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Ya Ya Trip to Charleston - need advice!

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Connecticut
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Ya Ya Trip to Charleston - need advice!

Hi All, Am in the beginning planning stages of coordinating a surprise YaYa trip to Charleston. Difference (from other postings on this subject) is I am working on getting my Mom and 3 of her friends to do this with their daughters or granddaughters. The Mom's are around 81 years old and most of daughters are around 45-55. We've been wanting to do this forever, and I am just going to get info and plan an itinerary and send it off to them,, so they have no excuses! LOL. Now the hard part....I have been looking at posts, but I have to be cognizant that the older ladies, while fun, are not going to do well with long walking tours. Yet, they are all Gone With the Wind lovers and would love to see the charm of the city and historic plantations, etc. Do all the tours involve a lot of walking, or is a long carriage ride good enough. Also, any other thoughts on places to stay with suites so we can be together and spa services. Price is not a factor, although we can't go too crazy. Would love some suggestions so I can start figuring out how to set this up, and still make time for them to share their girlhood stories to us younger folk! Thanks!

Isle of Palms...
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1. Re: Ya Ya Trip to Charleston - need advice!

The carriage tours are all one hour and go one one of three routes, which are determined by lottery when the carriage is ready to depart. You might consider a private walking tour, which the guide could customize to include breaks. There are also some bus tours.

There will be walking at any of the plantations, but if you take it slowly, I'd think that everyone would be fine.

There are some "suites" hotels in the historic district. The Doubletree on Church is a great location.

I'm not much of a spa-goer, but I know some others will post with those suggestions.

Hope you guys have a great time!

Charleston, South...
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2. Re: Ya Ya Trip to Charleston - need advice!

You will need to consider what time of year to visit. The ladies are going to tire out MUCH more easily if it is hot and humid. I would suggest March or April or in the fall ~ Oct or Nov. Typically, mid June thru mid Sept is very hot and humid, especially compared to Conn.

Does the spa need to be in the hotel? Only the more expensive hotels are going to have a spa on location ~ ie Charleston Place.

Kiawah Island...
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3. Re: Ya Ya Trip to Charleston - need advice!

Check for a sale at Restoration on King, were meant to be condos and are now rented out nightly.

I agree w/the spring or fall being the time to visit.

Check out Alphonso Brown's Gullah Tour, a little different and in an air conditioned bus, very interesting.

Make sure to take the Mama's to the Rooftop Bar at Market Pavilion.

My Mama (when she was 80+) loved to sit on one of the benches at Waterfront Park for a bit, while we walked around...the view and people watching was perfect.

Make sure they get to ride in a pedicab!!!

Connecticut
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4. Re: Ya Ya Trip to Charleston - need advice!

I was thinking late Sepetember. Will it still be too hot? And no..the spa doesn't need to be in hotel. My point is (And I have had to try and explaint his to places I called), is that four of these women were best friends while teenagers and have kept their friendship to this day. I want them to feel they are in a group environment, as it is hardly ever they get together. Was thinking about a house or condo rental, but don't see many options in historic district, which is best place to be....keep ideas coming. I appreciate all your replies!

Edited: 30 July 2013, 19:25
Kiawah Island...
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5. Re: Ya Ya Trip to Charleston - need advice!

Late September should be good. Look here at the Restoration on King...

http://www.restorationonking.com/

Probably best to give them a call to see if any sort of special might be available, it will show as pricey at first glance on-line.

Edited: 30 July 2013, 19:31
Charleston, South...
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6. Re: Ya Ya Trip to Charleston - need advice!

My favorite spa is Urban Nirvana. You can also go to the one in Charleston Place without staying there but it is not as nice as UN.

Some of the private tour companies such as Absolutely Charleston and Doin the Charleston can do private van tours in air conditioning and take you around the historic district or to the plantations. For a plantation, I would suggest Middleton Place. Be sure to take a house tour.

Mandeville, LA
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7. Re: Ya Ya Trip to Charleston - need advice!

What fun! I travel to Charleston with my 75 yr old mother frequently. On our most recent trip, she did fatigue a bit in the heat when walking. I agree with the others that Oct/Nov or April would be great times to visit. If you are unable to get suites, at least consider a hotel/inn with a courtyard or common area that would allow the friends sit and chat to catch up when not out adventuring around the city (Mills House, Meeting Street Inn, etc). Also be cautious in planning walking excursions with regards to distance. Should the ladies fatigue and need a ride to next location, it is very difficult to obtain a cab (one called by restaurant never showed but then we found another company that we used successfully twice on our last trip when the walk became too much or we were pushed to make it to dinner reservations). We also used the pedi cabs but not sure how difficulty it would be to hire (3) at one time for your party- mom loved it! Also, just from own experiences with my mom, many restaurants have limited "waiting" areas (sitting or standing) which could be a problem depending upon the abilities of your group. For example, CRU has limited room and luckily on our last visit we were seated (with reservations) almost immediately or it could have been a problem. A harbor boat cruise or dinner cruise might be fun as well. My mom's MUSC graduating class did this a few years ago and she still talks about how much fun they had. Hope you post a trip report as this sounds like it will be a good trip.

Delran, NJ
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8. Re: Ya Ya Trip to Charleston - need advice!

What a nice idea! I suggest HomeAway.com if you can't find a hotel to your liking. They rent out private houses,condos and apts where all of you can stay together and feel like family, Good luck!

Isle of Palms...
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9. Re: Ya Ya Trip to Charleston - need advice!

The Francis Marion Hotel has a few suites on their top floor---it might be worth calling and checking on the prices. www.francismarionhotel.com/accommodations/

They also have a spa onsite (however, i have never used it...but it's been there for a long time).

Earthling Day Spa on East Bay is Great. http://www.earthlingdayspa.com/

The Spa at Charleston Place is also another great choice.

Another few thoughts for accommodations:

Zero George--they have cooking classes on Thursdays and it's a smaller intimate hotel

http://zerogeorge.com/

The Governe'rs House Inn--- Bed and Breakfast---but would give you plenty of space to congregate and spend time together. Happy Hour and Breakfast is a plus too!

http://www.governorshouse.com/

Some fun things to do with a group of your size:

Cooking Class at Charleston Cooks

Gullah Tour (Bus)

Hire a Private Guide to do a personalize tour---and who will spend the day with you all--- catering the itinerary around the groups interest--check out www.toursbylocals.com

Another thought---The first Friday in October we will have our French Quarter Art Walk---it's a fantastic time---where all the galleries are open at night... you go at your own pace.

www.frenchquarterarts.com

Whatever ya'll end up doing---you're going to be making memories for a lifetime! Sounds like a fantastic group of ladies!

Mount Pleasant...
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10. Re: Ya Ya Trip to Charleston - need advice!

I didn't read through all the posts, but I wanted to share my thoughts. A carriage tour would be great for the older moms. I would highly suggest Palmetto Carriage Tours (at the red barn). I brought my 86 yo grandmother on that tour. What I liked is that they brought the carriage to the elevated platform so my grandmother wouldn't have to go up the stairs to get on the carriage. She just had to step on. They also kept the front seat open for her.

I have been on the walking tours and I think there is too much walking for someone in their 80s. A bus tour or boat tour would be nice for them.