November 8 - 11, 2019:  Hilton Head, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia

We finally made it to the Savannah, George area and decided to stay in Hilton Head, South Carolina. 

On our drive, we passed over more bridges and marshes.  Interesting spot for a fruit stand below:

What we noticed immediately about Hilton Head was that it was a very high end and highly populated area.  From the road, you would not see huge signs advertising stores.  Instead, it was a nice pristine view of trees, palms, ponds, etc.  Then a small sign nestled among the trees advertising Lowe's, Starbucks, Tanger Outlet Malls (yes...they had 3 signs for these), and more.

Since we did not have a camp spot booked in advance and because it was Friday-Sunday, we were not able to find a campground close that was less than $70 a night.  So...we found a hotel on Hilton Head Island for only $45 ($10 cash back to check out by 10:00am) and it included an awesome hot breakfast! 

The Simple Inn Rewards Hotel was great!  It was clean, centrally located, and the staff was awesome!  We stayed on the 3rd floor and had a good view of the trailer/truck in the parking lot.  Below I am nestled in the blanket (Tony gave us for the Clemson Tigers football game) and watching a movie ; )

The next day we headed into Savannah, Georgia for the day.  You know me and my fascination with bridges...here is another cool one!

First order of business was to the Visitors Center to get a ticket for the hop on/hop off Old Town Trolley.  We wanted to see the city and get a guided tour and the trolley was perfect!  We rode the trolley for the entire loop and loved our guide Lily, she was hilarious and provided us with a TON of history!  along the way, we made a note of the stops we wanted to come back to and explore more. 

A little background on Savannah.  When the city was founded in 1733, General James Oglethorpe designed 24 squares which include homes and a central park in the middle of them.  22 of those squares remain today.  Most of the homes or mansions still exist and are either still residential or have been turned into commercial.  The squares are way cool because of how they are designed.  The building surround them and go our from there, so you have a neighborhood park right outside your doorstep.

The streets are divided with a median that contains trees, bushes, crypts, statues, etc.  The iron around your residence, the more wealth you have.  If you see a red door, it means you own the residence free and clear.

Below are random pictures of the squares, homes, and buildings:

This is the trolley going down to the River District and the cobblestone streets.  Notice how the walls are made out of stone and also the shells, sand, mortar mixture? 

In the last picture, the metal walkways were used for people to stand on and see what was coming in off the wharf (goods, supplies, and...slaves) and then bid on them.

This is the Cathedral of St. John and the cemetery adjacent to it. 

A lot of the places we walked you could see the old cobblestones and bricks under the asphalt.  Kind of sad that they just covered it up.  I understand why, but...

Yes...this is one house.  Excuse me...mansion  ; )

This is Forsyth Park which is the largest of the parks in the 24 squares.  As you can see it is an active park.

This is the Owens-Thomas House.  One of the oldest homes in town.

Some older ladies celebrating a birthday.  And in the picture on the right...as our tour guide pointed out...does the building look like it has eyes and is looking at you?  : )

Of course, we had a late lunch, I had Shrimp and Grits, Craig had a chicken wrap and tots.  And...after walking around a little bit, we finished it off with ice cream from Leopold's. They have been in business since 1919.  And...they are very proud of their ice cream.  Check out our Activity Catalog to see how we rated them.

As we wandered around Savannah, I kept seeing the letters "SCAD".  To me this is a medical term for the heart condition I have.  So...I was curious.  Well, it stands for Savannah College of Art and Design! 

This college is very cool.  They buy old buildings throughout the city, restore them, and use them as their classrooms!  So the campus is spread all over town and the buildings are very cool.  The first picture is an old movie theater andthe second picture is the old Macy's building.  The took old textile mills and turned them into dormitories.  I love the concept!

We had a fun time in Savannah.  It was chilly that day about 60f, but it was sunny so as long as we walked in the sun it was okay ; )

Since we have been on the go non stop, the next day we decided to head to Hilton Island and ride our bicycles.  Riding on the beach was awesome because the sand was hard packed and you could ride forever.  We probably rode about 12-15 miles round trip.

Along the way, we saw a dolphin close to shore playing in the water, going back and forth.  A little further out there were a few more just playing. 

We rode around the tip of the island to the end and as we were enjoying the view, we saw a pod of about 10 dolphins that were playing also.  It was so awesome to see dolphins in their natural environment playing and having fun!

We also met a local couple and spend about 30 minutes just chatting with them about traveling. 

What an awesome day!  (Tip:  turn your sound on for the videos)

We had a really good time in Hilton Head and Savannah.  Although Savannah was cool, I think we enjoyed Hilton Head more because it was back to our bicycling and relaxing time.  Not rushing about trying to be a tourist and sightsee  ; )

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