15 Day Trips From Charleston, South Carolina

This port city located in South Carolina is the oldest and largest city in the state. 

This quaint town with its sweet tea vodka, beautiful marshlands, and charming streets make for a great town in itself.

This southern hub provides a great base for some excellent day trips from Charleston SC. In the next few paragraphs, we will check out the best day trips to check some cities off your bucket list.

Day Trips From Charleston, South Carolina

Beaufort, South Carolina

Located an hour and a half from Charleston, this lovely historic town is known for its old town architecture and pretty water views. 

Visitors can enjoy a laid-back sunset boat cruise after spending the day at the shopping district or even spending some time at the historical museums that this quaint town has to offer. 

If you are interested in taking a closer peek at one of the mansions, you can even enjoy a tour of the mansions which is a remnant of the time gone by.

Another great fact to know about this town is that it was named as one of the South’s best small towns by Southern Living

Do not miss a delicious lunch at the Wren Bistro & Bar downtown for a quick refresher amidst your day of fun activities in Beaufort. 

Distance from Charleston: 90 minutes

Ideal for: History lovers

Beaufort, SC

Edisto Island, South Carolina

Edisto Island might be the perfect day trip destination from Charleston SC. Located just an hour away from Charleston, Edisto Island is a wonderful beach destination.

It has also been called the best-kept secret in the region because of its lack of crowds and charming beach cottages.

This island was once home to plantations, the ruins of which you can now see at Bleak Hall and Sea Cloud which are now encompassed in the wildlife area of Botany Bay.

There are great dining options available as well. You can opt for the laid-back SeaCOW eatery or even the more refined Ella & Ollie’s

Distance from Charleston: 60 minutes

Ideal for: Family-fun

Edisto Island, SC

Savannah, Georgia

This sister city of Charleston is a dreamy-coastal destination only a two-hour drive away in Georgia. 

Savannah is worth the trip for its prime location along the Savannah River which makes for a great dining scene. 

You can also enjoy some of the highlights of Savannah which are the gorgeous Forsyth park which has its Spanish hanging moss and the bustling City Market.

You can stroll along the water’s edge in the evening and choose from amongst the main strip of bars and restaurants located over there. 

There are favorites like Mrs. Wilkes, The Grey and you can enjoy a drink at one of the rooftop bars like the one at the Bohemian hotel

Distance from Charleston: 120 minutes

Ideal for: River-side activities

Savannah, GA

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is one of the most famous Spring break spots and resort areas and it is a lovely place to spend a day away from Charleston. 

Just a two-hour drive away from Charleston, Myrtle Beach is often the most popular day-trip spot for the locals.

You can spend some much-needed hours sun-bathing along the beaches of Myrtle, surf the gentle waves or just enjoy the calmness of the sea breeze. 

If you want to get away from the beach and explore something different, then you can also explore the Brookgreen Gardens which are botanical gardens home to more than 9,000 acres of land. 

Highlights of Myrtle Beach include a sculpture garden, various dining spots, golf courses, and even a zoo! 

Some popular dining options include Mr. Fish and Sea Captain’s House for breakfast.

Distance from Charleston: 120 minutes

Ideal for: Beach-side fun

Myrtle Beach, SC

Georgetown, South Carolina 

This historic city of Georgetown has plenty of stories waiting to be discovered. 

This quaint waterfront city is just an hour’s drive away from Charleston SC and is the third oldest city in South Carolina. 

This city is perfect for waterfront shopping, dining, fishing, and historic tours. You can soak up the historic museums such as the South Carolina Maritime Museum.

You can even grab a boat and just explore the sea for a day!

Distance from Charleston: 60 minutes

Ideal for: Historic activities & sea-side fun

Georgetown, SC

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

This beautiful spot is known for its golf courses, 12 miles of beaches and day cruises. Hilton Head Island is constantly voted as one of America’s favorite islands

The islands offer tons of activities like water sports, art and museums and the Harbour Town Lighthouse. 

You can also enjoy some live music at one of the bars in the evening before heading back to Charleston.

If you love wine, don’t forget to check out Island Winery where you can enjoy a wine and cheese pairing. 

Distance from Charleston: 120 minutes

Ideal for: Golf activities and sea-side fun

Hilton Head, SC

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Also known as the home of golf, Kiawah Island is a small barrier island off the Atlantic Coast. The island has five championship golf courses with more than 90 holes. 

Aside from golf, Kiawah Island also has plenty of scenic beaches and 30 miles of bike trails. This island definitely the best place for adventure seekers. 

Of course, there are plenty of dining options available. The Atlantic Room at The Ocean Course is a great option to explore the mecca of seafood options.

There is also plenty to explore for spa-lovers so that you can relax before heading back to Charleston. 

You can reach Kiawah Island in just 45 minutes by car, so it is easily accessible from Charleston.

