GMT -6 hours
Authentic southern charm entwined with history and heritage, museums, markets and beaches.
Balancing traditional southern charm with sleek, contemporary aspects, Atlanta is a welcoming and beguiling city. The largest city in the south, it is a beacon of leadership which will enchant you with its museums, skyscrapers and beautiful neighbourhoods. Savannah and Charleston are smaller than Atlanta but both have buckets of the same southern charm, wonderful architecture and some stunning historical sites. Whether it’s art, museums or military history, they have something to appease every taste and whim.
Atlanta has three large skyscraper districts each with its own character. Downtown is the most commercial area and home to the city hall, the CNN centre, Georgia Aquarium and the New World of Coca-Cola. Midtown is a popular nightlife area and also includes Piedmont Park and the Woodruff Arts Center. Buckhead is also a popular nightlife district but is set north of Midtown and has Peachtree Battle, Lindbergh Center and the Governor’s Mansion. If you’re looking for history, in West Atlanta you’ll find the Historic West End and Vine City.
Atlanta is ideal for those with a love of history, with plenty of museums scattered throughout the city. There’s the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, the Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum or for something a little different the Puppetry Arts Center. There are also the beautiful Atlanta Botanical Gardens, the Centennial Olympic Park and the Chattahoochee River Fun Center along with the Georgia Aquarium and the Fox Theatre. For young ones, the New World of Coca-Cola, Legoland and Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta are perfect!
In Savannah you want to head to the City Market area where you’ll find entertainment, shopping and some great dining establishments. There is also the Art Center and interactive fountain. For history, River Street is the start of the Historic District and features many shops and restaurants. On the edge of the Historic District you’ll find Forsyth Park, a large public space with a beautiful fountain, perfect for a picnic.
City Market is a great place to start exploring, with a whole host of shops and local art galleries where you can pick up student pieces at low prices. For those with a penchant for art you can also visit the Savannah College of Art and Design or visit the Telfair Museum of Art and the Jepson Center for Arts. A Savannah Cruise Ride or the free Savannah Belles Ferry crossings are great ways to see the city from the river and the latter takes you over to Hutchinson Island. You could also hop on a trolley tour of the city or take one of the many ghost tours around the area.
Charleston has a beautiful Historic District located on a peninsula formed by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers. Here you’ll find an array of buildings and architecture over hundreds of years old. There are also a number of beaches and islands that are well worth a visit just outside of Charleston’s Downtown area. If you’re looking for low-key then head to Folly Beach, for something a little more upmarket try Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms.
Charleston offers a wealth of attractions on its historic peninsula including the beautiful Battery and White Point Gardens which has great views of the river and the elegant and historic houses along the promenade. History buffs should aim to visit the Charleston Museum, Fort Sumter, Fort Moultrie and the Patriots Point Navel & Maritime Museum. You can also enjoy a spot of shopping at The Market, see the remnants of a slave exchange, and visit the Gibbes Museum of Art and the historic military college at The Citadel.
For something a little different, leave New Orleans and take a drive out to The Myrtles in St. Francisville, an old plantation house and one of America’s most haunted houses.
You can take a fun mystery or history tour of the building and learn about the murders and ghostly goings on, or stay the night and really test your mettle.