The perfect Palmetto State road trip starts, ironically, in North Carolina. Begin your trek in eclectic Asheville and you’ll be in perfect position to capture South Carolina’s beauty as you cruise down through the mountains and across the state border.
Stop in Greenville, South Carolina and experience an urban oasis that resembles the wilderness you just left behind: Falls Park on the Reedy, a cluster of walking trails, waterfalls and gardens running right through town. When you re-emerge into the city, you can’t go wrong at any number of restaurants along South Main or Augusta Streets, but we recommend finding some barbecue slathered in Carolina-style mustard-based sauce.
Ready to roll? Veer toward Columbia, the state capital and home to The University of South Carolina. Campus backs right up to town on University Hill, and the adjacent Five Points district is popular with students and tourists alike. Take a lap around the historic South Carolina State House, then head for the coast.
That’s where Charleston awaits, a stunning seaside town steeped in culture and history. Tour Fort Sumter to understand how the Civil War began, then visit popular Poogan’s Porch for elegant southern cuisine in a former mansion downtown. Take a Charleston ghost tour to learn about the dark side of the city’s history, then become a beach bum – our favorite spot is Folly Beach south of town, but if you want a swankier vibe, turn north toward Isle of Palms.
Wake up the next day and roll into Lost Dog Café on Folly Beach for the best pineapple pancakes you’ve ever tasted, then become a full-time beach bum; Folly is family-friendly and laid-back, the perfect end to your journey through the Palmetto State.