My family and I are planning trip to Charleston on the July 10th weekend. We are hoping to get to Charleston in the morning on Saturday (10/11am) and leave on Sunday evening/night spending one night at a hotel in/around Charleston. This is our first foray in to the area (indeed the South in general), so any tips/advice are more than welcome. A few specific questions:
(1) What area should we look to stay in? (we'd like to keep the budget as low as possible but still stay somewhere convenient to the local attractions) We will be driving to Charleston from the Atlanta area so we will have a car that will need to be parked overnight.
(2) We are interested in the historical aspects of the city and would probably like to visit a plantation home while we are there if possible. I've come across a few through searches like the Middleton, Magnolia Plantation, etc. but I was wondering if people have any recommendations on this front? How long would a tour of one of these homes take? And I assume these require a car to get to?
(3) Any recommendations for "must-do" things in the city? I've heard of the carriage tours which is something we might want to do. Anything else?
(4) We were also thinking of maybe combining Savannah, GA in to the trip since they are so close and maybe spending a day there and another day in Charleston. Is this feasible? Do both cities offer similar attractions/things to do?