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11 Best Weekend Getaways from Charleston, South Carolina

Updated: Apr 22

Charleston, South Carolina, often referred to as the "Holy City," is known for its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and Southern charm. But sometimes, a weekend getaway is what you need to escape the routine and discover new places. So, let's buckle up for an exciting road trip and explore the best weekend getaways around Charleston, SC.

Time from Charleston, SC: Approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes

The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina

If you enjoy nature, love art, are a foodie, or are a beer connoisseur, Asheville, North Carolina, is the ideal destination for your weekend getaway! Nature lovers will enjoy driving to Asheville as it is nestled between the Appalachian and the Blue Ridge Mountains, and once you get there, you can explore one of the hiking trails. The art lovers can experience the vibrant arts scene and live music throughout Asheville. Lastly, the foodies and beer connoisseurs will enjoy visiting Asheville's renowned breweries and award-winning chefs' restaurants.

Moreover, one of the most popular attractions in Asheville, NC, is the Biltmore Estate due to its impressive architecture. The Biltmore Estate is the largest private residence in the United States with its 250-room French Renaissance mansion! This estate was built by George W. Vanderbilt in 1895. You can visit the estate for a tour or even for an overnight stay in its hotel, inn, or cottages. You can buy your tickets or reserve your stay online.

Indoor winter garden and conservatory in the main Biltmore residence, Ashville, NC. The image also has text on it that reads: 2-Day Weekend Itinerary for Asheville, North Carolina

Learn more about what to do on a Weekend Getaway in Asheville, North Carolina here!

Time from Charleston, SC: Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes

Beaufort, South Carolina

Are you looking for a quaint, small town feeling? Check out the historic city of Beaufort, South Carolina! A cute way to explore Beaufort's downtown area is by a horse-drawn carriage ride. If you want to check out the surrounding area, go on a boat tour. If you enjoy shopping at local boutiques when visiting a new place, take a stroll down Bay Street. Beaufort also has beautiful beaches for you to enjoy and plenty of trails for hiking and biking - specifically, you can check out Hunting Island State Park for a day of relaxation or outdoor adventure!

Another great spot to spend some time is Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. This park is a great place to spend any part of the day. You can come for an early morning stroll with a cup of coffee to enjoy the sunrise or have a lovely picnic as you await the sunset! Are you planning to come with the family? Do not worry there is plenty for the kiddos to do as well. They have a playground, plenty of green space for running around, hiking trails, and a splash pad.

A charming white antebellum house with a bright blue roof and inviting stairs, nestled amidst a grove of trees. The image has text on it that reads 13 Great Things To Do in Beaufort, SC: Fun Activities

Learn more about what to do on a Weekend Getaway in Beaufort, South Carolina here!

Time from Charleston, SC: Approximately 2 hours

Flamingos in Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

Have you yet to visit the capital of South Carolina? Pay a visit to Columbia, located in the center of South Carolina. If you have grown up in South Carolina, there is a chance you may be a fan of the Gamecocks, which call Columbia their home. If you visit during one of their sporting seasons, look into purchasing tickets for a home game and support your home-state team! There are plenty of other things to check out in Columbia as well! If you are a history buff, you will enjoy learning about the state's history at the South Carolina State Museum. If you are more interested in art, visit the Columbia Museum of Art.

Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park in Columbia, SC

Two other places to visit in Columbia include Riverbanks Zoo and Garden and Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park. Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is a zoo, aquarium, and botanical garden. It is home to over 3,000 animals and sits on 170 acres. One of its unique features is the ropes course (for an additional fee). This zoo is also family-friendly with train rides, a carousel, and opportunities to feed different animals (all for an additional fee). The botanical garden even has a splash pad area for the kids. Lastly, Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park is one of the best places in Columbia for jogging and biking! This park is on an old water plant, and you can still see parts of the plant on a self-guided walkway.

Five Points Bridge with homes in the back and cars passing underneath. There is text on the image that reads: 21 Things To Do in Columbia, SC: Date Night Ideas

Learn more about what to do for a date in Columbia, South Carolina here! Also, good for family and solo adventures as well.

Time from Charleston, SC: Approximately 2 hours

Trees in Congaree National Park, South Carolina

18 miles southeast of Columbia is Congaree National Park, an approximately 27,000-acre national park. Exploring Congaree is one of the best things to do for a nature lover near Charleston, SC, due to its walking trails, natural beauty, giant hardwoods, and towering pines. This park is home to many animals and plants including the endangered Red-Cockaded Woodpecker. On top of going on a walking tour through the park, you can canoe or fish in its creeks and have a picnic! Visiting this park is perfect for a day trip from Charleston; however, you could also split your weekend getaway by visiting Columbia one day and trekking through the Congaree National Park the next day.

