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joannproc Jul 6th, 2016 09:17 AM

Driving from Michigan to Charleston, SC during Christmas and New Years

We are going to drive from Michigan to Charleston, SC. Leaving on Dec 24th and returning on Jan 2nd. Looking for anywhere to stop along the way and things to do in Charleston. Also looking to go to Savannah for a day.
I have heard James Island is something to see during the holidays. We are renting a condo on Folly Beach right next to the pier.
There will be two families. Each with two adults and two children (ages 19 and 16).
We are up for a night with just adults also, so any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks:)

Gretchen Jul 6th, 2016 12:30 PM

For your route I suggest going south on I75 to Dayton. Pick up Ohio Route 35 across southern Ohio to I77 south at charleston, WVA. I77 south to columbia to I26 to Charleston.
Choose places to stay based on distance--Charleston, WVA is about 4.5 hours from Charlotte and Charlotte is about 3.5-4 hours to Charleston.
Route 35 is a 4 lane road with virtually ZERO traffic and is a beautiful drive. You'll go through Athens (Ohio University). You'll have a lot of choices for stopping for the night.
There are SO many threads about Charleston--do a search.

Ackislander Jul 6th, 2016 04:50 PM

Well, you don't say where you are starting from, so it isn't easy to suggest a route. If you were starting in eastern Michigan, Gretchen's route is as good as any.

But do you really want to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on the highway, hoping to find gas and food along the way? Four long days on the road for six days in SC? And that's with good weather.

Nothing in SC will not still be there in better weather.

joannproc Jul 7th, 2016 03:51 AM

We thought maybe something fun to do along the way to kind of make it part of the trip. We also may end up flying or driving down in one day. Guess I was just looking for suggestions. We will be leaving from Port Huron area. I will do a search on things to do in Charleston.
We have a kid in college and daughter in high school. They don't have the same time off for a family vacation, so we are doing it over Christmas. Been to Florida several times, Texas, California, etc. Wanted to do something different and weather will definately be warmer than Michigan there for us to explore without all the crowds.

Gretchen Jul 7th, 2016 04:17 AM

If you want something very spectacular on the way then route yourself through Asheville and go to the Biltmore for their Christmas display.
That way you'd come down I75 to Knoxville, over to Asheville, and then down I26 to charleston.
Along the way the first route I suggested you could go over to Winston Salem and see Old Salem and their Christmas exhibit.
There is LOTS to do in Charleton once you are there--look at some threads and make some notes. Plenty of great food, of course.

Ackislander Jul 7th, 2016 09:05 AM

One problem with Biltmore or Old Salem is that most attractions will close early on Christmas Eve and are not going to be open Christmas Day.

The other problem is that it is 899 miles, albeit all interstate. That's 16 hours of driving + holiday traffic + stopping for the toilet and gas. Say 20 hours.

If you leave at 5 AM on Christmas Eve, you get there just after Midnight Mass on Christmas.

If you made this a roadtrip rather than a destination trip, it could work well except for holiday closures. Maybe half day on the road on the 24th to a lodge where you stayed through Christmas. On the 26th, you could go on to Asheville, Greenville, SC on the 27th, Charleston the 28th-30th, somewhere in Virginia or the Smokies on the 31st, and home the night of New Year's Eve.

joannproc Jul 7th, 2016 10:18 AM

Thanks for the info Gretchen and Ackislander. We will probably do one way there and one way back if we drive. Would like to have more days in Charlotte and that would give us 8 days there. According to my calculation, it is under 14 hours drive time. We made it to Orlando in 20 hours, so I don't think it will take us 20 hours to Charleston as it is 300 miles shorter. We are pretty diligent drivers.
Only problem with flying is the luggage situation and we are going with another family and the kids may want a car to do stuff without us. They are only 19 yrs old and can't drive a rental car yet.

Mutti Jul 7th, 2016 10:24 AM

Since you're from Michigan, you are accustomed to driving in the snow so it's no big deal. However, keep the weather in the back of your mind for further south. The chances for bad weather-snow- during that time of year are small, but not all places remove snow efficiently. And some mountain towns may get a lot. Have fun and be safe! Charleston is a great town for eating, touring and history!

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