If you want to do something a little different while at the beach, why not take the day and go on a short road trip to Charleston? The “Holy City” as it’s called, (so named for the amazing amount of churches) is a scenic drive straight down Highway 17, past marshes and over the Pee Dee and Black rivers. This is a fantastic city where you can walk everywhere, with a huge array of shops, restaurants, and art galleries.
But the biggest draw of Charleston is the history, dating back hundreds of years. You can visit Fort Sumter in the harbor where the first shot of the civil war began, and stroll through the old slave market, where you will find food, textiles, clothes, jewelry and every kind of imaginable craft. Charleston also features some of the best architecture in the country, and people come from all over to visit “the friendliest city in the nation.” Huge mansions date back to colonial times, each extremely unique and representing a hodgepodge of styles and you can just wander the blocks and look at the houses in every variety imaginable, or take one of the horse drawn carriage tours past the Battery and the famous Rainbow Row. The College of Charleston campus is also quite beautiful and worth strolling through.
If so inclined, drive over the James Island connector and go visit Folly Beach, which is very laid back. And if you’re in the mood for some really varied eateries, look no further; they have everything from 5 star restaurants to local diners. Check out Surmet’s Corner downtown for sweet potato fries and Kicken Chickin (an institution) for great sandwiches and salads. Carolinas and Peninsula, while pricey, have truly outstanding food, and Planet Follywood on Folly Beach has one of the best Rueben sandwiches you’ll ever have. It’s definitely worth the trip!