Trees in Congaree National Park, South Carolina. There is also text on the image that reads: Best Time to Visit Congaree National Park and What to Do

Learn more about the best time to visit Congaree National Park in South Carolina and what to do there here!

Time from Charleston, SC: Approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes

Greenville, South Carolina

Do you want to visit a city that has it all? Check out Greenville, South Carolina. Greenville is a perfect mixture of southern charm and cosmopolitan vibes, creating a unique and fun adventure! Stroll through Main Street and enjoy shopping, eating, and public art. There are plenty of thrilling adventures in Greenville including Axe Throwing, Free Mini Golf at McPherson Park (bring your own putter and balls), a Segway Tour of Greenville, and so many others.

Moreover, Falls Park is a lovely park to visit in Downtown Greenville. Falls Park is a calm oasis in the city center, perfect for taking it easy and enjoying the beautiful gardens. The park gets its name from the waterfalls within it, and for the best view, you will want to walk along the curved suspension bridge to get an aerial view of the waterfalls.

Learn more about what to do on a date in Greenville, South Carolina here! This article is also great for general ideas on what to do in Greenville as well.

Time from Charleston, SC: Approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes

Harbour Town in Hilton Head, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island is a beautiful destination with 12 miles of sandy beaches, making it an excellent choice for families. Situated on the beach, it offers various water activities like kayaking, parasailing, jet skiing, and crabbing. The island also boasts plenty of restaurants, ensuring you will not have to leave during your weekend getaway. A must-visit spot is the Harbour Town boardwalk, where you can purchase tickets for a sightseeing cruise, a fishing expedition, or even a pirate cruise!

Hilton Head is also known for being a popular golf destination with 23 championship courses. They have even hosted the PGA Tour's RBC Heritage at Harbour Town since 1969. Being that they are well-known for famous golf courses, they also have plenty of mini-golf courses as well! My absolute favorite part about Hilton Head is that they have Disney Vacation Club on the island, which gives me a great balance between the Hilton Head experience and Disney magic!

Beach Entrance in Hilton Head Island, SC. There is text on the image that reads: 17 Fun Things To Do in and near Harbour Town Hilton Head

Learn about 17 fun things to do in and near Harbour Town Hilton Head by checking out my blog post here!

Time from Charleston, SC: From 20 minutes to an hour, depending on which one you go to

Folly Beach one of Charleston's Barrier Islands

Hilton Head is one of Charleston's Barrier Islands, but there are plenty more to explore! If you want to escape the city life, check out one (or a few) of Charleston's Barrier Islands! They are great for a more laid-back and quintessential beach experience. A fun fact about barrier islands is that they protect the mainland from ocean waves, tides, currents, wind, and storms. However, the part that makes them great to visit is that offer a variety of outdoor water activities like surfing, fishing, and swimming.

Edisto Island one of Charleston's Barrier Islands

A few of the barrier islands you can visit on top of Hilton Head are Folly Beach, Edisto Island, and Kiawah Island. Folly Beach is known for its clear water and is a popular destination for surfers, fishermen, and families. Edisto Island is an undeveloped island with minimal commercial development.

However, it does have local shops and restaurants, a marina, a golf course, and some beach rental properties. You can also find Edisto Beach State Park on this island - it winds through a forest and has views of the surrounding salt marsh. Another island to visit is Kiawah Island, a private island community. You will need to be a resident, guest of a resident, employee, or have a reservation for golf, dinner, or an overnight stay to drive around the island. It is difficult to get in, but offers pristine beaches, premier golf courses, and plenty of wildlife.

A lake and a golf course in Kiawah Island. There is text on the image that reads: Exploring Charleston, South Carolina's Barrier Islands

Learn more about Charleston's Barrier Islands here!

Time from Charleston, SC: Approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes

 Myrtle Beach SkyWheel

Would you rather visit a bigger beach city? If yes, then spend your weekend getaway in Myrtle Beach. Think of Myrtle Beach as a party at the beach! They have waterparks, theme parks, a speed banana boat tour, and live music. They also have a 187-foot tall SkyWheel, Broadway at the Beach, a Ripley's Museum, and TopGolf - to name a few others.

