Visit historic coastal cities of the south

Take a leisurely vacation along the southeast coast of the United States to see some of the most beautiful historic architecture this country offers. Experience the gracious atmosphere of a time gone by, where the nearby sea shaped life and culture.

Scenic driving Florida
Jan Godown Annino.
Guilford, Conn. : GPP travel, c2010.
Pack up the car and enjoy nearly thirty drives through the pine forests, citrus groves, salt marshes, and fishing villages of Florida. This indispensable, mile-by- mile highway companion maps out one- and two-day trips that help you discover the Sunshine State's early American history, outdoor recreational activities, and breathtaking scenery.
General Sherman's Christmas : Savannah, 1864
Stanley Weintraub.
[Washington, D.C.] : Smithsonian Books ; [New York] : Harper, c2009.
The author of the bestselling "Silent Night" focuses on the Christmas holiday season of 1864 when General Sherman gave President Lincoln Savannah, paving the way for the end of the Civil War.
The hanging of Thomas Jeremiah : a free Black man's encounter with liberty
J. William Harris.
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2009.
The tragic untold story of how a nation struggling for its freedom denied it to one of its own. nbsp; In 1775, Thomas Jeremiah was onenbsp;of fewer than five hundred “Free Negros” in South Carolina and, with an estimated worth of £1,000 (about $200,000 in today’s dollars), possibly the richest person of African descent in British North America. A slaveowner himself, Jeremiah was falsely accused by whites—who resented his success as a Charleston harbor pilot—of sowing insurrection among slaves at the behest of the British. nbsp; Chief among the accusers was Henry Laurens, Charleston’s leading patriot, a slaveowner and former slave trader, who would later become the president of the Continental Congress. On the other side was Lord William Campbell, royal governor of the colony, who passionately believed that the accusation was unjust and tried to save Jeremiah’s life but failed. Though a free man, Jeremiah was tried in a slave court and sentenced to death. In August 1775, he was hanged and his body burned. nbsp; J. William Harris tells Jeremiah’s story in full for the first time, illuminating the contradiction between a nation that would be born in a struggle for freedom and yet deny it—often violently—to others.

Start in northern Florida with St. Augustine. Then drive north to Savannah. Finish your trip in Charleston, spending at least two nights in each city. These three historic places offer an abundance of entertainment and site seeing, with special interest for those who love history.

What do the cities share? Military places like Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine and The Citadel in Charleston figure prominently in American history.  Unparalleled examples of antebellum and earlier homes are the hallmarks of Charles and Savannah. Important historical museums such as The Confederate Museum in Charleston shows the importance of Southern identity, and it details the devastating effect that the Civil War had on southern cities. 

St. Augustine’s charming bed and breakfast inns are typical of the region where guests can stay in houses that date back 300 years. Historic inns in Savannah such as the Foley House provide elegant yet relaxed settings for vacation enjoyment.  The Charleston area features plantations where visitors can stay for the night.  All cities have wonderful restaurants that specialize in fresh seafood locally caught. And all cities are great places for walking with a concentration of shopping and entertainment venues close in.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff