Travel - Southern States
In November 2012, we ventured south, by car, to attend a wedding in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Most of what we saw on the way there and back comprised throughways, hotels and restaurants, so I took very few pictures. What we have here are some of the more memorable events.
Hilton Head is a small island in South Carolina, about 20 km (12 miles) by 8 km (5 miles). It is some 32 km (20 miles) from Savannah, GA and 150km (95 miles) from Charleston, SC. While the permanent population is quite small, it can increase dramatically during the vacation season. During the civil war, it was occupied by the Union and used as a base during the blockade of the southern ports. At this time, many slaves fled there, and many of their descendents still live there. Nowadays, the island is home to 24 golf courses, 200 stores and 250 restaurants. It is generally considered to be one of the best family resort destinations in the world. I found it to be a touch over commercialized (serious understatement!), and cannot imagine how crowded it would be at the height of the season.
The Isle of Palms, originally known as Long Island, is a barrier just off the coast of South Carolina. The population is only a little over 4,000, comprising a mix of permanent residents and vacation home owners. There are a few hotels catering to visitors, like us. We spent four nights there, and unfortunately we suffered rain and wind for most of that time. This section includes pictures of Sullivan's Island, which is south-west of the Isle of Palms.
The plantation is one of the oldest in the South, dating from 1767 when Thomas and Ann Drayton built a small house there. It has remained in the Drayton family to this day. John Grimke-Drayton created the famous gardens after he inherited the house in 1840. The house is not original. It is based on a house built after the civil war with considerable reconstruction and restoration. Again; it rained almost the whole time we were there, but we still enjoyed the gardens and the house. Look at their website for more information.
Patriots Point is a Naval & Maritime Museum situated at the mouth of the Cooper River on Charleston Harbor. There are three principle vessels on display; the USS Laffey (destroyer) on which Deborah's father served, the USS Yorktown (aircraft carrier) and the USS Clamagore (submarine). The Yorktown is host to the Medal of Honor museum that includes biographies of all medal recipients, as well as 25 aircraft used by the US navy.
Savannah was founded on February 12, 1733, by British General James Oglethorpe. His brief was to provide protection to the Carolinas from the Spanish in Florida and the French in Louisiana. The population has risen steadily to its current level of around 140,000 people. It has a thriving cultural scene and is home to many orchestras, choirs, theaters and bands.
Tybee Island is about 30 km (19 miles) east of Savannah, GA. It represents the furthest point east in the state of Georgia. It is home to both the Tybee Island Light Station (lighthouse) and Fort Screven Historic District that includes Battery Brumby. Just west of Tybee Island is Fort Pulaski on Cockspur Island and the Cockspur Island Lighthouse.