charlotte nc to charleston sc

Traveling From Charlotte NC to Charleston SC: 5+ Great Places to Stop

Looking to Travel from Charlotte NC to Charleston SC?

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Traveling from Charlotte NC to Charleston SC is a fun and easy road trip. There are several ways to travel between Charleston, SC, and Charlotte, NC.  We will show those here shortly, plus include recommended stops along the way if you are traveling by car. 

This is a great way to split the trip up into a couple of days or stop to stretch your legs.  It’s a fairly easy trip between the two cities, so you could add some of the recommended stops for places to travel to in the future instead.   

Charleston, SC, is a port city in the southeast of the US and was founded in 1670.  You will find so much history here and southern charm.  Explore the cobblestone streets and historic districts like the French Quarter and the Battery.  There are many things to do in Charleston, SC. 

charlotte-nc-to-charleston-sc Cobblestone Streets

Distance from Charlotte NC to Charleston SC

The distance between Charlotte and Charleston is 209 miles.

Ways to travel from Charlotte NC to Charleston SC

Car: On average driving time from Charlotte, NC to Charleston, SC, will take you 3 hr 10 min. 

Fly: You can fly out of CLT airport; flights from CLT to CHS (Charleston) will take 1 hour. American Airlines has a hub in CLT.

Bus: You can take a Greyhound bus from Uptown Charlotte NC to Charleston SC, which will take you just over 6 hours.  

Where should I stop between Charlotte and Charleston?

Rock Hill SC

Glencairn Gardens
This 11-acre garden was created back in 1928 and was started as a backyard garden.  It’s beautifully landscaped and a very popular area to visit all year round.   Peak blooming season here is normally between late March and early April, but you will find blooms year-round. 

Each year, the gardens take part in the Come-See-Me Festival at the beginning of spring and host a variety of entertainment.  It’s a 10-day event for 2024; the dates are April 11th through April 20th.     

Fountain Park
Fountain Park is located in the heart of downtown.  It’s a relaxing place to stop for a break from your road trip.  Here, you will see a beautiful green space with a large fountain.  

Explore Downtown Rock Hill
Downtown is also known as Old Town Rock Hill.  Here, you will see many historic homes, unique shops, and restaurants.  Stop by Fountain Park and take a walk on the Freedom Walkway.  Also, make sure to explore The Mural Mile, which includes art from local artists within the community.  

Columbia SC

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden
Address: 500 Wildlife Pkwy, Columbia, SC 29210

This is a great activity to stop at with the family.  The zoo first opened back in 1974 and is home to more than 2,000 animals.  In addition to the zoo, you will find a beautiful botanical garden.  The Riverbanks Zoo is one of the largest mid-sized zoos in the United States. 

Throughout the zoo, you will find many hands-on activities.  You can take a ride on the Spots & Stripes Railroad and climb the Sky-High Safari. Feed the Giraffes, stop by the farmyard, climb the rock wall, or take a spin on the Endangered Species Carousel. 

If you would like a way to cool off in the summer months, check out Waterfall Junction, which is a slash zone where kids of all ages can explore and play.  

The zoo is very active in conservation, and they have different efforts to support it.  They focus on green energy practices and animal enrichment to help their well-being.  In addition, they help treat injured raptors and endangered species.

If you are interested in Raptors, there is a location just north of Charlotte in Huntersville, NC called the Carolina Raptor Center that you can check out as well.       

They are open daily except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day between 9 am and 5 pm.

Columbia Museum of Art
Address: 1515 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201

Located in the heart of downtown Columbia in the Main Street district, you will find South Carolina’s incredible international art museum. Here, you will find amazing collections of modern and contemporary art. They also host traveling exhibitions every few months. 

They also have a gift shop on-site where you can find some artsy gifts and souvenirs.  The museum is not large; it should take you about 90 minutes to visit, but it could take longer depending on how you tour.  Website

South Carolina State Museum
Address: 301 Gervais St., Columbia, SC 29201   

Here at the museum, you will find four floors that house over 70,000 pieces of art, history, and resources of SC dating back to the prehistoric era to the present day.  It’s the state’s largest museum and has both permanent and changing exhibits. 

There is also an on-site cafe to stop at for a snack. They have four disciplines they represent at the museum, which include South Carolina Art, Natural History, Science and Technology, and Cultural History. 

You will also find the largest planetarium in the Southeast, a 55-foot dome theater where they show educational and entertaining shows.  


Traveling From Charlotte NC to Charleston SC: FAQs

What is the best month to visit Charleston SC?

The best times to visit Charleston are in the spring and fall months.  It’s not too hot and humid like you would experience in the summer months, and you’ll have fewer tourists. 

We recommend visiting between March and May and then September to November.  January through February (except Valentine’s Day weekend) is a great time to visit during the off-season if you are looking for the least crowds.   

How many days is enough for Charleston SC?

You can visit Charleston over a long weekend, or three days should be enough.  You will be able to explore not only the downtown area of Charleston but the surrounding areas as well if you would like.  But you can take three days alone just to explore the historic area of Charleston, SC, including all the amazing shops, tours, and restaurants available.  

Is Charleston a walkable city?

Downtown Charleston, SC, is a very friendly and easy-to-walk area.  The beautiful historic homes and sites will have you strolling all over town.  You can leave your car parked and take in all that downtown has to offer.  

What is the prettiest street in Charleston?

When you visit Charleston, SC, one of the most well-known streets is King St. It served as one of the main roads in and out of the city back in the mid-1700s.  King St has been entirely revitalized, and today, it’s a hot spot for trendy restaurants, shopping, art galleries, cocktail bars, and lively nightlife.   

You will find three districts on King St: Lower Antiques District, Middle Fashion District, and Upper Design and Dining District.  The Middle King Fashion District was named one of the country’s “10 Top Shopping Districts in the USA” by Forbes Traveler.

charlotte-nc-to-charleston-sc Charleston City Market

Top attractions in Charleston SC

Charleston City Market
South Carolina Aquarium
Joe Riley Waterfront Park
Rainbow Row
Fort Sumter National Monument
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
The Charleston Museum
The Battery
White Point Garden
Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
Angel Oak Tree
Pineapple Fountain
King Street
Hampton Park
Drive out to Folly Beach and enjoy a beach day!

Best places to stay in Charleston SC

French Quarter Inn

Hilton Club Liberty Place

Final Thoughts

We highly recommend taking the trip from Charlotte NC to Charleston SC.  It’s a beautiful city with lots of history and charm.  Enjoy the journey along the way on your road trip, and make some of the suggested stops above.  If you don’t plan on stopping, add it to your list for another road trip from Charlotte NC in your plans.   

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