Put Charleston South Carolina on Your USA Road Trip

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We only stopped for a couple of hours in Charleston, South Carolina on our USA road trip but we absolutely loved it. We should have stayed longer.

Put Charleston South Carolina on your USA road trip. Sweet Grass baskets
Markets and heritage. You MUST put Charleston South Carolina on your USA road trip

We try to pick where we spend the night based on a quick morning internet scan to see what accommodation prices are like. There was nothing under $50 jumping out at us in Charleston so we kept driving further south. It would have been great to stay in Charleston for a few days, but we’re budget travellers, not holiday makers, them’s the breaks!

You Really Must Put Charleston South Carolina on Your USA Road Trip


Readers of our Facebook page tipped us off. “Don’t miss Charleston.” they said. OK, we won’t, but as usual, we had no idea why and no time to do much research.

I had a quick look before we left Myrtle Beach ( another road trip must-do for an interesting reason) and saw that Charleston had pretty buildings and a lot of slave history. James also had a squiz on his phone and saw there was a fort. Sounded good to us!

Charleston South Carolina

We parked down by the water and went to explore. Charleston sure was pretty! My photos don’t do it justice at all, the painted colonial buildings, uneven paved streets and gas lamps were gorgeous. Horse drawn palmetto carts took tourists on site-seeing trips and everywhere there was food, great food!

We found the Charleston Market by good fortune, we never can resist a street called Market St. and had a pleasant wander through the stalls.

Charleston Market. USA road trip
Sweet grass baskets at Charleston market

You can see the African influence here. There are dozens of stalls selling sweet grass baskets, a skill brought over with the slaves. The stalls are up and down the highway, not just in the market. There was a wonderful artist’s stall full of paintings inspired by slavery and the plantations. We stopped to try some Benne wafers,  sweet sesame biscuits, Benne is an Africa influenced name for sesame, so says the sign. It was quite gut wrenching,  being here and thinking hard about what actually happened back in those days.

Benne wafers. An African influenced. Charleston speciality

Market St. has some amazing chocolate and sweet shops too, free samples of praline made the kids’ day. We had to buy this one. A bacon chocolate truffle. It was so good!

Bacon Chocolate Truffle Charleston road trip
Bacon Chocolate Truffle. So yum!

We nearly bought ourselves a bottle of Whoop Ass too. You really do know you’re in the south down here, we’re finding the people really lovely, Charleston is famous for manners and values, it says so on the road signs.


We could see the old fort as we walked along the waterfront, not much to see, but an interesting piece of history. Charleston is the oldest city in South Carolina, it was founded in 1640 and named after King Charles II. The fort was built to defend against the British during the struggle for independence.

There is a lot of history down here in the south, a history that the boys and I are starting to learn about and pick up.

The influences of the various settlers and immigrants, of so many nationalities is fascinating to see all over the States. We’re learning all the time. We had no idea that a lot of pirates came from this part of the world, that was a revelation.

We had time for some lunch, gumbo and crab bisque and we were on our way again.

Orlando tomorrow, can’t wait!

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About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

3 thoughts on “Put Charleston South Carolina on Your USA Road Trip”

  1. Shame you didn’t have longer. We spent two nights on our recent toad trip and it was not enough. It was my favourite stop on our Deep South road trip along with New Orleans. Sounds like you are going to miss St Augustine too? That was another great one.


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