Destination Guide

Destination: Charleston

On one hand, there is the rest of the South, embroiled in an eternal struggle to sell its historical wares in the competitive market of eco-tourism. On the other hand, there is Charleston.

Sure, downtown Savannah delights many a visitor with Mr. Oglethorpe's well planned wards, and St. Augustine holds many keys to our country's past, but only Charleston has the power to do battle with the historic towns of New England and the mid-Atlantic.

A city of nearly 100,000 people, Charleston was once the fifth largest city in the fledgling United States, as well as the most hated civic symbol of the South by the Union army. Not surprisingly, the Civil War began in Charleston as the first shots were fired upon Ft. Sumter in 1861.

No city in the United States has persevered through more natural (and unnatural setbacks). The fire of 1861, the havoc inflicted by the British during the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and hurricane Hugo all come to mind, and that is not even an exhaustive list.

"Charles Town," as it was originally founded in 1670, was named after King Charles II, and to this day, not much has changed about the city's quaint downtown. Perhaps no city in the United States has maintained more of its original structures and character than Charleston.

True, a flurry of modern residential and commercial developments have sprung up around Charleston, and it's beautiful island communities. The downside of such growth comes in the form of traffic, pollution, and aesthetic compromise, but the upside comes in the form of golf courses, and darn good ones at that.

While Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head may be the main golfing destinations in the Palmetto State, Charleston also possesses it's own rich golfing culture.

The home of golf in the United States is a hotly debated topic, but Charleston can actually lay claim to the nation's first golf course and golf club - Harleston Green and the South Carolina Golf Club, both of which were established in 1786.

Unlike golfing in Myrtle Beach, golfing in Charleston is fathomable, and flat out relaxing. Despite it's popularity as a travel destination, the old town plays host to a limited number of golf courses, most which sport designer names and are not afraid to charge accordingly. Some golfers may view this as a drawback; others may view it as charming and manageable. If you do not want to deny yourself one of the true golfing pleasures in life, please choose the later viewpoint.

Unlike golfing in Hilton Head, golfing in Charleston is distinctly Southern. You can go Hilton Head and literally not run into someone from the South, much less South Carolina. But Charleston attracts its own, as Southerners and Northerners alike are drawn to the purity and challenge of true Lowcountry golf.

"Charleston is one of the most popular destinations on the Eastern Seaboard and while the Myrtle Beach area gets all the attention from the golf world, the Charleston area boasts some fantastic golf," says Scott Martin, co-author of The Insiders' Guide to Golf in the Carolinas. "Charleston is a great place for couples, especially if one of the two isn't a golfer."

Getting to Charleston

Charleston International Airport has daily flights from most major airlines. If you are driving to Charleston, take I-26 east off of I-95. Interstate 95 runs north and south along the East Coast through Miami, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. If you are coming from west of Charleston you will have to take several highways through the Western Carolinas until you reach the coast. If you are coming from the north and enjoy a scenic view try highway 17 along the Carolina Coast through Myrtle Beach.

Charleston FAQ

What islands are considered part of Charleston?
Seabrook Island, Kiawah Island, John's Island, James Island, Sullivan Island and isle of Palms are all considered part of Charleston and are home to some of the best golf courses in the city.

Where can I find coastal golf near Charleston?
The Kiawah Island Resort is home to Pete Dye's Ocean Course which is regarded as one of the most beautiful and difficult courses in the Carolinas. Also, Wild Dunes Resort is located on the Isle of Palms and features Tom Fazio's Harbor and Links Courses.

What are the golf options like inland?
Nearly as good as on the beach. In Mt. Pleasant, Crowfield Plantation is one of Charleston's premier golf courses. Its hardwood-lined fairways and marshland make Crowfield challenging and charming. Kept in immaculate condition, the Bob Spence-designed course looks like it did when it opened in 1989.

What else is there to do in Charleston?
After South Carolina succeed from the Union in 1860, the Civil War's first battle took place at Fort Sumter. In nearby Charleston Harbor, today Fort Sumter is home to a monument and museum that provide context as well as tours and artifacts that help explain the conflict that began the Civil War.

