Charleston Travel Guide
We had a beautiful week in March to explore Charleston. Camping in the Pop Up was perfect for early South Carolina spring weather, except for the pollen that coated everything in a fine green powder all week. Here are the attractions that we would recommend to any travelers to the Charleston-area.
Mount Pleasant/Charleston KOA
This KOA Holiday is very nice. It has two playgrounds, a fishing and boating lake, a nature trail, and a community room. The tent sites are huge and the RV sites are typical for a KOA. Maybe the biggest downside for this KOA was the location. It was a beautiful location, but didn’t seem very close to the attractions we wanted to see. As a result, we did a lot of driving during the week.
Wild Blue Ropes
This is a ropes course just outside of Charleston, on the way to Folly Beach. They have courses for most skill levels including a course for small children and three additional levels of difficulty on the main course. The staff is amazing. They do a great job showing ‘you the ropes’ before you get started and are around the course the whole time to offer encouragement. Mitchell was done before the rest of the family, so he hung out with a couple of the team members at the start of the course. They advertise 72 obstacles you can face on the course, which kept us entertained for over three hours. If you are brave, strap into the auto belay and jump 35 feet from the top of the course. Our group – ranging from six to over sixty years old all enjoyed the course and put it high on our list for our next Charleston trip.
Charles Towne Landing
We debated touring a plantation. We decided against it and instead visited Charles Towne Landing. You’ll see a small zoo with animals’ native to the area, climb aboard a ship, the Adventure, and view beautiful landscapes. Including the main trail and side trails, there are several miles you can cover on the property. We brought bikes and were pleased we did.
Marrington Plantation Mountain Bike Trail
The full loop of this bike trail is marked as 13.2 miles, plus many miles of additional secondary trails. We rode about seven miles, covering about half of the main trail prior to catching a road back to the parking lot. Most of the loop is a mix of swampy marshland and pine forest. The terrain of the main trail is not too difficult to bike, but it is a bit bumpy due to the pine roots present. You’ll want to make sure you bicycle can handle the terrain. Helmets are required on the trail. We found this ride to be a lot of fun and were able to spot wildlife including a couple young alligators.
Sesame Burgers and Beer
Here it is, the first of our two burger joints that we loved in Charleston. We love visiting the East Coast for the seafood and visiting the South for comfort food. But at Sesame, the burgers are great and worth a visit – or two. We ate at the Mount Pleasant location – twice in the same day. This is a first for us, we never eat at the same place twice, and absolutely not on the same day. The menu is simple: good quality burgers, sandwiches, and salads. The service is quick and good. The beer menu is substantial, featuring a lot of local crafts, including a local cider, which has become something we enjoy. Try Sesame, and see if you are drawn back again too.
Beach parking in the area is different. You can basically park in the yard of almost any house as long as you don’t block the road or driveway. This worked well. But for a quick beach trip late in the afternoon, we discovered the IOP Park. This is a paid parking lot that closes promptly at 6pm. But the access to facilities and easy parking make it worth a few dollars. The beach facilities included restrooms, showers, changing areas, and a nice playground. The beach here was nice. It marked the divide between condos and rentals and the private residences of the island. Compared to Folly Beach, IOP is the quiet, family beach.
Poe’s is the second burger joint I mentioned. To be fair, they do have a big menu, but you will struggle to ignore the burger offerings; and their burgers are top notch! The toppings are creative and playful. Jessica loved the Annabel Lee burger that was topped with a crab cake. The interior is fun, plastered with Edgar Allan Poe pictures and works. The bathrooms have readings of Poe’s work playing, which was more than enough to encourage us to read “Eldorado” and “Annabel Lee” to the kids while we waited.
Aside from this list, we did the staples of any trip to the area: the Historic District, City Market, Color District, King Street, Waterfront Park, Fort Sumter, Patriots Point, beaches at IOP, Sullivan’s Island, and Folly Beach, the Angel Oak. We had a failed attempt at getting onto Kiwaw Island; if you want to see the most expensive zip code in South Carolina, you’ll need to show up to the access gate with a good reason why they should let you proceed.
We think Charleston was a great trip and worthy of a return visit once we get our Cricket Trailer!
Shane and Jessica
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