In Beaufort, South Carolina, a tiny cottage provided the perfect base of operation for a week of solo relaxation. I walked by the bay most mornings as the sun was coming up. The private gardens and public spaces are breathtaking.
From splendid antebellum mansions to exquisite cottages, I was enchanted by the architecture. Many of the mansions are more than two hundred years old. The Cuthbert House Inn (below) is approximately 230 years old.
I took a day trip to Savannah, Georgia, to walk around Forsyth Park and the surrounding neighborhoods.
I enjoyed the most delicious brunch topped off with epic bread pudding and cappuccino at the 700 Drayton Restaurant. Sierra was my delightful server who told me about art exhibits and some other interesting points in the neighborhood.
The restaurant is located within the Mansion on Forsyth Park, one of the luxury resorts created by Richard Kessler. It is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. Guests wander through captivating hotels, enjoy inspired dining, art galleries, signature spas, cooking schools, and wine blending. Each resort is unique and delivered with its own Bohemian twist. Mr. Mickey and I have enjoyed visiting the Grand Bohemian in Asheville, which is part of the same group, so I knew this would also be a special delight.
I tried to have a different experience each day, along with as much beach time as possible. On Friday, I took a guided boat excursion with Coastal Expeditions to St. Phillips Island. My small group of explorers spent part of the day on the “boneyard beach,” looking for shells.
Along the way, I saw dolphins, great blue herons, bald eagles, egrets, and ospreys. While walking in the pristine forest on the island, I was thrilled to see my first painted bunting and rose-breasted grosbeak.
We also saw wood storks, huge fox squirrels, and a young alligator about six feet long in the woods near a small freshwater pond. The guide had to point out the alligator since it blended in so well with its surroundings. I took the photo from the safety of the tram.
For nearly 40 years, St. Phillips Island was a beach retreat for conservationist Ted Turner and his family. The beach house (pictured above) and a caretaker’s cottage are the only homes on the island. During that time, a few trails were thoughtfully carved through the maritime forest. Habitats for species such as fox squirrels, loggerhead sea turtles, and indigo snakes were restored. With ancient dunes and a mature forest dominated by Spanish moss-draped live oaks, Southern magnolia, and saw palmetto, St. Phillips Island is a nature lover’s paradise. It provides critical habitat for alligators, sea turtles, bobcats, and many seasonal and resident bird species. In 2017, Hunting Island State Park acquired St. Phillips Island.
I took hundreds of photos during my stay. I’ll share a few more and some travel tips along with some hot weather styling tips soon.