If I’m being honest, I’ve wanted to take a solo road trip for a while but I’ve been a little scared about doing it.
I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy not having someone right there with me to share the experiences with and to get feedback on my ideas of what we should do and where we should go. I usually like to have my friends and family create the general itinerary for me and I’ll chip in with what I like and what I don’t like, but overall, I get a little overwhelmed with trip planning. I get major FOMO that I’m going to miss out on a cool experience, not find the best deal, or accidentally skip over a restaurant that has the best reviews. And honestly, sometimes I’m a little afraid for my own safety while traveling alone (because let’s be honest…there are still some shitty people in this world that will take advantage of women that are by themselves + appear to not be familiar with the area).
But the more I started to think about doing this trip, the more I realized that I was the one that got to create how amazing (or terrible) the experience was, not the circumstances of where I went, what I did, or who I did it with. If people looked at me funny for dining by myself, that was on them. There’s also always the unknown ahead of us of “what if something happens…”, but sitting at home by myself pondering these thoughts was doing me no good. This trip came 5 months into the pandemic, and with me living alone during that time, I needed to get out and explore the world – even if it meant doing it by myself.
This trip ended up being such an amazing experience for me. It allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, gain some confidence that I can create an amazing itinerary all by myself, and that a little bit of self-exploration while discovering some fun cities was exactly was this girl needed! Now I’m brainstorming when I can hit the road next on another solo adventure (well, I might bring my new bestie – my pup Henri – with me…or let him have his only little puppy resort vacation!)
On this first solo road trip, I decided that I was going to hit up Savannah, GA, Charleston, SC, and St. Augustine, FL. This 5-day road trip to three amazing southern cities was the perfect little getaway! Here are some tips, recommendations, and details about my trip that I think will help you out if you’d like to plan a similar trip!
Hotel Accommodations – Andaz Savannah – Hyatt
There are so many options for places to stay in Savannah. I struggled between wanting to stay someplace historic or someplace new and if I wanted to stay along the riverfront or in the very heart of the city. I ultimately decided to stay a little more inland and close to the city market area at the Andaz Savannah. I loved that its walkability to all the key sights around town was perfect for me! Parking was easy and underground and the staff was friendly and everything was impeccably clean (which was very important for me during this pandemic timeframe. I had a great view out my window and there was a pool, but I didn’t have time to make use of it. While it fit all my needs, I think if I headed to the city again in the future, my choice would be the new JW Marriott Plant Riverside District. It was close to a bunch of new businesses and restaurants, right along the water, and the quick walk I took through the interior lobby was amazing! I felt like I was in the National History Museum of London!
Overall review of my stay at the Andaz Savannah – 4.5/5.0
What should you do in Savannah?
Since I only spent about 24-hours in Savannah, I didn’t get to do a ton of things, but I definitely made the most of it! Did lots of walking and checked out a few rooftop bars. Here are some of my favorites
Get a Champagne Pop on the rooftop at The Grove
The views were pretty spectacular (It was right across from the City Market) and this place was a quick walk from my hotel! Besides the wonderful champagne pop, I also had their grove burger and honey drizzled jalapeno fries. It was a little piece of heaven for sure!
Wander the streets in Downtown Savannah
There’s just so much beautiful architecture and parks all throughout the town, you’ll want to be constantly taking photos. All the Spanish moss trees and beautiful fountains make it feel like a hop back in time. Some of my favorite sites to see were: Forsyth Park, the Armstrong House, the Old Pink House, Leapold’s Ice Cream, the Savannah Theatre, Hamilton-Turner Inn, Savannah City Market, and Sorry Charlies.
Take in a drink and a bride view on the rooftop at Perigrin
Be sure to make a reservation for this more posh rooftop dining + drinks above the Perry Lane Hotel. I got lucky and was able to sneak in a table because it was just me, while the group in front of me got turned away. It had a lush atmosphere and maybe one of my favorite parts was riding up the elevator that had a jungly theme and the doors opening to the lush Perigrin sign + atmosphere.
Stroll beside the Riverfront
This is a great spot for some people watching, views of the Talmadge Memorial Bridge, and checking out the ferries in the harbor. Fair warning, the steps are step down to the river, so watch your step! Also, it would be a pity if you did not make an attempt to get beignets + cheesy grits from Huey’s right there on the water. They made me learn to love grits! It’s a popular spot so make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to check it out!
