Savannah is an ideal weekend destination out of Charlotte, located only 250 miles away by road.
Driving and flying are both convenient and at least reasonably fast ways to travel between the two cities. The bus provides a budget alternative to flying, although journey times will be somewhat longer than by car. The train is not a recommended option for this journey on account of poor routing and lengthy connection times.
!The information below is correct at the time of writing, but please verify all details before planning your trip.
It is 250 miles from Charlotte to Savannah, a drive of around 4 hours or so. The main route follows the I-77 south out of Charlotte to Columbia, SC. Take the I-26 out of Columbia, and then the I-95 the rest of the way to Savannah. Columbia is probably the best place to stop off along the way, located a little less than half the distance from Charlotte to Savannah.
American Airlines is currently the only airline offering direct flights between Charlotte and Savannah, with numerous departures daily. Flight time is around an hour or so, with the cheapest economy fares costing from about $300 for a round trip ticket.
Various other airlines also provide services between Charlotte and Savannah, but with at least one connection, which usually substantially increases the total travel time and often slightly increases the cost of tickets too.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport is 7 miles west of downtown Charlotte and Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport is 12 miles northwest of downtown Savannah, both with connecting transport by taxi, shuttle or public transit.
Bus services between Charlotte and Savannah are provided by Greyhound, and offer a reasonably-priced way to get between the two cities if you will not be driving.
However, the bus follows a slightly circuitous route, which together with stops makes the journey time by bus somewhat longer than when driving by car — around 6 to 6.5 hours, depending on the route chosen.
Advance online tickets begin at around $30 each way ($60 round trip), with walk-up fares around $55-$65 each way ($110-$130 round trip). Tickets can either be purchased in advance or at the bus station on the day of travel.
Two direct bus services, one early morning and one early evening, depart Charlotte for Savannah daily. The first leaves Charlotte at 6:55am, arriving in Savannah at 1:05pm. The second leaves Charlotte at 4:20pm, arriving Savannah 10:50pm.
An additional non-direct service with a connection in Fayetteville, NC, leaves Charlotte at 7:15am (Savannah 4:40pm), but this journey is three hours longer than the direct services.
There are only two bus services to Charlotte from Savannah, both direct. The early morning bus leaves at 6:20am, arriving in Charlotte at 12:30pm. The evening bus leaves Savannah at 7:25pm, arriving in Charlotte at 1:25am the following day.
Charlotte’s Greyhound station is at 601 West Trade Street (see map), a few minutes walk from downtown Charlotte. Savannah’s station is likewise conveniently situated, immediately west of downtown at 610 West Oglethorpe Avenue (see map), with multiple connecting public transit services within a few yards in both cases.
Despite Charlotte’s proximity to Savannah, it is neither fast nor convenient to travel between the two cities by train, as Charlotte lies off the main rail line running down the eastern seaboard and through Savannah.
For most people, the train will not be a practical travel option. Total journey times range from 12.5 to 31 hours, with at least one and usually two transfers, some of which involve very lengthy layovers.
If you do choose this option, expect to pay around $115 each way ($230 round trip). Discounts may sometimes be available on tickets purchased more than 2 weeks ahead of travel.
There are several routing options from Charlotte to Savannah, the shortest of which takes 14 hours, riding the Carolinian and then the Palmetto services. The train out of Charlotte leaves at 7am, with eventual arrival in Savannah at 9:04pm.
In the Savannah to Charlotte direction, the shortest train is again on the Palmetto and Carolinian services. Total travel times is 12.5 hours, but with a comparatively short (1.5 hour) connection. The train out of Savannah leaves at 8:20am, with arrival in Charlotte at 8:44pm.
Train services between Charlotte and Savannah are from the following rail stations:
Charlotte Amtrak Station at 1914 North Tryon Street, 1.5 miles from downtown Charlotte (see map). Charlotte Area Transit System’s bus route 11 serves the train station (up to every 10 minutes, 5am-2am weekdays, 6am-1am weekends), connecting with the city’s downtown Transportation Center.
Savannah Amtrak Station at 2611 Seaboard Coastline Drive, 3 miles west of the Historic District (see map). Taxi and limited bus services are available to and from the station. Read more about transport to and from Savannah’s train station