Step One: step back with your right foot. Step Two: kick back with your left foot. Step Three: raise your binoculars...huh? That's right; raise your bins because we are headed to the Deep South, to Charleston, South Carolina, for shrimp and grits, Painted Buntings, and many other fine cultural and avian combinations!
We'll begin in Charleston (site of the first shots fired on Fort Sumter that launched the Civil War), where we'll balance touring lovely antebellum homes and a museum or two in the afternoons with mornings visiting the important coastal migration spots for colorful spring warblers, orioles, and tanagers, and mudflats for shorebirds heading north. The Francis Marion National Forest, a must-visit for us, is just 45 minutes north of Charleston, and its longleaf pine-savannah habitat is home to Bachman's Sparrow and the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker (and pitcher plants and Red Wolves!).
From the coast we'll head to the North Georgia mountains, the foothills of the rolling Appalachians, where the breeding warblers include Louisiana Waterthrush and Black-throated Blue (and Green), and Scarlet Tanagers provide a splash of vibrant red amidst the greenery. There is much history here as well, including the first major US gold rush before the "forty-niners" moved west. Do you know what "running shine" is? Find out (legally, of course)!
Note: For your travel planning purposes, our tour will originate in Charleston, SC, and conclude in Atlanta, Georgia.
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