Distance from Charleston: 45 minutes

Ideal for: Golf activities and spa options

Kiawah Island, SC

Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina

A great day-trip option from Charleston SC is Wadmalaw Island. 

This island is so peaceful, that you won’t believe that it is actually just half an hour’s drive away from the bustling city of Charleston SC.

Wadmalaw Island is a tranquil, scenic spot which provides a great escape from the city life of Charleston.

This area is home to Charleston Tea Plantation, which is the only tea plantation in North America. They offer tea factory tours as well. 

Plus, you can also explore the vineyards here like the Deep Water Vineyard, which offers daily wine tastings and tours of the vineyards.

Distance from Charleston: 30 minutes

Ideal for: A stroll through tea-plantations and vineyards

SC Wine Vineyard

McClellanville, South Carolina

Another lovely day-trip option from Charleston is McClellanville in South Carolina. This cute fishing village is about an hour’s drive away from the city.

Mostly known for its fishing charters and no-frills village restaurants, McClellanville is definitely a place worth visiting. 

If fishing is not your thing, then you can ride the ferry to Bull Island or you can even hike the trails of Francis Marion National Forest.

Have a meal at the best restaurant in town which is T.W. Graham & Co

Distance from Charleston: 60 minutes

Ideal for: Fishing charters & sea-food

Fishing in SC

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Just a 20 to 30 minutes drive away from Charleston, Mount Pleasant is a scenic suburb. 

This wonderful waterway boasts of excellent bars and waterfront dining options. 

It is also home to the famous Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens, where The Notebook was filmed. Which makes it the most photographed plantation of the country.

Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens is a working farm where visitors can even pick their own strawberries and peaches. Delightful indeed!

There is even an upscale shopping mecca of Gwynn’s

Popular dining options include NICO, which is a French oyster bar. 

Distance from Charleston: 30 minutes

Ideal for: exploring the plantations & waterfront dining

Mount Pleasant, SC

Columbia, South Carolina

Another great day trip from Charleston is Columbia. The capitals of a state are always worth a visit and Columbia is no different.

Known for its political and historic places,  Columbia still has some places that show the damage the civil war left on this city. 

This is a great destination to visit for history lovers. 

If all this does not excite you though, you can also visit the Congaree National Park. This is a national park where you can explore a pleasant afternoon of walking or hiking or just soak in some fresh air.

Distance from Charleston: 120 minutes

Ideal for: Historical activities

Columbia, SC

Walterboro, South Carolina

Also known as the “Front Porch of the Lowcountry,” Walterboro is another great destination to visit from Charleston.

This historic town is home to the South Carolina Artisans Centre, which is the official arts and crafts center of the state.

You can explore antique stores, art shops, and even some dining options.

Apart from the Artisans Centre, you can also explore the wildlife sanctuary and also a farmers market that is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays, May through October.

Distance from Charleston: 60 minutes

Ideal for: Arts enthusiasts 

Farmers Market

Shem Creek, South Carolina

If you love yourselves some water-based activities with your kids, Shem Creek is the answer. 

They boast of a multitude of activities like kayaking, paddle-boarding, and boating. Do not miss out on the occasional dolphin in the creek as well!

Of course, you can also explore a plentitude of waterfront dining options. 

Just a 45 minute drive away from Charleston, Shem Creek is an absolute winner.

Distance from Charleston: 45 minutes

Ideal for: Waterfront activities 

Shem Creek, SC

Cottageville, South Carolina

Home to the Bee City Honey Farm and Petting Zoo, Cottageville provides a unique day trip for families.

The bee farms produce local honey and the kids can learn about how honey is made. 

You can also enjoy train rides, educational activities and you can even see an active hive behind a glass wall.

Cottageville can be a fun and educational day out for everyone. Plus, you can also purchase the locally made honey for your home. 

Apart from the beehives, the Bee City Honey Farm also has a petting zoo. 

This nature center features monkeys, llamas, alpacas, deer, goats, sheep and bunnies to feed and pet. Delightful, isn’t it?

Distance from Charleston: 70 minutes

Ideal for: Family day out

Honey Bee Farm

Francis Beidler Audubon Forest

The Francis Beidler Audubon Forest will give you a chance to get away from the crowd. 

While it may not have the National Park designation yet, it offers day-trippers a chance to be close to nature. 

This forest is home to the largest collection of old-growth cypress and tupelo in the world.

The walks around the forest are a great way to explore the wildlife and spot some amazing species as well. 

Distance from Charleston: 60 minutes

Ideal for: A day in the wilderness

Cypress Forest

Conclusion

While the old town of Charleston SC has a lot to do in itself, there are definitely a ton of places you can visit on the weekends for a lovely day trip with either your family or friends. 

The variety of places offers a different side of South Carolina which might appeal to a variety of people with different interests.

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