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Driving from Tampa to Raleigh ... Suggestions for a Great Meal/Sleepover

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Excited to be moving to Raleigh next month, and driving from Tampa to Raleigh (about a 10-11 hour drive). Want to split the drive up and layover after 5-7 hours driving, which will put me anywhere between the Savannah and Myrtle Beach areas for the night.

Would prefer not to deviate too far from the Interstates and not too particular about the hotel for just one night (Hilton Garden Inns, Courtyard Marriotts, etc. are all fine) ... but would love to have a great meal that night just to remember the drive. REALLY dig good seafood and price isn't an object ... since I'll be on my own, would prefer to eat at the bar. If there is a great restaurant near a decent hotel, even better so I could have a few glasses of wine without worrying about driving.

Any suggestions?

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  1. What about Beaufort, SC. Nice town on the water, great seafood, good B&B downtown all close to each other. Probably no more than 20 miles out of your way by leaving I 95. About 7 hours from Tampa.

    I would suggest Savannah but you would have to drive downtown and the traffic would slow your progress down. Beaufort is a very small town with little traffic compared to Savannah and you will be a little closer to Raleigh when you get up the next day. No problem eating and walking to your room there.

    City Loft Hotel @ $149.00/night.

    http://www.citylofthotel.com/

    Also a Best Western downtown both near best restaurants.

    1. I make this drive frequently. On the way south I try to spend the night in Jax or St. Augustine (since it is one of my favorite towns). Going north I alternate between Augusta (a bit out of the way, but I like the town) or Charleston area. Beaufort is a great idea too.

      There really aren't too many other options that meet your requirements that I'm aware of.

      1. A 3rd vote for Beaufort - a very quaint town with some unique dining options. Will you please bring a cooler full of Cuban sandwiches and stuffed potatoes? JK :-)

        Welcome to Raleigh!

        4 Replies
        1. re: chicaraleigh

          OP, Seriously, get your fill of Cubans and Media Noches before you leave! This is the one craving I have that the Triangle is unable to satisfy. My freezer is full of Cuban bread so I can make my own.

          1. re: meatn3

            Beaufort it is! Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.

            And, yes oh yes, I'm going to miss my Cuban and Spanish food ... I currently live within walking distance of the La Segunda Bakery and the original Columbia, as well as a number of other outstanding restaurants, so I'm really going to miss just walking out and having those options for lunch or dinner. I haven't found a place in Raleigh yet for something similar, but I'm looking at Glenwood South.

            See you Raleigh Chowhounders soon!

            1. re: kentski

              Kentski.........Here's some good choices for dining in Beaufort.

              Emily's Restaurant & Tapas Bar @ 906 Port Republic St., Beaufort, SC 843 - 522 - 1866.
              http://www.emilysrestaurantandtapasba...
              Kathleen's Bar and Grill @ 822 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 843 - 524 - 2500.
              http://www.kathleensgrille.com/
              Saltus River Grill @ 802 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 843 - 379 - 3474.
              http://www.saltusrivergrill.org/

              For Breakfast try Blackstone's Cafe....Stay at the Rhett House Inn a block from Bay St. and they will serve you Breakfast.

              Blackstone's Cafe @ 205 Scott St., Beaufort, SC 843 - 524 - 4330.
              http://www.blackstonescafe.com/index.htm

              Rhett House Inn @ 1009 Craven St., Beaufort, SC 843 - 524 - 9030.
              http://www.rhetthouseinn.com/

              Have a great trip.

              1. re: kentski

                Welcome to Raleigh! See my profile and e-mail if you need off topic info - - I moved here 3 years ago and love it.