Savannah/Charleston or Boston/Maine: Trips that combine history and literature

By Carol Sottili
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, June 20, 2010

Who: Rosanne "Scotty" Scott, 57, and her husband, Jack Crawford, 66, of Alexandria

Where: A coastal cruise or visit to a historic city

Why: To celebrate their 25th anniversary

When: A week to 10 days in fall

Budget: Up to $4,500

"Our interests have to do with things nautical, historical and literary. A cruise could be nice -- something smallish or medium-size . . . . So could a trip to some notable home or site (Biltmore? Winterthur?), or to a city with some history, such as Savannah or Charleston. We could incorporate more than one stop and it could be by both land and water. We were thinking of something along the Eastern Seaboard."

Jack Crawford, of Alexandria, is getting ready to retire from the U.S. Coast Guard, where he has been involved in the gulf oil spill cleanup. His wife, Rosanne Scott, is a writer and editor interested in authors such as John Updike and Flannery O'Connor. Both enjoy visiting historic estates. To celebrate their silver wedding anniversary, they'd like to visit a historic city or take a cruise. We've come up with three possible itineraries: one on land, one by sea and one that combines the two.

Option 1: Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga.

These two cities, about two hours apart, will satisfy the couple's love of history and literature. Although Scott said that the couple prefers driving to flying, getting to the South Carolina/Georgia coast is a chore: The trip to Charleston takes about 8 1/2 hours. Instead, hop a nonstop flight from Reagan National to Charleston (expect to pay about $230 round trip with a sale fare on US Airways) and rent a car (about $300 for an eight-day rental).

In Charleston, stay at the John Rutledge House Inn (800-476-9741, http://www.johnrutledgehouseinn.com), built in 1763 by Rutledge, one of the signers of the Constitution. The inn has 19 guest rooms; a four-night stay in early October will cost about $1,205 for two including tax.

Charleston is known for its historic houses, many of which are open for tours. Among those worth visiting are the Aiken-Rhett House (843-723-1159, http://www.historiccharleston.org), an urban townhouse built in 1818, and Drayton Hall (843-769-2600, http://www.draytonhall.org), one of the few pre-Revolutionary plantation houses that remain in close-to-original condition. Military history is preserved at Fort Sumter (843-883-3123, http://www.nps.gov/fosu), where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, and at Patriots Point (866-831-1720, http://www.patriotspoint.org), home of the USS Yorktown. Historic plantations and gardens are also a big draw: Check out Magnolia Plantation and Gardens (800-367-3517, http://www.magnoliaplantation.com) and Middleton Place (800-782-3608, http://www.middletonplace.org). For a nautical fix, take a two-hour sail on the 84-foot Schooner Pride (800-344-4483, http://www.schoonerpride.com). Contact the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau (800-774-0006, http://www.charlestoncvb.com) for more details.

Explore the historic towns of Beaufort and Bluffton on the drive to and from Savannah.

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