Travel Pictures : Georgia and Charleston South Carolina

Travel Pictures : Georgia and Charleston South Carolina

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of speaking (as well as being one of the judges for their print competition) at the Professional Photographers of Georgia convention held at Jekyll Island.

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Jekyll Island (about an hour from Jacksonville) was the gilded era island retreat in the early 1920's for many of nouveau riche of Georgia as well as New York, including the Rockefeller, Morgan, Baker, Vanderbilt and Pulitzer families.

Jekyll Island Georgia

In 1733, Jekyll Island in named in honor of Sir Joseph Jekyll, a financier from England. In the late 1800's, Jekyll Island became an exclusive hunting club for wild boars and other animals and was the gilded era island retreat for rich clientele from Georgia as well as states like New York and Pennsylvania.

This once private retreat is now The Jekyll Island Club National Historic Landmark District, one of the largest preservation projects in the southeast.

Jekyll Island Georgia

Jekyll Island Georgia

Maximum traffic speed is 35 mph, with most roads being 25 mph, so tourists (like my daughter and I) are able to rent souped up golf carts called "Red Bugs" to tour the 10 mile long island, as well as taking the tram tour.

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In 1947,  Jekyll Island as established a State Park. Today, the island is a sanctuary with many beautiful live oaks, Spanish Moss, alligators, beautiful historic homes and the renowned "Driftwood Beach".

Driftwood Beach and bare trees, Jekyll Island Georgia

Driftwood Beach and bare trees, Jekyll Island Georgia

Driftwood Beach and bare trees, Jekyll Island Georgia

Driftwood Beach and bare trees, Jekyll Island Georgia

Driftwood Beach and bare trees, Jekyll Island Georgia

The Atlantic here is quite warm and without much wave action like we are used to in Oregon.

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Also of interest was the 1904 "Faith Chapel" with it's gorgeous stained glass designed for the rich congregation by Louis Tiffany himself.Jekyll Island GeorgiaJekyll Island Georgia

After four nights there we drove 90 minutes to Savannah Georgia (population 145,000 and the oldest city in Georgia).  The buildings and history here was incredible with many 1790-1860's buildings still intact. It was spared by General Sherman during the Civil War because the mayor surrendered and offered him an opulent home to stay in.

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Our first stop in Savannah was the huge160 acre Bonaventure Cemetery (established in 1846).

bonaventure cemetery, ghostly, old place of burial grounds in the South

bonaventure cemetery, ghostly, old place of burial grounds in the South

bonaventure cemetery, ghostly, old place of burial grounds in the South

We stayed downtown at the beautiful 17hundred90 Inn (named because the downstairs stone floor is from that era).  Besides being haunted, old Savannah itself is called the most haunted city in America and for good reason.  We took a 9 pm haunted tour, so I'll just leave it at that.

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A block from our 1850 era room was the Colonial Cemetery, which shut down in 1853 as all the grave plots were full. One of the haunted buildings on tour was the Mercer house-home to the lyricist Johnny Mercer  (He wrote "Moon River" "I'm an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande" "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby"  and many others including  "Jeepers Creepers" and "That Old Black Magic" which some say may be related to his haunted home.)

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Upon leaving Savannah, we drove first to Hilton Head to see the vacation mansions and the beach.  Most were deserted due to the evacuations.

Hilton Head South Carolina beach and beach homes

Charleston South Carolina during Hurricane Matthew 2016. Beautiful coastal city in the South that has a lot of history.

Then,a two hour drive north to Charleston.  Traffic was exceedingly heavy coming the opposite way, as many residents were fleeing in advance of Hurricane Matthew.   We first went to Fort Sullivan, where  you can see Fort Sumter (it was where the Civil War started in 1861).

Fort Sumpter, South Carolina

Fort Sullivan was a major harbor where 35-40% of all America's slaves were brought from Africa before they were taken downtown Charleston where the Slave Market was housed.

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I really wanted to see Fort Sumter and get a walking tour of downtown Charleston, but all land and water tours were cancelled and most all restaurants were closed due to the evacuation. (We did have the best wings I've ever had though in an tavern/pub.)

It was odd seeing mostly deserted streets and boarded up windows.

Charleston South Carolina during Hurricane Matthew 2016. Beautiful coastal city in the South that has a lot of history.

Our hotel, the Ansonborough Inn only had 6 rooms rented out of 50 and was closing the next day, which was our original day of departure anyway.  We missed our chance to photobomb the Mayor when the National Weather Station was broadcasting.  My son joked that Sophia and I should've gone behind him bent over like we were in 140 mph winds.  THAT would've gone viral :-) .

Leaving the city, all south bound lanes were reversed for north bound traffic.  Spacing out, I missed the airport exit, and we had to go to 4 exits before we were allowed to get off the freeway (never saw so many cops in my life!), to find a road to take us back south to re route ourselves. Good thing we left early.

Charleston is very well known to most of us and is the second oldest city in South Carolina.  Home to "The Charleston" (the dance) and "Charleston Chews", (candy), with a population of 132,000 it is smaller than Savannah and while it has a better reputation as a place to visit, my daughter and I actually preferred Savannah (incredible food there btw).

As a Eugene Oregon photographer it is always wonderful to see sights, people and places that are different than what we find in Lane County.  I encourage you to visit the South and especially Savannah if you ever get the chance.

Here is a short video trailer showing more images.  Hope you enjoy it! Travel Pictures of Jekyll Island, Savannah and Charleston South Carolina.