We take great delight in assisting our guests plan their visit with our Savannah Itinerary Suggestions Planner – a compilation of restaurant suggestions (complete with personal reviews), must-see historic sites, and adventurous excursions near Hilton Head Island, Charleston, SC and well within two hours of Savannah.
November 2, 2010 found us in Beaufort, SC as my chosen birthday destination. Each year we attempt to escape our normal routine and find adventure within an easy commute of our historic city. We were drawn by the history, proximity and the chance to experience some Gullah fare. Did you know that Beaufort, like our Savannah, was chosen for occupation by the Union troops rather than destruction? This despite the fact that the first meeting to draft the Ordinance of Secession (by which South Carolina led the withdrawal of the Southern states from the Union) was held at the Milton Maxey House in Beaufort, (known today as the Secession House). We left Beaufort and headed out to Hunting Island where we toured a lighthouse and walked a cold windy stretch of beach. The low country of South Carolina is a stronghold of Gullah culture and no trip to Beaufort or the surrounding area would be complete without tasting Gullah food. The Gullah first arrived in the Charleston/Savannah region from the West African rice growing region as slave labor for the North American rice industry. The Gullah community has maintained significant influences from African culture in words, storytelling, cuisine, music and more and the importance of this particular heritage was acknowledged with the passage of the “Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Act” in 2006.
We chose Gullah Grub (owned by renowned chef Bill Green) on Sea Island Parkway, St. Helena Island which we had passed on our way to Hunting Island. We stepped through its double doors into a quaint room with simple luncheon tables scattered about the room and walls lined with artifacts inviting one to stroll the room, touch, read, enjoy. Oshi, Bill Green’s daughter and chef in her own right, greeted us with a warm and welcoming smile and amicably agreed to choose our food for us. Oshi was more than up to the task as Jake and I sampled catfish stew and she-crab soup, bbq ribs, chicken, mustard greens and finally dessert – sweet potato pie and peach cobbler. The entire meal generate groans of satisfaction from both Jake and I, and the sweet smile of Oshi as she shared with us her family history, her father’s passion for giving back, and her own tale of adventure and growth.
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