2020 The Year of Roadtrips
2020 has quickly become “The Year of Roadtrips.” With travel restrictions holding strong around the world and budgets being slashed across all industries as the pandemic hit, many have been left wondering if their summer vacation is salvageable. Luckily there is hope to be found in the time-honored tradition of roadtrips. With gas prices expected to stay low throughout the summer, it’s never been a better time to pack up the family or your friends and hit the open road. Whether you’re travelling by car, motorcycle, or RV, there are tons of fun sights to see and adventures to be had!
Charleston has been a #1 destination in the US, and even the world, for years now. Charleston has it all: With its vibrant mix of culture, art, history, food, music, nightlife, beaches, wildlife, parks and more, it’s the perfect place to find something fun for everyone. A short trip from such beautiful places as Beaufort and Savannah, and less than a 4 drive from cities like Charlotte, Jacksonville, Asheville, and Greenville, will land you in the heart of history. Even Nashville is less than a day’s drive away. But what does Charleston have to offer for your vacation stay?
Charleston became a well-known port city back in 1670, when the colonies were first being established, for its pivotal role in the rice and indigo trade. From there, its waterways and residents continued to solidify its place in history as a bustling variety show of cultures. Fort Sumter, located in the Harbor, is the site of the first shots of the Civil War and can be toured throughout the day. Several plantations still stand, open to visitors seeking knowledge about our nation’s past. Visit houses that have survived the American Revolution and the Civil War, where time seems to have stood still for more than 200 years, some untouched, others that have been restored to their original glory days. These historic homes amaze with their architecture, beautiful landscapes, and stories of the families who have lived in these landmarks throughout time. You can the many monuments and history museums throughout town to further glimpse a life lived long ago, or take a GPS-based Adventure Hunt through the city to ensure you see it all.
Beaches and Waterways
With 5 beaches, the open ocean, and a water highway connecting thousands of rivers, creeks, and inlets, getting on the water is part of the local lifestyle. Hop on a kayak or paddleboard and cruise the natural landscape that offers up-close-and-personal encounters with local wildlife and ecosystems. Nature Adventures is the local favorite, offering up affordable rentals for those who like to explore on their own, as well as guided tours for those interested in learning more. Nature Adventures is located on Shem Creek, a well-known manatee passage and dolphin playground. There is even an island at the mouth of the creek that serves as a bird sanctuary for endangered species throughout the warmer months. Charleston is also the only place in the US where strand feeding, a really cool tactic that involves dolphins herding a school of fish or shrimp onto a sandbar or beach, takes place. Rent a boat or charter a captain and island hop through town for swimming and sunset cruises. Or hit one of the local beaches for some free fun in the sun and surf: Folly, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, Kiawah, and Seabrook all have their own unique identity and offerings. It may be hot in Charleston, but the water is always just right.
Parks and Camping
Boasting a robust county park system, each site offers a number of activities like waterparks, bikes trails, dog parks, fishing, paddleboats, camping, and more. For a truly unique experience check out the Woodlands Nature Reserve: 6000+ acres of natural beauty featuring a blackwater cypress swamp, 11 lakes, and 60 miles of wooded trails. Every weekend The Woodlands host the “Spaced Out Summer Series” featuring live music, kayak and paddleboard rentals, and camping. They even have zun tents available for rental!
A thriving foodie scene, Charleston offers up world-class fare to fit any budget. From roadside stands to James Beard awarded chefs, Charleston has something for every palate. Many restaurants offer up some variation of Lowcountry cuisine, a cooking style traditional to the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia. With its rich diversity of seafood from the coastal estuaries and a vibrant African cuisine influence, Lowcountry cooking provides an abundance of fish, oysters, shrimp, and crab that were not available to non-coastal regions in previous generations. The marshlands of South Carolina also proved conducive to growing rice, which became a major part of the everyday diet alongside grits. Charleston’s foodie scene also honors rustic and modern cultural cuisine, bringing the freshest ingredients and cultural fare table side at many restaurants throughout the city. Food trucks, BBQ joints, and burger shacks offer a more casual, affordable dining experience while still setting tastebuds tingling.
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