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Adventure Guide: Charleston, South Carolina


Charleston is an amazing place for a winter vacation! With mild temperatures, exciting events, and plenty of outdoor adventure, it’s a top winter getaway for anyone. To experience everything Charleston and the surrounding area has to offer, we recommend traveling here in a campervan! There are tons of awesome campgrounds to lay your head, and many outdoor attractions are just minutes away.

Keep reading to learn several other reasons why Charleston is the ideal vacation destination this winter.

About Charleston, South Carolina

Founded in 1670, Charleston is known for its beautiful scenery, unique history, and rich culture. Charleston is the largest city in the great state of North Carolina, sitting alongside the gorgeous Atlantic coast. As water activities are popular in the region, nearby forests also provide several outdoor experiences.

Where to Stop Along the Way

If you’re setting off on an epic road trip to Charleston, be sure to make a few pit stops on the ride over. Check out our favorite destinations below:

Driving North

On a northern drive, consider stopping in Savannah, Georgia. Here you’ll find beautiful architecture, a vibrant culture, and some fun outdoor adventures. We recommend checking out the Savannah Historic District to see some amazing historic buildings. You should also visit Skidaway Island State Park for great hiking and camping. If you’re passing through Florida, consider a stop in Jacksonville. You could check one of the many state parks, such as Little Talbot Island State Park or Amelia Island State Park, or go fishing at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park or Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier.

Heading West

If you’re coming from the northeast, consider stopping in Wilmington, North Carolina. This area features fun for the whole family, including boat tours, museums, and even the USS North Carolina Battleship, which fought in WW2. Wilmington is also home to a number of excellent hiking trails, such as Greenfield Lake Park Trail, Wade Park Loop, and Pages Creek Trail. Another fantastic stop along this drive is Norfolk, Virginia. This area features pristine beaches, such as Little Creek Beach, Ocean View Beach, Willoughby Beach, and many more!

Driving South

If you’re driving south toward Charleston, be sure to stop in Charlotte, North Carolina. For those rock climbers out there, you can’t pass up Crowders Mountain State Park. Here you’ll find a wide variety of fantastic climbing routes, including sensational views of the surrounding cliffs. You also can’t miss the hiking trails in Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area or Buffalo Creek Preserve. If your journey starts further north, New River Gorge National Park & Preserve is a must-see! This 70,000-acre park in West Virginia features breathtaking hiking trails, exciting water activities, and much more.

Heading East

On an eastern drive, consider stopping in Atlanta. This is a fun city with plenty to do, and you’ll also find several great hiking trails close by. East Palisades Trail, Powers Island Trail, and Sope Creek Trail are a few of our favorites. Another fantastic stop along this route is Jackson, Mississippi. This area has several excellent campgrounds, which are found in Roosevelt State Park, Lake Lincoln State Park, and Leroy Percy State Park. If you’re looking for a fun bike ride, our favorite mountain biking trails in the area include Reservoir Bike Path, Hilltop Trail, or South Loop Trail.

Charleston—Outdoor Fun Along the Atlantic Coast

After arriving in Charleston, we bet you can’t wait to explore! As you’re devising a plan, be sure to include the following outdoor activities:


Hiking is the perfect activity after a long road trip! It’s great for the body, soothes the mind, and gets the blood flowing. While trails in and around Charleston are relatively flat, they still provide outstanding views and a great workout. One hiking area we recommend is Caw Caw County Park. This location is home to multiple retired rice plantations, offering a glimpse of the past while strolling along the beautiful trails. A few other hiking trails we suggest include West Ashley Greenway, James Island County Perimeter Trail, and Waterfront Park Loop.


If you’d rather leave the hiking boots in your campervan, Charleston offers several walking paths for your enjoyment. We recommend walking around downtown Charleston to gaze at the unique architecture, gorgeous scenery, and historic neighborhoods. Aside from the stunning downtown area, check out Palmetto Islands County Park. This site is more nature-focused than other parks in the region, featuring an entire island with only walking paths.


Looking for an amazing workout while catching the sights and sounds of Charleston? If so, go for a run! With so many running trails in the city and beyond, Charleston is considered a runner’s paradise. One great option is the path located at the Battery and White Point Gardens. Here you can run along the sea wall, offering sensational views of the ocean and the surrounding city. This route also takes you alongside some of the most breathtaking mansions in all of Charleston.


After gazing over the coastal waters in Charleston, it’s time to get out there! This city offers magnificent sailing opportunities right in town. While it’s best to bring your own boat, you can also find rentals, chartered tours, and even sailing lessons. Contact Charleston Sailing School or Charleston Sailing Adventures for more information.


With so much water in Charleston, it’s the perfect place for kayaking! One experience we recommend is paddling on the Stono River between Johns Island and West Ashley. These calm waters should provide a peaceful ride. You could also kayak from Shem Creek or Folly Beach, which are also popular. The area around Folly Beach features cool marshes and lots of wildlife. If you don’t have your own kayak, Charleston Outdoor Adventures is one of the best outfitters in town.


Charleston is home to several incredible campgrounds open all year long. These campgrounds and RV parks are located near creeks, rivers, the ocean, and everywhere in between!

Take a look at a few popular options below:

  • Foster Creek RV Park & Villas
  • James Island County Park
  • Oak Plantation Campground
  • Lake Aire RV Park & Campground
  • Buck Hall Recreation Area

Most of the campgrounds in the area come equipped with RV hookups for your campervan. Some of them also include picnic tables, showers, and even Wi-Fi!

Travel Tips

Take a look at these helpful Charleston travel tips below:

  • Charleston is a casual city, so leave the tux at home.
  • Be cautious while driving; the area doesn’t have the best drivers.
  • Winter temperatures float around the 50s and 60s, so plan accordingly.
  • Leave the car and go for a walk when venturing downtown; traffic can be hectic.

Follow these tips for a Charleston experience like no other!


Here’s more info on some popular attractions in the area:

Hiking Areas

Campgrounds and RV Parks

Hidden Gems

Check out the following off-the-beaten-path areas in and around Charleston:

  • Hampton Park
  • Charles Towne Landing
  • Gateway Walk
  • Cypress Gardens
  • McLeod Plantation

These areas are the perfect way to experience fewer crowds in the city.

Explore Charleston in a New Campervan Today!

If you’re interested in purchasing a new or used campervan for your next Charleston adventure, contact the experts at Rec Van today! For several years, RecVan has been a leader in the adventure van space.

Browse through our van inventory today, or call us for more information!