Beaches, sunshine and top-rated restaurants. What more could you want from the city that you live in? Whether you’re already a local or you’re planning a move to Charleston, you’ll be happy to know that this is one of the best places for a staycation in the country. Thousands of people flock to this charming coastal city in South Carolina every month to experience the rich culture and history here. But, when you’re a resident, you get to live it every day!
Sometimes, we can take our beautiful city for granted, so it’s time to play tourist and find a new appreciation for all the amazing activities and sights that are around us. If you’re stuck in the house for an extended period of time, you may want to downsize your staycation even more and turn your own home into a luxurious getaway. Well, we have some ideas for you. Check out these tips on how to create the perfect staycation in Charleston.
Staycation in Your Home
Sometimes, we find ourselves in certain situations that limit our ability to go outside and socialize, such as hurricanes and other inclement weather, stay-at-home mandates or a physical injury. It’s easy to get bored very quickly when you’re unable to do some of the normal activities you enjoy doing on a regular basis, which is why we tested out some of these ideas for hosting a staycation right in your very own home. Even if you’re not currently stuck in the house, but you feel overwhelmed and in desperate need of some time off, then implement these tricks to give yourself a mini-vacation and let yourself kick back for a while.
Pick a Theme
Picking a theme for your staycation can make for extra fun as you try to create activities based around your type of getaway. If you have young kids in the house, it’s always fun to get them involved in the planning process. For anyone feeling adventurous and interested in getting out into nature, Charleston’s mild climate is a blessing. Why not set up a backyard tent and pretend you took a family camping trip.
You can even set up a firepit and toast marshmallows in the evening. Going on a backyard camping trip is an excellent way to give yourself a vacation from the comfort of your home while also encouraging your family members to step away from the TV and their other devices for a little while and spend time gazing at the stars and laughing with each other over made-up ghost stories.
Camping isn’t the only theme you can choose from, though. Let your creativity run wild! Try spending the night at your own personal luxury hotel by taking turns acting as the hotel staff and helping others in your family by serving “room service” or making fun animal towels to leave on the bed. You can even create a hotel spa by throwing on some fuzzy robes, slippers and a face mask. Don’t forget the cucumber slices!
Read Books About Travel and Get Inspiration
It’s still possible to teach your children about travel and other world cultures even when they can’t visit the destinations themselves. Talking to your child about different places in the world will spark their curiosity and present the perfect opportunity to widen their world view.
Invest in some children’s books that are focused on travel or cultures and teach your child about what these destinations are like. A fun activity for the whole family is to pick a specific book focused on a place, and learn how to make a traditional meal from that region. This is an adorable way to get your family together to cook a meal while also learning something new.
Make a Scrapbook from Past Vacations
Reminisce on some of your favorite times together as a family by creating a scrapbook of your previous trips! This will have everyone laughing as you flip through old photos, reminding you of inside family jokes, cool new experiences and beautiful landscapes. Let every member of the family design their own page and be sure to add all the fun scrapbook accessories like patterned background pages and travel-related stickers. At the end of the scrapbook, dedicate a page to writing down everyone’s favorite memories and moments over the years. Looking back on your past vacations may even inspire you for your next big trip.
Get the Fam Involved in a Collaborative Project
Working together always brings people closer and gives us a sense of accomplishment once we’ve completed a project. Find a craft that everyone will be interested in and work on it as a family. Even a giant puzzle with an elaborate scene is a fun way to get everyone to collaborate. Pretend you’re on a mountain getaway and a big snowstorm just blew through, so you have to find ways to stay cozy in the cabin. Light a fire in the fireplace or put a YouTube video of a fire burning onto the TV to really set the mood. Then, start crafting! There are plenty of great crafts for families that can be done with household items.
Turn the Backyard into a Family Luau
Bring a little bit of Hawaii to Charleston when you and the family host your own backyard luau. Be sure to order some leis and grass skirts to sport and then spend the afternoon decorating the deck or backyard with tiki candles and other fun items. You can prepare some traditional Hawaiian food like grilled pineapple, Mahi Mahi tacos and pulled pork. Don’t forget some fruity Hawaiian cocktails (non-alcoholic for the kids) like a Mai Tai or pina colada.
