Asheville to Charleston Road Trip

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  • Greenville and Spartanburg
  • Columbia
  • Charleston
  • Tips
  • Roadside assistance
  • Cheap insurance
  • FAQs
On the Asheville to Charleston road trip, you can find stunning natural attractions, magical Main Streets, and historic houses that will knock your socks off. This scenic four-hour route is straightforward, but the opportunities for adventure are anything but.
North Carolina and South Carolina have plenty of hidden nooks just waiting to be discovered. So don’t be afraid to trash the itinerary and follow your heart off the highway! Not literally, of course.
Before you go, get roadside assistance with Jerry. Add coverage for $6.99 to your car insurance coverage so you can tackle the Charleston to Asheville drive with confidence.
Ready? Let’s hit the road!
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Greenville and Spartanburg

This vibrant area is known for live entertainment, music, and outdoor parks. Both Greenville and Spartanburg are friendly cities with plenty of authentic and artistic touches guaranteed to delight visitors of all ages.
If you’re on I-26, you’ll pass directly through Spartanburg. A visit to Greenville requires a slight detour to the west.
Why you should go: If you’re a sucker for charm, then it’s worth taking the exit for Spartanburg or Greenville. You can dip into an active music scene, explore gorgeous natural attractions right off the highway, and take in some incredible art. Betcha didn’t know there was so much to discover, eh?
What you should do: Greenville is packed full of trendy coffee shops, and many of them are located near the classic, tree-lined Main Street. Grab a coffee and walk the boutiques.
Make sure you end up at Falls Park on the Reedy to see the view from the suspension bridge. The Greenville County Museum of Art has a large collection of American works, and Paris Mountain State Park (just outside town) has a waterfall and easy hiking trails.
If you’re in Spartanburg, enjoy some greenery at Croft State Park or Hatcher Garden & Woodland Preserve. The Glendale Shoals is a great place for a riverside siesta.
Train fans will love learning more about the city’s railroad history at the Model Trains Station, and history aficionados can visit Cowpens National Battlefield, which played a major role in the American Revolution.
Key Takeaway You can’t go wrong with either Greenville or Spartanburg一both cities have lovely parks and lots to offer.
People cross a green bridge over water by the River Arts District in Asheville.
Asheville, North Carolina

Columbia

An hour and a half from your previous stop, Columbia is full of old Southern magic. Stunning forests, wetlands trails, and historic architecture are all available to you here.
Why you should go: Columbia boasts a satisfying assortment of activities. It’s steeped in history (both manmade and Mother Nature-made), and there is great shopping and world-class cuisine, too. Oh, and fireflies!
What you should do: At Congaree National Park, you can see rare synchronous fireflies and the largest tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the country. Take a short walk along the 2.5-mile elevated Boardwalk Loop Trail.
Downtown you can see the State House and a lovely 19th-century quad. You can also visit the Columbia Zoo or head to the Congaree Vista District if you want to shop or visit art galleries.
A wooden boardwalk through the trees leads deeper into Congaree National Park.
Congaree National Park, South Carolina

Arrive in Charleston

Cobblestone streets, stately buildings, and sandy beaches—it’s all in Charleston. Make sure you bring an empty stomach to this gorgeous Atlantic town, as the cuisine is legendary.
Why you should go: Charleston is famous for its antebellum specimens. We’re talking manors, plantations, horse-drawn carriages, and more. Of course, this area’s wealth was primarily created by enslaved Africans and their descendants, so be sure to learn more about the history of slavery during your visit.
This is a city with a promising future and contemporary culture, and you’re guaranteed to find enough fine art and good eats to keep you satisfied.
What you should do: No trip to Charleston would be complete without visiting Rainbow Row, a group of 13 Georgian-style houses painted in playful colors. Find it on East Bay Street. Not far away is the rest of the historic district—don’t miss Museum Mile on Meeting Street.
Of course, you should plan to eat often and heartily in the Holy City. Two popular dishes are hush puppies and fried green tomatoes, but chefs across the city are cooking up delicious new eats daily. Check out Bertha’s Kitchen for top-rated low country food in a casual setting, or go to Rodney Scott’s BBQ for slow-smoked meats.
You can tour a plantation at McLeod Plantation Historic Site, just 15 minutes across town by car. Don’t leave without trying a horse-drawn carriage!
Houses reflect in the water of one of Charleston's many rivers in the daytime.
Charleston, South Carolina
Key Takeaway Charleston has a historic representation, but don’t miss out on its contemporary culture.

Tips for road-tripping in South Carolina

The South Carolina coastline is stunning, so don’t worry if you take a wrong turn—you’ll probably end up somewhere beautiful!
Drive carefully on your Asheville to Charleston road trip. The road quality in South Carolina is not always up to par, thanks to intense weather patterns. Plus, some say that drivers in this state are among the worst in the country! We get it, it’s easy to get distracted when you’re surrounded by this much natural beauty.
Finally, road trips require preparation. Before you go, gather up your road trip essentials and see if there are any famous foodie destinations on your route. The more you prepare in advance, the more you can relax on the trip.
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Why you need roadside assistance

Potholes are a road-tripper’s worst enemy. Well, that and outrageously expensive parking. We can’t help with the latter, but the roadside assistance program with Jerry offers protection from mishaps like flat tires.
For $6.99, you get towing and labor coverage, Uber credits, lockout assistance, flat tire help, and trip interruption credits up to $750—plus so much more! Think of it this way: for the cost of a bag of stale chips from the gas station, you could get roadside assistance coverage in case of emergencies.

Finding cheap car insurance

Jerry is the best way to find savings on your car insurance premium. In fact, most people are overpaying—and Jerry customers save an average of $879 per year.
No matter your state or your driving record, try the Jerry app. It only takes 45 seconds, it’s completely free, and we handle everything. No phone calls, no paperwork, just savings. What do you have to lose, except hundreds of dollars you didn’t need to spend?
“Jerry got me the best price, and the communication was great.” - Satisfied Jerry user

FAQs

What time of year is the best time for a road trip?

It depends on your priorities and your destination! You may wish to consider weather patterns (for instance, avoiding the rainy season or extremely hot temperatures). You may want to schedule your trip for the off-season to avoid tourists, or perhaps you want to enjoy the crowds at a major festival.

What is Charleston known for?

Charleston, also known as the Holy City, is known for its antebellum history. The architecture is incredible. More recently it has become a vacation destination thanks to its beautiful beaches and new restaurants.
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