I’ve always loved Charleston SC, so any trip I could make to get back there I always consider worth it. But when planning a 5-hour drive Monday morning to just turn around and drive another 5 hours back Tuesday night, with the daunting task of unpacking and repacking a tent by myself, I wondered if it was true. I had only 30 hours to explore this city full of live oaks and Federal style charm.
I didn’t really have a plan besides going to see a few house museums, the Angel Oak, and the Charleston Tea Plantation. I didn’t know which museums or where I was even camping.
This was big for me; I’m a huge planner so not knowing where I was going to sleep was unnerving. Not only that, but this was the first time I had camped alone.
I started thinking maybe I was crazy this time, but I took a deep breath and pushed forward anyway. I was determined to see Charleston come hell or high water!
My trip down there took longer than expected because of all the historical markers I pulled over for on the way. So I didn’t make it there until noon. The hope was to make it there earlier so it felt like I had an entire day there. I had driven a long way to only stay one night and I had plenty I wanted to do!
My main plan was to see a few house museums, the Battery and White Point Gardens, a cemetery, the Angel Oak, and tour a tea plantation. I actually ended up seeing 3 house museums, a tour of the old exchange building, 2 parks, a few cemeteries, the tea plantation, the Angel oak, and a quick stop by the beach!
It sounds like I rushed myself, but honestly, I didn’t feel rushed. Somehow it worked out. As I walked to the battery I just ran across numerous house tours that were about to start when I got there. I wish I could have stayed longer at the beach, but I really hadn’t planned on even seeing the beach.
The most difficult part of the trip was definitely the camping part. Now don’t get me wrong, I love camping, but after my first day of driving and walking all over the city, I was TIRED. The last thing I wanted to do was unpack and set up a tent.
Luckily, I made it to the campground just before they closed and got myself a spot. I honestly considered just sleeping in the car, but they had a sign up saying that wasn’t allowed.
The facilities at the campground were nice but it isn’t a place specializing in tent camping. It was more of a RV park with some spots for tents. The tent section was in a big clearing with a parking lot next to it. So I couldn’t drive up to my spot to make things easier. I had to lug all my gear into the clearing and pick out a spot. My poor tired feet picked the spot closest to the parking lot.
The next day I went to see the beach and tour some more sites! I did so much during this trip, it’s insane. Other than my sore feet I didn’t get stressed or feel like I pushed myself too hard.
Would I do it again? Hell yes! I learned a lot and had so much fun. It just goes to show you sometimes a trip over just the span of two days can really be worth it, even if it’s 5 hours away!
My 30 Hours in Charleston Schedule
6:30 am Started my trip
Saw 6 historical markers on the way
12:00 pm Arrived at Visitor Center
12:30 pm Aiken-Rhett House Museum $12
1:30 pm Ate lunch across from Visitor’s Center: Mexican Breakfast Burrito $10
2:00 pm Joseph Manigault House Museum $12
4:00 pm The Old Exchange Building $10
5:30 pm Walked along Rainbow Row and the Battery and White Point Gardens
6:30 pm Walked back to Visitor’s Center: parking was $14
Dinner: Cliff Bar $2
Breakfast: Cliff Bar $2
7:00 am Beach
9:00 am Angel Oak
10:00 am Charleston Tea Plantation
Lunch: Packed Lunch from Home
12:00 pm Drayton Hall House Museum $11 (discounted National Trust for Historic Preservation member ticket, saved $11)
3:00 pm Hampton Park
4:00 pm Magnolia Cemetery
6:00 pm Headed back to NC
Dinner: Fast food on the way back $6
$108 plus gas