Rich with history, dense with beauty, and brimming with beach-themed activities, Charleston, South Carolina and its surrounding area is a worthwhile destination for anyone in the mood for a sunny, southern-tinged, and relaxing vacation. Whether you settle down in the city or on the beach, you’ll be happy to call this blessed bit of land your temporary home.
The weather is fine and dandy year-round and there is much to do that will allow you to take advantage of this. Most people do end up coming for the summer, though, when the beach is at its best and it feels most appropriate to let responsibilities fade into the background for a few precious days. Follow the city folk to a place where swimming, shopping, and eating seafood take first priority and forget all about less important things.
You’ve heard it’s historic, but what exactly will you see in Charleston? Homes that are hundreds of years old, preserved plantations, churches, museums and a general atmosphere of charm and hospitality will greet you around every corner of your downtown adventure. Take a guided tour of a rice field, the crop responsible for making this city successful, and keep your eyes open for the wildlife that inhabits the abandoned gardens today.
Also on dry land you’ll find tons of tennis courts, golf courses, and bike paths. Rent a cycle and cross the longest cable-stayed bridge on the continent (don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds) or hop on a horse and take a trail ride through a picturesque park. If these activities tire you out, book a spa treatment and get pampered, or burn off some steam by going for a walk or a run along the beach. Mother Nature is a friendly figure in Charleston, so get out and enjoy her riches.
On the water, there’s perhaps even more to keep you busy and to reconnect you to the natural world. No experience is necessary to rent a kayak and head out for a one-of-a-kind tour of the Carolina coastline, where you’ll likely encounter dolphins, osprey, and river otter. Whether guided or not, as you explore the waters of the barrier islands you’ll learn something about where you are while forgetting about where you’re not (the cubicle, the office, the dry cleaner’s… ). Birds and alligators have a way of taking you to a whole new level of consciousness, and that’ll be a very good thing.
If you like to fish, there are plenty of places to charter a boat for a day of reeling in a few great catches. Head out into the open sea or stick to shore in a canoe; either way you’ll feel happy to be alive. Catch a whopper, watch the experts do their thing, learn to sail, or even choose to step onboard a dinner cruise where you’ll be treated to a fresh meal while you watch the sun go down. Boating is a way of living here, so be sure to bring your sea legs.
A sillier water activity involves heading to the area water park for some slipping and sliding, and there’s always time for some old-fashioned playing around on the beach. Build a sand castle or roll up your shorts and go for a wade, as long as you take advantage of this time on the ocean you’ll feel that your vacation has been complete. Sand and surf aren’t available every day, remember.
Charleston is known for much more than all of this, including dining options, culinary classes, and special events and festivals. Shop for souvenirs, look at local art, catch a movie or a show, or take a day trip to a nearby resort area. You and your traveling companions will be as busy as you want, or more importantly, as busy as you don’t want.