I was thinking back on past trips that I haven’t gotten around to blogging about, and remembered that our first EPIC road trip across the country was to Folly Beach, SC in 2019. I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about this one yet, it was truly unforgettable.
So, when my oldest son was in 2nd grade, he was obsessed with Megalodons and sharks, so I started researching “best places to see sharks”. I was thinking more along the lines of aquariums – I do NOT ever want to see a shark in the ocean while I am on vacation LOL. Well, I stumbled across a blog about shark tooth/shark fossil hunting in Folly Beach, SC and I just knew we had to go! I called up Carrie, she ALWAYS says yes to my crazy ideas, and we had a hotel booked within the day for Spring Break in March. Keep in mind, we booked in early fall but wanted to really plan this one out since it was going to be our longest road trip, totaling 2,300 miles!
As interests in kids come and go, Jett moved on from the shark obsession well before March, but we still decided to go. I mean, who doesn’t want to spend Spring Break at the beach?! So, we headed out the Friday we got out of school for break and began our 16 hour drive. I believe we stopped somewhere in Mississippi or Alabama for the night, and finished the drive on Saturday.
One of my most favorite spontaneous finds on all of our road trips was the Vampire Diaries filming locations in Covington, GA. If you are a fan of the show, you HAVE to stop here! We were getting a little restless, felt like it was time to get our kids out of the car for lunch and to stretch our legs, and we stumbled across this little town almost by accident. I typically drive on our road trips and Carrie navigates, passes out food to the kids in back, and finds all of our fun stops along the drive. So, about 30 minutes before Covington, Carrie found this little stop and since we are both fans of the show, we had to see it! And I am so glad we did, it was the cutest town and we had so much fun! Even the kids liked seeing the sites and the bags of blood in the town gift shops were pretty entertaining! Check out Mystic Falls Tours if you’re in the area! There is also a little museum at the visitors parking area that has clothing and artifacts from the show!
From here, we drove straight to Folly Beach, only stopping for gas and dinner and we got there pretty late at night. We basically had Sunday-Thursday in Folly Beach and then would start our drive back home Friday and finish it up on Saturday. We stayed at Tides of Folly Beach and were very pleased with the hotel, from the location to the restaurants on site! And we were able to walk to restaurants and shops in Folly Beach from the hotel, so that was an added bonus!
I had no clue how close we were to several different amazing locations, as well. So, here is how we spent our days in and around Folly Beach!
Day 1: Folly Beach – We spent our first full day in Folly Beach at our hotel! None of us wanted to get back in the car after our 16 hour drive. It was still a little chilly, but the kids had a blast at the beach. We played in the sand, the kids braved the cold water, we ate at the pool grill, and enjoyed the outdoor pool!
Day 2: Magnolia Plantation & Gardens and Huntington Island State Park – The plan for the second day was to explore South Carolina. I really wanted to see the beautiful, moss draped trees that SC is known for! And we always enjoy learning the history of the places we visit. After looking up top things to see and do near Folly Beach, we decided we would spend the morning at Magnolia Plantation and then the afternoon at Huntington Island State Park. There were so many hiking trails at the Plantation, we saw live animals, walked over a swamp and saw so many alligators, and even visited the Plantation home and the slave quarters. I feel like we all learned so much about this early era in SC’s history. The scenery around the plantation was gorgeous.
Huntington Island State Park was very picturesque. I also really loved that we didn’t see a soul in sight while there. The trees scattered along the beach made for the best photo ops! We were disappointed that we couldn’t go to the top of the lighthouse (my youngest wasn’t tall enough), but the kids had fun just exploring and playing along the shore.
Day 3: Ruins – This was such a fun adventure! If you follow my travels, you know that we LOVE doing all the creepy things! So, when I saw there were some ruins to visit in the area, you know I was all about creeping out the kids. These ruins were not super close to one another, but also not a terrible drive between each of them. We visited the Old Sheldon Church ruins first. Then we stopped by St. Helena Chapel of Ease. The early graves dating back to the 1800s were fascinating. We had a quick lunch and then made it to the Pon Pon Chapel of Ease ruins right at dusk. Everything was crazy creepy, but this last stop was the creepiest at night! We didn’t stay long at all! We just googled directions to each one using our iPhone map.
Day 4: Folly Beach – Our last full day in Folly Beach was spent at the beach again! With the 16 hour return trip coming up, we decided on another relaxing beach day and stayed around the hotel and down at the beach. We walked to a delicious Mexican restaurant directly across the street from the hotel for dinner and then hit some souvenir shops after. It was a great week in Folly Beach!
Day 5: Charleston, SC – To begin our drive home, we headed to Charleston for the morning. This is one town I wished we could’ve spent more time in. We walked along the streets of Rainbow Row and had lunch at a little café in town.
Then we started our drive back to Texas. We re-routed our drive home because of severe weather threats from Texas-Alabama. We ended up heading to Memphis, TN and then drove straight home after our stop there for the night. The drive home got a little crazy, but that’s spring weather for you in the south I guess. It was our first long road trip across the country and I was so proud of myself for getting us all there and back home safely! I would definitely recommend this trip if you’re looking for an adventure!
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