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Magnolia Charm with Martie


The weather could’ve been better, but the cities of Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, did not disappoint on our recent Magnolia Charm tour.

There’s about 100 miles between the two cities, which are each the oldest in their respective states. Both Low Country towns are fabulous for many reasons, which is why Anderson Coach & Travel’s tour team plans a trip there every spring.

For the last two years, our tour director Martie has been the guide for the Magnolia Charm trip.

“The history and the architecture are amazing,” said Martie, adding that the bitter cold our March tour group experienced didn’t damper the Gothic beauty.  “We enjoyed the ambiance of the cobblestone streets and antebellum mansions.”

Savannah has one of the nation’s largest historic districts with historic squares and parks dotting the entire area. Martie noted that one, Chippewa Square, is where the famous bench scene in Forrest Gump was filmed. A trolley tour is a terrific way to see the city, beautiful homes and to learn about its rich history, including Forsyth Park, the Waving Girl statue, the Cotton Exchange and Colonial Park Cemetery.

“The river is gorgeous,” said Martie.

Martie said they particularly enjoyed the waterfront on River Street. Shops and restaurants, with names like True Grits and Barracuda Bobs, along the Savannah River offer a host of places to stop and cool off – or warm up, depending on the season – while on a stroll. According to Martie, it’s also home to “the greatest candy shop you’ve ever seen.” Our group visited over St. Patrick’s Day, so there was tons of green adorning everything.

Speaking of green – Martie noted the beautiful Spanish moss everywhere in the city. While it’s pretty to look at, she said it’s unwise for people to touch it because it’s filled with chiggers. “You would rather have 500 mosquito bites than 1 chigger bite,” Martie advised.

Savannah is also considered to be one of America’s most haunted cities and there are plenty of touring options for folks interested in the supernatural.

Another highlight of the trip was a visit to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston.

“You see these fabulous homes and how they lived at the turn of the century and it just takes your breath away,” said Martie.


Magnolia plantation is along the river and you actually pull up to the back of the house; the front of the house faces the water. Martie noted the big house has a huge wraparound porch to sit on and enjoy the breeze. The azaleas were in bloom. And inside the Drayton family home, much of the original furniture has been preserved.

Our guests enjoyed the nature tram ride, which features the wildlife like alligators and herons in their natural habitat, as well as the plantation petting zoo. Here, guests got up close with goats, foxes, chicken, pigs, peacocks and some very tame deer. “Where can you go and there’s a deer just standing there saying ‘hi’?” asked Martie.

Charleston is known for its seafood and Martie said the food was delicious, especially the she-crab soup. The food was also a hit on the Spirit of Carolina yacht cruise the group took of the Charleston Harbor along the battery and under bridges.

Martie said the homes are also grand in Charleston, but they seemed to be more row homes than giant mansions.  They were in a different style, with porches that overlook the river and painted in pastel colors. Because Charleston was built on sand, some of the homes have tilted and sunken a bit. “It’s pretty interesting,” said Martie.

The group wasn’t able to walk the campus of The Citadel because it was graduation week, but Martie said they saw the cadets in uniform. They also visited the Charleston City Market, which had “every kind of vendor you can think of,” Martie said.

Here are some more photographs from the trip and visit for pictures from past years’ trips.

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Anderson Coach & Travel has been providing Superior Travel Experiences since 1937. In celebration of our 80th Anniversary, college student McKenzie Caldwell will be traveling with Anderson. McKenzie, our tour directors and guests will share their stories from on the road here!

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