On the other hand, they still have plenty of things to do if you are looking for a calmer way to enjoy your visit. Some of these activities include visiting one of their two state parks, shopping at the outlets, or visiting Brookgreen Gardens, one of Myrtle Beach's must-see attractions. So, relax on the beach, explore a state park, visit the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, and enjoy the various attractions and entertainment options the area has to offer!

A photo of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at sunset with a pier in the foreground. Text on the image reads "9 Things To Do on Date Night in Myrtle Beach, SC".

For great date night ideas in Myrtle Beach, check out my blog post here!

9. Savannah, Georgia

Time from Charleston, SC: Approximately 2 hours

Savannah, Georgia

Across the Savannah River that borders South Carolina and Georgia is Savannah, the oldest city in Georgia. Savannah is a coastal city known for its historic district, 18th and 19th-century architecture, and cobblestone streets. Moreover, Savannah is a great place for a ghost tour, as its historic feel provides a spooky, spiritual vibe. If ghost tours are not for you, there is still plenty to do, from visiting museums and shopping to taking regular tours, enjoying food, and exploring breweries!

When visiting, check out River Street! This street has restaurants, bars, stores, and art galleries where cotton warehouses once stood. Cotton warehouses were prevalent here, as it was the original port of Savannah, which was the world's leader for cotton exports. Forsyth Park is another must-visit location in Savannah! It is a large recreational park lined with tree arches and a historic fountain. This park is popular for photo shoots and picnics. There are also walking trails and basketball and tennis courts.

Time from Charleston, SC: Approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes

Aerial view of St. Augustine, Florida

Travel a bit further down to St. Augustine and visit the oldest city in the United States. Discover historic buildings, stroll down St. George Street, and immerse yourself in the rich history of this coastal city with its Spanish Colonial architecture. On your trip, explore the historic Castillo de San Marcos and enjoy the beautiful beaches. St. Augustine is another great city for a ghost tour as it is the oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlement in the continental US. However, if ghost tours are not for you, there are other tours you can get tickets for to explore and learn more about this historic city.

A white lighthouse with a black lantern room at the top pokes through the branches of green trees. There is a blue sky in the background. The lighthouse is located at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum.

Remember those stories about Ponce de León and the Fountain of Youth from elementary school? Well, you can find it in St. Augustine, but it is just a natural spring. Moreover, one of the best times to visit is for Nights of Lights, where three million lights adorn the historic district for two months! This year Nights of Lights will be held from November 18, 2023, to January 31, 2024. With that, hotel prices will be higher, and it will be a bit more crowded during this time.

Lightner Museum is located in this building in St. Augustine, Florida. There is text on the image that reads 19 Things to Do in St. Augustine: Romantic and Fun

To learn more about what to do in St. Augustine, check out my blog post here!

Time from Charleston, SC: You are already there!

A few of the homes in Rainbow Row

Last, but surely not least is Charleston, South Carolina! Hold on, I thought we were talking about weekend getaways near Charleston, SC - not in it. That is correct; however, you could always go on a staycation for one of your weekend trips and be a tourist in your own city. Honestly, a weekend getaway in your own city allows you more time to enjoy since you do not have to spend time driving back and forth to one of the places mentioned above.

If you have lived in Charleston for a while you may already know what each of the places around you offers. As such, I will keep this one short and sweet and list out some options:

- Fort Sumter National Monument - the site where the first shots of the American Civil War were fired
- King Street - a vibrant downtown area known for its antique, fashion, and design districts
- Rainbow Row - a row of 13 colorful Georgian-style houses
- French Quarter - area filled with historic churches, art galleries, and luxury hotels and inns
- Dock Street Theatre - located in the French Quarter, a performing arts venue that hosts different plays and shows throughout the year

For more ideas on what to do in Charleston, South Carolina, check out one of these three great blog posts! Click on the above images you want to learn more about!


Road with a bend in Blue Ridge Mountains

There are plenty of amazing road trip destinations from Charleston, South Carolina - there is bound to be one that excites you! So, pack your bags, hit the road, explore new places, and make the best of your weekend adventures! If you do not want to go that far, make your weekend getaway a staycation and act like a tourist in your own town! No matter what you choose, make the most of your quality time alone or with your loved one(s).

Have you been to any of these destinations? Let me know in the comments below! Share this article with the person or people you want to go on your next adventure with! Also, be sure to SUBSCRIBE below to learn about other places you should add to your "To Visit" List! Ready? Okay, vamos. Time to have fun!

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