This itinerary takes you on a captivating journey across Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, stopping at dynamic cities, historic districts and relaxing coastal spots.
Suggested route & duration
Suggested duration: 12 nights Atlanta round-trip
• Atlanta: 2 nights
• Asheville: 2 nights
• Charlotte: 1 night
• Myrtle Beach: 1 night
• Charleston: 2 nights
• Hilton Head Island: 1 night
• Savannah: 2 nights
• Athens: 1 night
About this independent tour
Georgia & The Carolinas is a recommended self-drive itinerary including 13 days care hire, accommodation for 12 nights in mainly 3.5 and 4 star hotels and a personalised documentation pack.
Georgia’s capital is a brilliant starting point on a self-drive. Head Downtown to see sites including city hall, Georgia Aquarium, the New World of Coca-Cola museum and the Centennial Olympic Park from the 1996 Games. Make the most of your 2 nights here and spend an evening in buzzing Midtown for drinks or a show; the district has the Fox Theatre, a performing arts venue with an intriguing Moorish design, as well as the beautiful Piedmont Park.
Asheville is in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and is known for its arts scene and historic architecture. Explore museums and galleries in the Downtown Art District, visit the dome-topped Basilica of Saint Lawrence or see the Biltmore Estate containing Biltmore House, a huge 19th-century châteauesque mansion built by the Vanderbilt family which is the largest privately owned house in the USA.
Your time in this commercial hub of North Carolina promises more than just skyscrapers. Visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame or the U.S. National Whitewater Center, home to the world's largest man-made whitewater river and an official Olympic Training site. Billy Graham Library is also worth seeing; this converted barn with silo is now a public museum and library dedicated to the life of Christian evangelist Billy Graham, with an intricate cross carved into the side of the building.
This coastal city is at the heart of South Carolina’s Grand Strand, a 60-mile stretch of golden beach. Breathe in the fresh sea air as you wander the charming boardwalk lined with arcades, souvenir stalls and restaurants, check out the Ferris wheel, indulge in a spot of shopping in one of the various malls and head to the adjacent Myrtle Beach State Park.
South Carolina’s oldest city is one of the best places to see during a tour of The South, and you’ll have plenty to do during your 2-night stay here. Discover the city’s fascinating heritage with a visit to the Charleston Museum or Fort Sumter, a key battlefield of the American Civil War accessible by boat. Have your camera at the ready and snap the colourful antebellum houses in the Historic District, on a peninsula formed by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers.
HILTON HEAD ISLAND
Continue further down the coast to Hilton Head’s golden-sand Atlantic Ocean beaches, a picturesque place to stop during a self-drive. Head to Coligny Beach Park to enjoy swings and beach equipment rental in pretty landscaped surroundings, and make your way to the southern tip of the island to see the grand red and white striped Harbour Town Lighthouse and Museum.
Hop on a Savannah Cruise Ride for the chance to get a feel for the city from the water. Head to River Street for the start of the Historic District, famous for its cobbled streets and oak-shaded parks – the perfect spot to stop for a picnic. You’ll also find various artsy areas to browse, including the 18th-century City Market and the Savannah College of Art and Design.
You’re now heading for northeast Georgia, to a city which marks the start of Georgia’s Antebellum Trail of historic Civil War towns. Take in striking white pillars and grand front porches on one of the city’s guided tours, and stop off at Athens’s restored Victorian-era downtown historic district. It has a great mix of shops, restaurants and music clubs – the city is the birthplace of chart-topping names such as R.E.M. and the B-52’s.
Tailor your tour
This itinerary is completely flexible, so you can choose your own itinerary, duration and accommodation, add excursions and extend your holiday. After your final night in Athens, it’s very simple to extend your journey to Florida for a white-sand beach getaway.