Touch down in Savannah, hop into your rental car – a convertible isn’t strictly mandatory, but absolutely encouraged to soak in that southern sun – then take a short drive to Hilton Head Island where you’ll arrive to Sea Pines Resort. Entering this resort is like stepping into a youthful beachtown fantasy where all the cold and concerns you had are swept away in the sea breeze. After checking into and freshening up in your room overlooking the impeccably groomed links, head down to the beach for a sunset cocktail and dinner under the stars.
Once in a while, a blend of ecotourism and Southern hospitality is good for the soul. This week-long itinerary through South Carolina Lowcountry is proof that an escape from reality doesn’t have to involve a change of timezone.
For those based in the northeastern United States, a journey of less than two hours is all it takes to reach a region doused in sun, offering charming scenery and outstanding culinary delights around every corner. Whether you’re looking for a vacation filled to the brim with daily excursions and enriching cultural activities, or, just want a week to lay out in some of the finest hotels the South has to offer, we’ve got it all laid out for you in this flexible seven-day itinerary that takes you through both the region’s iconic and hidden gems. Perhaps you’re looking for a night filled with charming music venues and drinks, or you’re hankering for an adventure and fancy an ecotour through marshlands in search of bottlenose dolphins and American alligators. For the avid golfer, maybe you fancy practicing your putt on the best greens fit for literal champions. Whatever it is you’re seeking in the South, South Carolina Lowcountry has you covered.
Our skilled travel advisors have sited and stayed at hand selected properties to ensure you’re experiencing a vetted lineup of hotels that are sure to leave you feeling pampered and recharged. Venture through a harbor town on horseback and discover the resort’s oceanfront acres teeming with wildlife. Find yourself amidst a seaside sanctuary’s diverse offerings and wake up every morning to a truly sumptuous setting. Unwind in accommodations that are the perfect mix of high-touch, old school Southern charm, and elegance. With this itinerary, you’re sure to have a comfortable home base to retreat back to after a day filled with memorable explorations and discoveries.
7 days, 6 nights
Romantic or family getaways to a Southern paradise. This itinerary is particularly fit for some memorable bachelor(ette) excursions.
Refreshing sights with equally invigorating golf and gastronomy
Lowcountry’s charming shorelines and historical establishments will keep history buffs and thalassophiles alike beyond content.
The Sea Pines Resort is a classic vacation spot that’s been providing guests of all ages a lush beachtown stay for over fifty years. Spanning the southern third of Hilton Head Island along 5,000 oceanfront acres, this resort offers condo-style apartments, villas, and homes in countless different sizes, locations, and configurations, providing comfortable options for all kinds of travel parties.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort is your destination for luxury golf and beach vacations near Charleston, South Carolina. Indulge in incredibly luxuriant accommodations, world-class resort amenities, award-winning recreational activities, and some of the most respected golf courses in the nation. You’ll enjoy all of this and more in a distinctively tranquil environment – for a travel experience you’ll wish would never end.
Whether you’re a couple traveling for a romantic getaway or a multi-generation family, the Belmond Charleston Place has accommodations that are perfect for every guest. While the property boasts an interior of classic elegance, it has still been renovated to feature modern touches and a simple color scheme. The hotel is a top choice in Charleston considering its many outlets, central location and adjoining room options. Plus, they gear their service to make sure that both children and the parents are taken care of during their stay.
- Sunset cocktails on the beaches of Hilton Head Day 1
- A day of exploration in the South Carolina sun Day 2
- A cultural tour through the the hidden secrets of Savannah Day 3
- Play like the pros at Kiawah Day 4
- Explore the historic streets of the Holy City Day 5
- Shop and eat your way through Charleston Day 6
- Some Southern comfort for the ride home Day 7
The ecological experiences and wildlife tours around Sea Pines are particularly plentiful…
Spend your day enjoying all Sea Pines has to offer – stroll the marina and harbor, lounge on the private stretch of beach and wiggle your toes in the sand, get out and golf on one of their three exemplary courses, or, if you’re seeking something more active, spend the afternoon playing tennis, biking, kayaking, or horseback riding! The ecological experiences and wildlife tours around Sea Pines are particularly plentiful: check out the pristine 605-acre forest preserve, miles of unspoiled beach, tranquil lagoons, salt marshes, and winding tidal creeks; nature here provides a spectacular open-air classroom for those interested in exploring the more untouched side of the States. Geocaching – a real-life treasure hunting game offered on the resort – is particularly fun for those with a pension for adventure.
