Because when it’s cold outside, we spend most of our time in our tiny metal tube, so we thought it would be nice to take said tube to warmer climes for a few weeks. Where should we go?
Our trip will begin and end in Central VA, so for any of the options we could spend a night in Charlotte at this centrally-located campground, close to the hipster areas north of Uptown (which is what Charlotte calls its downtown, of course), near four or five breweries. If you’ve read anything we’ve written here, you know that proximity to breweries is one of the first things we check when comparing potential stopover locations.
Trip Option #1 would take us to Coastal South Carolina and Georgia. We could spend a few days at each stop, or pick fewer to be able to settle in for a longer stay at each. Have you been to any of these campgrounds or locations? Do you have any favorites you can share?
Coastal South Carolina
This family-focused county park is 15 minutes outside downtown Charleston, making it a very convenient base for exploration. It’s also under about 40 minutes from the resort island of Kiawah. The Charleston area is about a 7-hour drive from Central VA, and has all sorts of opportunities for eating, drinking, wandering down cobblestone streets, running past seaside antebellum mansions, and soaking up history. For specific ideas, the New York Times travel section has a recent 36 Hours feature on Charleston (those are my favorites for a quick overview of a town).
Hilton Head Island
Working our way down the East Coast, the next stop could be Hilton Head Island, a resort island known for golf and tennis. You could explore the island on bikes and frolic on the beach, and if you need to escape, Savannah is less than an hour away. (Slightly outdated, but still helpful NYT 36 Hours article here.)
Tuck in the Wood looks like a serene and lovely spot close to the quaint Southern town of Beaufort. Explore the narrow streets of historic Beaufort and the Sea Islands beyond, or even pop over to Savannah, an hour away. There’s no NYT 36 Hours for Beaufort, but it did make the NYT 52 Places to Go in 2016 list.
This scenic park on the intracoastal waterway is just outside Savannah, and an hour from the beaches of Tybee Island if you need a beach fix. Savannah has plenty to keep you busy with eating, drinking, and history; here’s a cheat sheet.
The farthest south point on this itinerary is Jekyll Island, an hour and a half south of Savannah, and three hours south of Charleston. It’s an eight-hour drive home from there. Jekyll was once the playground of tycoons such as the Rockefellers, Morgans, Astors, and Vanderbilts, but after WWII the island fell out of favor with the fancy people and the state bought it to turn it into a park. Now the island is home to a historic village surrounded by beaches, golf, options for outdoor activities such as biking, kayaking, and hiking, and nature preserves. (We ended up visiting Jekyll Island in January 2022.)
Next we’ll look at some campgrounds in Florida!