21 Amazing Weekend Getaways From Charleston

If you are looking for weekend getaways from Charleston, South Carolina, you don’t need to look far. There are plenty of amazing destinations within easy driving distance.

From beachfront retreats to mountain hideaways, there’s something for everyone on this list.

Whether you’re searching for relaxation or romance, these best weekend getaways from Charleston will leave you refreshed and ready to take on the world again.

city street in downtown Charleston, South Carolina
As wonderful as the Holy City is, there are many weekend getaways from Charleston.

The list below is organized based on distance from downtown Charleston, starting with the closest to the farthest.

The drive times listed are approximations. The length of time it takes you to drive to each destination will of course depend on several things such as the time of day, your exact starting and ending point, the weather, etc.

Plan the perfect weekend getaway with this free printable travel planner.

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Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Distance from Charleston: 27 miles

Approximate drive time: 1 hour

Kiawah Island makes a great weekend getaway destination for couples from Charleston, South Carolina, because of its natural beauty, romantic atmosphere, and variety of activities.

Kiawah Island is known for its secluded beaches, world-class golf, and luxurious resorts. Couples can enjoy a variety of activities, including romantic walks on the beach, sunset cruises, horseback riding, biking, kayaking, and spa treatments.

Kiawah Island’s natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere provide the perfect backdrop for a romantic weekend away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort is a Forbes 5-star oceanfront resort located on the beach and is known for its world-class golf courses, spa, and dining options. The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort has received numerous awards and accolades, including being named Best Resort in South Carolina by Travel + Leisure magazine.

Edisto Island, South Carolina

a long pier stretching out over the ocean

Distance from Charleston: 45 miles

Approximate drive time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Another charming island worth visiting for a weekend getaway is Edisto Island.

The island once consisted of plantations, with some buildings still visible, like those of Sea Cloud. Botany Bay protects the property of Sea Cloud and Bleak Hall as a wildlife management area.

If you like, you can choose to rent a bike to explore the scenic coastline, go for a hike through the Botany Bay Plantation area, or enjoy the 1.5-mile beachfront.

And don’t miss Edisto Beach State Park. It’s one of four oceanfront state parks in South Carolina. It includes an Environmental Learning Center with interactive exhibits and sea life for kids to enjoy.

Explore the island from a vacation rental or check out Club Wyndham Ocean Ridge on the Plantation Edisto Championship Golf Course.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

crowds on a beach with tall buildings in the background

Distance from Charleston: 95 miles

Approximate drive time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Myrtle Beach makes a great weekend getaway destination as it is one of the most popular beaches in South Carolina. With 215 days of sun a year, so you have a good chance to enjoy lovely weather during your getaway.

Golfers will love that there are an eye-popping 90 courses in the area. Myrtle Beach offers a variety of activities, including parasailing, jet skiing, and kayaking.

Explore the Boardwalk for shopping, entertainment, and dining. Head to the Murrells Inlet to explore the MarshWalk and see Brookgreen Gardens

A vacation condo or beach house rental is a great option for Myrtle Beach. If a hotel is more what you’re looking for, here are a couple of top options:

Congaree National Park/Columbia, South Carolina

wooden boardwalk path through a forest

Distance from Charleston: 105 miles

Approximate drive time: 2 hours

Surround yourself with beautiful and unique scenery by spending a weekend at Congaree National Park.

Although less popular among tourists than some other National Parks, Congaree is absolutely one of the best national parks in the South.

According to the National Park Service, this Park preserves the largest intact expanse of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States.

It’s a beautiful place that’s perfect for nature lovers, and you’ll find it near the South Carolina State capital of Columbia.

Hiking Congaree National Park is easy and enjoyable. The most popular walk/hike in Congaree is no doubt the Boardwalk Trail. Other easy hikes and walking trails include Bluff Trail, Sims Trail, Bates Ferry Trail, Longleaf Trail, and Spur Trail.

Or take a canoe or kayak out on the Cedar Creek Canoe Trail.

Camping is the only way to sleep inside Congaree National Park since there are no hotels or lodges available there.

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My recommendation for a Congaree weekend is that you plan to stay in a hotel in the Columbia area. Here are a few options:

Residence Inn Columbia Northeast/Fort Jackson Area—The rooms are great here and the staff was quite helpful. For the money, we love how much space you get at Residence Inn hotels. They also offer a free breakfast.

