In 2018 our travels took us from the Georgia coast where we stayed at the gorgeous Sea Island Resort to the mountains of North Carolina and the Triangle area. Some the places we stayed were old favorites like the Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock and other’s were new to us, like the stunning Cloister’s in Sea Island and The Umstead in Cary, North Carolina.
While I still dream of being able to visit some of the cities in the US that I’ve never seen, and hopping across the pond to Europe, I’ve really taken the time to get to know my home city so much better this year.
We may not be a large city (ie New York, Chicago or LA) but Charlotte is really coming into it’s own with the arts and food scene. We’ve also enjoy some amazing events at one of Charlotte’s oldest homes, The Duke Mansion (see posts here, here and here) and discovered several new restaurants that have impressed us from the moment we walked through the front door. (eh-hem… Le Belle Helene)
Here are some highlights from our 2018 travels…
Sea Island, Georgia
If you asked me what my favorite trip from 2018 was, it would definitely be our trip to Sea Island. It was the first time we’ve visited this particular part of the Georgia coast and we absolutely loved where we stayed. In fact we never wanted to leave!
The Beach Club at The Sea Island Resort is the perfect home away from home and the grounds of the resort couldn’t have been more beautiful. Plus you don’t ever have to leave the resort during your stay if you don’t want to. Everything you need is right there, from delicious restaurants, to a spa, pool and fitness area. The only requirement during your stay is to just relax.
Even now I find myself thinking back to our time there, and plotting our return.
The main building of the Sea Island Resort, The Cloisters…
We had quite an interesting time find this life sized chess board, but it was worth it.
If the weather is chilly out, go for a swim in the heated pool.
The Avenue of Oaks is definitely a place to go whether you love seeing local sites, or you’re looking for a unique spot for a photo op.
The Beach Club is literally a few minutes walk from the beach…
Nancy’s was an unexpected find. Part restaurant, part boutique and 100% unique. This is a must visit spot for any trip to Sea Island.
St. Simons Light
While we didn’t spend the night in Savannah, we did spend the most amazing sunny afternoon there. We revisited an old favorite for lunch (The Gryphon) and made a mandatory visit to the Paris Market (I can never pass up chance to go into this beautiful shop) and picked up delicious honeys from Capitol Bee and The Savannah Bee Company.
If you’re on you way to anywhere along the Georgia coast, a stop in Savannah is a must. While I didn’t get one of their lavender lattes at The Paris Market this time around, we have another stop in Savannah planned for next spring, that I’m looking forward to already.
Savannah is very much a ‘walking’ city. So if you can’t find a parking spot close to your venue, just add enough money to your meter and enjoy a little exercise.
A little lunch at The Gryphon…
If you have a wait before lunch, check out some of the nearby shops and the distinctive Southern architecture.
The Paris Market
The Honey Bar at Capitol Bee where you can have a taste of any of the honeys available in the shop.
Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock
I was in elementary school when we first visited Blowing Rock and the Chetola Resort, but I still remember our stay at Finch #3. Since this trip to Blowing Rock was our annual trip with my sister Ashley and brother-in-law Mike, we decided to stay in one of the two bedroom condo’s on the Chetola property.
During our stay we still had access to all the amenities like the pool, spa, and paddle boats around the lake, but with the option of making our own meals in the condo’s kitchen. Mike (a.k.a. our chef in residence) whipped up a batch of pancakes on one of the mornings during our stay, as well as some delicious gourmet pizzas.
The grounds around the lake at the Chetola Resort are so beautiful no matter the time of year, but I was definitely enjoying all the green… this long swing overlooking the lake was the perfect spot to curl up and spend the afternoon…
Walking towards the shops on Main Street Blowing Rock… This striped maxi from Loft was one of my favorite finds this year. Just add a yellow cardi for a pop of color, a pair of wedges for a bit of height (petite girl problems) and you have the perfect outfit for summer.
An impromptu game of croquet is also a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. We picked up this set for four players at Crate and Barrel.
These guys are absolute characters, and no matter how many times the waiters tried to shew them away, they kept coming back. Normally there are four of them, so one summer I gave them the nickname ‘The Beatles.’
Dinner at Timberlakes our first evening of the trip.
Chihuly at the Biltmore Estate, Asheville
Are we art lovers or art obsessed? The lines are a bit blurry on that one, but seeing the Chihuly display at the Biltmore Estate was one of the highlights of the year. The massive glass sculptures were tucked away throughout the gardens and even made inside the Biltmore House as well. This visit also marked our first stay at one of the Grand Bohemian Hotels.
One of my favorite photographs of the exhibit with the greenhouse in the background… It was quite warm out, but worth it.
It’s hard to say whether I loved seeing all of the koi in the ponds of the glass sculptures more, both were beautiful.
A bite at The Village Social in Antler Village.
Entry at the Grand Bohemian
The Umstead in Cary, NC
Our finally trip of the year was a belated birthday trip to stay at The Umstead in Cary, North Carolina. Before our trip I read so many wonderful things about The Umstead and their legendary afternoon tea, and the fact that we actually got to stay there this year was the perfect way to wrap up our 2018 travels. The afternoon tea was the best experience that we’ve had, and the food (which was all made dairy free) couldn’t have been more delicious.
The art gallery at The Umstead
Relax after your workout
Delicious birthday treats from The Umstead
Afternoon tea is a must during any visit to The Umstead.
We drove into Raleigh to check out the latest exhibits at the North Carolina Museum of Art.
I’m looking forward to sharing new places and new experiences with you all here on the blog in the coming year. To keep up with all the latest posts, follow along either via email or Bloglovin.