You won’t want to miss these handpicked historical hotels in the South—all with soulful stories to tell—dotting the South Carolina and Georgia coasts.
PHOTO JOSH GIBSON, J. SAVAGE GIBSON PHOTOGRAPHY
Operating out of an edifice older than America itself, Beaufort, South Carolina’s bayfront Anchorage 1770 inn is believed to be the largest and oldest tabby structure still in use today. It was once owned by anti-Recessionist William Elliott III, who hosted the likes of the Marquis de Lafayette within its hallowed halls. A 2015 renovation by Allison Ramsey Architects carefully preserved the 19th-century plasterwork, Adams mantels and series of spacious porches. Antique-laden interiors by Mark Hampton protégé Michelle Prentice lend the backdrop to in-room spa treatments and yoga while the resident chef and sommelier proffer superlative epicurean experiences for guests between fishing excursions, river tours and sunset cruises.
PHOTO KEVIN HARDMAN, KEVIN HARDMAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Famed as the birthplace of the nation’s first historic preservation society and first historic district, the building known today as 20 South Battery began as a private home in 1843 before quickly becoming a hub of the sociopolitical world. Standing opposite White Point Gardens and framed by swaying palmettos, the grand manse survived the Civil War—it was purchased in 1863 by a Union Army colonel and soon renovated in Gilded Age fashion by architect John Henry Devereux—before parrying the cataclysmic winds of Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Concluded in 2020, an elaborate, 18-month revamp upgraded the five-story boutique property with modern conveniences, curated antiques, crisp linens and Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities across 11 luxurious guest suites. Summer sailing excursions simply sweeten the experience.
PHOTO CINDY ROBERTS
Next door to the Davenport House Museum and a stone’s throw from Colonial Park Cemetery is Kehoe House, part of a hospitality group that includes five other historical Savannah gems. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the red brick, Queen Anne Revival residence was built for Irish-born industrialist William Kehoe and his family in 1892—then briefly owned in the 1980s by NFL MVP Joe Namath, who hoped to turn it into a disco. Today, the intimate inn offers guests all the trappings of an old-school experience, complete with a parlor and music room and plentiful culinary perks. Tip: Request a chic to-go picnic to enjoy in one of the Hostess City’s historic squares.