Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A weekend getaway in Georgetown, South Carolina, What do I do?

Wedding season is upon us, or me, and its a great opportunity to get-away for the weekend and see another part of world. Most recently I attended a wedding in Georgetown, South Carolina. I've been to a few other confederate states like Louisiana (New Orleans!), Florida (Miami!) and Texas (Houston and Dallas) -- but none of those states reminded me of what I envisioned as the typical "southern" state... When I think of the south, I think of movies such as the "Notebook", "Fried Green Tomatoes" and "Forrest Gump" ; I also think about great big plantations, people talking in a southern accent and drinking sweet tea on their wrap around porch. Yes, a much more relaxed life than New York city. However, one thing New York City has in common with South Carolina, well at least recently, is the HEAT. The temperature in June was in the 90s, but add the humidity factor and you're around 95 to 100 -- quite unbearable (and the locals, said the heat was nothing during the time I was there.. oh how I miss California during this time)! So, if you could bear the heat and manage to leave your air conditioned room, then there are a few must dos if you happen to find yourself in Georgetown, South Carolina.

Top 5 Things to do in Georgetown, South Carolina:

1. Beach.
2. Visit Walmart (I'm a city girl and haven't visited a Walmart until now!).
3. Go into town, eat at Kudzu Bakery and see one of the oldest churches in town.
4. Debordieu - check out the houses, see the alligators/flying fish, and play a round a golf!
5. Take a day trip to Charleston, South Carolina.

1. BEACH. Wherever you are staying, ask them where the beach is and you can bask in nature's glory. :D Aside from relaxing under the sun, you can also go digging for sand dollars.

2. WALMART. What a funny thing to do, but I love visiting supermarkets while traveling and a tour of Walmart was certainly on my "must-see" list ! This was one of my first-ever trips inside a Walmart, so you can imagine how excited I was (my reaction is as if it was a cool toy museum or something!). Walmart is sort of like Target, but larger and with
a lot more discounted items. Sam Walton made this a truly affordable place for people to shop for food, clothes, household goods and other amenities you can think of (um, even guns!). Among the deeply discounted, or "rollback" items were 2-liter bottles of Coke for 98 cents, Minute Maid Pink Lemonade for 84 cents, 6-pack of Blue Moon for $6.97, Hershey's Miniature candies for $2.50 and much more... What did I buy? I wanted to take the whole store with me, but I couldn't - so I bought a big box of strawberries, diet coke, gallon of water, a wedding card, 1 bags of gummy bears and it cost less than $8.00 and that's cause the card was $3! Yup, the money you save here you can use on your travels, or a few good cookies at Kudzu Bakery! Needless to say, this is a great place to stock up for snacks while traveling, or even a place to buy items that you might have left at home! and, um its open 24 hours! what else can I say?!

Note: 24 hours Walmart Supercenter, 1310 N. Fraser Street, 843.527.9970

3. HISTORIC GEORGETOWN. There is not much to see in historic Georgetown, except to visit Kudzu Bakery and visit the Prince George Winyah Episcopal Church; however, some people have said the highlights of the town include the Rice Museum, Kaminiski House, browsing the boutique/antique stores and eating at some of the restaurants.

Kudzu Bakery is without a doubt my favorite spot to have visited in Georgetown. They have amazing home-made bread and cakes, delicious sandwiches and can't take my hands off the cookie jar, cookies. My favorites were -- banana nut bread, honey oat wheat bread, shrimp salad sandwich (sounds interesting, but wait until you try it on that honey oat bread!), chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies. Just thinking about it again makes my mouth water. Its the perfect spot to pick up sandwiches, snacks, and drinks/wine before you head out to the beach! A sandwich, drink, chips and a cookie are $6.75 (or forgo the chips and get two cookies -- which is what I did!)

p.s. In addition to eating everything mentioned above, you should also try the keylime pie!

Note: Closed on Sundays, otherwise open from 9 am to 5:30 Mon-Fri and closes at 2 pm on Sat. On certain days, they make different types of bread. 120 King Street, Georgetown, SC, 843.546.1847

Prince George Winyah Episcopal Church. According to wikipedia, Prince George Winyah is one of the oldest continuous congregations in South Carolina and the church building is one of the oldest churches in continuous service in South Carolina. The one thing I like about this church is the booth seating -- we're all accustomed to seeing pews in churches, but this church has booth seating where families congregated together, facing one another as they listened to the day's sermon. For pictures of the church, click here.

