As Covid-19 cases continue to increase again, traveling by car is still pretty popular. Some are not comfortable flying just yet (which is also the case for me), but I’ve been taking my cat on my trips recently, so I wanted to drive somewhere that was close so Salem could come! He’s been to four states and counting!
Now I’m not too sure what I was thinking when I thought “close” since this was a 13 hour drive from Northwest Indiana, but it wasn’t that bad and Salem did really well for his longest road trip yet! It was like driving to The Smoky Mountains, but adding an extra four hours. (You can read that post here!)
Charleston is a location I had wanted to visit for some time now, but I never thought it would be during a pandemic or in this case, a road trip. Driving was honestly cheaper though and it was nice having our own car to drive around as well. I would strongly suggest having a car if you plan on visiting the surrounding cities like Mount Pleasant and Folly Beach, but Charleston itself is a very walkable city.
Where To Stay:
The best time to visit Charleston is in the spring. The weather is just right and the crowds are just starting to roll back around. Even though it was a little crowded downtown, the weather was absolutely perfect! We left 40 degree weather back in Indiana for 80s! I think Salem enjoyed it too when he would go outside on the patio. 😺
Depending on what you have planned, staying inside Charleston would be best. Since I had Salem with me, I wanted to get a spacious Airbnb for him, but still be close enough to Charleston and Mount Pleasant (I’ve come to find out that traveling with a pet limits your options significantly and this is another reason we stayed outside of Charleston). Hanahan was a perfect location for us. It’s literally a 20 minute drive north of Charleston, but it’s also 20 minutes away from Mount Pleasant.
Another great location to stay would be along the coast. There are many beach houses to choose from on Airbnb in Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, and Isle of Palms. There are also a few hotels that offer ocean views, but it might be cheaper to look on Airbnb if you want to save money.
What To Do:
If you want to explore all of Charleston and the surrounding cities, you would need at least three full days. Everything we did took place outside since Covid-19 is very much still active and we wanted to take all precautions. Like I mentioned earlier, Charleston is a very walkable city, so you are able to park your car for the day and basically walk everywhere. Some places I would recommend are:
- Rainbow Row
- South of Broad
- King Street
- 20 South Battery
- Ravenel Waterfront Park (Joe Riley Waterfront Park)
- Charleston City Market
- Boone Hall Plantation
- Folly Beach
- Sullivan’s Island
The architecture in Charleston is to die for! Every house is so unique with its own style. You could spend the day walking up and down South of Broad admiring all the beautiful homes and looking at the pastel colors. Some of the houses still have “haint blue” porch ceilings. It was believed that this would help keep the evil spirits away. 20 South Battery is known to be one of the most haunted locations in Charleston and they also have “haint blue” porch ceilings. It is now a bed and breakfast with a few active ghosts to join you on your stay. You can read more about the ghost activity here.
Boone Hall Plantation is definitely worth a stop if you’re in Charleston. There is soooo much history here, but also so much beauty to appreciate from the oak trees and garden. You can tour the property at your leisure and learn about the history as you go.
Fun Fact: The house was featured in The Notebook and it was used as Allie’s family’s summer house.
Where To Eat:
This was my favorite part because I had not sat down to eat at a restaurant in forever! For the past year, I would always order food to go from restaurants, so it was nice to finally enjoy some meals outside! You can’t go down south and not eat Southern food (or fried food), but you also cannot go by the coast without eating fresh seafood. It was all so good. I was basically in okra heaven! Some restaurants I would suggest are (all have outdoor seating):
- Saltwater Cowboys
- Blu Beach Bar & Grill
- Page’s Okra Grill
- Fleet Landing
- Café Framboise
- Rita’s Seaside Grille
- Pier 101 Restaurant & Bar
- Charleston Harbor Fish House
Charleston was such a fun road trip! I would highly recommend visiting whenever you get the chance. It can be easily overlooked for other locations like Savannah or Myrtle Beach, but I promise Charleston has everything you’re looking for in a vacation or a three day getaway. Whether it be a girls trip or some family fun, there are endless things to do and see!