ROAD TRIP! Beaufort, SC / Abingdon, VA / Athens, GA
A sample itinerary for the fam!
Day 1: Arrive in Beaufort
Check in at the Beaufort Inn @thebeaufortinn 809 Port Republic Street Beaufort, SC 29902 843.379.4667
Guests have the choice of three local favorite breakfast options, complimentary Wi-Fi, private off-street parking and afternoon sweets and refreshments. The Inn will give you a voucher for parking in its lot across the street.
Dinner |Q on Bay | @qonbay 822 Bay Street Beaufort, SC
Unwind and get your barbecue fix at Q on Bay. Its relaxed and comfortable atmosphere (Bay Street backs up to historic Waterfront Park) is perfect for enjoying mouth-watering slow- smoking award-winning BBQ. Try the pulled pork, ribs, wings and rotating stuffed egg rolls (a local favorite). Looking for lighter fare? Try the seasonal salads, peel-and-eat shrimp or Brunswick stew. Live bands at night.
If you can’t get to Q on Bay before they close, here are some places you can grab dinner from:
● Hearth Wood Fired Pizza @hearth_wood_fired_pizza
● Plum’s (closes @ 8 pm) @plums_restaurant_bft
● Papaya Thai & Sushi Bar (take-out only) @papayathaicuisineandsushibar
● Lady’s Island Dockside @ladys_island_dockside
Ice Cream | Southern Sweets Ice Cream & Sandwich Shop or YoYo’s Ice Cream
Day 2: Breakfast to go at Rain-N-Bagels (closed Tuesday) or Common Ground @commongroundbeaufort.
Note: The Beaufort Inn Breakfast at each location may be redeemed anytime between 7:30-9:30 a.m. daily. Limit one breakfast per guest per day. The breakfast is only good for a single transaction; cannot be redeemed for cash.
Drive 30 minutes out to Hunting Island State Park.
10:45 a.m. Make a Lighthouse Reservation | Hunting Island State Park | @scstateparks
South Carolina’s most-visited state park is home to the state’s only publicly-accessible lighthouse – stroll 5-miles of uncrowded beaches, climb 167 steps to the top. There are also hiking trails – you could spend the whole day here hiking and swimming.
Lunch | Pack a cooler in your car with water and snacks (stop and grab sandwiches at Publix ahead of time to picnic at the beach). There are also some downtown restaurants with sandwiches you can grab (hours vary).
Late Afternoon | Bike the Spanish Moss Trail | @spanishmosstrail 10 miles long (flat; good for all levels). Offers beautiful water and marsh views and coastal wildlife viewing.
The Beaufort Inn has bicycles you can use. We suggest you ride to the trail. Bay Street across Ribaut Road to Depot Road to the trail. Bring water and even some snacks in your backpack. Best to bring your own helmets from home.
Early Evening | Explore Bay Street on your own: Shop up antiques, apparel and locally-made goods on Beaufort’s main street, Bay Street. Walk along Waterfront Park for beautiful views and dolphin sightings.
● Stop for a sweet tea float at Scout Southern Market (709 Bay Street)
Dinner | Hearth Wood Fired Pizza | @hearth_wood_fired_pizza 802 Bay Street Beaufort, SC 29902 Working on making you a reservation. You can dine in or take out and have a picnic at Waterfront Park.
Day 3: Breakfast at Blackstone’s Cafe (closed Monday and Wednesdays) or Common Ground @commongroundbeaufort.
Morning | Carriage Ride. The best way to take in Beaufort’s gorgeous historic homes—and feel like you’re on the set of a classic movie, too—is to take a horse-drawn carriage tour. The tour is approximately 1 hour.
11 a.m. | Depart for Abingdon, VA
Some other kid-friendly things to do if you have the time: The Beaufort Candy Shoppe for kids
Build your own kazoo at The Kazoo Factory and museum with as many as 14 different colors of bodies and caps to choose from.
Glowcountry Indoor Mini Golf for kids (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
Port Royal Nature Preserve
Search for sharks teeth at the Sands Beach & climb the observation tower
Arrive in Abingdon, VA
Stop by the Abingdon Visitors Center to get oriented – 335 Cummings Street, Abingdon VA 24210
Incorporated in 1778, the town of Abingdon has long been a hub of economic and cultural activity, first as a frontier town along The Great Philadelphia Wagon Road, and later as a railroad town and home to the famous Barter Theatre. The entire 20-block downtown district is on the National Register of Historic Places. Take a self-guided walking tour and check out the numerous mom-and-pop stores that fill the historic buildings.
