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The ocean breeze and Southern hospitality will have you wanting to come back for more when you visit the sun-soaked coasts of South Carolina and Georgia. We’re showcasing four Southeast areas — Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Savanna, and St. Simons Island — that have 13 DaVita dialysis centers to serve you when you book your trip.
The Grand Strand is a famed 60-mile stretch of beach along the South Carolina coast, and Myrtle Beach is in the heart of it. Originally a weekend destination for lumber and railroad workers at the turn of the 20th century, it has become one of the premier resort destinations on the East Coast. Named after the prolific wax myrtle plant, Myrtle Beach offers a variety of sporting, recreation and family-oriented activities.
If you’re looking for outdoor fun, Myrtle Beach has plenty to offer. Avid golfers can enjoy more than 120 championship golf courses in Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach Golf (1-866-409-2177) is a comprehensive guide to these courses, their tee times, rates and available golf packages. You can even book reservations online.
Love to fish? There are plenty of opportunities to indulge in Myrtle Beach. One of the most popular fishing events is the Grand Strand Fishing Rodeo (1-843-626-7444), a competition sponsored by the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce. Whether your passion is scuba diving, windsurfing, boating or just relaxing at one of the many beaches, you can find a water-based activity to enjoy.
Myrtle Beach is sometimes called “Branson by the sea,” a reference to the famed musical venues in Branson, MO. Myrtle Beach features several theaters with live musical entertainment and dining. Most shows are appropriate for all ages. Check the websites for updated show times and featured performers.
Casino cruises (1-843-249-9811) are also a popular attraction. These floating Las Vegas–style casinos are complete with buffets; live music; and entertainment; and, of course, gaming. Coast along the scenic Little River inlet and try your luck. Shuttles are available at local hotels and other locations to take you to the ships.
Step back in time when you visit beautiful Charleston, “where history lives.” Make time to see one of the many plantations and gardens that span this area. A must-see is Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens (1-843-884-4371), the oldest working plantation in the United States.
Find yourself where the first shot rang out when the Civil War began at Fort Sumter. Since 1961, Fort Sumter Tours and SpiritLine Cruises (1-800-789-3678) has been “showcasing the beauty of Charleston from its fabulous waterways.” Historical harbor tours, private charters, dinner cruises and wedding functions are all done here, and more than 10 million people have boarded these cruises. Another option for the history buff in your group is to experience what the first Charleston settlers did by climbing aboard a replica of a seventeenth century trader ship at Charles Towne Landing.
Once you’ve had your fill of historical landmarks, spend a day at Charleston’s famous beaches. Act like a kid again by searching for seashells or building sandcastles. Or just relax in a beach chair with a good book. If you feel the need to be on the water, there are several ways you can do so. Board Saltwater Charters (1-843-830-0448) for some first-class fly and light tackle fishing, try your hand at paddle boarding, or take a kayak tour with Coastal Expeditions (1-843-884-7684).
A day of activity should be topped off by tasty Lowcountry cuisine, which includes collard greens, fried okra, shrimp and other delicious dishes. Charleston chefs are known for taking classic Southern cooking and mixing it with other culinary styles — you are sure to leave a Charleston eatery with a full stomach and a smile on your face. Remember, wherever you visit, be sure to eat in moderation, and talk with your dietitian before your travels about which foods are kidney-friendly and which foods you should limit.
Work off the food with a round of golf on Kiawah Island (1-800-654-2924) or take a stroll past the numerous historical structures, many of which date back to the 1600s.
It’s difficult to sum up Savannah in one word, but if we must, it would be “charming.” The coastal town of Savannah draws in tourists who have an eye for Southern beauty, and this place will not disappoint.
Savannah’s unique architecture and 21 squares can be viewed on foot, on a bike, by trolley or by scooter. Forsyth Park is one of Savannah’s most treasured landmarks, with 30 acres devoted to walking paths, fragrant gardens, a large fountain, a children’s playground and a Civil War memorial. City tours are available, each with a different theme. Choose from antiques, African-American heritage, cemeteries, gardens, the best-selling book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” celebrity chef Paula Deen and Southern writers. For the romantics, consider a horse-drawn carriage tour along the cobblestone streets. Consult Old Savannah Tours (1-800-517-9007) about which tour you’d like to partake in.
All that walking is sure to build up an appetite. Grab a bite to eat at one of the European-style cafés at City Market (1-912-232-4903). Both casual and upscale dining can be found at the historic River Street, where some of Savannah’s favorite restaurants are housed in restored cotton warehouses.
Submerge yourself into Savannah’s robust arts and antiques scene. You could spend a lot of time ogling over the Southern-influenced artistry in the many galleries and gift shops. Aside from shopping, there are more than 45 historical and cultural attractions to discover, from forts to house museums.
Your Savannah getaway wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t make your way to Tybee Island. Kayaking, dolphin tours and deep-sea fishing are just some of the activities to participate in while you’re on the island. Get a front-row seat to watch the shrimp boats dock, bringing back fresh seafood that will be served in one of Tybee’s unique eateries.
Want to get away? It’s time to visit St. Simons Island, the largest of the renowned Golden Isles of Georgia. The pristine shoreline makes this a beach lover’s paradise, but without the hustle and bustle of more mainstream coastal destinations.
You won’t forget the distinctive activities you can try, including kitesurfing, a fusion of wakeboarding, paragliding and windsurfing. Canoeing and kayaking are also popular here. If you want to leave these activities to the adventure-seekers in your party, hop on a bike and cruise the coastline. You can also explore the marshlands of the island and see the wildlife in action, from otters and rabbits to sea birds and raccoons.
Explore the 200-year-old St. Simons Island Lighthouse, which is still active today. On loan by the United States Coast Guard, the lighthouse is open to guests, and they can see for themselves the major renovations that the property underwent in 2010. Another point of interest is the Battle of Bloody Marsh site, where in 1742 Spanish troops were defeated by the British colonists, ending the threat of Spanish reign in this area. For tour information, call 1-912-638-3639.
When the day winds down, get tickets to one of the many local theater productions on the island or take in a summer concert. If you’re still searching for thrills, check out Golden Isles Speedway (1-912-288-5127), a go-cart track that the whole family can enjoy.
Whether you tee up at one of Myrtle Beach’s championship golf courses, enjoy the Lowcountry cuisine of Charleston, take a tour through the Savannah streets or kitesurf on St. Simons Island, you’re bound to have a fun time on the coasts of the Southeast. And with numerous DaVita facilities throughout the region, a DaVita dialysis center is there for you during your travels.
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