Courtyard by Marriott Columbia Cayce—We love Marriott hotels, and I’ve never had a bad stay at a Courtyard. This particular Courtyard is only a few miles from the closest airport and it’s just about a 20-minute drive from Congaree.

TownePlace Suites Columbia Southeast/Fort Jackson—Situated a modest distance away from the nearby airport, this hotel is a good option for your stay. It’s conveniently located within 20 minutes of the Park and offers complimentary breakfast daily.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

People on a Hilton Head Island beach in the sun

Distance from Charleston: 105 miles

Approximate drive time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Hilton Head Island makes for a perfect weekend getaway from Charleston. It’s also one of my favorite places and one of my top picks among romantic getaways in the South.

Hilton Head is one of the best beach destinations in the U.S., and Travel + Leisure has named it one of the best islands in the continental U.S.

For public beach access check out Coligny Beach. It’s a designated swim area with free parking. The small park there is also quite charming.

Hilton Head Island also offers miles of recreational paths to explore. If biking is your thing you can even take your bike out onto the beach.

And don’t forget about all the delicious food there is to try here. We loved our dinner at A Lowcountry Backyard. They’re famous for their shrimp and grits and the Lowcountry boil.

There are a lot of wonderful places to choose from to stay at Hilton Head:

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia, historic oak tree lined dirt road.

Distance from Charleston: 110 miles

Approximate drive time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

For the perfect Southern getaway, look no further than a weekend in Savannah, Georgia.

The history, atmosphere, and Southern charm here make it a destination that’s pretty hard to beat in the South.

And the foooooood. What is there to say about the food? Just this…Even if you go to Savannah only for the food, you’ll drive away happy at the end of your weekend getaway.

Maybe try a food tour!

Top sites in Savannah include the Waving Girl Statue, River Street, Leopold’s Ice Cream, historic buildings and houses (too many to name quickly), and Forsyth Park.

And Savannah is one town where I would definitely recommend a history walking tour or a ghost tour (the locals will swear up and down that Savannah is one of the most haunted cities in America).

Savannah pairs well with Charleston for a lovely short road trip. And there are a lot of great things to do between Savannah and Charleston to round out that road trip itinerary.

Savannah is full of wonderful hotels and inns. Here are a few highly rated options:

Tybee Island, Georgia

Historic Tybee Island Light Station near Savannah, Georgia

Distance from Charleston: 125 miles

Approximate drive time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Easily the most popular day trip from Savannah, Tybee Island also makes a wonderful beach-y destination for a weekend trip from Charleston.

Check out my beach day essentials so that you don’t forget to pack anything.

Spend a tranquil weekend on Tybee Island, immersing yourself in the stunning natural scenery. It’s a popular spot for bird watching, sea kayaking, dolphin spotting, biking, fishing, and more.

And don’t miss your chance to visit the island’s most famous site, its lighthouse, which is the oldest and tallest in Georgia.

There are hundreds of hotel and motel rooms close to the beach. You’re sure to find something perfect for you. Here are a few highly rated options.

Augusta, Georgia

Augusta, Georgia, USA downtown scene at River Walk.

Distance from Charleston: 150 miles

Approximate drive time: 3 hours

While Augusta, Georgia, is undoubtedly best known as the home of the Masters golf tournament, there is much more to this town than its famously exclusive Augusta National golf club.

Stroll along the Augusta Riverwalk, explore the Augusta Museum of History, admire the artwork at the Morris Museum of Art, or venture along the Augusta Canal with a guided boat tour.

Here are a couple of options for where to spend your weekend trip to Augusta, Georgia.

Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina

Distance from Charleston: 135 miles

Approximate drive time: 3 hours

Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, is a fantastic destination for a weekend getaway. This charming coastal town is located on the southern coast of North Carolina and offers visitors a wide range of activities and attractions.

With its pristine beaches, beautiful waterfront views, and laid-back atmosphere, Ocean Isle is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, go fishing, play a round of golf, or explore the local shops and restaurants, there’s something for everyone in Ocean Isle Beach.

Plus, with its convenient location just a short drive from larger cities like Wilmington and Myrtle Beach, it’s easy to get there and enjoy all that this wonderful destination has to offer.

Vacation rentals are a popular option when staying at Ocean Isle Beach.

Ocean Isle Inn offers oceanfront accommodations with both indoor and outdoor pools.