Check in to The Martha Washington Inn & Spa 150 W. Main St, Abingdon, VA 24210
The grande dame of Abingdon’s hotels, this 4-star historic inn was originally built in the 1830s as a private residence, then became an elite women’s college in Antebellum VA, then the elegant inn it is now. You may even encounter the ghost of a Civil War nurse, pining for her sweetheart….be sure to explore the history exhibits on the main floor, as well as the outdoor amenities.
Afternoon tour of William King Museum of Art 415 Academy Dr NW, Abingdon, VA 24210 www.wkmuseum.org
A fine art museum with a stunning collection of historic and contemporary Appalachian art and objects in three rotating galleries. They simultaneously preserve and redefine what it means to be “Appalachian.” The building itself is worth a look too, located in a turn of the century school building.
Pick up dinner at Bonefire Smoke House & Musictorium 260 W Main St, Abingdon, VA 24210
One of Abingdon’s top family restaurants, named Best Ribs in American in 2009 by Regis & Kelly. Pick up the family picnic basket to go, featuring delicious smoked meats & southern sides, like the famous cornbread fritters. Curbside pickup. For dining, your choice: arrive early at the Moonlite Drive-In to dine in your car, or make it a picnic at the adorable Humphreys Park on Main Street in Abingdon – located between 301 and 319 West Main Street, just across the street and down one block from Bonefire.
Evening curtain: Barter Theatre at the Moonlite Drive-In 17555 Lee Hwy, Abingdon, VA 24210
Barter Theatre is the state theatre of Virginia, founded in 1933 during the Great Depression. It’s first motto? “Trading Ham for Hamlet.” Notable actors on its stage include Ernest Borgnine and Gregory Peck. New in summer 2020, Barter takes its stellar productions to the drive-in, for safe, socially distant performances that you can enjoy from your car.
Complimentary breakfast provided by The Martha Washington Inn & Spa. Full hot breakfast ordered off the menu.
8:45am Arrive at Virginia Creeper Trail Bike Shop to bike The Virginia Creeper Trail
201 Pecan St. SE, Abingdon, VA 24210
Owner Jerry Camper has been introducing guests to the famous Virginia Creeper Trail for over 15 years. You’ll be provided with a bike, helmet and water bottle. Shuttle will depart at 9:30am for Whitetop Station, and pick up is at 2:00pm in Damascus, VA.
Lunch on your own – plan to pack trail snacks, or eat at The Creeper Trail Café in Taylors Valley, near mile marker 23. Known for the “World’s Best Chocolate Cake!” https://www.facebook.com/CreeperTrailCafe/
Mid-afternoon: Return to Abingdon. Free time explore and relax before dinner.
Dinner on the patio at Sisters American Grill at The Martha
Complimentary breakfast provided by The Martha Washington Inn & Spa. Full hot breakfast ordered off the menu.
8:30am Go back in time with History Alive! Tours
Meet at Sinking Spring Cemetery
Entrance on Russell Road, between Main St. and Valley St.
Visit Abingdon’s oldest cemetery with your tour guide from History Alive! Tours. Learn about the Overmountain march, and hear why Thomas Jefferson said it was “the turn of the tide of success which terminated the Revolutionary War, with the seal of our independence”. Your tour guide will greet you in character and take you back to 1780 and the Abnigdon frontier.
10:00am Tour the SWVA Cultural Center and Marketplace
1 Heartwood Circle, Abingdon, VA 24210
Soaring architecture and museum-quality Appalachian crafts make this a must-see. Exhibits represent the music, culture and cuisine of Southwest Virginia, including The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail.
12:00pm Lunch on your own
Depart Abingdon for Athens
Arrive to Hotel Indigo and check in
500 College Ave., Athens, GA 30601 www.IndigoAthens.com
Last Resort Grill
174 W. Clayton St., Athens, GA 30601 http://lastresortgrill.com/
Serving Southwestern-inspired Southern cuisine, Last Resort Grill is a favorite among the Athens community and visitors. Opening in July 2020 is the outdoor patio area featuring a wine and beer garden, adjacent to the famous Last Resort Grill mural.
8:00 – 9:30 a.m. Mama’s Boy
197 Oak St., Athens, GA 30601 www.EatAtMamasBoy.com
Southern fun dining for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Authentic and impressively-sized biscuits, specials, and cheat day highlights like “Chocolate Cake for Breakfast.”
