sweet southern weekend
February 18, 2009 8:23 AM   Subscribe

Weekend getaway in May in the South?

The boyfriend and I will have a long weekend in early May to do something fun. He's usually in NJ, while I'm in NC, but he has to be in Atlanta on a Monday, so we're making a long weekend out of it; say, Thursday through Monday morning. He could either meet me in NC or I could meet him in ATL, or something in the middle. Either (short) flying or driving distance is fine.

Should we stay in Atlanta and go to the Coca Cola factory and the aquarium? Go to Savannah or Charleston and do some eating and shopping? Cross our fingers that it's warm enough and go to the Outer Banks? There's so many options near by that we're having trouble narrowing down our choices!
posted by kidsleepy to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total)
Savannah in May is just breathtaking. That is my vote. Walk, eat, sleep, head north to Atlanta Sunday evening. That's a good trip.
posted by pearlybob at 8:36 AM on February 18, 2009

Savannah is kinda outta the way (4-5 hours south of Atlanta by car), whereas Charleston is between Atlanta and NC and might be easier. Savannah is only 2-3 hours from Charleston by car, so a day trip is possible.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:47 AM on February 18, 2009

Savannah. Or Charleston. From Atlanta, Savannah is 4 hours. Charleston is 5ish. I think Savannah is more fun because it's so walkable. Plus, open container law. You can dump your drink or beer out of its glass and into a plastic cup as a "to go" when you leave one bar. Strolling down the street, looking at 1800s architecture, live oaks, and the Savannah River, with a cold beer and good friends is really the perfect vacation.

The ride to Savannah is boring. And there's not much on the drive down... There is good BBQ at a spot off 675 (?). I'll look it up for you if you're going in that direction.

Atlanta is a great city in its own right, of course. There is a lot of stuff to see and do. There are great dive bars, clubs, restaurants (3 restaurants in ATL are James Beard finalists for best restaurant in the U.S. this year), as well as the City that Coca-Cola Built. And the aquarium. The two of those is only really barely 1 day, so you'll need to make sure there's other stuff to hit. The High Museum (art) is solid, but not extraordinary. The Fernbank (Natural History) is similarly okay-but-not-world-class.

If you pick either Savannah or Atlanta and let us know, I'll come back for some more particular recommendations.
posted by zpousman at 8:53 AM on February 18, 2009

Asheville? Short drive from Greensboro and Atlanta.
posted by greta simone at 9:00 AM on February 18, 2009

If you're looking for a nice romantic getaway that's nearby, I recommend Serenbe. The Inn is lovely, and there are two excellent restaurants. Only about a half hour from downtown ATL.
posted by Fleebnork at 9:09 AM on February 18, 2009

What about Wilmington?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:17 AM on February 18, 2009

As written, this is an impossible question to answer. Do you guys want a quiet romantic getaway? To see an exciting new city and go clubbing every night? Are you happy to drive around, or would you prefer to walk everywhere you go? Do you like tourist traps or locals-only scenes?

Answer those questions, and I can give you lots of tips...
posted by amelioration at 9:41 AM on February 18, 2009

Seconding Asheville. Cool place and the Biltmore House is a must see.
posted by te1contar at 9:45 AM on February 18, 2009

Response by poster: Some more details:

We'd like something halfway between quiet romantic getaway and clubbing every night- we like to go out to good bars, but no loud techno music please. We don't mind spending time by ourselves exploring a new place, but we'd also like to use this as an opportunity to do some "touristy" things that we can't do at home. Driving would depend on if I can get there easily (less than 6 hours or so) by car, but if we both fly in, then we'd prefer walking. We really enjoy a good meal, and can do either a standard hotel room or a b&b type place.

Really we just need ideas to get us started. Wilmington and Asheville, for example, are places we didn't think of. If any one has had a really great experience somewhere, be it restaurant, atmosphere, entertainment, whatever - please share it so we can get some inspiration!
posted by kidsleepy at 10:24 AM on February 18, 2009

we like to go out to good bars

What do you define as a "good bar"?

What time does he to be in Atlanta in the morning? That could matter, depending on the distance.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:55 AM on February 18, 2009

Given what you've said, go to Charleston! It's a 4.5 hour drive from where you are, there are great B&Bs for the romantic vibe, fantastic restaurants for the foodie in you (Peninsula Grill and Magnolia are 2 amazing places for lowcountry food), and some good bars (can't remember names, sadly). Gorgeous architecture, and the historical society often does tours of homes which are absolutely worth the price of admission. There's a silly little tourist strip, there's great walking tours, and the weather will probably be amazing in May.
posted by amelioration at 11:02 AM on February 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

And to continue my truncated comment...

Then drive to Atlanta on Sunday afternoon/evening. Depending on the weather, you can swing by Hilton Head on the way for a walk on the beach. If you want something laid-back, head to Decatur and have dinner and beers at Brickstore Pub (best beer selection, oh, ever). From Atlanta, it's not much a drive back home for you.
posted by amelioration at 11:12 AM on February 18, 2009

It sounds like you'd have a good time in Asheville or Atlanta.

It will almost definitely be too cold at the outer banks.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 1:14 PM on February 18, 2009

For a true getaway, I concur with the Charleston recommendations. The historic district has a lot of nice dining and bar options as well as shopping on King Street. I have stayed at The Meeting Street Inn. It is a nice place and centrally located.

If you want more of a getaway while still being able to access Charleston, then Kiawah Island, Sullivan's Island or the Isle of Palms are all a short drive away, but more beach oriented.
If you both end up back in Atlanta on Sunday, I recommend eating dinner at Six Feet Under. Both locations offer rooftop dining with skyline views. The outdoor bar at JCT is also nice in May.
posted by Andy's Gross Wart at 1:39 PM on February 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

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