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Historic South Carolina Self-Drive Tour

12 days from £3,395pp

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Tour highlights

  • Stroll through the streets of Charleston with an expert guide and get local insights into the city’s rich history.

  • Visit a number of historical plantations set upon the Ashley River, just a short drive from Charleston.

  • Enjoy typical Southern traditions at Montage Palmetto Bluff and sample fire-roasted S’mores, homemade sweet tea and slow-simmered shrimp and grits.

  • Bask in the Carolina sunshine on Hilton Head Island.

12 days from £3,395pp

Price includes:

  • Scheduled international flights
  • Fully insured vehicle hire
  • All accommodation
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Travel that's shaped around you

We know that travel has the most meaning when it's created individually for you. Our specialists will only start designing your trip once they understand exactly what you want it to be. So, consider this idea simply as inspiration for your own experience.

Itinerary idea in detail

With international flights from a choice of airports including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

  • Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Charleston. Upon arrival, make your way to your hotel which is located in the heart of the city. The rest of the evening is yours to enjoy.

  • On your first morning in Charleston, take a historic walking tour of the city with a small group and guide and discover Charleston's characterful past. Your guide will offer a wealth of information about Charleston's role in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars as well as insider tips on the best museums, restaurants and things to do during your time in the city. Later that afternoon, we recommend a visit the Old Slave Mart Museum, Fort Sumter or one of the historic homes of the old South's wealthy elite.

  • Today, take a short taxi ride to pick up your car from the depot. We recommend driving out of the city, up the Ashley River Road to Charleston's surrounding countryside. This is where a number of plantations once thrived in the 19th century. Magnolia Plantation is located just 30-minutes' drive from downtown Charleston and has beautiful gardens as well as swamps teeming with alligators. Visitors will receive a rich insight into plantation life from the 1700s and 1800s. You can also visit Drayton Hall or Middleton Place.

  • This morning, enjoy breakfast followed by a leisurely morning of shopping in the local boutiques and markets. After lunch, drive two hours south to the historic town of Bluffton. On arrival at Montage Palmetto Bluff, indulge in a traditional Lowcountry welcome and say hello to the resident pups before being shown to your lagoon view room. This evening, enjoy dinner at the Octagon Porch and make sure to stop by the fire pit for s'mores afterwards.

  • Spend a day at leisure enjoying the flora and fauna that encompass the resort by taking a stroll around the grounds or renting a bicycle. We also recommend the boat tour to historic Daufuskie Island or paying a visit to the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy to learn about the land and wildlife on site.

  • Today, have breakfast at Buffalo's and fill up on fluffy American pancakes, waffles or traditional biscuits and bacon. Take your pick from a variety of activities on offer: head out on a boat in search of wild dolphins, go fresh-water fishing or kayak out to the sandbar.

  • Spend your morning visiting Bluffton to learn about the town's historic churches and antebellum homes. Enjoy lunch alfresco in one of the cafés, peruse the general store for unique Carolina gifts and spend time reading the many plaques dotted around the historical sites. Then, take the short drive to Hilton Head Island. On arrival, admire the ocean views and accustom yourself with the resort.

  • Spend the day at leisure on Hilton Head Island. We recommend driving out to Harbour Town Lighthouse in the morning to enjoy views of the ocean waves and marshland below. Drive back to the resort and spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach.

  • Today is yours to explore the island at length. Visit the Coastal Discovery Museum to learn about the cultural heritage of Hilton Head Island or grab a kayak and paddle around the shoreline. You will also learn about the wildlife of the area including dolphins and a variety of birdlife.

  • Soak up the famous Carolina sunshine and spend your last day relaxing on the beach or by the pool.

  • Spend the day at leisure on Hilton Head Island before heading back to the airport for your flight home.

  • Arrive home today to complete your journey.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

Alice, an Audley Travel specialist

Contact a the Deep South specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to the Deep South will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip.

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