A week at the beach with a full slate of fun activities is the perfect way to make long-lasting family memories. We want you to spend less time planning and more time playing, so use this handy Playcation Guide to map out your vacation.
DAY ONE: ARRIVE & DISCOVER
Your home for the week is a villa at Wild Dunes Resort, a 1,600-acre oceanfront paradise located on Isle of Palms. Check in and get your bearings. The AAA Four Diamond-rated Village at Wild Dunes is a hub resort activity with a grocery market, salon, fitness center, and dining options.
One of the most exciting aspects of Wild Dunes Resort is the recreation program, which offers a wide variety of programs for all ages, including The Island Adventures® day camp for ages three to 12 and the teenage-appropriate Wild Excursions kayak and sailing trips around the island.
DAY ONE: EXPLORE BY BICYCLE
Hop on bicycles and head to the two Grand Pavilion ocean-side pools for your first taste of sunshine and relaxation by the shore.
DAY ONE: DINNER BY THE WATER
Nearby Morgan Creek Grill offers casual dining with rooftop views overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.
DAY TWO: START SLOW
Wake up and take full advantage of your proximity to the ocean. Stroll along the beach before breakfast. Watch shorebirds scuttle about in and see the shells that washed up overnight. Build a sandcastle. Hop over waves as they break onto the beach. Smile! Laugh! You’re on vacation!
DAY TWO: EARLY LUNCH
Pop in the car and head over the bridge into Mt. Pleasant for lunch at Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ, where everyone loves the barbecue and southern-style side dishes. Take a bottle or two of the barbecue sauce home as a tangy souvenir.
DAY TWO: SHOPPING DETOUR
After lunch, walk next door to Gwynn’s, the locally-owned emporium of apparel, accessories, and gifts. Browse racks for Tory Burch, Elie Tahari, Tadashi, and Kate Spade. This is a great place to pick up a stylish beach cover-up for mom.
DAY TWO: GREAT HIGHTS
One of the best views of Charleston’s famed Historic District is from the flight deck of the USS Yorktown, the decommissioned aircraft carrier that is part of the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum compound. Vintage aircraft line the flight deck and the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum is located inside the cargo bay.
DAY THREE: STEP BACK IN TIME
For more than three centuries, crops have been grown on the grounds of picturesque Boone Hall Plantation, which has appeared in several movies and television mini-series. Where cotton plants once flourished, tomatoes and strawberries now thrive, and the U-Pick fields are always a big hit with little ones.
DAY THREE: LOOK UP
Have you ever seen a bald eagle up close? How about a great horned owl? Or a red-tailed hawk? Discover the life of raptors through guided walking tours, educational conservation programs and captivating flight demonstrations at the Center Birds of Prey, which Jack Hanna calls “the absolute best of its kind I have ever seen anywhere.”
DAY THREE: DINE AROUND
Mt. Pleasant Towne Centre offers close to a dozen different dining options, including local favorite Grimaldi’s Pizza and healthy dining option Zoe’s Kitchen.
DAY FOUR: BIG DAY DOWNTOWN
Conservation is the lynchpin of our ocean’s health, and the South Carolina Aquarium is a hands-on resource for learning environmental stewardship. Take the behind-the-scenes tour of the Sea Turtle Rescue Program, a pivotal education lesson for people of all ages.
DAY FOUR: DELICIOUS LUNCH
Just one block from the S.C. Aquarium is Ted’s Butcherblock, a gourmet marketplace offering sandwiches, soups and salads. Our don’t miss tip? The locally-made King of Pops in the freezer!
DAY FOUR: SO MUCH TO EXPLORE!
Embark on Fort Sumter boat tour via the Spiritline Cruises terminal adjacent to the S.C. Aquarium. The ride from Liberty Square to Fort Sumter takes approximately 35 minutes and is a wonderful way to see Charleston from the water. Learn about Charleston’s rich maritime history while underway to the island garrison that played a pivotal role in the Civil War’s opening bombardment on April 12, 1861.
DAY FOUR: DINE SOME MORE
Housed in a 1940s naval building overlooking the historic harbor, Fleet Landing offers a view of Fort Sumter with its menu that features southern-style seafood.
DAY FIVE: BEACH IT ALL DAY
After participating in fun-filled activities all week, now it is time to relax and unwind with the sun on your face and sand between your toes. Search for sand dollars. Watch pelicans dive into the ocean. Breathe in the fresh salt air. There is something special about spending time at the beach, and you have an entire day to enjoy it!
DAY FIVE: BURGER NIGHT
Poe’s Tavern on Sullivan’s Island is named for the acclaimed poet and author Edgar Allen Poe, who was stationed at the island’s Fort Moultrie 1827. Although Poe had a dark side to his writing, there is nothing scary about this popular burger and fish taco join that is a favorite of locals and visitors alike.
DAY FIVE: WINDING DOWN
Take an evening stroll on the beach with stars overheads and shells beneath your feet. Think about how many memories you made this week… how many outdoor activities you participated in… how many new sensations you experienced… And start thinking about how wonderful it would be to make this an annual family affair!