Other restaurant recommendations in Historic Georgetown, include:

-- Rice Paddy Restaurant, 732 Front Street (upscale American)
-- Thomas Cafe, 703 Front Street (hometown diner, great fried green tomatoes)

If you want to restaurants outside Historic Georgetown, here are a few suggestions:

-- Roz's Rice Mill Cafe - 10880 Ocean Highway, Pawley's Island, Southern Bistro
-- Frank's & Frank's Outback - 4434 Ocean Highway, Pawley's Island, upscale low country cuisine
-- Litchfield Beach Fish House - I3060 Ocean Highway, Litchfield Beach, casual fresh seafood (note: beware of opening times)

4. DAY TRIP TO CHARLESTON. Charleston is approximately 1.5-2.0 hours away from Georgetown. Its an easy drive south on highway 17 and while you are there, you can visit the shops, restaurants, Battery and Old Slave Market and get a tour of the old town. I would highly advise leaving Georgetown early in the morning to make the weekend walking / carriage tours that start at 10 am and last about two hours (but make sure to make your reservations a few days ahead, otherwise, there may not be any space for you!). Since we didn't know to make reservations a few days ahead, we were in luck and got a last minute reservation with Al Ray, who grew up in Charleston and has been a guide for more than 29 years! After our two hour stroll around Charleston, we made a lunch stop at Blossom and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere inside the restaurant. We, then, ended our day-trip by stopping at the art fair.

Walking Tours: Charleston Stroll, $18 adults / $10 children, 843.766.2080; or Al Ray's Old Walled City Tours - $17 adults -- 843.343.4851 (

Blossom Restaurant. Hungry and need an escape from the heat? I would highly recommend this restaurant. The air conditioning was a relief, the restaurant was classy, yet not overly expensive (well, at least for lunch), and the food was tasty! The lunch menu offers wood-oven pizza, homemade pastas, seafood platters, and delectable sandwiches. I ordered the Salmon BLT sandwich ($10) and thoroughly enjoyed it! The free bread was very good, so good we asked for seconds and maybe thirds. :D My friends enjoyed the Creek Shrimp Po-Boy ($10) and the Grilled Chicken Wrap ($7). The rosemary fries are no joke -- ah, yum!

Note: 171 East Bay Street, 843.722.9200; Restaurant is part of the Hospitality Management Group, Inc., which also owns Cypress (right next door to Blossom) and Magnolias.

5. DEBORDIEU COLONY. Golf, alligators, flying fish, beach, amazing houses are among some of the things you can do and see here. Its a gated community, but if you rent a house, or have a member sponsor you, you can enjoy its amenities -- including DeBordieu Beach Club, 18-hole golf course designed by Pete and P.B. Dye, tennis center, pools, beach access, and restaurants. We rented a three bedroom house that accommodated up to eight people for four days for $1500 and with that we had access to everything above.

DeBordieu Beach Club - 843.527.6055
DeBordieu Rentals - 800-797-3633
DeBordieu Golf Pro Shops - 843.527.6000
DeBordieu Tennis Center - 843.546.9408

Other places to stay, Hampton Inn, Georgetown (843.545.5000).

There are other things you could do there that I didn't have an opportunity to do and I've listed them below. For a more expansive list of attractions, visit the Georgetown Tour Site.

-- Crabbing
-- Canoe or Kayak -- Black River Outdoors Center - 843.546.4840
-- Browse the Hammock Shops - North on Highway 17 to Pawley's Island -- there are specialty shops, restaurants are on the right hand side
-- Hopswee Plantation Tour - 843.546.7891 - $15

Nearby airports: Charleston (approx. 1.5-2 hours away) and Myrtle Beach Airport (approx. 45 minutes to 1 hour away).

Flights from La Guardia Airport to Myrtle Beach can run as low as $180 to $500 depending on the time you go. So shop for airline tickets early!

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