron balcony through a floor to ceiling window to use as a door.  It's all part of the history, and pretty cool.

123 East Broughton Street
Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 644-7896

 The hotel was built in 1851 and served as a hospital for soldiers toward the end of the Civil War and during two yellow fever epidemics.  We even read about soldiers arms and limbs being shoved in the floorboards after amputation one winter when the ground was too frozen to dig through.
 Dave wasn't a big fan of that!  

The Marshall House underwent an extensive renovation in 1999 and is centrally located in the heart of the Historic District.  Their staff was great and extremely accommodating.

When making the reservation and noticing some rooms with blue decor and others with red, we had mentioned in conversation that we were University of Kentucky fans and not fans of Louisville.  When we showed up, we were told that they have moved blue pillows and accents into our room - now that's southern hospitality!

So here's the thing.  Dave isn't the biggest fan of the Supernatural and Jessica doesn't really mind it. Dave was thrilled about the selection for our stay.  Jess on the other hand was fascinated and couldn't wait for our stay.

We each had our favorite part.  For Dave, checking out was the best and for Jess it was the packet of stories they gave you of occurrences told by employees and guests that took place in the hotel.  Yep, you read that right! 

A great way to see Savannah on a budget is taking a trolley tour.  We did this as soon as we arrived (following check-in at the hotel) and it really helped us get a lay of the land.  

The tour (we took the 90 minute historic overview) takes you by all the iconic parks, historical homes and points out the haunted stories that surround Savannah.  Jess loved that part.  Dave did not... Oh, and for the record, the trolley ride was still blazing hot!

Old Savannah Trolley Tours
41 Wahlstrom Road
Savannah, GA 31404
(912) 234-8128

Finally, let's talk about our food suggestions in Savannah.  First up, lunch.  Just a three minute walk from our hotel, Zunzi's is a Savannah staple for a unique lunch.

You'll want to get there early though as a line starts forming about an hour before it opens.  African inspired, these enormous sandwiches leave you feeling full.  Best Thing I Ever Ate Chicken Sandwich was our favorite thing on the menu.

108 E York Street
Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 443-9555

For dinner, we selected The Olde Pink House Restaurant.  Yet again, we encourage you to make a reservation as this is one of Savannah's most popular restaurants.  The environment was incredible, and the space was stunning.  Make sure that you go early and grab a drink in the basement where their wine cellar is a vault.

The building used to be an old bank and this space is really unbelievable.  Oh, if walls could talk.  The fine dining southern inspired food was a little overrated in our opinion, but it's the place (and experience) that counts.

The Olde Pink House
23 Abercorn Street
Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 232-4286

Finally, we made it to our sweet spot that we had decided was a must see as it is a Savannah tradition.  Opening in 1919, Leopolds is one of the oldest ice cream shops in the country.
We think it's also one of the best.

After a hot walk in Savannah, a cold treat from here will really hit the spot.  Dave's favorite was their chocolate shake and Jessica decided on a real ice cream sandwich.  The best part was this little gem was just down the street from our hotel.

Leopolds’s Ice Cream
212 E Broughton Street
Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 234-4442

This vacation was jam packed from beginning to end with food, fun and new experiences.  We like to make the most of every second when we travel, and we certainly did with all of our adventures in the southeast over summer.  According to Jessica, when the finale of vacation gives you rain... You kiss under umbrellas, jump in puddles and look forward to returning to your simple, wonderful life.

Even though they are close Charleston, Hilton Head and Savannah are all places that you could (and most people) visit separately.  However, we squeezed them all into one.  But, if you ask us we wouldn't have had it any other way.  We'd like to plan future trips to Charleston and Hilton Head, but as for Savannah... we'll probably have to have to good excuse to go back.
 If you're into golfing, Hilton Head is known for having some of the best courses in the United States so bring those clubs and reserve your tee times.

Charleston is a foodie's dream.  Right next to our hotel was Husk, which is known around the country to be one of the USA's best restaurants.

With all of the restaurant popularity, be sure to make reservations for your dining experiences. 

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