After enjoying a bakery breakfast at Hilton Head’s Cups and Cones coffee and sweet shop, ease the convertible back on the road and into Savannah. A guided tour is a great way to get a feel for any city, and this one is no exception. Some favored sites include the park bench where Forrest Gump told the world that “life is like a box of chocolates,” as well as the original home used to model Disney’s Haunted Mansion attraction. Their many historic square parks invite guests to take refuge under shady centennial trees that line the city’s historic architectural gems. We particularly love an afternoon stroll along the riverfront complete with stops into quaint stores and waterfront spots like River Street Sweets for dessert. Vic’s is a must-eat lunch spot, but be sure to consult with our Savannah culinary guide for more spots to chow down at.
You’ll then continue onto Kiawah Island, a sweeping island resort that features some of the best golf the East Coast has to offer. There’s an abundant amount of restaurants here for you to taste some local southern cuisine, as well as traditional country club-style meals without all within the gates of the resort. Make sure to take time on the way to stop and see the world-famous Angel Oak Tree. This centuries-old tree has a massive branch span sprawling 160 feet in every direction; it exudes magical energy as you step under its vast canopy.
Call “Fore!” in the greens or take four hours at the spa. Today, you can start with a great round of golf in one of the magnificent five courses. The Ocean Course – home to the 2021 PGA Championship – is the coveted spot for visitors, featuring sweeping views bordering the Atlantic Ocean. No worries if you’re not looking to tee off today though: this is also the perfect day to luxuriate at the spa offered at The Sanctuary hotel, where multiple treatments like their Body Fusions and Massage Escapes are offered within a serene-yet-modern setting.
No stay on Kiawah Island would be complete without experiencing lunch at the beautiful Ryder Cup Bar which offers panoramic golf course and ocean views. Then, spend the afternoon strolling or biking around the resort to end up at the expansive miles-long stretch of powdery sand beach. Cap off the day at the “nineteenth hole” where magical barside sunset views and refreshing craft cocktails are commonplace.
These entertaining walkthroughs will highlight the…sense of history and culture that surrounds this incredible city.
Onward to Charleston – aptly named the Holy City for the myriad churches and steeples that grace the city’s skyline – where there’s a myriad of hotels to choose from here each rich with history, like the timeless classic Belmond Charleston Place. For us though, it’s also the food that makes this city absolutely divine! Check out various local cultural hotspots like the historic King Street which traverses the city with authentic locally-owned shops and trendy restaurants and bars, or the Charleston City Market packed with arts and crafts that you can take home with you.
This city is fortunately completely pedestrian-friendly (New Yorkers rejoice!), so an efficient and equally fun way to find your bearings is a guided walking tour that can be arranged through the help of your SmartFlyer travel advisor. These entertaining walkthroughs will highlight the key streets and attractions while giving you a perspective and sense of the history and culture that surrounds this incredible city.
With all of the day’s purchases in hand, head to one of the many rustic-industrial rooftop bars and restaurants to round up the day. The Citrus Club at The Dewberry has all the right sea-skimmed sights at this time, and your SmartFlyer travel advisor has the connections to get you one of their coveted reservations at sunset. Those interested in a nighttime activity should consider a ghost tour through famously haunted mansions, or return to King Street with a spiked slushy in hand and duck into a jazz club conducive to a rollicking night out.
Wake up and get the blood flowing in the morning with a hike across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, a spectacular cable-stayed bridge stretching for two miles over some of the best views of all of Charleston. After the walk, reward yourself by heading to Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits, which offers a wide variety of delicious breakfast and all-day meal options.
After catching your breath back at your hotel’s pool or lounge, head on over for late lunch at Leon’s Poultry and Oyster Shop, the place for some of the best fried chicken and every variation of oyster imaginable in an authentic lively set up. Start up a boozy afternoon with their frozen gin and tonic or frosé, or indulge in their extensive beer list. With a full belly, proceed on over to enjoy Charleston’s craft brewery scene where you can design your own tour – at least six breweries are walking distance – or let an organized company like Charleston Brews Cruise haul you around in a vehicle to the best breweries in town. The day’s pièce de résistance is a seat at Revelry Brewery to catch a sunset on their hopping rooftop terrace.
All good things must come to an end – as you snack on some Southern pastries to fortify yourself for the flight home, recall that warm feeling in your heart from venturing through vibrant neighborhoods and fullness in your body from the incredible food and drink. Use all those wonderful memories to inspire your next trip down to Lowcountry, where that southern sunshine is right outside your front door.