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Christmas Is Only……

Christmas is only 9 weeks away and let’s face it, there is plenty to be done for most of us. That shouldn’t stop us from wanting/needing/ MAKING, a weekend getaway with our friends, spouses, significant others, or families. There are some spectacular travel deals right now through BOOKING.COM. Here is a list of 5 of my favorite places to go in the South East US.

Savannah, Georgia

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What is there not to love about Savannah? It is a great family destination, friends destination, and lover’s destination wrapped up in an unbelievably historic city. There are 24 unique squares in town each with their own story. You can walk on movie sets like Forrest Gump, Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil, and Something To Talk About. You can take the nightly haunted ghost tours, meet real-life ghost hunters in the cemetery at night (of course), and stroll along the awesome shops on River Street. If you love the water like I do, a trip to Tybee Island should definitely be on your itinerary.

My hotel picks would be The Marshall House, Mansion on Forsyth Park, East Bay Inn, or the Bohemian Hotel on the River. You definitely want to eat there. My wife and I go to the Crab Shack 3-4 times a year- and man do I get in trouble if we miss an outing to the Crab Shack. The best crab boil, an unbelievable location, and if alligators swimming around the restaurant doesn’t make you come back for more, nothing will. The best bloody mary: Kevin Barry’s Pub on the riverfront. Boar’s Head Grill and Pub have the best steak in town, the Pirate’s House- they even give you a tour of the haunted cellars, and Cotton Exchange offers fantastic food. My only advice: offer up the money to take a private carriage ride touring Savannah while enjoying wonderful stories about Savannah. You can find all of these hotels with great prices here.

Charleston, South Carolina

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Another amazing city rich with historical roots. If you visit Charleston, you have to start with the Battery. Once upon a time, it was the social destination for Charleston’s citizens, and it is still home to some of the most beautiful homes in the United States. We always take a Carriage ride to enjoy the different parts of Charleston. A little secret: the route of the ride changes by day by carriage company. You will not miss out I promise. Another great location for family and a just for two get away. You can enjoy Patriot’s Pointe, the Charleston Aquarium, Fort Moultrie, Fort Sumter, and the City Market. My wife makes sure we do not leave Charleston without a piece of art to hang in our house, by now we almost need a new room to add the decor she picks up.

The dining experience is second to none in Charleston. Our choice is RB’s seafood. Yes, “they have the meats too”. It is worth the extra wait to get a seat on the water and in the afternoon, watch the dolphins play for food. We even had our wedding reception here. Other great options are The Noisy Oyster Seafood Restaurant (my wife’s favorite for oysters galore), Charleston Crab House, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. The Francis Marion House and Battery Carriage House are elegant hotels, with a slightly haunted touch. BOOKING.COM is currently offering great deals right now for airfare and hotels.

Asheville, North Carolina

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Look, there are a ton of reasons that make Asheville your kind of place. There is only one place that really makes Asheville stand out: BILTMORE, BILTMORE, BILTMORE. The largest private residence in the United States and worth every bit of money for the day tour, and even the private tour. You can finish your day with the trip to the winery for a wine tasting (just don’t go behind the red velvet ropes). There aren’t too much better days than that. Also, there is the New Years Eve Black Tie Celebration and other great events throughout the holiday season. If Biltmore isn’t enough (it isn’t for me), there is Maggie Valley, Hendersonville downtown, Asheville’s artistic flair, whitewater rapids, gorgeous waterfalls, hiking, and Lake Lure (where they filmed Dirty Dancing- don’t you want to try the epic dance move in the lake?).

Check out the awesome deals this time of year for hotels. The Omni Grove Park Inn is our favorite place to enjoy some getaway time. Some other fantastic hotel choices: The Crooked Oak Mountain Inn, and 1889 Whitegate Inn and Cottage. Our favorite restaurant is The Red Stag Grill. My wife who is tiny manages to engulf their phenomenal steaks. Other great restaurant ideas are: Sunset Terrace Restaurant and Blackbird Restaurant are very delicious.

St. Augustine, Florida

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In the colonial days, St. Augustine served as the southern defense post for the colonies. It is natural that St. Augustine is part of what I call the 2H Trio (haunted and historical cities of Charleston, Savannah, and St. Augustine). St. Augustine has a lot to offer families and lovers and it is one of our favorite destinations. You can start with Aviles Street, the oldest street in the United States. There is the Ponce de Leon fountain of youth, Mission of Nombre De Dios, Castillo de San Marcos and my personal favorite, a sailing tour on the Schooner Freedom, a 72 ft tall ship. St. Augustine is the home of the World Golf Hall of Fame, and if somehow you arrange for the golfer in your life to get a round of golf in at TPC Sawgrass, let’s just say you will have them eating out of your hand FOREVER. For that much-needed relaxation time, visit the Spas at Sawgrass and Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. A relaxing trip to San Sebastien Winery is worth the trip alone.

Our favorite place to spend the night is easily the Bayfront Marin House Historic Inn. It is gorgeous. Other wonderful places to spend quality time: Edgewater Inn, Bayfront Inn, and Southern Oaks Inn. BOOKING.COM has Southern Oaks Inn listed for 80 dollars per night. Words cannot even begin to describe how fantastic of a deal this is! When dining, St. Augustine has a huge variety of restaurants with unique ambiance and cuisine. Our personal favorite is the Ice Plant. Casual dining meets beer, in a hipster restaurant experience. I can only say awesome. Michael’s Tasting Room offers a Spanish fare that St. Augustine embodies culturally. For elegant dining, there isn’t a place better than 95 Cordova.

Nashville, Tennessee

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When I think of Nashville, I think of music, shows, and dining. When not if, you go to Nashville, be ready to move because you will be constantly going and need a getaway after your getaway. Nashville is home to the Grand Ole Opry located in historic Ryman Auditorium. You never know who you may run into when attending a show at the Grand Ole Opry. Nashville is home to the Country Music Hall of Fame, a visit you can’t leave Nashville without making. A great opportunity to see Nashville at night is General Jackson’s Showboat Lunch and Dinner Cruise. Other Tours of Nashville include Homes of the Stars (famous country music singers including Taylor Swift), the Redneck Comedy Tour, and Nashville’s Christmas Light Tour.

Our top pick for dining in Nashville is The Farm House. They offer a unique combination of Italian and southern cuisine with a focus on freshly grown ingredients. Our best advice, bring your appetite, it will be thankful. Our other top pick is Margot Cafe and Bar which is known for its French and Italian fare. Let’s face it, you can’t go to Nashville without listening to live music. Legends Corner, Robert’s Western World, and Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar are must-visit destinations. We would like to give you a top pick for hotels, however, I can’t. The Gaylord Opryland Resort, Omni Hotel, and SoBro Guest House are all outstanding and are tied for our number one choice. You will receive VIP treatment at all 3. Check out these terrific travel deals to all 3.

Go For It

Ashley and I love traveling together, with and without kids. It gives us the time to grow together, talk, and enjoy time away from home. In our crazy busy work schedules, we really need that time together to relax and destress. Our kids love traveling with us and often talk about all the trips we have taken and which are their favorites. Really, they change where they want to move every week. We take a trip at least every month and if for some reason we miss our monthly trip, we really miss that time. Please don’t let the upcoming holidays stop you from that little bit of time away together. While we have trips planned to Indiana and New York for the holidays, if you take one of these trips, there is a chance you will run into us, reach out and we can make some dinner plans! Don’t miss out, BOOKING.COM offers insane deals for traveling right now and they are always coming up with new great deals.

Tell us where some of your favorite places to go in the South East are so we can add them to our travel list! Comment below!

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