What about dining in Charleston?
Charleston's restaurants and local cuisine have been favorably reviewed in several culinary magazines, including Gourmet, Food & Wine and Saveur. A wide variety of styles are available -- from casual Southern fare to the finest renditions of the world's great cuisine. Many local specialties are derived from fresh-off-the-boat seafood and locally grown produce. The perennial Lowcountry favorites are not to be missed: shrimp and grits, roasted oysters and Frogmore Stew.

See also

Special Deals

Kiawah Island Golf Package
Dates: March 5, 2018 - May 27, 2018
Experience golf at its best on five fully renovated championship courses in pristine condition. Villa accommodations start at just $228/person/night or you can upgrade to The Sanctuary Hotel from $437/person/night.
Price range: $228


Course City Rates from
Course City Rates from
The Club at Pine Forest
Tee Times
Summerville $16
Patriots Point Links on Charleston Harbor
Tee Times
Mount Pleasant $37
Crowfield Golf & Country Club Goose Creek $40
Ocean at Kiawah Island Resort Kiawah Island $281 - $387
Black Robin Course at Golf Club At Wescott Plantation
Tee Times
Summerville $12
Oak Forest Course at Golf Club At Wescott Plantation
Tee Times
Summerville $12
Dogwood Hills Country Club
Tee Times
Walterboro $10
Turtle Point at Kiawah Island Resort Kiawah Island $150 - $250
Cypress Point Par-3 Goose Creek $10
Burn Kill Course at Golf Club At Wescott Plantation
Tee Times
Summerville $12
Harbor Course at Wild Dunes Resort
Tee Times
Isle of Palms $50
Oak Point at Kiawah Island Resort Kiawah Island $121 - $360
Shadowmoss Plantation Golf Club Charleston $37 - $42
Links Course at Wild Dunes Resort
Tee Times
Isle of Palms $68
Charleston National Country Club Mount Pleasant $32 - $67
Osprey Point at Kiawah Island Resort Kiawah Island $205 - $360
Cougar Point at Kiawah Island Resort Kiawah Island $205 - $360
Legend Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Summerville $45
Sergeant Jasper Country Club Ridgeland $10
Oaks Golf & Country Club Goose Creek $16
RiverTowne Country Club Mt Pleasant $65 - $100
Charleston Municipal Golf Course Charleston $10 - $22
Snee Farm Country Club Mount Pleasant $43 - $60
Yeamans Hall Club Hanahan $100
Cherokee Plantation Yemassee N/A
Country Club of Charleston Charleston $67 - $100
Golf Club At Briar's Creek Johns Island $120 - $150
Crooked Oaks Course at Seabrook Island Resort Johns Island $120 - $175
Cassique Course at Kiawah Island Club Johns Island $157 - $215
Ralston Creek Course at Daniel Island Club Charleston $85 - $172
Bulls Bay Golf Club Awendaw $85 - $100
River Course at Kiawah Island Club Kiawah Island $112 - $129
Redbank Plantation Golf Course Charleston $12
Links at Stono Ferry Hollywood $49 - $84
Summerville Country Club Summerville $15 - $35
Beresford Creek Course at Daniel Island Club Charleston $85 - $172
Pines Course at Lady's Island Country Club Beaufort $29 - $39
Coosaw Creek Country Club North Charleston $69
Dunes West Golf Club Mount Pleasant $37 - $78
Wrenwoods Golf Club Charleston $20 - $35
Cotton Dike at Dataw Island Club Saint Helena Island $67 - $85
Brays Island Plantation Sheldon $70
Morgan River at Dataw Island Club Saint Helena Island $67 - $85
Plantation Course at Edisto Edisto Beach $59
Ocean Winds Course at Seabrook Island Resort Johns Island $120 - $175
First page Previous page Next page Last page

Area Map

loading local map...

Latest reader ratings from this area

Related Articles