As summer begins to wind down and the summer tourist season draws to a close, it’s time to start planning your own mini excursion away from the Holy City. With Labor Day quickly approaching, it’s the perfect time of year to plan a “last days of summer ” getaway of your own before autumn leaves start falling and cool weather is here again. Rather than trek down to the beach and wait in long lines of traffic, pack your bags and head to one of these charming southern towns located just a short drive from Charleston.
Home to Spanish-moss lined streets dating as early as 4,000 B.C. Beaufort is one of only a handful of U.S. towns that has had its entire downtown designated a historic district by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Located just 70 miles from downtown Charleston and an easy drive down Hwy. 17, the idyllic charm of downtown Beaufort makes this the ideal getaway for a long weekend. Overlooking the Beaufort River and the Port Royal Sound, downtown Bay Street is complete with cafes, restaurants, and shops with Southern-inspired decor. A variety of outdoor activities will lure you away from the hustle of the city including kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, or a sunset cruise. Visit the Woods Memorial Bridge – featured briefly in the popular American film “Forrest Gump “ – or take a leisurely walk through Henry C Chambers Waterfront Park.
1.5 hours from Charleston
Aptly tagged as our “Southernly sister city, ” a trip to Savannah from Charleston includes an enjoyable drive through the breathtaking landscape that makes up the ACE Basin region of the South Carolina lowcountry before arriving in this enchanting, historical city. Renowned for its breathtaking downtown gardens, laid out in a series of 22 squares known as Savannah’s Historic Squares, that are surrounded by graceful churches, historic homes, charming inns and museums. Enjoy the day exploring Savannah’s vibrant waterfront, grabbing coffee at The Paris Market, shopping along Broughton Street, and capping off the day with a sunset cruise along the Savannah River.
3 hours from Charleston
Fripp Island, SC
Only miles long in size, Fripp Island is a great destination for those that truly want to get away from it all. Secluded enough that it feels like its own private world, you simply need to park your car and hop in a golf cart to one of the many outdoor activities including paddle boarding, yoga, and horseback riding along the coast. Book ahead if you plan to visit Fripp for the weekend, as the island is primarily a private a vacation resort, with clusters of vacation rental homes, condos, and villas that are bordered by miles of undeveloped terrain. You can be sure that for a weekend getaway this small island town will steal your heart in no time!
2 hours from Charleston
Hunting Island State Park, SC
A favorite island destination for those lucky enough to grow up in this region of coastal South Carolina, you’ll easily recognize this state park if you’re a fan of Forrest Gump! Filmed for the scenes depicting Vietnam, this lush state park is like stepping into another world. With over 100 amenity-packed campsites, it’s easy to see why Hunting Island is one of the most popular state parks in South Carolina. You’ll definitely want to explore the peaceful marsh boardwalk, nature center, hiking trails, and offers up the perfect conditions for water sports like kite boarding. Hunting Island is a must for a fun-filled weekend away.
2 hours from Charleston
Note: Living in Charleston SC offers a southern coastal lifestyle all its very own. But without a doubt, one benefit of living in Charleston is its close proximity to some other amazing lowcountry towns. You’ll be packing your bags and heading for a scenic drive along the Hwy 17 corridor in no time! Whether you are searching for a home or second home of your own in the Holy City, understanding the variety of lifestyles and which is best suited for you is a great place to start. Download our “Guide to Charleston ” to explore lifestyles and discover the best of Charleston living for yourself.