Nailing down an identity for the South Carolinian city of Charleston is tough. It's a classic Southern city through and through, but it's not at all stuffy. It's also a beach town, with sunny stretches of shoreline and seafood joints galore... but it's devoid of the kitsch that marks other oceanside settlements. Charleston is just Charleston, and that's what makes it so great. Not to mention the fact that the city boasts incredible cuisine, one-of-a-kind historic architecture, and picture-perfect beaches. Experience the Holy City's unique blend of old-school Southern soul and laid-back beach fun as you explore.
Charleston KOA Holiday
For a trip to the ever-so-charming city of Charleston, Kampgrounds of America has you covered. After a day of horse-drawn carriages and southern hospitality in the city, you'll find plenty of activities and a warm, homey environment waiting for you back at your campsite. The Charleston KOA Holiday offers guests a pool, and plenty of outdoor games and events throughout the summer that the entire family will enjoy. In a location you can't beat, you'll be able to start each day nearby everything on your Charleston bucket list. For those without a tent or RV, the Deluxe Cabins will cater to any overnight guest wanting to stay on the spacious grounds. And don't forget to pick up some s'mores fixings to bring along!
Said to be one of America's most beautiful gardens, Magnolia Plantation was founded in 1676, and for decades has graced Charleston with its gorgeous features and romantic stylings. A trip to the gardens will leave you wanting to plan your next event or wedding here! A petting zoo, theater, and cafe are just some of the offerings you'll want to check out, in addition to the abundant seasonal flowers. Take a train through the ground's lakes and forests, a boat tour across the wetlands, or learn about the Gullah culture at the Magnolia's Cabin Project, which features houses from the 1800s. It's evident that love and care have been put into this property for years and years, and the preservation of the rich history of the area alone is worth a visit.
Charleston's famous Rainbow Row is a block of gorgeous historic homes which have had their beauty enhanced by colorful paint jobs. The project began with the Society for the Preservation of Old Dwellings painting historic homes pastel colors to keep the structures cool in the hot sun in the 1930s. The scene quickly attracted the attention of tourists and local artists alike. What was once considered slum land by many after the Civil War is now a restored and iconic place to visit in Charleston. Today, these buildings are a landmark treasured by many, for their colorful and unique aesthetic appeal that draw photographers, painters, and those just passing through. Take a walk around the neighborhood, as well as the waterfront nearby during your trip to the city, or even join the historic walking tour offered by the city to those wanting the full experience.
Charleston's Waterfront Park is enjoyed by anyone and everyone living in or passing through the city. It's right next to the historic downtown area and is a perfect pit stop if you're looking for a break from city activity for an hour or two. Take a stroll down the pier, fish, or sit and bask under the sun while listening to the sounds of the relaxing water. You'll even stumble upon bench swings to kick back in! And don't forget to snap a photo of, or wade right on into Charleston's famous Pineapple Fountain (visitors are encouraged to dip their feet in!) Keep your eyes peeled for pineapples all across the city; they're a symbol of hospitality. You'll sense the warmth and welcoming atmosphere of the city as you glance back at it from the waterfront.
On John's Island, the largest island in the state, Angel Oak Park is home to one of the oldest living oak trees. You'll be able to sense its age just by looking at it. Most oak trees today don't have limbs touching the ground and expanding in many directions, but the oldest species of oaks (like the Angel Oak) do, and they're rarely found. Angel Oak is a unique treasure on the island that visitors from far and wide come to visit year after year. It's presumed to be anywhere from 400 to over 1,000 years old, and is accompanied on the island by Legare Farms, where an annual Battle of Charleston reenactment takes place, as well as Johns Island Presbyterian Church and Mullet Hall Equestrian Center. The cozy park additionally has a gift shop, and plenty of benches and areas to relax in.
Folly Beach Pier
With roughly 1,045 feet of pier jetting right into the Atlantic Ocean, fishermen and tourists alike will want to pay a visit to Folly Beach Pier. Here you can walk right out above the water and take in all of that calming ocean air. Near the pier are shops and restaurants, and, of course, there's plenty of sand all around! Locklear’s Beach Grill right on the pier, or Blu Restaurant and Bar, with a full view of the entire structure, offer oceanfront views and freshly caught seafood choices for the hungry beachgoer. During peak season, watch or participate in fishing tournaments and events held at the pier. The endless ocean and gorgeous sunrises and sunsets will truly confirm why Folly Beach is called the "edge of America.”
Whether you're a veteran camper or a city slicker visiting town, the Mount Pleasant / Charleston KOA Holiday is truly a unique experience you'll want to see for yourself. Here, campsites are located on a historic plantation that boasts nearly 400 acres. During your stay, take advantage of the complimentary wagon ride through the property to get a feel of the rich history of the land you're staying on. Deluxe Cabins and traditional camping sites are offered, but for a one-of-a-kind experience, be sure to check out the train caboose offered to groups of up to six people. The property even has a dog park that features a sectioned off part of a lake so your pup can swim! This KOA is on another level. Your stay here will be a memorable one, and with a location close to Charleston you just can't beat it!
For a day in the sand and sun, Isle of Palms County Park is the perfect place to relax and swim, sunbathe, enjoy a picnic or play some beach volleyball. Here, you'll find plenty of room to spread out, and access to showers and restrooms is readily available. Lifeguards monitor swimming activity, and Isle of Palms even has a snack bar... just remember that old wives’ tale: no swimming 30 minutes after you eat! There is plenty of shopping within walking distance for those needing a break from the sun and all that beach fun. Arrive early on nice days to beat the rush and get good parking, and stay for a beautiful South Carolina sunset over the ocean. A full day on the sand and water is sure to complete any road trip from near or far. The Isle of Palms is a perfect distance away from the busy city life without physically being far.
Page's Okra Grill
Prepare yourself for some ridiculously-delicious food. Page's Okra Grill has been voted the best restaurant around numerous times, and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You might find yourself coming back for each meal. Begin your day with a full southern breakfast of the legendary chicken and waffles, or stop in and enjoy fried chicken and seafood later in the day. Weekend brunch offers unique specialities and a Bloody Mary bar. Page’s unique spin on indulgent comfort food is rooted in stellar, down-home Southern staples, so everything on the menu is absolutely, mouth-wateringly tasty.
A visit to Charleston isn't complete without a lesson in history-- the city has definitely seen its fair share of historic events. Fort Sumter is the ultimate stop; history buffs will know its significance right away, and the views from the harbor are pretty unbeatable, too. The monument, belonging to the National Park Service, commemorates the beginning of the American Civil War. For 34 hours, the fort was bombarded, and a brutal, four-year war began. The monument preserves the history of this iconic landmark. Fort Sumter was used through the Second World War, but soon after became a National Monument visited by thousands every day. A ferry takes you to the fort, where you will learn about the occurrences that took place all those years ago, as well as the history of the city of Charleston.
The city of Charleston offers a little bit of everything: Southern hospitality, history, and oceanfront fun. Days spent in and around the city can be filled with diverse activities that allow you to be out in nature enjoying beautiful surroundings, perhaps learning something you didn't know along the way. Feeling the history behind the city being spoken through new restaurants, monuments, and parks is an experience you don't get in cities elsewhere, and Charleston welcomes anyone and everyone willing to give it a try.
Banner Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Kampgrounds of America
Behind the Yellow Sign at KOA, we combine the great outdoors with great service. We offer modern sites, facilities and amenities designed to meet the needs of every kind of camper. And with 500+ campgrounds across North America, it’s easy to find an amazing place for camping fun!
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