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 6, 2017 - May 28, 2017
Gather your favorite foursome and test your skills on championship courses that demand your best play for a legendary golf getaway at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
Price range: $223


Course City Rates from
Course City Rates from
Patriots Point Links on Charleston Harbor
Tee Times
Mount Pleasant $42
The Club at Pine Forest
Tee Times
Summerville $16
Crowfield Golf & Country Club Goose Creek $40
Charleston National Country Club Mount Pleasant $32 - $67
Turtle Point at Kiawah Island Resort Kiawah Island $150 - $250
Sergeant Jasper Country Club Ridgeland $10
Cypress Point Par-3 Goose Creek $10
Oak Point at Kiawah Island Resort Kiawah Island $121 - $360
Black Robin Course at Golf Club At Wescott Plantation
Tee Times
Summerville $19
Harbor Course at Wild Dunes Resort
Tee Times
Isle of Palms $50
Cougar Point at Kiawah Island Resort Kiawah Island $205 - $360
Oak Forest Course at Golf Club At Wescott Plantation
Tee Times
Summerville $19
Links Course at Wild Dunes Resort
Tee Times
Isle of Palms $75
Dogwood Hills Country Club
Tee Times
Walterboro $10
Shadowmoss Plantation Golf Club Charleston $37 - $42
Ocean at Kiawah Island Resort Kiawah Island $281 - $387
Osprey Point at Kiawah Island Resort Kiawah Island $205 - $360
Burn Kill Course at Golf Club At Wescott Plantation
Tee Times
Summerville $19
Ralston Creek Course at Daniel Island Club Charleston $85 - $172
Pines Course at Lady's Island Country Club Beaufort $29 - $39
Snee Farm Country Club Mount Pleasant $43 - $60
Legend Oaks Golf Club Summerville $29 - $55
Plantation Course at Edisto Edisto Beach less than $50
Oaks Golf & Country Club Goose Creek $16
Golf Club At Briar's Creek Johns Island $120 - $150
Morgan River at Dataw Island Club Saint Helena Island $67 - $85
Cherokee Plantation Yemassee N/A
Cotton Dike at Dataw Island Club Saint Helena Island $67 - $85
River Course at Kiawah Island Club Kiawah Island $112 - $129
Cassique Course at Kiawah Island Club Johns Island $157 - $215
Redbank Plantation Golf Course Charleston $12
RiverTowne Country Club Mt Pleasant $65 - $100
Brays Island Plantation Sheldon $70
Country Club of Charleston Charleston $67 - $100
Ocean Winds Course at Seabrook Island Resort Johns Island $120 - $175
Coosaw Creek Country Club North Charleston $69
Summerville Country Club Summerville $15 - $35
Beresford Creek Course at Daniel Island Club Charleston $85 - $172
Crooked Oaks Course at Seabrook Island Resort Johns Island $120 - $175
Yeamans Hall Club Hanahan $100
Dunes West Golf Club Mount Pleasant $37 - $78
Links at Stono Ferry Hollywood $49 - $84
Bulls Bay Golf Club Awendaw $85 - $100
Charleston Municipal Golf Course Charleston $10 - $22
Wrenwoods Golf Club Charleston $20 - $35
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