Ok, so my 14-year old daughter (who will turn 15 while on the trip) and I are planning to drive from Orlando to Beaufort/Charleston area en route to visiting friends in TN. The plan is to leave Orlando on the morning of July 20. We then have three nights to play with. I am a huge Pat Conroy fan and I want to visit his grave on St. Helena as well as some other areas that he loved and played a part in his books, including possibly South of Broad and the Citadel in Charleston as well as Beaufort. I am intrigued by the wildlife/birding/alligators/Dolphins/snakes/ marshy areas. I spent half of my childhood growing up in TN and I love good southern food and am excited to introduce my daughter to good southern food as well as experiencing unique Lowcountry food.
So my initial idea was to spend three nights in Charleston but now I'm thinking of other options. Maybe one night in Beaufort and two in Charleston. OR spending all three nights at a vrbo/house rental in some more remote island area to get a more waterfront/wilderness experience. Not interested in condos/golf courses (I like golf, just not this trip), or resort type areas. I don't have budget concerns. I looked at the Wentworth in Charleston which seems lovely, but most of the luxury hotels in Charleston appeal to me and seem to all be in generally the same price range ($400-500 per night for midrange rooms, which is fine). If you recommend spending all three nights here, is there a hotel that stands out?
So basically, given what I've outlined above, what would you do? Where to spend the three nights, what wilderness areas to focus on (Pinckney Wildlife Refuge appeals) but also a good base for perhaps some experiences in Beaufort and Charleston proper, including great dining experiences?