Dress Up for a Fancy Dinner ‘Out’
Going out to a new restaurant is always one of our favorite parts about traveling, so if you’re staying in for your at-home vacation, turn your house into the restaurant. Your kids may want to play along with everyone having a different job like server, chef, dishwasher and host. Work together on creating fancy menus to hand out once you’re all seated at the table. Then, transform the dining room into a restaurant with ambient candle lighting, menus on the table and maybe even break out the good silverware. You can all pitch in with adding menu items and create a three-course (or more!) meal with homemade appetizers, entrees and desserts.
Help the Kids Create a Play to Act Out
During a vacation, seeing a play, show or concert is always a fun activity. If the kids are looking for something to do, encourage them to create their own performance that they can put on for an audience. You can even play a “dinner and a show” kind of night at home when you make a family meal and then head to the living room for the first showing of a brand-new play written and directed by your very own family.
Eat Breakfast for Dinner
Anytime you’re on vacation, it’s always fun to do things a bit differently than you do at home—sleep in, treat yourself to a fancy dinner, try a new activity. One way to switch it up at home is by making breakfast for dinner. The kids will love flipping pancakes in the evening and sneaking bites of the chocolate croissants while you’re not looking. This is a fun and silly way to switch up your time at home. If you own any bed trays, you can even serve the dinner as a breakfast in bed!
Charleston Staycation Throughout the City
The word “staycation” doesn’t always refer to a vacation in your actual home. Sometimes, we want to see our own city through the eyes of a tourist and really take in all the beauty that is associated with living in Charleston. The year-round mild climate, beautiful beaches, outdoor activities and many historic sites provide us with a nearly endless list of things to do with the family while still feeling like you’re away for the weekend. Start checking some of these top things to do off your staycation list.
Visit the Angel Oak Tree
Located on Johns Island, the Angel Oak Tree is one of the most stunning outdoor attractions in Charleston. This tree has been growing for several hundred years, making it one of the oldest trees in the Southeast. In fact, its limbs now stretch so wide and have become so heavy that thick, wooden poles have been erected to keep them elevated and help the tree continue to grow. Bring the entire family along to check out this amazing piece of nature and experience the ethereal-like atmosphere that surrounds a sight as astounding as this.
Rent a Charter Boat for the Day
There’s no better way to explore Charleston than on its waterways. With so many beautiful days throughout the year, it would be a waste not to hop on a boat and cruise through the harbor. If you don’t own your own boat, you can charter one for the day and pass under the Ravenel Bridge or go for a sunset boat ride or take a trip out to Morris Island in the afternoon and let the family swim, tan and play.
Spend a Day at the Beach
The city of Charleston is surrounded by three beautiful and easily accessible beaches—Folly, Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms. Folly Beach is located at the end of James Island and is known for its bohemian, surfer kind of vibe. Stop into Bert’s Market and grab sandwiches for the family before hitting the sand. Don’t forget the boogie boards!
If you prefer the beaches in Mount Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island is the perfect place to go to admire the lighthouse and eat dinner at a reputable restaurant like The Obstinate Daughter or Poe’s Tavern. Before you head back to the house, don’t forget to stop by Beard Cat’s for some ice cream. Isle of Palms is a bit farther into Mount Pleasant but is a great environment for families and even has beach volleyball courts if you’re feeling competitive.
Visit a Historic Site
As a city in one of the original 13 colonies and a place with a major part in the U.S. Civil War, Charleston undoubtedly is a treasure trove of history. You can buy a ticket to take the ferry out to Fort Sumter and learn about the city’s role in the Civil War and how Fort Sumter fell to the Union. The downtown area is also full of historic places to visit from The Battery and Rainbow Row to the Old Market. History buffs may want to do some research into the most important historic spots in Charleston and then go and visit them for yourself.
Charleston: The Perfect Place for a Staycation
When you move to Charleston, S.C., you’re already on a permanent vacation. But, sometimes we need to spice things up and turn our everyday life into a staycation to be remembered. If you’re stuck in the house and looking for an at-home getaway idea, try getting the kids involved in planning a themed night, cooking a new destination-specific meal or host a Hawaiian luau.
If you’re trying to explore the city through the eyes of a tourist, there are dozens of great places you can take the fam for a Charleston weekend away. Add your favorite ideas to a Charleston staycation bucket list and start working your way through these excellent activities.