Wilmington, North Carolina

wooden dock with railing on the river in Wilmington North Carolina

Distance from Charleston: 175 miles

Approximate drive time: 3 hours, 45 minutes

Wilmington, North Carolina, makes a great weekend getaway from Charleston, South Carolina, because of its natural beauty, historic charm, and variety of attractions.

Located less than four hours away from Charleston, Wilmington offers visitors a chance to explore its oak tree-lined historic streets, vibrant downtown, and gorgeous beaches.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, including tours of historic homes and gardens, harbor cruises, walking tours, and visits to museums and art galleries.

Additionally, Wilmington’s coastline, made up of small beach communities like Wrightsville Beach, Carolina, and Kure Beaches, is known for its natural beauty, water sports, and plenty of family-friendly activities.

Check out available vacation rentals here.

Jekyll Island, Georgia

many driftwood branches on a sandy beach

Distance from Charleston: 195 miles

Approximate drive time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Jekyll Island is the perfect weekend destination for beach and nature fans. It offers a variety of activities such as cycling, golfing, strolling along the sandy beaches, exploring historic houses, and more.

Jekyll Island is one of the “Golden Isles” barrier islands off the coast of Georgia that include St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island, and more.

Don’t miss Driftwood Beach on the northern end of the island or the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, which offers educational programs and works to rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured turtles.

Where should you stay on Jekyll Island? Here are a few popular options.

Jekyll Island Club Resort: enjoy a relaxing weekend at a historical 19th-century resort with beaches and biking trails nearby.

The Beachview Club Hotel faces the oceanfront and is just steps from Jekyll Island Oceanview Beach Park and half a mile from Great Dunes.

Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island offers 3-star accommodations with free breakfast, and it’s just steps from the South Dunes Beach Boardwalk and Picnic Area.

Charlotte, North Carolina

city street in Charlotte North Carolina

Distance from Charleston: 210 miles

Approximate drive time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

If you’re looking for a city break weekend getaway from Charleston, consider driving up to Charlotte, North Carolina.

From the vibrant Uptown district to beautiful greenspaces to historic sites, there really is a lot to do in the “Queen City.” Immerse yourself in the stunning Romare Bearden Park or explore the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Enjoy Uptown’s Liberty Walk, walk through UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens, pay a visit to the Billy Graham Library, or take in a concert at PNC Music Pavilion.

Here are a few ideas for where to stay in Charlotte:

  • The Ivey’s Hotel is located in the heart of Charlotte. It’s just steps from The Mint Museum Uptown.
  • The Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel is located right next to Romare Bearden Park in the center of Uptown Charlotte and offers boutique-style accommodations with modern amenities.
  • Holiday Inn Charlotte Center City is worth checking out for a budget-friendly option. This hotel is located close to all the attractions in Uptown Charlotte, but it won’t break the bank.

Greenville, South Carolina

bridge spanning small river with trees on the bank

Distance from Charleston: 215 miles

Approximate drive time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Greenville, South Carolina, is a great weekend getaway destination from Charleston. From its performing arts opportunities to award-winning restaurants, there’s much to enjoy during a weekend in Greenville.

Visit Falls Park on the Reedy before heading over to Main Street for some shopping and dining. And don’t miss taking in the Greenville County Museum of Art or exploring nature at one of the state parks close by.

The Westin Poinsett is a classic hotel choice in the heart of downtown Greenville.

Or try the new Grand Bohemian Lodge Greenville on the banks of the Reedy River in the center of town.

Amelia Island, Florida

Beach on Amelia Island in Northern Florida along the Atlantic Ocean

Distance from Charleston: 230 miles

Approximate drive time: 4 hours

A popular beach vacation destination in northeast Florida, Amelia Island boasts 13 miles of beautiful beaches. 

Amelia Island is a great romantic getaway from Charleston. Southern Living named it one of the 12 most romantic places in Florida.

The island is renowned for its stunning beaches, wildlife, clean water, and restaurants. It’s also famous for its world-class resorts. For example,

Jacksonville, Florida

The Historic Friendship Fountain on the St. Johns River against the Jacksonville, Florida skyline

Distance from Charleston: 240 miles

Approximate drive time: 4 hours

From kayaking on the St. Johns River to exploring the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve to shopping downtown, you won’t be short of things to do in Jacksonville, Florida.

Visit the world-renowned Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Friendship Fountain, the Museum of Science and History, Riverside Arts Market, and the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

The largest city in the United States by land area, “Jax” is also home to a whopping 22 miles of beachfront.

