The Four Best South Carolina Getaways

Though these destinations are only a few miles away, you’ll feel as if you’re much farther from home.


One of the historic rice mills at Middleton Plantation.

Tired of staying in town for the weekend? Spring is quickly approaching and with the daylight hours increasing, its the perfect time to take a road trip out of town. While Charleston is known for its various attractions, sometimes a weekend trip out of town is the perfect way to rewind and relax. Grab a friend, get a camera, and head out of town to these great destinations.

Middleton Place

On the banks of the Ashley River, one of Charleston’s oldest plantation houses sits among the rice fields and gardens of Middleton Place. The plantation, once owned by a signer of the Declaration of Independence, possesses a unique history of war, trade, and natural disasters. Though the gardens are a spectacle in themselves, visitors may choose to spend an overnight at the Inn at Middleton Place, which features sweeping views over the meandering Ashley River and surrounding landscapes. The Inn at Middleton Place serves as the perfect weekend getaway for locals looking for a getaway.

Congaree National Park 

Only an hour away from Charleston, Congaree National Park is a wonderful escape to the wilderness. The bottomland hardwood forest acts as a floodplain for the Congaree and Wateree Rivers. These rivers bring nutrients to the forest making the forest an incredibly unique and diverse ecosystem. With 25 miles of hiking trails, you can spend hours here trekking through the natural beauty of South Carolina. You can visit the national park for just the day or stay over night in the adjacent camp ground. Before you go make sure to stop by the Harry Hampton Visitor Center for trail maps and bring bug spray to keep the pesky mosquitoes away. Located in Hopkins, South Carolina, Congaree National Park is a perfect weekend destination.

One of the popular boardwalk trails in Congaree National Park. Photo by Alan Cressler

Kiawah Island 

Kiawah Island is well known for its premier beaches and upscale community. Less than an hour from Charleston, Kiawah is a haven for locals looking to escape the heavily populated Charleston beaches. Home to expansive and pristine beaches, Kiawah island is the perfect place for those seeking a peaceful and relaxing beach vacation. However, Kiawah offers much more than its beaches, as it’s home to exceptional restaurants and a variety of boutiques. Both vacation homes and villas are available for visitors to rent, allowing guests the option of coming with an entire family or just a few friends.

What’s special to me about Kiawah Island is the empty expanse of beach with no people as far as the eye can see

— Eliot Leadem

Charleston Tea Plantation 

Located on historic Wadmalaw Island, the Charleston Tea Plantation is a beautiful property, rich with history. Though its only a few miles away from Charleston, Wadamalaw island serves as a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Plantation was established as a tea plantation in 1963 and has produced its classic, 100% American made tea ever since. Visitors are welcomed to tour the plantation 7 days a week from 10:00am until 4:00pm. The plantation offers

The Charleston Tea Plantation offers trolley rides through its stunning property.

trolley and walking tours of both the factory and the plantation, and unlike many historic places the Plantation welcomes all pets. So grab your four legged friend and visit the Charleston Tea Plantation to learn about the rich history of tea production in South Carolina and enjoy stunning scenery.

 Whether you travel to Middleton Place, Congaree National Park, Kiawah Island, or the Charleston Tea Plantation, these South Carolina destinations are perfect for any weekend road trip.