The closest thing to a national newspaper in the United States is USA Today, which you will find at diverse locations from airports to gas stations. The national paper of record is the New York Times, which is available in larger urban areas but only rarely in outlying areas.
In Charleston , the paper of record is the Post and Courier (www.charleston.net ). Its entertainment insert, Preview, comes out on Thursdays. The free alt-weekly is the decade-old Charleston City Paper (www.charlestoncitypaper.com ), which comes out on Wednesdays and is the best place to find local music and arts listings. A particularly well-done and lively metro glossy is Charleston Magazine (www.charlestonmag.com ), which comes out once a month.
In Beaufort, the daily newspaper of record is the Beaufort Gazette (www.beaufortgazette.com ). An alternative weekly focusing mostly on the arts is Lowcountry Weekly (www.lcweekly.com ). Hilton Head’s paper of record is the Island Packet (www.islandpacket.com ). A good Bluffton publication is Bluffton Today (www.blufftontoday.com ).
In Savannah , the daily newspaper of record is the Savannah Morning News (912/525-0796, www.savannahnow.com ). It puts out an entertainment insert on Thursdays called “Do.” The independent free weekly newspaper in town is Connect Savannah  (912/721-4350, www.connectsavannah.com ), hitting stands each Wednesday.
The main paper in the much more sparsely populated Golden Isles region is the Brunswick News (www.thebrunswicknews.com ), but many people read the newspaper of record of nearby Jacksonville, Florida, the Florida Times-Union (www.jacksonville.com ).
Visitors from Europe and Asia are likely to be disappointed at the quality of Internet access in the United States, particularly the Charleston and Savannah area. Fiber optic lines are still a rarity, and while many hotels and B&Bs now offer in-room Internet access—some charge, some don’t, make sure to ask ahead—the quality and speed of the connection might prove poor.
Wireless (Wi-Fi) networks also are less than impressive, though that situation continues to improve on a daily basis in coffeehouses, hotels, and airports. Unfortunately, many hot spots in private establishments are for rental only.
However, Charleston  does have a municipal free Wi-Fi network. While Savannah  does not yet have a city-wide Wi-Fi network, you can get a list of free Savannah Wi-Fi hotspots at www.thecreativecoast.org/datainfo/hotspots .
Generally speaking, the U.S. is behind Europe and much of Asia in terms of cell phone technology. Unlike Europe, where “pay-as-you-go” refills are easy to find, most American cell phone users pay for monthly plans through a handful of providers.
Still, you should have no problem with cell phone coverage in urban areas. Where it gets much less dependable is in rural areas and on beaches. Bottom line, don’t depend on having cell service everywhere you go.
As with a regular landline, any time you face an emergency call 911 on your cell phone.
All phone numbers in the United States are seven digits preceded by a three-digit area code. You may have to dial a “1” before a phone number if it’s a long-distance call, even within the same area code.
The area code for the part of South Carolina covered in this travel guide is 843. The area code for the part of Georgia covered in this travel guide is 912.