Day Trips Nearby Florence 

Florence, South Carolina is really close to a lot of major cities. 

Columbia, South Carolina 

Only 1 hour from Florence!

As the capital of South Carolina, Columbia has a cozy downtown area and is a great college town for the young. Only 1 hour and 15 minutes from Florence, this is a great day trip to take to seek out wonderful restaurants and visit kid-friendly museums. 

Suggested Family-Friendly Activities in Columbia, SC
  • Edventure Children's Museum It's a very large museum made just for kids! (http://www.edventure.org)

  • Riverbanks Zoo & Garden (also known as 'Columbia Zoo') With seasonal events like Boo at the Zoo and Lights before Christmas, our family visits the Riverbanks Zoo often so that our toddler can enjoy seeing the animals and also attend special events. The animals there all look very happy and well taken care of. (https://www.riverbanks.org) 

  • Dine in downtown Columbia - With many great Southern restaurants like Blue Marlin in downtown or a unique ethnic restaurant like Menkoi Ramen house, treat your family's tastebuds to many options the capital offers. 

  • Attend a major fair or festival. Check the calendar for major fairs and festivals throughout the year. The biggest fair is the South Carolina State Fair that takes place in Columbia every year in October.

  • Shopping at Columbiana Centre -   They have a lot of stores that Florence doesn't have and also an indoor playground that is free for little kids to play near the JCPenney department store. We take portraits at the JCPenney Portraits center inside the department store and always make sure our son gets his energy released after a photo session at their kid's playground. The mall in Florence doesn't have this portrait center or a playground so we think it's a super treat that the mall in Columbia does. 

 

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina  

Only 1 hour from Florence! See all hotels in Myrtle Beach.

As one of the most famous beaches on the East Coast, Florence is lucky that it is only an hour and 15 minute drive. During the most busiest seasons, it can get very crowded and traffic can be jam packed. I recommend going when the spring breakers and the college kids are just returning back to school from summer break, while the weather is still nice and warm. If you like the big commotions, do come during their high seasons! 


Suggested Family-Friendly Activities in Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Myrtle Beach boardwalk Right along the beach, many shops and restaurants you can peek into while continuing on your stroll! They also have a big ferris wheel that you can't miss! 

  • Go to Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach. About a couple miles from the boardwalk, this shopping center is more than a regular shopping center. It has rides and never-ending shops and restaurants! You can also have the kids feed their fishes along their bridges over water. They also have a calendar on when they shoot fireworks there! (http://www.broadwayatthebeach.com)

  • Play mini-golf! There are so many mini golf courses in Myrtle Beach and some are free at resorts that have them on their property! Make sure to check out what kind of amenities the hotel you're staying at has.

  • Dunes Village Resort (resort with indoor waterpark!) - Dunes Village Resort has the only indoor waterpark in Myrtle Beach and it is free to use their water park if you are a hotel guest there. Their rates are so affordable and even my toddler son was able to enjoy the 1 feet deep kiddie pools. They also have fun waterslides for bigger kids and adults. It doesn't matter if the weather is cold outside because the indoor waterpark will always be covered with comfortable water temperatures. 

  • Play at the beach, of course! With famous warm waters during the warm season, Myrtle Beach is a great place to let your kids dip their feet in or swim if they are good swimmers. Lay on the beach with some sandwiches and soak in the sun! 

 

Charlotte, NC & Charleston, SC  

Just 2 hours from Florence! 

Being originally from a major city, we sometimes fly out of Charlotte or Charleston to fly to Southern California, versus flying from Florence's small airport because we would find cheaper rates and the amount of travel time (including layovers) seems to be about the same, if not faster. We are lucky that they are both only 2 hours and half away from Florence. 

Charlotte, NC 

We often take trips to Charlotte to get our car serviced and would enjoy their activities there for the day. 

Suggested Family-Friendly Activities in Charlotte, NC 
  • Discovery Place, Charlotte's Children's Museum The last time we were here, my toddler son did not want to leave! With a lot of fun science and interactive activities, it's fun for both kids and adults. It is free for kids under 2. (http://www.discoveryplace.org)

  • Great Wolf Lodge Concord. Famous for their indoor waterparks, the Great Wolf Lodge was made to cater towards kids. They have really expensive rates but their amenities are very good with kid's themed hotel rooms and many resort activities.  (https://www.greatwolf.com/concord)

  • Watch the Carolina Panther's play at the Bank of America Stadium in downtown Charlotte during the football season. If your kids are big enough to enjoy a game of football, this is a really special treat for them. 

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame (http://www.nascarhall.com/tickets)

  • Super G International Market located at 7323 East Independence Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28227. Being from Southern California, I grew up eating a whole lot of ethnic foods and cuisines. They sell all sorts of ingredients from around the world and you can spice up your kitchen with all healthy foods that they have to offer. They also have a bakery and a Korean restaurant inside. Check out Honey Buns; they sell very unique and fresh Asian buns! 

  • Carowinds Theme Park -  I would only recommend this to families with kids who are at least 48 inches in height and above. They have very limited rides for a 36 inch tall toddler and you can't even ride any if you are shorter than that. There are a lot more adult rides. (https://www.carowinds.com)

  • Sea Life Aquarium in Concord - Owned by LEGOLAND, this aquarium has a lot of amazing sea creatures every year. All kids of all ages can enjoy this. (https://www.visitsealife.com/charlotte-concord/)

Charleston, SC 

Charleston is a much more sophisticated destination and we only go there on super special occasions to spend the night. Before we had our toddler, we went there twice and once we went on a sailing trip there. I really recommend doing that when you have a chance. Of course, it is harder with a little kid now for us but if you have bigger kids who can sit still, I really think the kids will really enjoy it very much as well. 

Suggested Family-Friendly activities in Charleston, SC 
  • Children's Museum of the Lowcountry - It is $2 cheaper for SC residents and free for 12 months and younger. (http://explorecml.org)

  • Patriots Point - Take a tour on the boats and aircrafts that the military used in wartime. (http://www.patriotspoint.org)

  • Folly Beach Fishing Pier - It is the second longest pier on the East Coast and has spectacular views. 

  • North Charleston Wannamaker County Park - Play on the playground or pedal on boats. They also have a seasonal waterpark with admission for $1.  (http://www.ccprc.com)

  • South Carolina Aquarium - Children 2 and under are free. (http://www.scaquarium.org)