Spring Break Road Trip Ideas Under 5 Hours Away

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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:

Charlotte, NC:

Things to do: Discovery Place Science, Discovery Place Nature, Carolinas Aviation Museum, Carolina Raptor Center, Tiger World, ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin CenterDaniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium, Carowinds

Places to eat: Kindred (kids are greeted with house-made play dough!), 7thStreet Public Market, The Cowfish, Stewart Penick’s Terrace, Chuy’s, Bulla Gastrobar

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)

Wilmington, NC:

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 BizarreWilmington Trolley, Cape Fear Museum of History & Science

Places to eat: Copper Penny, Flaming Amy’s Burrito Barn, The Peppered Cupcake, The Little Dipper (fondue), Anne Bonny’s Bar and Grill (Wilmington’s only floating bar & restaurant!), The Reel Cafe

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!)

Asheville, NC:

Things to do: WNC Nature Center, Asheville Pinball Museum, Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor CenterNorth Carolina Arboretum, Woolworth Walk, Asheville Treetops Adventure Park, Asheville’s Best Gem Mine, Asheville Museum of Science, Biltmore Waterfall

Places to eat: French Broad Chocolate LoungeStable Café(at Biltmore Estate), Early Girl Eatery, Asheville Pizza & Brewing Company, Farm Burger, Ben’s Tune UpTupelo Honey Cafe

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

Greenville, SC:

Things to do: Greenville Zoo, Falls Park on the ReedyCedar Falls Park, Roper Mountain Science Center, The Peace Center, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, Frankie’s Fun Park

Places to eat: Runway Café, Treehouse Café, Monkey Wrench Smokehouse, Smoky Dreams, Maple Street Biscuit Company, Smoke on the WaterSwamp Rabbit Café, Adams Bistro, Happy + Hale

Where to stay: The Westin Poinsett, Aloft Greenville Downtown, Courtyard by Marriott

Myrtle Beach, SC:

Things to do: Broadway at the Beach, SkyWheel, Chapin Park, Ripley’s Aquarium, Myrtle Beach State ParkMyrtle Beach Boardwalk, The Market Common, Hollywood Wax Museum, WonderWorksRipley’s Believe It or Not!, Myrtle Waves Waterpark

Places to eat: Bodo’s German RestaurantMargaritaville, Hard Rock Café, SoHo, Dagwood’s Deli, Bummz on the Beach, Sea Captains House

Where to stay: Caribbean Resort, Breaker’s Resort, Paradise Resort, Hampton Inn & Suites, Dunes Village Resort

Hilton Head, SC:

Things to do: Coastal Discovery Museum, Harbour Town Lighthouse, The Sandbox,A tomic VR Arcade, Dolphin Tours – Nature Cruises, Lawton Stables, Beaches

Places to eat: Carolina Crab Company, Fishcamp on Broad Creek, Kenny B’s French Quarter Café, Salty Dog Café, Skull Creek Boathouse, A Lowcountry Backyard, CharBar Co.

Where to stay: Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort, Omni Hilton Head, Palmetto Dunes Resort, Sonesta Resort, Inn & Club at Harbour Town

Savannah, GA:

Things to do: Georgia State Railroad Museum, Visit Tybee Island, Savannah Belles Ferry, Savannah Children’s Museum, Forsyth ParkOatland Island Wildlife Center, Old Fort Jackson, Savannah Visitor’s Center, City MarketReynolds Square, University of Georgia Marine Education Center and Aquarium

Places to eat: Leopold’s Ice Cream, The Pirates’ House, Goose Feathers Café, The 5 Spot, Sweet Potatoes, Betty Bombers, Clary’s Café, B&D Burgers, Spanky’s Pizza Gallery and Saloon

Where to stay: The DeSoto, Andaz Savannah, River Street Inn, Hotel Indigo, Hyatt Regency, Hilton Garden Inn

Atlanta, GA:

Things to do: World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Georgia Aquarium, Chattahoochee Nature Center, Southeastern Railway Museum, Legoland Discovery CenterStone Mountain Park, Piedmont Park, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Children’s Museum of Atlanta, Centennial Olympic ParkZoo Atlanta, Museum of Design

Places to eat: Bocado Burger, Community Q BBQAntico, 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

Where to stay: Atlanta Marriott Alpharetta, Omni Hotel Atlanta, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, The WhitleyLanier Islands

Jacksonville, FL:

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

Places to eat: The Bearded Pig BBQ, Bravoz, Engine 15 Brewing, Epik Burger, Homespun Kitchen, Moon River Pizza, The Pier Cantina and Sandbar, Taco Lu, Your Pie, M Shack, Dreamette

Where to stay: Ponte Vedra Inn & ClubThe 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!

Have you been to any of these spots? What’s your favorite? Feel free to leave any recommendations in the comments below!

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