That week in March is upon us. You know, the one where the kids have a whole entire week off of school, and we are just finally starting to relax after the busy holiday season? (Yes, I’m pretty sure once you hit your 30’s and have kids, it takes that long to recover). So what? Now we are getting restless! We gotta get out of here! As Charlestonians, we are pretty lucky to not only already live in vacationland, but we are also within close proximity to many great destinations.
No need to hop an airplane when we can be halfway to the destination by the time flight wheels go up. Not to mention, driving is WAY more cost-effective and if you’re planning on staying in a pet-friendly Airbnb, you can even bring Fido.
Here’s a list of great destinations, all with a drive time of fewer than five hours from Charleston:
Things to do: Discovery Place Science, Discovery Place Nature, Carolinas Aviation Museum, Carolina Raptor Center, Tiger World, ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium, Carowinds
Where to stay: Great Wolf Lodge (boasts indoor waterparks, kid-friendly activities, and more!), Omni Hotel (kids are greeted with a backpack of goodies + receive milk and cookies delivered to their guest room!), Tyron Park Hotel (pet-friendly + a yoga mat in every room!), Camp Wilderness (Carowinds)
Things to do: Battleship North Carolina, Airlie Gardens, Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park, Wilmington Railroad Museum, Children’s Museum of Wilmington, Tregembo Animal Park, Wilmington Water Tours, Wrightsville Beach Park, Museum of the Bizarre, Wilmington Trolley, Cape Fear Museum of History & Science
Where to stay: Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort (milk and cookie delivery for kids!), Best Western Coastline Inn (next door to the Wilmington Railroad Museum), Blockade Runner(offers packages with excursions, adventures for kids, and babysitting services!)
Things to do: WNC Nature Center, Asheville Pinball Museum, Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center, North Carolina Arboretum, Woolworth Walk, Asheville Treetops Adventure Park, Asheville’s Best Gem Mine, Asheville Museum of Science, Biltmore Waterfall
Where to stay: The Omni Grove Park Inn (kids are greeted with a backpack of goodies + receive milk and cookies delivered to their guest room!), Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds, Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate
Myrtle Beach, SC:
Things to do: Broadway at the Beach, SkyWheel, Chapin Park, Ripley’s Aquarium, Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, The Market Common, Hollywood Wax Museum, WonderWorks, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Myrtle Waves Waterpark
Hilton Head, SC:
Things to do: Georgia State Railroad Museum, Visit Tybee Island, Savannah Belles Ferry, Savannah Children’s Museum, Forsyth Park, Oatland Island Wildlife Center, Old Fort Jackson, Savannah Visitor’s Center, City Market, Reynolds Square, University of Georgia Marine Education Center and Aquarium
Things to do: World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Georgia Aquarium, Chattahoochee Nature Center, Southeastern Railway Museum, Legoland Discovery Center, Stone Mountain Park, Piedmont Park, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Children’s Museum of Atlanta, Centennial Olympic Park, Zoo Atlanta, Museum of Design
Places to eat: Bocado Burger, Community Q BBQ, Antico, Trader Vic’s, Medieval Times, The Varsity, The Sun Dial Restaurant, Miss Gogi, Howell’s Kitchen and Bar, Varuni Napoli, Arepa Mia, Folk Art Restaurant
Things to do: Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, Adventure Landing, Peterbrooke Chocolatier Production Center, Museum of Science and History, Timucuan Preserve, Catty Shack Ranch, Little Talbot Island State Park, Friendship Fountain, River Arts Market, Hands on Children’s Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art
Where to stay: Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, The Lodge & Club at Ponte Vedra Beach, Omni Amelia Island, Sawgrass Marriott, One Ocean Resort & Spa, The Villas of Amelia Island Plantation, Homewood Suites, Aloft Jacksonville
Maybe you want the fun and adventure, but don’t feel like driving? Check out some great tips on planning a Charleston staycation and great ideas for free (or cheap) things to do with kids around Charleston!