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Charleston has an old-world charm thanks to its glorious tree-lined streets and delightful architecture. But if you are looking to expand your vacation to Charleston with an excursion or day trip, then there is plenty to see and do just beyond the South Carolina city.

There a historic homes, quaint cities, and sandy beaches nearby. Charleston is a tourism hotspot. It welcomed 7.3 million visitors in 2018. Whether you want to explore the beaches, historic homes, or something else, we have culled together the best excursions and day trips in Charleston for your next vacation to South Carolina.

Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island is situated 21 miles south of Charleston. Kiawah is a barrier island with pale sandy beaches. Gentle waves lap onto the shore and there is lush green foliage that fringe the beaches. The island paradise isn’t just for lazy days at the seashore. Kiawah offers some of the best golf courses on America’s Eastern seaboard. You will find Championship-quality courses to play on. If golf isn’t your sport, then enjoy the hiking and trekking trails that snake across the island.

Hopsewee Plantation

The Hopsewee Plantation is a mere hour outside of Charleston. A day trip to the plantation will transport you back to the 1700s when it was a working rice farm. The plantation is on the banks of the Santee River. It is glorious to look at on the inside and out. You will find furniture from the 18th century that gives Hopsewee an authentic feel. The property is currently a private residence, but tours are provided throughout the week. You will learn all about the plantation’s history and how it worked during the tour.


Beaufort is a classic southern city with its look and feel. It is a mere 90-minute drive from Charleston, giving you the chance to visit on a day trip. History lovers will enjoy a trip to Beaufort to learn about the city’s role in the American Civil War. There are plenty of tourist sites to explore and Beaufort has a few museums that focus on the Civil War and other parts of the region’s past. If you want something completely unique, then don’t miss the Kazoobie Kazoo Factory, Museum, and Gift Shop. The venue is completely dedicated to the kazoo musical instrument.


Just over an hour from Charleston is Georgetown, the state’s oldest city. Georgetown was founded in 1727 and was at the heart of South Carolina’s rice production. During its heyday, Georgetown produced half of America’s rice. Some of the plantations are still in operation today. Several private homes exist in the old southern mansions that were built around the city. These mansions are well worth visiting and snapping photos in front of. A day trip to Georgetown gives you the chance to drive along Route 17, a historic coastal highway in South Carolina. The charming city also has museums and a marina to explore.

Myrtle Beach

If you want a lively day trip away, then look no further than Myrtle Beach. The beach town is one of the most popular destinations for locals. Myrtle Beach is located in the centre of the Grand Strand, a 100-kilometre (60 mile) stretch of white-sand beaches. Its beachfront boardwalk is always full of life thanks to arcades, souvenir shops, and bars and restaurants. You will find SkyWheel® near the boardwalk. It is one of America’s tallest Ferris wheels. There are also plenty of golf courses around the city with several of them designed by famous golfers.


Savannah is located on the opposite side of the South Carolina-Georgia border. The two southern vacation destinations are sister cities, and both exude the old-world southern charm travellers seek on trips to South Carolina and Georgia. Savannah’s lush parks are ideal for strolling through on a sunny day. You can take a carriage ride around the city’s streets or enjoy its squares to soak up the local culture.

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is a two-hour drive south of Charleston. You can cruise along the coastal highway Route 17 to get there. Hilton Head has gorgeous beaches and golf courses. While the kids go to the beach, mom and dad can play a round of golf. The island has 12 miles of white-sand beaches and there are 24 top-level golf courses. In addition, Hilton Head has more than 250 amazing restaurants. The island is great for cycling and you can explore it all via bike. Hilton Head’s lighthouse is iconic and perfect for taking Instagram-worthy images of.

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