Last Updated on January 1, 2023
In this post, I’ll list some of the very best day trips to take from Charleston, South Carolina! From Charleston to cities such as Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach, there are plenty of fun options.
These cities are known for their restaurants, shopping, attractions, boating, and golfing, among other things.
Often ranked as one of the best cities in the world, Charleston is a gorgeous port city in South Carolina. It’s the largest city in the state and has been around since the late 1600’s.
Charleston is rich in southern history, with many historical museums, colonial buildings, parks, and other attractions in the area.
The city is convenient to travel to. It’s fairly centralized in South Carolina along the Atlantic coast and has the Charleston International Airport.
Although Charleston is an iconic city and there’s so much to do, there are many places nearby that are worth traveling to.
Here are 7 day trips to take while around the South Carolina coast, all within a couple of hours or less of Charleston.
1. Edisto Island
While traveling from Charleston south to Hilton Head, be sure to check out Edisto Island, South Carolina.
Edisto Island is just a small island with around 3 miles of beach. It’s an hour’s drive southwest of Charleston and about a half hour off the main highway.
The drive is a bit off the beaten path but has its scenic parts.
Once you’re off the highway, the road is surrounded by trees and their branches hang over the road so you feel like you’re in a tunnel throughout parts of the drive.
You cross over the Atlantic intercoastal bridge on the way to the island. There are a lot of marshes in this region, too.
Once on Edisto Island, you can go to Edisto Beach State Park.
With over 1200 acres of park, this area is popular for camping, fishing, hiking trails, as well as the beach. There are cabins that guests can rent, too.
Getting some food at Coots Bar in Edisto Island
I also went to Coots Bar and Grill, for food and drinks. This restaurant is right along the Atlantic, and has a nice deck in the back with a great view, overlooking the ocean.
Coots is the only restaurant on the beach of Edisto Island and is a popular place for live music.
While here, you can walk the beach, too.
If you like learning about and seeing reptiles, Edisto Island has The Serpentarium which is all about these animals!
The Serpentarium was closed for hibernation when I was in the area, so I didn’t get to see it, but I still recommend doing this if you’re here on the island when they’re open.
It’s best to contact them before you visit since they have seasonal hours. They are currently open Thursday-Saturday from 11 am-3 pm. Phone 843-869-1171.
The Serpentarium has a number of attractions and lectures. They feature alligators, snakes, lizards, and turtles.
Edisto Island is a wonderful place to go if you want to avoid the huge beach crowds and big city vibe, as it’s pretty quiet and largely undeveloped.
Where To Eat In Edisto Island?
Coots Bar and Grill
The Waterfront Restaurant
Sea Cow Eatery
Other Things To Do In Edisto Island
Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve
2. Myrtle Beach
Another fun day trip to take from Charleston is to Myrtle Beach.
Myrtle Beach is a famous resort town about 2 hours north of Charleston. This area is known as The Grand Strand, which is 60 miles of beaches.
My family and I did a vacation in Myrtle Beach. We spent a week in the area, but there are plenty of fun things to do if you just want to spend a day in Myrtle Beach and take a day trip from Charleston!
If you’re looking for attractions, Myrtle Beach has the SkyWheel, a giant Ferris wheel, that gives you great views of the ocean, as well as the downtown area.
The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is downtown and is over a mile long! It’s filled with restaurants, shops, and other attractions.
Taking a stroll on The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk
Broadway at the Beach is another attraction that is just a few minutes from downtown.
This place has shopping, restaurants, as well as activities and entertainment for the whole family.
Where To Eat In Myrtle Beach?
Landshark Bar & Grill
Hook & Barrel
Other Things To Do In Myrtle Beach
Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum
Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show
Visit the Hollywood Wax Museum
Where to stay in Myrtle Beach- Boardwalk Beach Resort
7 Day Trips From Charleston SC To Take In 2023
Beaufort, South Carolina is a beautiful town on Port Royal Island.
It’s just under an hour and a half southwest of Charleston, and from here it’s only another 45 minutes to Hilton Head.
With its southern charm and downtown area with historic buildings, Beaufort is a great place to see.
Downtown, there are plenty of boutiques, shops, and restaurants to go to.
While here, you can take a carriage tour of the area and also visit the Henry C. Chambers Park, a waterfront park on the Beaufort River.
Exploring the downtown shops of Beaufort, South Carolina
Downtown Beaufort really keeps the history alive, with many of the current businesses using the old buildings as their home.
You’re not going to find chains like McDonald’s or Buffalo Wild Wings downtown.
There are local businesses downtown such as Lost Local or Panini’s on the Waterfront, which operates in the old bank building.
This area is all within walking distance and several of the restaurants have patios that overlook the park and water.
Where To Eat In Beaufort?
Panini’s on the Waterfront
Old Bull Tavern
Other Things To Do In Beaufort
Beaufort History Museum
Lots of options for tours- History, Cultural, Movie, and City Tours
Where to stay in Beaufort- The Beaufort Inn
4. Hilton Head Island
Charleston to Hilton Head is a fun day trip to take!
I spent 3 days in Hilton Head Island during my latest trip. The city is 2 hours south of Charleston, but definitely worth the drive!
