Cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and pastel antebellum houses define the port city of Charleston, South Carolina, founded in 1670. Beautiful architecture and lush gardens are woven throughout the historic neighborhoods of Charleston, which has consistently been named among the 10 most courteous and friendly cities in America. Unsurprisingly the city has been renowned for three centuries as “a city set in a garden.” I have planned our visit during the peak of the city's blooming season to showcase Charleston’s distinctive architecture, history, gardens and culture. Our journey features private gardens, parks and historic landscapes such as Magnolia Plantation, Middle Place and Brookgreen Gardens. Of particular interest is Mrs. Whaley’s Charleston Garden, made famous by a book of the same name.
Savannah, Georgia has the largest urban landmark historic district in the United States. In this 2.5 square mile area, we discover an astonishingly preserved genteel city encompassing the beauty, architecture and history of the old South. Savannah was founded in 1733 by General James Edward Oglethorpe, whose colonial plan was based on a grid of residences and broad thoroughfares with spacious public squares located at regular intervals throughout the city. This design has blossomed into a gracious city whose downtown has been enhanced by more than fifty years of preservation activity. Twenty-two oak-canopied squares surrounded by lovely homes and churches give Savannah a character of its own.
We will explore this unique city through walking tours, private garden visits, and guided visits to historic properties like the Juliette Gordon Lowe Center, Green-Meldrim House, Owens-Thomas House and the Isaiah Davenport House. No visit to Savannah is complete without a stroll in Bonaventure Cemetery, made famous by the novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.