Family Trip: Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston, Wilmington – Road.Travel

Family Trip: Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston, Wilmington

Road Trip Route. Spacious sandy beaches, Hiking in Kongari National Park, Water park and amusement park, Best seafood in local restaurants.

The states of North and South Carolina are known for their amazing natural diversity. This travel scenario is designed specifically for those who want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of megacities and enjoy walks in nature and the atmosphere of hospitable small towns. The journey will start in Charlotte, from where you will head towards the coast, enjoying the amazing natural landscape on the way. The road from Charleston to Wilmington runs along the coast, so you can enjoy walks along the beaches. This route will be to the taste of the whole family, because in addition to walks in the fresh air, it includes a visit to an amusement park, water park, oceanarium and a warship, which played an important role in the history of the United States.

Families with Kids. From: Charlotte

Jonathan May. Traveller.

Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1: An evening in Charlotte

Welcome to Charlotte! For today planned walks in the city center and dinner in a pleasant restaurant with a large selection of wines.

The Green

Let's start getting to know the city for a short walk. Not far from the Museum of Modern Art there is a walking area with quite unusual sculptures, quite a colorful place!

The Cellar

The creators of the restaurant are proud that most of the ingredients of the dishes are purchased from local trusted suppliers. There is also a large selection of wines, and the bartender is hampered by excellent cocktails!

First Ward Park

And before going to bed, you can take a short walk in the city park. It is not very large, but rather atmospheric, especially in the evening when the fountain lighting is on.

Day 2: Walks and an amusement park

Heading towards the coast. Today we plan to have fun in the amusement park, walk in the city gardens and have dinner in Colombia, where we will sleep.

Amelie's French Bakery — Uptown

Good morning! It's breakfast time! Amelie's French bakery is probably the most unusual bakery in the area. Look at these interiors, how many styles are mixed up here! Looks eclectic, and at the same time very cosy. Order aromatic coffee and don't forget to take the baked goods on the way!


Everyone likes rides! Enjoy the first half of the day in this amusement park and have fun. Here you can also have your lunch before driving further.

Finlay Park

We've come to Colombia, and we're staying here! After a long journey it's worth stretching out, and for a pleasant short walk will be great park Finlay. The main attraction of the park is the cascade fountain, which looks quite unusual.

South Carolina State House

Another attraction of the city is the Capitol, where the state parliament meets. The building itself was built in the Neo-Greek style in the late nineteenth century and is a national historical monument.

California Dreaming

The interior of the restaurant is made in the style of old railway stations and looks very atmospheric. This place is sure to please those who like nourishing meat dishes! And if you prefer a light dinner, you can order a salad or seafood.

Day 3: Charleston neighborhood

We're leaving for Charleston. On the way, we will stop in Kongari National Park to enjoy the beauty and grandeur of huge trees, relax on the lake shore and visit the fabulous magnolia garden.

Drip on Main

Cafe Drop on Main is open from 7 am on weekdays and 8 on weekends. So even the earliest bird can enjoy delicious bangles and aromatic coffee here. You can take a snack with you for a picnic outdoors.

Congaree National Park

Kongari National Park is an amazing place where you can just walk, hike or kayak surrounded by giant trees. Details of the park, hiking trails and sporting activities can be found at the visitor centre and there is also a car park.

Lake Marion

Lake Marion is one of the fifty largest water bodies in the United States. Residents of nearby counties and westerns often come here to go fishing. The fauna here is quite diverse: you can meet ducks, white herons and even American alligators!

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens is the real gem of Charleston. The landscape here is simply fabulous: a sea of flowers, trees of the most bizarre forms, originally cut shrubs and ponds with small bridges. There is a small zoo in the garden, where you can pet some of the inhabitants and feed them by hand.

167 Raw

Can you imagine dining on the coast without seafood? 167 Raw is famous for its oysters, and also serves delicious lobsters and shrimp.

The Battery

The Charleston Coast is a favorite hiking spot for locals. It's also home to a monument dedicated to the historic events of the Civil War.

Waterfront Park

Another attraction of the park on the quay is the unusual Pineapple Fountain. By the way, it is considered a symbol of local hospitality.

Edmund's Oast

Speaking of southern hospitality, you should definitely visit Edmund's Oast gastropub. There is a wide choice of draft beer and you can have a steak or fried fish.

Day 4: Drive along the coast

Take a ride to Wilmington, relax on the beaches and board a historic warship. And at the end of the day we'll go to the local water park and have dinner in a Thai restaurant.

Acme Lowcountry Kitchen

We have breakfast in a relaxed beach atmosphere. In the morning menu you will find classic dishes like omelette or eggs Benedict, only with interesting and unusual additions, for example, instead of bacon you can add shrimp or scallops to the eggs.

North Litchfield Beach

What could be better than a walk on a clean sandy beach? Probably just swimming in the ocean waves!

Bonefish Grill

Restaurant with a large selection of fish and seafood dishes. Can't decide on an order? No problem, because here you can order a grill and try everything at once.

Cherry Grove Beach

Another spacious sandy beach where you can enjoy the contrast between the serene ocean and the urban landscape.


One of Wilmington's most interesting and important sights is the North Carolina battle ship. Now the ship functions as a museum, from May 24 to September 2, visiting is possible until 8 pm, time for visiting in other months is better to clarify on the site.

Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park

Why not have fun at the local water park? You can go for a ride from the swirling slides, just relax by the pool, or even play lasertag.


We'll finish today with dinner at an Asian restaurant. The place is very authentic, there is even a small pond with goldfish. Enjoy Thai cuisine and cocktails!

Day 5: Wilmington: the interesting thing is...

Exploring Wilmington: Start with a stroll through the Botanical Gardens, followed by a visit to the local History Museum and the Oceanarium.

Blue Surf Cafe

The Blue Surf Cafe is a very good place for breakfast. It opens at 7:00 a.m.

Airlie Gardens

Airlie Gardens is one of the most beautiful places in Wilmington. The gardens are open from May to December, and the butterfly pavilion is open from May to October.

Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts

The Bellamy Residence, built in 1861, is one of Wilmington's most outstanding and beautiful buildings. Today you can stroll through the manicured garden and take a tour of the city and its residents.

Fish Bites Seafood Restaurant & Fresh Market

Let's eat seafood again. The choice is large: scallops, shrimps, lobsters, and many varieties of fish. Lovers of unusual flavour combinations will surely taste pork and scallops.

NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher

Observe amazing marine creatures and take bright pictures against the backdrop of panoramic aquariums. Perhaps the most unusual creatures are the white alligators, who look fascinating.

Fort Fisher Recreation Reserve Observation Deck

And before heading back to the city center, you can spend time on the beach enjoying the beautiful nature and views of the Cape Fear River.

Cape Fear Seafood Company - Monkey Junction

Delicious food, pleasant and hospitable atmosphere. In good weather you can enjoy your dinner on the open veranda.

Day 6: Topsail Island

On the final day of your trip, you'll find a trip to Topsail Island, one of the most beautiful places in the state.


Tasty and sweet breakfast for a great mood for the whole day.

Discovery Place Kids Museum

Discovery Place is two floors of creative fun! The museum is most suitable for children under 10 years of age, in my opinion, but it does not mean that more adults will be bored there. Make a stop here on your way back to Charlotte.