Travel to Savannah & Charleston :: The Ultimate Low Country-Themed Vacation Guide

I just finished reading The People We Meet on Vacation. The main character is a travel blogger who believes that no getaway should even be attempted without a fun theme and an even more fun alter ego to present to the people you meet. Amen.

My favorite line: “Theme matters!”

Yes, it does. It absolutely does.

Over Spring Break, my sister and I took our first Sistercation. Destination: Savannah and Charleston.

As the firstborn sibling with a love of spreadsheets and a deep sense of wanderlust, it fell to me to do the planning, and I was here for it.

As the lastborn free spirit who’d never once “planned” a vacation, let alone even heard of the possibility that a vacation could be themed, it fell to her to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Did she think I was crazy? Yes.

Did I win her over? Heck yes.

Planning a Low Country-Themed Vacation

Themed Location

We were traveling to Savannah and Charleston, so I chose the theme “Low Country Style.”

Themed Soundtrack

I created a custom playlist with low country-themed songs AND downloaded an audiobook of Where the Crawdads Sing. The perfect soundtrack, both musical and literary, will make the drive fly by!

Themed Stays

We squealed with delight upon arrival at our Airbnb treehouse surrounded by giant oaks and Spanish moss and eclectic artist touches and the most low country vibe we could’ve asked for!

Themed Stops/Tours/Activities

Roadside America is the perfect place to find “uniquely odd” and Insta-worthy stops along your themed road trip route. On our drive home, I really wanted our last hurrah to be a stop in Somerville, Georgia, to take a pic at World’s Largest Sweet Tea (because theme matters!), but then I received a call from my daughter screaming that she had to go to the emergency room to get stitches on her eyelid, and my nieces were calling my sister every few minutes to ask us what time we’d be back, so we decided to just keep on driving. Boo.

Frommer’s and Fodor’s are great travel websites, offering trip ideas, deals and bookings, tips, and news you need to know about your themed destination.

And there’s Pinterest, of course, where “local’s guide to” articles abound to help plan both touristy and off-the-beaten-path activities.

Our favorites in Savannah:

The Savannah Old Town Trolley tour, Forsyth Park, Historic River Street District, and Bonaventure Cemetery.

women posing in front of fountian, sistercation

I definitely recommend taking Route 170 backroads from Savannah to Charleston. It’s a less crowded, more scenic drive that allows for a stop in the low country’s hidden gem: Beaufort, South Carolina. We stopped at Reconstruction Era National Park, explored the shops, and enjoyed the swings at Waterfront Park.

Swings at Waterford Park, low country themed vacationsouth carolina graveyard, low country themed vacation

The drive through The Point neighborhood was straight out of the movies and a highlight of our trip!

Our favorites in Charleston:

The Charleston History Walking Tour, the famous Pineapple Fountain, Historic Charleston City Market, with a day trip to explore Folly Beach, South Carolina.

Pineapple Fountain Savannah Georgia, low country themed vacation

Our favorites in Folly Beach:

We walked the beach collecting shells and stumbled upon a section of trees decorated with shells and tributes to loved ones.

Shell Trees at Folly Beach, low country themed vacation

Themed Eats

I’m definitely a foodie with an adventurous palette, so it’s no surprise that one of my favorite parts of travel is eating local. Before we left for our vacation, I researched low country must-eats: fried green tomatoes, grits, chicken and waffles, barbecue (very different than Texas style!), okra, and boiled peanuts.

Our favorites in Savannah:

The BLT Stack at Belford’s at City Market.

BLT Stack Belford's City Market

The Squawking Goat fried chicken biscuits and Sweet Grace Waffles for breakfast at Maple Street Biscuit Co.

Fried Chicken Biscuits and Waffles Maple Street Biscuit Co.

Our favorites in Folly Beach:

Shrimp Cake Eggs Benedict with grits on the side and Corned Beef Hash with Eggs for breakfast at Lost Dog Café.

Shrimp Cake Eggs Benedicts Lost Dog Cafe, low country themed vacation

Boiled peanuts (my first time trying these!) at Bert’s Market.

Frogmore Stew a.k.a. “Low Country Boil” for dinner at Bowen’s Island Restaurant, a unique low country seafood experience.

Budget-friendly travel hack: We would order an appetizer, main dish, and dessert, and share. Meal portions are so large these days, and who’s eating leftovers on vacation, anyway?

Themed Cocktails

It’s not a trip to the low country without Hurricanes, Mint Juleps, and Moscow Mules! While in Savannah, we sipped Hurricanes on our Airbnb patio while watching Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil with a backdrop of Spanish moss hanging from majestic oak trees (because theme matters!). Talk about ambiance.

streaming midnight in the garden of good and evil, low country themed vacation

Budget-friendly travel hack: We bought our cocktails from the store and enjoyed them in the evenings back at the Airbnb. Bonus: We didn’t have to drive or pay for a ride back. Score!

Themed Souvenirs

Years ago, I started a collection of Christmas ornaments from my travels. It’s so fun at Christmas to unwrap each one and relive years of family bonding adventure-is-out-there memories.

Budget-friendly travel hack: Everywhere I travel, I buy a souvenir keychain. Back home, I take off the chain and tie a nice red ribbon in its place, and voila: a travel Christmas ornament at a fraction of the cost!

You see? There’s taking a vacation, then there’s taking a vacation in style. Immersing ourselves in local culture—the flavors, sights, and experiences that only our destination offers—is the best way to experience the world whether you’re traveling 50, 500, or 5,000 miles. There’s always something new to explore when you step off the beaten path. And there’s no better way to travel than with a theme!

Alisa Hauser
Alisa’s 15 minutes of fame was as a news reporter just after college. These days, she embraces multiple roles – a mom of three (one teenager and two who are #adulting), a writing consultant, and a college application coach. When she’s not in a Zoom session, you can find her in her backyard with a chiminea fire. She loves indie movies, eclectic music, random road trips, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, her family "bubble", and her cat Jack Jack (although not necessarily in that order). She grew up as a military brat, residing in four countries and eleven states before settling in the Dallas area. After 20 years here, and with the help of her Aggie daughter, she can seamlessly use “y’all” and “howdy” in a sentence like a true Texan.