Hilton Head

There’s nothing like a roaring blaze to make nippy nights more pleasant, and a bonfire is a cozy — and fun — addition to any fall vacation. We’ve found five charming hotels in the U.S. making the most of this toasty tradition.

Hidden Pond, Maine

Hidden Pond, Maine

Hidden Pond, Maine

Hidden Pond’s outdoor bar and grill sits on a “sand bar,” with chairs circled around fire pits. This upscale boutique hotel in the Maine forests has 36 bungalows and two-bedroom cottages, a tranquil environment, and top-notch farm-to-table cuisine. Read More »

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The Inn at Palmetto Bluff is a romantic spot in Carolina Lowcountry.

Romance is alive and well below the Mason-Dixon line, where Southern charm makes everything seem more bewitching. Couples looking for a romantic getaway will be satisfied no matter their taste, considering that the region boasts both gorgeous antebellum mansions and modern luxury stays. Choosing the most romantic spots, then, is quite a difficult task, but we think we’re up to the challenge. From intimate city boutiques to sprawling Lowcountry estates, here are some of our favorite hotels in the South that are just the trick in the romance department.

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It may not be the Caribbean, but with this view, who on the San Juan Islands could complain about it?

An “island getaway” doesn’t necessarily translate into washing up on the shores of the Caribbean. Plenty of other islands in the U.S. boast the same laid-back, secluded feel that you can find in Barbados or Jamaica, but often come at a fraction of those sky-high all-inclusive rates; you’ll at least save some cash on airfare! For perhaps unconventional, but nonetheless awesome, island stays, check out our top picks for value, sun, and fun!

 

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Gorgeous Low Country Decor

by Devon on March 14, 2013

What's not to love about the look of the Low Country?

The Carolina Low Country, which extends from Charleston down to the Sea Islands, exudes a a particularly carefree vibe that only that warm stretch of coast can. The area features stunning marshlands and Southern sensibilities, translating into a style characterized by wrap-around porches, antebellum plantations, accents of the West Indies, and carriage houses covered in lush, Spanish moss. Kick back and take a look at the hotels that do Low Country decor and design just right.

 

 

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So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that England is kind of a big deal right now. The queen is currently celebrating her Diamond Jubilee (60 years on the throne!) and in July, thousands of the world’s best athletes will descend upon London to fight for glory (a.k.a. the Olympics). It’s enough to have even the most casual Anglophiles among us in a frenzy. Those of us not lucky enough to be visiting England this summer may wonder: How best to celebrate the awesomeness of our parent across the pond? To help, we’ve come up with five oh-so-English traditions that can be enjoyed anywhere — no U.K. citizenship required.

1. Eat English delicacies, such as pigs’ feet

The Breslin at the Ace Hotel, New York City

The Breslin at the Ace Hotel, New York City

Oyster’s pick for where to do it: The Breslin at the Ace Hotel, New York City

The English may not be renowned for their cuisine, but when it’s done well, it’s extremely delicious. British chef April Bloomfield has proved as much, and The Breslin is one of the best places in the States to sample English gastropub fare. On the menu? Pig’s feet with spring vegetables and creme fraiche, seafood sausage with beurre blanc and chives, and a chargrilled lamb burger with cumin mayo and thrice cooked chips (chips means French fries, for those not well-versed in English eating.) Read More »

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The Best Road Trips is a weekly summer series highlighting our favorite getaways from major cities all over the United States.

If you live in Charlotte, you know that there is more to this city than just a booming business district. The Queen City, naturally, has also proved to be a highly-cultured one, with both a symphony and opera that are each among the best of their respective fields in the nation. And, there are plenty of other sights and museums in Charlotte that are available to keep locals busy. But there’s definitely something to be said for getting out of the city and hitting the dusty trail for some new and some far – but still within driving distance, of course – destinations. So, get your bags packed and hop in the car: We’ve got some miles to cover.

Road Trip #1: Charlotte to Charleston, SC

Charleston is all about old-school Southern charm, dahlingg.

Charleston is all about old-school Southern charm, dahlingg.

  • Total Driving Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes
  • Distance Covered: 209 miles
  • Take This Trip If: You’re searching for some good ‘ole Southern charm.
Front Porch at The Jasmine House Inn

We just want to sit back and relax on the front porch at The Jasmine House Inn.

Courtyard at the Hampton Inn Charleston-Historic District

Here's the Courtyard at the budget-friendly Hampton Inn Charleston-Historic District.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If Charlotte is the “New South,” Charleston must be the “Old South.” It’s no wonder why some of the most popular romance novels — Dear John, The Notebook, The Last Song — have been set in or near the city of Charleston. Between the horse-drawn carriages, the colorful gardens, and the historic architecture, Charleston exudes old-world charm. Plus, the city’s height restriction ordinance has kept the downtown skyline relatively low, giving Charleston a small-town vibe. Its streets are ideal for walking, and almost always move at a quiet, relaxed pace. If you’re aiming for the ultimate historic experience, the Jasmine House Inn is the perfect choice. Housed in a beautifully renovated mansion dating to 1843, the Inn’s 12 rooms have all the charm of a B&B and the comforts of an upscale hotel, plus great freebies such as continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres. For a more budget-conscious option, stay at the Hampton Inn Historic District. It has a perfectly nice outdoor pool and a cozy lobby with plenty of seating and a fireplace to cozy up next to with someone you love.

  • Top Driving Tip: It’s nearly an hour out of the way, but many road-trippers like to swing by Congaree National Park on their way down to Charleston by switching over to US-601 after hitting Columbia. The park features scenic rivers for canoeing, as well as beautiful plant growth.

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Few people know how to take it easy better than South Carolinians. After all, some of the most popular activities in the Palmetto State are iced tea sippin’ and front porch sittin’ — and who can blame them? Especially with the intense heat that Southern summers bring, locals and visitors need plenty of spots to just be lazy. And fortunately for them, we found five incredible ones. So put your feet up and check out these prime spots for lounging; it’s time to sloooow doooown.

Lazy Spot #1: The Chrysanthemum Room’s Porch at The Jasmine Inn — Charleston

Porch in the Chrysanthemum Room at The Jasmine House Inn -- Charleston

Porch in the Chrysanthemum Room at The Jasmine House Inn -- Charleston

Housed in a beautifully renovated mansion built in 1843, the Jasmine House Inn has all the charm of a B&B and the comfort of an upscale hotel with an ideal location in downtown Charleston. The 12 large rooms emulate that good ‘ole Southern vibe, particularly ones like the Chrysanthemum Room, which features a large second-story porch overlooking a tree-lined street. Escape the heat on one of its shaded wicker sofas.

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June 1st kicks off the unofficial start of summer, and we’re officially ready for three months of sun, fun, and lots of leisure. Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort, a decidedly less Disney-y resort than those in Orlando, makes for the perfect summer escape with private hammocks surrounded by the vast regional wildlife. Nothing against Mickey and Minnie, but we’d opt for a little R&R in the sun over long lines to Space Mountain any day.

Outside the Two-Bedroom Villa at the Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort

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