Are you looking for a South Carolina Road trip itinerary? Read this article on one of the best road trips in South Carolina. This road trip through South Carolina offers diverse experiences, from historic cities to beautiful coastal areas and picturesque countryside.
South Carolina Road Trip Itinerary
Here’s a detailed 7-day South Carolina road trip itinerary with stopovers, scenic routes, things to do, overnight stays, and valuable tips to help you plan your journey:
South Carolina Road Trip Map – Road trips in South Carolina
Day 1: Charleston – South Carolina Day Trips
Where To Stay Overnight
- Start your day early in Charleston, one of South Carolina’s most charming cities.
- Explore the historic district, including Rainbow Row, Waterfront Park, and the Charleston City Market.
- Visit the iconic Boone Hall Plantation for a glimpse into Southern history. Or Visit the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens for beautiful gardens and wildlife.
- Enjoy Lowcountry cuisine at a local restaurant like Husk or Poogan’s Porch.
- Take a relaxing stroll along the historic Battery and White Point Garden.
- Dine at one of Charleston’s renowned restaurants.
Day 2: Charleston to Myrtle Beach
- Depart Charleston and head northeast towards Myrtle Beach.
- Myrtle Beach is 2 hr 10 min (97.9 mi) via Hwy 17 N from Charleston, SC.
- Enjoy scenic views along the way, including the Francis Marion National Forest.
- Stop in Georgetown for lunch at River Room or Buzz’s Roost.
- Arrive in Myrtle Beach and explore the famous Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade.
- Visit Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum or the SkyWheel for some entertainment.
Where to Stay Overnight
Day 3: Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head Island
- Check out of your hotel and start your drive south to Hilton Head Island.
- The total commuting time and distance would be 3 hr 49 min (221.4 mi) via US-378 W and I-95 S
- Stop in Beaufort and dine at a charming waterfront restaurant like Plums.
- Explore the Beaufort historic district and take a carriage tour.
- Continue your drive to Hilton Head Island, known for its beautiful beaches and golf courses.
- Spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach or renting bikes to explore the island.
Where To Stay In Overnight
Day 4: Hilton Head Island
- Enjoy breakfast at your hotel or a local café.
- Spend your morning exploring the Coastal Discovery Museum or playing golf.
- Grab lunch at a beachfront restaurant like the Sea Pines Beach Club.
- Visit Harbour Town in Sea Pines for shopping, sightseeing, and climbing the iconic lighthouse.
- Explore the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge for nature walks and birdwatching.
Day 5: Hilton Head Island to Columbia
- Check out of your hotel on Hilton Head Island and start your drive west to Columbia.
- The distance and commuting time from Hilton Head Island to Columbia is 2 hr 31 min (152.0 mi) via I-95 N and I-26 W.
- Stop in Lexington for lunch.
- Explore the South Carolina State Museum or stroll through Columbia’s beautiful Riverbanks Botanical Garden.
Dinner and Overnight Stay:
- Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in the Vista district.
- Stay at the Hilton Columbia Center or Wyndham Garden.
Day 6: Columbia to Greenville
- Depart Columbia and head northwest towards Greenville.
- The distance and commuting time from Columbia to Greenville is 1 hr 35 min (103.5 mi) via I-26 W and I-385 N.
- Stop for lunch in Newberry at a local spot like Figaro the Dining Room.
- Checkin to Westin Poinsett or the AC Hotel Greenville.
Late Afternoon & Evening:
- Explore the charming downtown of Greenville, including Falls Park on the Reedy River.
- Visit the Greenville Zoo or take a walk on the Liberty Bridge.
- Dine at one of the excellent restaurants in downtown Greenville.
Day 7: Greenville to Charleston (via Scenic Route)
- Check out your Greenville hotel and head back towards Charleston via a scenic route.
- The total distance and commuting time from Greenville to Charleston is 3 hr 10 min (212.9 mi) via I-26 E.
- Stop for lunch at a roadside café along the way.
- Enjoy the scenic drive through the rolling hills of the Upstate region.
- If time permits, visit a winery or orchard along the way.
- Arrive back in Charleston and enjoy a final dinner at one of your favorite restaurants from Day 1.
Useful Tip – South Carolina Road Trip Itinerary
- Plan your accommodations, especially during peak travel seasons.
- Check the opening hours and availability of attractions and restaurants, as they may vary.
- Carry a paper map or use a GPS navigation system, as some areas may have limited cell coverage.
- Pack essentials like sunscreen, insect repellent, and comfortable walking shoes.
- Be prepared for variable weather, as South Carolina can be hot and humid in the summer and cool in the winter.
FAQs – Day Trips In South Carolina
- What’s the best time of year for a road trip in South Carolina?
South Carolina is great for road trips year-round, but spring and fall offer pleasant weather and fewer crowds. Summers can be hot and humid, while winters are mild.
- Do I need any special permits or passes for national parks or attractions in South Carolina?
Most attractions and parks in South Carolina do not require special permits or passes. However, some state parks may charge an entrance fee.
3. How should I prepare for the weather in South Carolina?
- Check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly. Summers are hot, so bring sunscreen and light clothing, while winters can be cool, so pack layers.
- Are there any toll roads in South Carolina?
South Carolina does have some toll roads, including the Southern Connector in Greenville and the Cross Island Parkway in Hilton Head Island. Make sure you have cash or a compatible electronic toll payment system if you use these roads.
- What must-visit attractions for families on a South Carolina road trip?
Family-friendly attractions include Myrtle Beach, the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, and the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry in Charleston.
- Are there any scenic routes I should consider for my road trip?
Yes, consider driving the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Upstate region for stunning mountain views or the scenic Lowcountry Highway (Route 17) along the coast for coastal beauty.
- Can I find vegetarian or vegan options at restaurants in South Carolina?
While South Carolina is known for its seafood and barbecue, many restaurants offer vegetarian and vegan options, especially in larger cities like Charleston and Greenville.
- How do I book accommodations in advance for my road trip?
It’s a good idea to book accommodations in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.
- Are there any safety tips for driving in South Carolina?
Follow standard safety practices such as obeying speed limits, wearing seatbelts, and avoiding distractions while driving. Be mindful of wildlife, especially in rural areas, and watch out for occasional severe weather, like summer thunderstorms.
- Can I bring my pet on the road trip?
Many hotels and campgrounds in South Carolina are pet-friendly, but checking their pet policies and making reservations is essential. Ensure your pet is safely restrained while driving.
- Is there a South Carolina road trip map or app I can use for navigation?
Several GPS navigation apps, like Google Maps and Waze, work well for navigating South Carolina. You can also find detailed road trip maps and resources from the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism.
- What’s the best way to explore the historical sites in South Carolina?
To explore historical sites, start with Charleston’s historic district, but also consider visiting plantation homes, forts, and museums throughout the state. Join guided tours for a deeper understanding of South Carolina’s rich history.
- How can I find local events or festivals during my road trip?
Visit the official tourism websites of South Carolina or local event listing platforms to find information about upcoming events, festivals, and cultural activities during your visit.
Remember to plan your South Carolina road trip itinerary carefully, stay informed about local conditions, and have a great adventure exploring this beautiful state!
This South Carolina road trip itinerary or beautiful day trips in South Carolina offers diverse experiences, from historic cities to coastal beauty and scenic drives through the Palmetto State. Enjoy your journey!
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