Hilton Head Island is only 12 miles long, but with close to 60 miles of biking trails, lots of golf courses, and beaches, it feels much bigger when you’re on the island.
Coligny Beach Park is a nice place to see and has lots of shops and over 15 restaurants nearby.
The beach itself has several pavilions and seats if you just want to relax away from the water.
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, there is evening entertainment every day at the Coligny Beach area.
Other beaches nearby on the island include Burkes Beach and Driessen Beach Park.
If you’re looking for a quieter, more secluded beach in the area, Mitchelville Beach (pictured above) is a great option and is located on the northeastern tip of the island.
View from the top of the Lighthouse at Harbor Town
Sea Pines is a resort community on the island worth going to. It’s a nice area with stunning views.
This resort is home to Harbour Town, arguably, the most well-known attraction on the island.
Harbour Town has several waterfront shops and restaurants, as well as the lighthouse and pier.
It was $9 to visit Sea Pines for the day but they offer passes for longer stays too.
If you’re looking for more shops and restaurants, then Shelter Cove is an excellent place.
There is also a waterfront park at this town centre to explore.
Where To Eat In Hilton Head?
Salty Dog Cafe
For more amazing restaurants in Hilton Head, go here!
Other Things To Do In Hilton Head
South Beach Marina Village in Sea Pines- waterfront area full of shops and restaurants.
Coastal Discovery Museum- Free museum that has exhibits and information on the history and wildlife of the area. There are walking trails here, too.
Where to stay in Hilton Head Island– Holiday Inn Express
5. Murrells Inlet
When traveling from Charleston to Myrtle Beach, be sure to stop at Murrells Inlet for some fun!
Murrells Inlet is an hour and 45 minutes away north of Charleston along the coast.
This little city was just a fishing village for many years but has since expanded throughout the years, and is now more popular for tourists.
My family and I actually stayed in Murrells Inlet on our family vacation. It’s just about 20 minutes south of Myrtle Beach.
We stayed close to Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk, a great place to go with restaurants, bars, and live music. This is all on a 1/2 mile boardwalk on the water with awesome views.
The restaurants here are known for their seafood of course. The first week of March 2021 was the first year of Marsh Walk Restaurant Week, where these local restaurants are highlighted.
All of the restaurants on the boardwalk have special menus and offer deals on seafood and 3-course meal options.
While in the area, be sure to go to Huntington Beach State Park, 2500 acres of park, trails, and a big beach area.
This park is a popular place to go for bird watching. There’s also a gift shop and a campground here, too.
Where To Eat In Murrells Inlet?
The Claw House
Other Things To Do In Murrells Inlet
Where to stay in Murrells Inlet- The Inlet Sports Lodge
Bluffton is about an hour and 50 minutes south of Charleston and just a 15-minute drive to Hilton Head.
The Old Town area is the original part of Bluffton before the city expanded later on.
It’s a nice area to check out with the older buildings that are here.
You can get a drink at the Calhoun Street Tavern and grab some food at Captain Woody’s or some pizza at Local Pie, next door.
Or you can try some ribs at Bluffton BBQ, a barbecue joint just a few doors down.
If you’re looking for shopping, Bluffton also has the Tanger Outlets shopping center, with several chain stores.
Where To Eat In Bluffton?
Other Things To Do In Bluffton
Southern Barrel Brewing Company
Where to stay in Bluffton– Holiday Inn Express
7. Folly Beach
If you’re looking for a fun city close to Charleston, with a lively downtown area and entertainment, then look no further than Folly Beach!
Folly Beach, known as “the Edge of America”, is 6 miles of beaches along the Atlantic.
It’s about a 15-minute drive south of Charleston, and a popular place on the east coast for surfing.
Take a stroll along the beach and check out the pier that’s currently under construction.
Center Street in Folly Beach offers some fantastic local restaurants and shops. St. James Irish Pub is a well-known local bar on this main drag.
From seafood restaurants to tacos or pizza, this area has you covered!
The Center Street area is within walking distance of the beach and the pier. I just paid $5 about a block from the beach for all-day parking.
Where To Eat In Folly Beach?
Crosby’s Fish & Shrimp Company
Other Things To Do In Folly Beach
Flipper Finders Boat & Sea Kayak Tour Company- Boat and kayak tours
Where to stay in Folly Beach– Tides
Enjoying a night in Folly Beach
7 Day Trips From
Charleston SC To Take In 2023
Hilton Head Island
Other Places I Recommend But Didn’t Travel To
Kiawah Island- 45 minutes southwest of Charleston
Wadmalaw Island- 30 minutes southwest of Charleston
Where To Stay In Charleston
If you’re looking for a hotel while in Charleston, I stayed at and recommend Fairfield Inn & Suites. It’s a nice place for those on a budget!
7 Day Trips From Charleston SC
To Take In 2023
There are plenty of awesome day trips for yourself or the whole family, that you can take from Charleston!
From Charleston, head north to Myrtle Beach or south to Hilton Head and check out the many points along the way.
Many of these cities have fun things to do for days if you want to turn your day trip into a weekend!
To see more day trips, go here!