Looking to change up the scenery with a road trip this season? Fill up the tank and head to the Palmetto state.
1. Small Town Big City Feel
Greenville South Carolina's proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains means endless ways to explore the outdoors on foot, by bike or by boat. It's also the perfect spring break getaway in the Southeast - it's location just off of I-85 makes it easy to drive to in less than 4 hours from a number of major cities in the Southeast (Atlanta, Charlotte, Charleston, Knoxville, Nashville, Savannah, Hilton Head, Raleigh, Durham etc).
With average temperatures in March 65 degrees and April 74 degrees, there's a good chance you can spend the whole week outside. The walkable downtown Greenville area features more than 100 locally owned restaurants with a food scene that's earned 4 James Beard nominations in 3 years, a 32 acre park, art and history museums, a zoo, a minor league baseball stadium, and an incredible children's museum.
With a 20+ mile bike trail, 5 nearby state parks, a free trolley (and an awesome trolley-tracker app), and an incredible Art in Public Places initiative with more than 95 works or art including a Dale Chihuly sculpture- there is always something to do in Greenville rain or shine.
Enjoy the 22+ mile Swamp Rabbit Trail that's perfect for a leisurely bike ride, and just 7 miles from downtown, Paris Mountain State Park offers more than 15 miles of hiking trails and lakes for fishing and swimming.
2. Lose the Quarantine 15 and “Work from Home” at Hilton Head Health
Struggling with a little extra quarantine weight or just need a mental break? For those who wish you could push a reset button to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle- drinking more water, eating cleaner and exercising more- a week at Hilton Head Health is about as close as you can get to a do-over.
Guests spend 24/7 focused on their physical and mental wellness from fitness classes to meditation, healthy cooking demonstrations and outdoor adventures. But the best part is the rejuvenation that comes from the salty air on the island- achieved through daily sunrise walks on the beach, kayaking, SUP, beach yoga and outdoor pool fitness classes.
The experience is much like a choose your own adventure- each day offers more than 20 different classes, lectures and experiences. Guests can go "all in" squeezing in back-to-back encounters from sunrise to sunset, or dip their toe in the water and go at a slower pace. To help muscles recover and the mind relax, the spa is the perfect way to wind down at the end of the day. The three meals a day at True Dining are so delicious you'll forget the Mediterranean diet inspired cuisine is really good for you too. Brand new accommodations at the on-site Sweetgrass Inn will open in March.
3. Beach Without the Crowds
With a population of under 400, no hotel, and no way of getting there other than by boat, Daufuskie Island in South Carolina is an oceanfront oasis. One could spend an entire week in Haig Point, the private community on the island, without seeing more than a dozen individuals. You literally have the beach to yourself. That's more than 3 1/2 miles of white sand to watch the sunrise, let the kids and dogs run free, and ride bikes along the shoreline.
Horseback rides on the beach are offered year round, and golf aficionados will enjoy the rare experience of seven tee boxes or greens with ocean views at Haig Point's signature course. Tour Daufuskie makes a day at the beach hassle free (since the only way to get to the island is by ferry/no cars) with packages that include your chairs, tent, table and adventures for the day so you don't have to schlep anything with you.
The Daufuskie Island Distillery is one of only 2 island distilleries in the US, and perhaps the best of all is the island art at Iron Fish Gallery- that operates on an honor system: if you like something take it, put a check in the box by the door, or just leave your phone number and the artist will call you later for payment. You can visit the Mary Fields school house where beloved author Pat Conroy taught, the first African Baptist Church and meet Pat Conroy's former student and 6th generation Gullah- Sallie Ann Robinson- who runs history tours on the island. New guest cottages are under construction in Haig Point but for now visitors can enjoy this secluded beach getaway by staying in a real lighthouse that dates back to 1873 or a mansion built in 1910 as a summer retreat.
This spring the team behind island favorite Lucy Bells is taking over the Melrose Beach Club to open Bell's at the Beach. The restaurant will offer indoor & outdoor pool service featuring Southern seafood & casual cuisine 7 days a week for lunch & dinner. All of this can be enjoyed while exploring from your golf cart- there are no cars on the island either. Of course, you can also just choose to relax on the beach- which you'll pretty much have to yourself.