It’s summertime and that usually means we are taking our annual vacation. This year, however, has been slightly different and many of us don't have the option to plan a family getaway, despite the overwhelming cabin fever we've experienced these past months.
So in an effort to help you plan a fabulous vacation within driving distance, here are some great spots to consider for that much needed time away. Of course, there is always the beach, or Atlanta or Charleston – but most of you are already familiar with those locations. We chose some you may not be familiar with in hopes you can get out and explore some place new.
Sea Island, Georgia
Off the southeast coast of Georgia, Sea Island is one of the most beautiful and charming areas within driving distance. Giant oak trees with hanging Spanish moss create a relaxing backdrop to a world of grace and Southern hospitality.
Sea Island Resort includes a variety of accommodations and restaurants along with a spa, golf course and water sports. An endless array of family-oriented activities will keep everyone busy (falconry or skeet-shooting, anyone?).
The Cloister at Sea Island is a Forbes five-star resort with five miles of private beach. Recently updated, the furnishings have maintained their old-world charm and luxurious feel but with a fresh new finish. And the grounds are gorgeous, giving guests many places to relax and enjoy.
Known for spoiling guests with their gracious hospitality, the staff at Sea Island will make guests feel like royalty from morning till night. Guests rave about the attention they receive – starting from the very moment they arrive at the guarded entrance. New technology enables guests to communicate via text with the front desk, bringing customer service to a whole new level.
If you are looking for a few days of true Southern charm in a gorgeous setting, think about taking the approximately five-hour drive to visit Sea Island.
Bluffton, South Carolina
Fewer than four hours from Charlotte, is Bluffton, South Carolina and the heart of the low country. Considered by many to be a great hidden gem on the Southeast coast, Bluffton has gorgeous oak trees, unspoiled marshes, stunning sunsets and friendly locals.
Fans of this true coastal village tout its beautiful, tree-lined streets and history as top reasons to visit. The May River offers kayaking, the museums and art galleries offer local culture and a weekly farmers market is the place to be every Thursday.
A stay in Bluffton also puts you in close proximity to Hilton Head (just a few miles away) and Savannah which can be reached in about 30 minutes. Another day trip option is Charleston, located fewer than two hours away and just up the coast.
Treating yourself to a stay at the Montage Palmetto Bluff will make a visit to Bluffton an unforgettable experience. Nestled in a lush coastal nature preserve, the resort’s classic colonial style pays homage to the region’s rich heritage. It also offers unique culinary experiences and activities abound from water to land. And, of course, the remarkable Montage Spa and Salon is a haven for wellness and rejuvenation.
Just under six hours from Charlotte, this charming destination is known as the nation’s horse and hunt capital. Nestled against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Middleburg is described as a place where it feels like you have stepped back in time. That may be because history abounds in Middleburg, with more than 160 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. A small-town feel is also evident throughout the destination's local art galleries, unique boutiques and wonderful dining options.
Washington, D.C. and all the capital’s tourist destinations are just one hour away from the rolling countryside of Middleburg. A long weekend getaway can provide you with a taste of both the big city attractions and the bucolic surroundings that feel like a world away.
The beautiful Salamander Resort & Spa is a wonderful place to stay and enjoy the local area. Recently awarded the prestigious five-star rating by Forbes’ travel guide, the resort has a world-class spa, great dining choices with experiential culinary explorations and a myriad of great activities.
Guests can enjoy indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, a complimentary putting green for aspiring golfers, a full equestrian center and lawn games including croquet, bocce ball, corn hole and life-sized chess. A cooking studio provides hands-on classes as well.
There are many choices for road trips from Charlotte and after being home for so many months, the desire to explore them is strong. We know that even though traveling has been impossible, the dreaming didn’t stop. Now may be the time to venture back out there to explore. Reach out to your Mann Travels advisor to help you plan the perfect getaway for you, your schedule and your budget. Also, all three properties mentioned above are Mann Travels preferred properties, meaning you'll get extra amenities such as early check-in, resort credits and more when you book with them.
Roni Fishkin is the Marketing Director of Mann Travels, which, with local ownership in Charlotte, has been serving travelers with personalized service for 40 years.
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