When you’re looking to make a road trip and seeking something familiar yet new, the journey from Columbia to Charleston, South Carolina, offers plenty of welcoming accommodations, delicious dining with local flair and seasonal ingredients, and activities that will broaden your horizons and stir your soul. 

Columbia, South Carolina

Aloft Columbia Downtown gives you an edgy yet upscale place to stay, located near all the major landmarks and hot spots in Columbia. Minimalist room decor punctuated by bright colors and scenic views gives way to amenities like on-site dining, a pool table, and a chic modern bar. Indulge in lunch at Gourmet Shop in Columbia before day-tripping to Sumter and nearby Camden. Be sure to pick up road trip snacks among the gourmet cheeses and prepared foods this market offers. 

Sumter and Camden

You’ll find in Sumter a dynamic city that reflects the diversity of a population made up of South Carolinians from birth and those who sought out the state for its beautiful weather, rich history, and forward-looking approach to community. Spend the day at the peaceful Swan Lake Iris Gardens, with lunch at Sumter Original Brewery and dinner at Sidebar. For an upscale fine dining experience, book a table at Hamptons and revel in the culinary creativity of Italian-born Chef Raffaele Dall’Erta.

Nearby Camden is well-known for its shopping, dining, and small-town vibe, as well as its ties to the legendary Carolina Cup. Have lunch at Sam Kendall’s or The Loopy Lemon. Visit Shortcake Bakery and Tea Room or Sweet Lili’s for afternoon tea and treats. If coffee is more your style, stop at Books on Broad for a cup of King Bean Roasters Coffee while you browse the shelves at this independent bookstore. 

Shop Camden Antiques Market for a curated inventory of medium to high-end antiques. And don’t miss Pink Stable, a classic Southern women’s boutique; Camden Quilts’ artisan quilt work; Victoria Susan Wearable Art for comfortable and stylish fair trade clothes and one-of-a-kind gifts; and Rutledge Street Gallery to discover local art, sculpture, and Turkish rugs. 

Charleston, South Carolina

Just a few hours away from Columbia, Charleston is ready to welcome you with the epitome of Southern hospitality. The Belmond Charleston Place offers a soothing refuge with plush bedding in spacious rooms and suites as well as amenities like a full spa, multiple on-site restaurants for fine and casual dining, and even perks for your pets.

McLeod Plantation Historic Site, learn more about the Gullah/Geechee heritage and why it’s so historically and culturally important. And be sure to check out the market on Meeting Street to see a broad range of handicrafts made by local artisans, including generational sweetgrass weaver and designer Corey Alston

Have breakfast at Millers All Day or Clerks Coffee at Hotel Emeline. Later, visit Hotel Bennet for high tea or cocktails at Pink Champagne Bar, and dine at Circa 1886 behind the stately Wentworth Mansion

Explore Charleson with a trip to the Charleston Tea Garden, Angel Oak Park, and Middleton Place, followed by a carriage tour at Palmetto Carriage Works or a tour of Boone Hall Plantation. Book a massage or facial at Dewberry Hotel, and then explore and relax at the beaches of the nearby community of Sullivan’s Island, followed by dinner at Poe’s Tavern

Discover the Best of The Palmetto State in the Journey from Columbia to Charleston

The past, present, and future unite in South Carolina. Get a first-hand view that will engage and inspire you to better appreciate and understand the historical, cultural, artistic, and culinary roots and how they continue to grow in influence.

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