Our recent holiday to the US was thankfully memorable for all the right reasons (some of those memories have yet to be featured here by the way…). It also turned out to be an accidental multi-centre holiday, thanks in the most part to decent flights not being available to Florida when we wanted to travel. After choosing not to give up on our Summer plans, we looked at where else was available to fly to, and so our multi-centre US road trip began to take shape…
Having spent years driving to and from the UK to Bavaria and back again (journey time around 12 hours if snow doesn’t feature somewhere on route!) and thinking nothing of jumping in the car from Munich and driving down to Venice or Como for a long weekend (it still makes me laugh when some of my English friends consider anything over three hours an undoable journey as it’s “too long to spend in the car”!), we gave up on flying directly to Florida and looked at where we could fly to and then drive instead – we would make our way there…
Of course, you could fly from State to State as we have done in the past. We once attended my Brother in Law’s wedding on a hot and sunny Clear Water Beach, before heading to an unseasonably snowy New York for Halloween (!) (where we even managed a bit of last-minute trick or treating), but on this occasion we were happy for a little more adventure, and decided to do a bit of exploring along the way.
We found flights to Charleston and had an initial stop there, where we quickly fell in love with what turned out to be a beautiful city packed full of pockets of colonial charm, and hugely welcoming residents. Plus points to flying to Charleston instead of Florida included a flight that was a) not overly packed, and b) a lot less expensive, c) there was no real difference in flight time to either destination.
We spent our time exploring the city on foot, where we managed to meet the “Best Friend” of the city, before taking in the character of the quiet back streets and discovering a good bit of Street Art along the way (as well as taking in a shop or two obviously!).
We have a family law that dictates that during our travels we must include some of the exploration wishes of our offspring, which is how we ended up at the South Carolina Aquarium (which, after the most delicious seafood lunch at Fleet Landings, did make me feel ever so slightly guilty!)…
On next to just outside Tampa, Florida (after a six-hour drive) where we spent seven days relaxing with family and spending time with a few other Floridian residents to boot (you just don’t want to get that close to some of them!)…
After a lovely reunion, we drove the four hours (you don’t really appreciate how big Florida is!) to Cape Canaveral where by chance our visit happened to coincide with a space launch. It’s not every day you get to see/hear a rocket taking off in real life!
Canaveral is a little bit like stepping back in time in as far as half of the general architecture is concerned, it’s easy to get a glimpse of the Florida of the fifties and sixties, but then the other half of it (as you might expect) is very much space-aged, and the Space Center is really worth a visit. To be honest, Canaveral far surpassed my expectations, and also provided the perfect backdrop of Floridian palm tree-lined sunsets after each hectic day.
In the event that you are up at the crack of dawn to witness some Interstellar happenings, we can really recommend Southern Charm Cafe by the way – winner of various Best Diner awards! Not only are the breakfasts here great (the pancakes are amazing!) but they also have the insider knowledge on the best rocket launch viewing sites!
For the final part of our multi-destination trip, we drove up through Georgia (with a peach stop or two. Peach icecream at the countless roadside places really is worth waiting for a broken ice cream maker to start churning again – trust me!) for our final stop in Savannah.
In many ways, Savannah feels like a big sister to Charleston, but is equally packed full of Colonial buildings. As you might expect from any city literally built upon its dead, it was completely atmospheric, and the cherry on the cake for the end of our holiday.
It really is a beautiful city, and although parts of it can be noisy and bustling, the atmosphere is fun and friendly, and it’s all too easy to get sucked into a lively bar for a cocktail or two and a few oysters.
Equally as easy however is the option to seek out Savannah’s more residential streets and enjoy a spot of architecture appreciation. You can then take in a meal somewhere a little more local, before wandering back to your hotel, watching the bats pour out of the buildings whilst you walk as the sun starts to go down on the city. I will divulge more on that and many of the other places above shortly.
For now though, I am perusing future Multi Centre US holiday options, the USA is obviously a massive place, so there are many many choices, and as this “beginners road trip” was a success, and we now know how much we all liked seeing more than one place, the possibilities are endless. We might opt to see our friends in Seattle next time, and I’ve always fancied San Franciso so maybe we could fly between the two? But then I quite fancy an extreme road trip like Portland Oregon to Portland Maine (a trip of around 2,550 miles) if we had the time to do something like that…
Have you ever undertaken a multi-destination or twin destination US trip? if not where/what would you choose to see and do? If you are looking for inspiration, I think you will find some right here…
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