Visitors to The Lodge Alley Inn in Charleston, South Carolina, as well as any of four Bluegreen Vacations in Myrtle Beach have a unique opportunity to travel the first leg of an historic stretch of road called the King’s Highway. Connecting Charleston to Boston, MA, this 1,300-mile highway was a commercial link between major cities along the eastern seaboard. Drive along it during your next vacation for cool sights and bites.
Starting Your Roadtip In Charleston
Stepping out of the Lodge Alley Inn in downtown Charleston, you’ll have to travel north on East Bay Road about a mile and cross eastward over the Cooper River on the trip’s first item of interest, the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge. Built in 2005 and just shy of two and half miles in total length, its main span of 1,546 feet makes it the longest such span among cable-stayed bridges in the Western Hemisphere.
If hunger strikes during your trek, consider stopping at the Seewee Restaurant for a lunchtime bite to eat of some fine Lowcountry dining. Located just in front of the site of an early 19th century Wappetaw Independent Congregational Church on Fifteen Mile Landing Road and built in the early 1920s as a General Store, it was purchased by its current owner, Mary Rancourt, in the 1960s. It remained a General Store until 1993, when it was converted to a restaurant. Its interior still looks as though it were the Hollywood set of a general store on the streets of Dodge in the days of Gunsmoke. Owner Mary Rancourt is front and center and is likely to be there whenever you arrive; ready and willing to tell you the story of this unique restaurant.
With hunger out of the way, it’s time to head on out into the Francis Marion National Forest. For the next 20 or 30 miles, your King’s Highway trip will wind its way through the southernmost portion of this 252,368 acre forest, and afford you the opportunity to stop along the way and traverse some of its numerous trails, including the well-maintained, 145-mile Palmetto Trail, which will wind its way through acres of swampland and connect up with the Appalachian Trail. If you’re lucky, especially during summer months, you might be able to snap a picture of an alligator or two, as they sun themselves on patches of dry land.
Myrtle Beach Sights To See
Among the sites to be considered as you conclude your 100-mile trip from Charleston to Myrtle Beach will be Pawley’s Island, world-renowned for The Pawleys Island Original Hammock Shop, as well as its reputation for sightings of ‘The Gray Man,’ a friendly ghost who warns people of impending hurricanes. Brookgreen Gardens, which combines history, art and nature in a 300-acre parcel of land, established as a nature preserve and showcase for figurative sculptures by American artists, is another of those sites, which alone could easily encompass a day’s worth of activities.
Last, but not least, travelers should consider an evening jaunt to Murrells Inlet, known as the Seafood Capital of South Carolina. It’s less than a 10-minute trip from any of the Bluegreen Resorts in Myrtle Beach. In recent years, the Inlet’s reputation for seafood has been enhanced by a reputation for nightlife. This four-mile stretch of road (Business Rte. 17), east of main highway 17, has restaurants and nightlife establishments that range from the traditional to the eccentric.
This section of the 1,300-mile King’s Highway is one of the most event- and sight-packed sections of Eastern seaboard road from Maine to Florida. Whether you want to rent a jet ski and navigate its waters or engage in less strenuous activities like hiking or taking in an art (or rice) museum, there is something for every member of the Bluegreen vacation. Situated between five Bluegreen Resorts (the one in Charleston and the three in Myrtle Beach), it’s all accessible within a two-hour drive, whether you’re headed northeast out of Charleston or southwest out of Myrtle Beach.