Girls Weekend Road Trip – Charleston SC

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Last month I took a little road trip Charleston style! Look, sometimes a girl needs pretty things. I’ve always leaned toward the tomboy side of life, but now that I am surrounded by testosterone on a daily basis as a wife and boymom, I feel a pull toward beauty more than I have in the past.

I love architecture and history, so when my friend Erin invited me to join her on a road trip to Charleston provided by Toyota, I was all over it! Give me a girls weekend and a pretty city with lots of delicious food and I will float on that high for weeks. 

Read: Treat Yourself to a Girls Weekend at The Durham Hotel

Window Box Charleston

Toyota RAV4 Road Trip Charleston 

The trip from Raleigh to Charleston is an easy interstate drive. Since Erin did all the driving, I got to sit back and relax in style. I mentioned that Toyota sponsored this trip so Erin could do a review of the RAV4. I was delighted to provide my input as a very happy passenger and I have to admit, I found a new love in photographing vehicles. Who knew? 

We had to stop at the iconic South of the Border exit on our way South. Can you believe I’ve been driving past this place for nearly 40 years and have never stopped until now? True story!

Driving with kids is a completely different story so it was great to be able to stop and grab pictures whenever we wanted. The little things add up!

RAV4 South of the Border

We arrived late afternoon and checked into the lovely Francis Marion Hotel right in the heart of downtown. This was a great spot for exploring on foot, grabbing a delicious bite to eat at the weekend farmer’s market and taking in a bit of Charleston history. 

King Street is so much fun. I could have stayed on this one road the whole weekend and had the time of my life. Everything is there from shopping to bars and restaurants. So fun!

Francis Marion Hotel Charleston Sunset

Francis Marion Hotel Lobby Charleston

Be a Tourist in Charleston

It’s been over a decade since I visited Charleston and thanks to the amazing PR folks at Toyota, we had a weekend full of fun tours and activities to learn about the city’s history. It was so fun to do a few touristy things I might not have taken the time for otherwise. We learned so much! 

492 King Charleston

Try dinner at 492 King. You won’t regret it!

Our first night started with a terrific dinner followed by a nighttime ghost tour of the city. Our guide was so great and full of fascinating facts. Tour guides can make or break stuff like this but he was really great and totally got into it. We even went into an old dungeon. Creepiness level unlocked. Do you believe in ghosts??

We also had a carriage ride through the city where we learned all about the architecture and historical significance of certain homes and buildings. And I made a new friend!

Old South Carriage Company Charleston

Andrea with Luke the horse

Meet Luke the horse! Love the braids, Luke.

Poogans Porch Charleston

Take a drive in Charleston

Not all of our adventures were within walking distance. We had several opportunities to drive around, take photos and enjoy ourselves. 

One visit was to Boone Hall Plantation. This old plantation has been used in film and tv productions and has some of the prettiest plants and trees I have ever seen. Plantation life was no joke and there’s plenty of not so pretty history here as well. If you’re nearby, I highly recommend a tour. 

Boone Plantation Charleston

Andrea and Erin Boone Hall Plantation

Something unexpected about photographing the RAV4 was that I was looking at the city with new eyes. Rather than focusing on what was close-up and right in front of me, I began scanning for beautiful backdrops.

Vehicles aren’t small and 100 images of the same thing, no matter what it is can get real boring real fast. I had a great time being creative in a new way!

RAV$ with Bridge

Pineapple fountain Charleston

Cruise Ship Charleston Harbor

Toyota Rav4 Charleston Street

Andrea Lucky Sundress

Enjoy the tastes of Charleston

One might say I saved the best for last. If there is one thing I learned during my trip, it’s that Charleston knows how to eat! We were treated to some amazing meals and since our trip was just a few days after my birthday, I didn’t mind one bit! 

I’ll just leave these right here…

Steak at 492 Charleston

Steak at 492 King

Cheers at Husk Charleston

Husk BLT

Drinks and BLT from Husk

Fried Brie CRU Cafe Charleston

Fried Brie was just the beginning of an incredible dinner at CRU Cafe

Bked Donuts Charleston

Locally made donuts from the farmer’s market across from the hotel. Yes, please!

Poogans Porch Hot Chicken Sandwich

This was BREAKFAST at Poogan’s Porch. I think I’m in love.

Gentry Bourbon

I even tried something new – Bourbon from Gentry!

Bourbon not so much

This was admittedly not my favorite as evidenced by my blurry bourbon face. 

Andrea and Erin at Gentry

All I can say is this girls weekend trip to Charleston was amazing and just what I needed for a little R&R with one of my best friends! If you need some time away to recharge, take it! Life is too short to skip the good stuff. Many thanks to Erin and the Toyota team for inviting me on this fun adventure!

Are you planning any getaways? Where will you go?

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Take your next weekend road trip Charleston style! See how we traveled with the Toyota RAV4 on a fun girls weekend getaway to one of the best cities in the south!

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About Andrea Updyke

Andrea Updyke is a married mom of two boys living in Raleigh, NC. She is a published author and blogger of more than 18 years and loves to celebrate the little things that make life awesome.

Whether she's sharing tasty recipes, traveling or hanging with the family, Andrea's goal is to help make your days a little easier and a lot more fun! Email inquiries to

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