When looking for a place to stay in Jacksonville, Florida, you have plenty of options.

Asheville, North Carolina

Distance from Charleston: 270 miles

Approximate drive time: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Asheville, North Carolina, is my top choice among possible romantic getaways from Charleston, South Carolina.

Asheville is a must-visit destination with its relaxed vibe, amazing restaurants, and beautiful mountain location. Tucked away in the Blue Ridge, Asheville is a particularly great destination in the fall.

Hubby and I have spent four wedding anniversaries at Biltmore Estate. Because we got engaged at Biltmore, it holds a special place in our hearts. Read more about how to spend a weekend at Biltmore Estate.

There are many wonderful places to stay in Asheville, North Carolina.

St. Augustine, Florida

Old stone wall with stone pillars

Distance from Charleston: 275 miles

Approximate drive time: 4 hours, 45 minutes

St. Augustine, Florida, is a really fun town with plenty to do and lots to eat.

Those looking for fun and excitement in St. Augustine should look no further than its vibrant historic district and downtown area.

From the Spanish fortress Castillo de San Marcos to the many historic houses, museums, and other attractions there is plenty for you to see and do during your St. Augustine weekend getaway.

You’ll also find a lot of great places to eat like the popular Floridian Restaurant that features local food in a relaxed setting. And don’t miss out on The Hyppo for a sophisticated, gourmet popsicle.

Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta Georgia skyline

Distance from Charleston: 300 miles

Approximate drive time: 5 hours

Atlanta is a great idea for a weekend getaway from Charleston, especially for those who enjoy large cities.

There are so many things to do in Atlanta. “The Big A” offers visitors an exciting mix of history, culture, and entertainment. With its world-class museums and fun attractions, there’s truly something for everyone in Atlanta.

Top things to do include the world-famous Georgia Aquarium, Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site, professional sports, and the World of Coca-Cola.

There are many hotels in Atlanta you can choose from. Here are some of the top-rated options:

Braselton, Georgia

Distance from Charleston: 310 miles

Approximate drive time: 5 hours

Spending a weekend in Braselton, Georgia, is an ideal way to escape for a few days and relax.

This small town offers stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a revitalized downtown area, and proximity to nearby attractions such as Road Atlanta Raceway Park.

Braselton is probably best known as the home of Chateau Elan Resort, a beautiful hotel featuring luxurious rooms, spa treatments, golf, and more.

Helen, Georgia

Distance from Charleston: 310 miles

Approximate drive time: 5 hours, 10 minutes

Nestled in the beautiful North Georgia mountains, Helen is a tranquil alpine-style village with an abundance of things to do.

Helen has become well known as a top Christmas town and offers other special seasonal events and festivals. Don’t miss Anna Ruby Falls or have some fun tubing down the Chattahoochee River.

If you’re looking for B&B accommodations in the heart of town, try Black Forest Bed & Breakfast.

Or enjoy a romantic getaway focusing on North Georgia’s beautiful scenery at Valhalla Resort.

Cherokee, North Carolina

Mingo Falls cascading over rocks near Cherokee in North Carolina

Distance from Charleston: 310 miles

Approximate drive time: 5 hours, 10 minutes

Beautiful Cherokee, North Carolina, is a lovely place to stay in the Smokies. It offers stunning mountain views, as well as plenty of attractions and activities.

In addition to being a gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you’ll also be at the southern end of the famous and scenic Blue Ridge Parkway.

For a weekend in Cherokee, maybe try a cottage or cabin rental, but there are also some lovely local hotels and inns. Cherokee lodging options include:

  • Stonebrook Lodge: We enjoyed our stay at Stonebrook Lodge. It’s just minutes from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Offers free parking and a continental breakfast.
  • Great Smokies Inn: Just minutes from the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Rivers Edge Motel: A highly rated and affordable option on the Oconaluftee River and minutes from Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
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Final thoughts on weekend trips from Charleston, South Carolina

Taking weekend trips from Charleston, South Carolina, can be a great way to explore more of the surrounding area.

With so many amazing destinations within easy driving distance, there’s something for everyone on this list.

Whether you’re looking for relaxation or romance, these best weekend getaways from Charleston will leave you refreshed and ready to take on the world again.

So grab your bags, hop in the car, and explore all that this area has to offer.

What’s your favorite weekend trip from Charleston, South Carolina? Let me know in the comments!

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