Next up on my road trip was the beautiful coastal town of Charleston, South Carolina. I’d have to say I think Charleston was my favorite out of the three! I’d been into town a few years back but didn’t get a ton of time to explore and I was staying outside of the city with friends. I just love the vibe of this town and all the colorful buildings right along the water. And all the history that surrounds this city just kept having me constantly thinking, “I wonder what it was like to walk down this street back in the day…”.
Accomodations – The Vendue
This boutique hotel is situated close to the water and was once a warehouse back in the day. It’s two buildings – 19 + 24 Vendue – which were right across the street from each other. Some of the perks – all the beautiful artwork showcased within it’s halls, the hotel happy hour and what was probably one of the best baths I’ve had in a while. I adored the bathroom! Things that made it just “meh” – my room didn’t really have much of a window as it was frosted on the lower level and situated towards the alleyway. The room felt a bit cold with the concrete + brick walls (though I suppose that was part of its charm too), but staying there solo did give me a little bit of the chills like there might be a ghostly presence within the walls surrounding me. The parking garage was a little bit of a walk and while I only stayed less than 48 hours (5 PM – 8 AM the 2nd day), I got charged for 3 nts parking = $54. Eek!
Overall review of my stay at the Vendue – 3.5/5.0
What should you do in Charleston?
Eat a fancy steak meal at Halls Chophouse
This was a recommendation of my friend that used to live there and it was a superb one. Probably the best steak + frites I have ever had! The service was great and the atmosphere was even better. Definitely worth the splurge!
Take a swing on the waterfront pier + see the Pineapple Fountain
I grabbed some Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit (YUM!) and sat myself on a swing by the water. A stranger joined me for a bit, and it was just so relaxing + peaceful. Then if you keep strolling a little way you’ll see the infamous Pineapple Fountain.
Check out the historic Rainbow Row
The pretty pastel colors of all the houses right along this row of homes is gorgeous! If I lived in Charleston, I’d definitely be photographing clients all day long along this area.
Some other things that I highly recommend you check out doing while you are in town are: doing a ghost tour (Loved Bulldog Tours!), Grab a drink at the Blind Tiger Pub and be sure to ask the bartender about their ghost, grab some food and a drink in the courtyard of the Gin Joint, Shop along King’s Street, and just wander around all the streets and take in a bit of history with the graveyards, old churches, and centennial homes. I ended up walking almost 10 miles around town the one day so there is so much to see!
St Augustine, FL
Accommodations – The Collector Inn
The final leg of my trip was back in Florida and I stayed at the Collector Inn. I’d have to say that this was probably my favorite hotel of the bunch. The customer service was impeccable, the location was central, the property was gorgeous, the room was very cozy, and the free cocktails at the Well Bar on the property was also a nice little perk! I was a bit bummed that I had some pretty rainy weather the day I got in so I didn’t really get to fully enjoy it as much as I would have liked.
Overall review of my stay at the Collector Inn – 5.0/5.0
What should you do in St Augustine?
This was my first time ever visiting St Augustine and it’s a cute little town. In some weird way through the downtown area reminded me a lot of the theme park from my childhood – Geauga Lake. Haha. It’s definitely touristy downtown, but I loved the historic vibe. I wish I hadn’t gotten into thunderstorms so I could have explored a bit more, but I still enjoyed what I did get to see between the rain showers. I’d recommend visiting the Lightner Museum for some beautiful architecture, the Prohibition Kitchen for a delish bowl of mac n’ cheese, and thirst-quenching cocktail. Make sure to explore around Castillo De San Marcos and walk along the Bridge of Lions. A little bit away from downtown was the Mission Nombres de Dios Museum which was stunning. I, of course, had to stop and grab a 1905 Salad + Sangria from The Columbia (even though I have them all around me in the Tampa Bay area). The last few places that I checked out before I headed home were the Saint Augustine Lighthouse (saw the storm clouds rolling in!) and I checked out St Augustine Distillery and the San Sebastian Winery. I definitely wish I would have had at least another day in town, but I was able to pack in a lot with the little time I had. I guess though it just means I have to go back another time, right? 😉
Thinking of traveling to one of these spots and want some tips and advice? Shoot me an email and let me know what you want to know, and I’d be happy to help answer any questions you have! firstname.lastname@example.org