9:45 – 11:00 a.m. State Botanical Garden of Georgia
2450 S. Milledge Ave., Athens, GA 30605 www.botgarden.uga.edu
313-acres of themed gardens and nature trails. Designated an Important Birding Area by Audubon of Georgia. An interactive and immersive Children’s Garden opened in 2019 (currently closed for coronavirus precautions.) Garden Earth activity packs are available for families. The Center for Art and Nature Porcelain and Decorative Arts Museum is under construction and set to open in early 2021.
11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Lyndon House Arts Center
293 Hoyt St., Athens, GA 30601 www.accgov.com/lyndonhouse
This multi-faceted attraction includes a soaring, modern art gallery connected to one of Athens’ loveliest historic house museums, the Ware-Lyndon House. Visitors will enjoy local, regional, and national art exhibits, as well as souvenirs and works for sale by the Athens Area Artists Guild. The house museum includes an Athens heritage room with plenty of artifacts from the community.
12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Weaver D’s
1016 E. Broad St., Athens, GA 30601 https://www.facebook.com/WeaverDs/
Named an “American Classic” by the James Beard Foundation, Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods is also known far and wide by music fans, since one of R.E.M.’s most famous albums was named after chef-owner Dexter Weaver’s slogan, “Automatic for the People.” You’ll find a full selection of classic Southern Soul Food here, including fried chicken, pork chops, to-die-for greens, and old-fashioned macaroni and cheese.
2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Memorial Park and Bear Hollow Wildlife Trail
293 Gran Ellen Dr., Athens, GA 30605 www.accgov.com/bearhollow
Bear Hollow is a popular place for families to come and see Georgia’s native wildlife. This small wildlife trail is home to black bears, bobcats, white-tailed deer, owls, and many other species of wild, free-living animals. Birchmore Trail, a mile-long nature trail, is also on the grounds. Memorial Park features expansive playground equipment and a lovely pond with ducks.
3:45 – 4:15 p.m. Condor Chocolates
Athens’ own bean-to-bar chocolate shop features a wide range of Equadorian chocolate creations. Summer treats include gelato sandwiches, smores kits to go, and more!
4:15 – 4:45 Five Points Neighborhood
This Victorian-era neighborhood not only has some of Athens’ loveliest homes, but also a selection of cute shops, including Avid Bookshop, known as a top independent book store in the South. The shop is currently operating curbside pickup only due to coronavirus precautions, but window shopping continues! Craft beer fans will want to make a stop at Five Points Growlers for a wide range of local favorites.
5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Free time
Feel free to explore downtown Athens shops on your own, take a self-guided walking or driving tour from https://www.athenswelcomecenter.com/tours, or refresh at the hotel.
6:30 – 7:45 p.m. Ted’s Most Best
254 W. Washington St. www.TedsMostBest.com
Everyone can order their own brick oven individual pizzas, including fresh seasonal creations. Salads and sliders are also highly recommended. The shady, expansive patio is a downtown oasis.
8:00 – 8:45 p.m. Alumni Cookie Dough
480 N. Thomas St., downtown www.AlumniCookieDough.com A favorite indulgence!
Little Kings Shuffle Club
223 W. Hancock Ave., downtown www.facebook.com/lkshuffleclub/
Cool patio with a laid-back vibe…OR…
Creature Comforts Brewing Co.
271 W. Hancock Ave., downtown www.CreatureComfortsBeer.com
The patio is open for table service. Stop in for a pint or pick up beer to-go.
Check out of hotel
8:00 – 9:30 a.m. Big City Bread Café
393 N. Finley St., downtown www.BigCityBreadCafe.com
9:30 – 9:45 a.m. The Tree that Owns Itself
Corner of Finley St. and Dearing St., one block across Broad St.
“The Tree that Owns Itself,” which is located at the top of the steep cobblestone hill where Dearing and Finley Streets intersect, is probably the most unusual property holder in the world. The tree pays no taxes, is protected by the community and rests secure in its own enclosed garden-type lot. In addition, this unique tree has been featured in Ripley’s “Believe it or Not” and has received regular attention from newspapers and magazines from around the world.
9:45 – 11:00 a.m. UGA’s Historic North Campus Self-Guided Tour
Walk across Broad Street in downtown Athens through the landmark Arch onto the original campus of the University of Georgia, birthplace of public higher education in America. Some of Athens’ oldest buildings are here and reflect Greek Revivial architecture. You’ll also find beautiful gardens and stately trees.
Many thanks to the visitors bureaus for each of these cities!