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Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Charleston

July 21, 2012 6:00 AM

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Take a horse-drawn carriage down the street between the bay and a row of narrow, brightly painted houses set among a 350 years of the nation’s history right here in South Carolina. Charleston’s antiquated architecture, rich historical offerings and even its people promise a trip you won’t soon forget. From shotgun houses to Rainbow Row, even the simplest neighborhood boasts a bit of a draw here. A city so rich with the history of military battles, pirates, dignataries and socialites is worthy of the scores of books that have been written about it, and more than worthy of a weekend getaway. Eat, drink, stay and play this weekend in Charleston.

Getting There

Take I-77/I-21 south toward Columbia for roughly 100 miles, then follow signs for and merge onto I-26 east toward Charleston, following it in. Expect to be on the road for about four hours, barring construction — aka all of summer — and holiday traffic when these roads get congested.

What To See And Do

magnolia plantation Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Charleston

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Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
3550 Ashley River Road
Charleston, S.C. 29414
(800) 367-3517

Price: $15 ages 13 and older/$10 kids 6 to 12/free children younger than 6/$8 each additional tour

While there are several plantations around Charleston, this is one of the largest and most popular, and offers the greatest variety of tours. At Magnolia, tour the historic house, or take the nature train around the landscape, the nature boat through the rice field (and see gators up close!), the swamp tour or the Slavery To Freedom tour, which explores a street lined with slave cabins. A basic admission ticket gives one access to the gardens, the conservatory, the petting zoo, the peacock cafe and the old African American cabin.

palmetto carriage tours Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Charleston

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Palmetto Carriage Company
8 Guignard Street
Charleston, S.C. 29401
(800) 979-3370

Price: from $15

If you book your carriage tour in advance, you may snag up to four hours of free parking. This carriage tour offers guides that are both knowledgeable about Charleston History, as well as witty. Tours include the residential district, commercial district, harbor tour (aboard the historic Carolina Belle), and a ghost tour. Because these tours tend to fill quickly, early booking is encouraged.

Related: Car Games for Your Next Road Trip


the battery carriage house Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Charleston

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The Battery Carriage House
20 S. Battery
Charleston, S.C. 29401
(843) 727-3100

Click here for prices and availability

For those wishing to stay in a historic, upscale bed and breakfast, one can not do better than The Battery Carriage House Inn. There are 11 guest rooms, each different from the others and each with its own private entrance, which opens onto a brick-lined carriageway leading to the Charleston gardens. A continental breakfast is served to the private rooms on a silver tray, or in the garden under the rose arbor. Comfortable cotton bathrobes are provided for guests for that little extra bit of luxury every traveler loves.

creekside lands inn Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Charleston

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Creekside Lands Inn
2545 Savannah Highway
Charleston, S.C. 29414
(843) 763-8885

Click here for pricing and availability

Located within a 10-minute drive of the Historic District and the Battery, Creekside Lands Inn is the perfect blend of an economic but comfortable stay. The land is covered by oaks draped with Spanish moss. Much of the Spanish moss was blown out of Charleston years ago by Hurricane Hugo, so this is a real treat. Running beside the inn is Long Branch Creek, a tidal saltwater creek, with a dock for crabbing. A continental breakfast is available each morning.


screen shot 2012 06 22 at 12 46 43 pm1 Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Charleston

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Poogan’s Porch
72 Queen Street
Charleston, S.C. 29401
(843) 577-2337

Poogan’s Porch has been recognized by Martha Stewart Living, Wine Spectator and The Travel Channel. Promising a fresh approach to low-country cuisine, expect delicious weekend brunches, lunches and dinners every time. The restaurant was named for a neighborhood dog who claimed the porch of the house as his own and lived there after the restaurant opened in 1976. Poogan died a natural death in 1979, but the restaurant lives on, named in his honor.

tommy condons Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Charleston

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Tommy Condon’s
160 Church Street
Charleston, S.C. 29401
(843) 577-3818

Tommy Condon’s is an Irish restaurant and pub, conveniently located on Church Street. Enjoy an outdoor covered deck, an indoor pub section or its interior dining room toward the back. This pub is still very family friendly, even offering a children’s menu. The dinner menu is inexpensive, averaging around $10 per entree. Tommy Condon’s is located half a block from the historic market.

Related: Road Trip Rules

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Vincent Eagan, III is a minister who has preached and taught Jesus in 30 states and Peru over the last 15 years. He currently lives in Monroe, NC, and is working on his MTh in Theology. He has been a life-long student of the Bible and other religious texts, and loves to discuss history. His work can be found at

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