While our son was on a baseball "road trip" with his high school baseball team to the Hanarahan Classic baseball tournament in the Charleston area, we decided to take a mini-vacation. We explored the area in the mornings and afternoons, then "the girls" spent evenings at the hotel pool while Dad watched the ball games.
We wanted to keep our expenses down, so we packed a cooler of food to take along and got a hotel room with a refrigerator & microwave. We found lots of free things to see and do in and around Charleston.
Waterfront Park & Historic Charleston
It might have been nice to tour the insides of some of the restored homes in Charleston, but we didn't, since the kids were too young to appreciate what they'd see & they get restless. Instead we went on our own walking tour, using the AAA Tour book as the tour guide. The kids had a lot of fun & we spent extra time at the place they liked the most -- the waterfront park.
Fort Moultrie, Sullivan's Island
We spent an afternoon at Fort Moltrie, on Sullivan's Island, eating a picnic lunch along the waterfront and touring the fort afterwards. Fort Sumpter was visible across the bay. The girls enjoyed it & admission was free.
We thought a trip to South Carolina would not be complete unless we also went to Myrtle Beach, so one morning we packed a picnic lunch and drove up. It was a gray day, but we had fun at the state park anyway. We walked the nature trails through the woods and then the beach.
Folley Island State Park
We also went to Folley Island beach, south of the Charleston area and liked that so much better than Myrtle Beach. It wasn't commercialized and the kids had a blast. If we ever go to the South Carolina beaches, we're going back to Folley Island.
On our way home to Tennessee we stopped at the Columbia zoo. (Our one stop that we actually had to pay a per-person admission fee.) The kids liked it very much.
So how much did this trip cost -- gasoline for the 1000 mile round trip, 3 nights in a hotel, food and parking & admission fees? Less than $300 -- $50 per person!