If you are a new resident of Charleston, then congratulations on a wise decision! The South Carolina Lowcountry has a lot to offer, so once you’re unpacked and settled in, take your time to explore. Whether you’re looking for quaint fishing villages, historic sites, protected forests, or family-friendly fun, there are plenty of exciting day trips from Charleston.
Read on for an introduction to our favorite destinations. And, if you decide to pack your beach bag for Kiawah Island, then bring along our free Sea Island vacation guide. Get your copy for recommendations on restaurants, shopping, events, and more!
5 of the Best Day Trips Around Charleston, SC
1. Shem Creek Mt. Pleasant, SC | 20 minutes
Just over the Arthur Ravenel Bridge, you’ll find Shem Creek. This wonderful waterway boasts a variety of excellent bars and restaurants that are perfect for enjoying waterfront dining at sunset. Shem Creek also offers kayaking, paddle boarding, and boating opportunities. While you’re there, keep an eye out for dolphins surfacing in the creek or the fleet of shrimp boats that dock nearby.
2. Wadmalaw Island, SC | 30 minutes
Wadmalaw Island offers a glimpse of what the South Carolina Lowcountry looks like in its most natural state. In addition to beautiful natural landscapes, like glistening marshes and lush forests, this area is home to Charleston Tea Plantation and Deep Water Vineyard. At these destinations, you can learn about the art of sweet tea, the winemaking process, or even take a look inside how the distillery produces its finest spirits. Tours at each location are followed by ample sampling opportunities!
3. Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, SC | 40 minutes
Although Kiawah Island is a private beach community, visitors can still take advantage of the island’s only public beach, Beachwalker Park. This Kiawah Island park has all the conveniences you’re looking for in a perfect beach day, including picnic areas, parking, and shower facilities. After some fun in the sun, rinse the sand off your shoulders and head over to Freshfields Village. Indulge with wine tasting at FortyEight and complete your evening with a slice of wood-fired pizza at La Tela!
4. McClellanville, SC | 45 minutes
Travel up the S.C. coast on US-17 North to the quaint town of McClellanville. This small fishing village offers something for everyone. You’ll find the historic Hampton Plantation, the Camp Romain National Wildlife Refuge, and Blue Pearl Farms, which boasts over 2,000 blueberry bushes and a shop filled with some of the freshest local honey in the South.
McClellanville is also a popular destination for special events. Each month, Blue Pearl Farm hosts “Blueberry Jams.” These events invite crafts vendors, food trucks, and local bands to the farm for food and fun. The town also hosts other notable foodie events and celebrations, including the Lowcountry Shrimp Festival and the Blessing of the Fleet.
5. Edisto Island, SC | 1 hour
A trip to Edisto Island, SC, can feel like stepping into a storybook, and the trip there is equally as beautiful. Take Savannah Highway toward SC-174 to travel The Edisto Island National Scenic Byway. Along the way, you’ll pass by towering oak trees, historic churches, roadside fruit and vegetable stands, and more. Once you arrive at Edisto Beach, you need to experience Botany Bay, the 4,000-acre natural jewel of the island. Explore the park just before sunset in the summer and you may be lucky enough to catch of glimpse of loggerhead turtles on the beach.
Stay for a Week or a Lifetime on Charleston’s Sea Islands
It’s no secret that Kiawah Island’s Beachwalker Park is one of our favorite Charleston, SC, day trips! But, if you’d like to get to know the island better, plan a long weekend or week-long getaway.
Kiawah Island is a private, gated community with luxury amenities like championship golf, tennis facilities, excellent restaurants, and more. Our neighboring island, Seabrook Island, boasts the same extravagance along with a variety of pet-friendly vacation properties!