Last fall, we’d planned to go to Savannah and Charleston but then Hurricane Matthew foiled that plan. I needed to take another week of vacation time before the end of the year, so my mom and I decided to fly to Orlando, hit up Universal for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you aren’t planning to spend several days doing Disney or Universal, there really isn’t much to do in Orlando, so we decided to spend two days there, drive up to Savannah for two days, then the remaining two days of the trip in Charleston.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was simply magical. We spent nearly our entire day just in that part of the park. I got frozen butterbeer from one of the carts in Hogsmeade – it was delicious – then we bought an interactive wand to do spells around in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. The lines were short for all the rides – the bank vault ride at Gringotts was definitely my favorite. We ate lunch at The Leaky Cauldron where I got bangers and mash. I also bought some Bertie Botts any flavor jelly beans from Weasley’s and tried the Butterbeer ice cream which was incredibly rich but oh so good.
We rode several other rides around the park and then at dark, made our way back to Hogsmeade where for the first time, they did a Christmas light show and fireworks over Hogwarts. It was PACKED for that part of the night and we didn’t get to see the whole thing because we had to be back to our hotel shuttle at a certain time (which turned out to be later than we thought).
Our third day, we left Orlando and headed for Savannah, GA. It was about 4 1/2 hours and once we got to Savannah, we checked into our cute Air BnB in a historic looking brownstone type home. This was my first time using Air BnB, so I picked homes without occupants. The space was perfect – we had two bedrooms, a small bath, kitchen and living room area with a TV, couch and fridge. If the weather had been sunny, it was potentially within walking distance to downtown and only a few minutes from Foresyth Park.
We ate a late lunch at Bayou Cafe on River Street then checked out some of the shops, including River Street Candy, where we sampled pecan pralines and bought some fudge, truffles and pretzels for later snacking. Later that night, we got hungry and decided to order pizza which was delivered by bike and HUGE. We ate on that for a couple days, haha.
Day four took us to Wormsloe Historic site, which was a plantation and fortified house that was part of a defensive network to protect Georgia from the Spanish during the Spanish American War. During the Civil War, it was occupied by Confederate forces. Wormsloe has the country’s longest alley of oak trees and it’s a beautiful drive and sight to see. The house is no longer there but you can hike around the property and see ruins of the original house.
From there, we went to Tybee Island and spent some time on the beach, then had dinner at the Shrimp Factory, which honestly, was nothing spectacular. Before heading to Charleston the next morning, we stopped at Foresyth Park.
The drive to Charleston was short – just two hours and on the way in, we checked out Angel Oak, a 400 year-old oak tree just outside the city. Our Air BnB was ready early, so we dropped our luggage off there, found our way to a yummy taco place called Taco Boy, then went to Folly Beach for a short hike to see the lighthouse. Then we went back downtown to see the Pineapple Fountain, which never did light up at night so we watched the dolphins in the harbor instead.
Our final day of vacation was spent exploring Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island. From there we could see Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. We ate lunch at Poe’s Tavern on the way back to Charleston, then walked around the French Quarter, checking out Rainbow Row. It wasn’t nearly as colorful as pictures portrayed but the homes were still very pretty to see. On the way out of downtown, we drove past The Battery, the defensive sea wall along the harbor. We then went back to Folly Beach for one last look and because I’d forgotten the camera lens I wanted to use the day before to take pictures of the lighthouse, haha.