Our goal was to head to the ocean in South Carolina to start our winter. But before the ocean we made a few stops. Joe’s brother and his wife bought a second home in Nashville, TN and we wanted to stop to see the house and a short visit. The house was beautiful and the visit was very nice. We don’t get to see Art and Nancy very often so even a short visit is nice.
We then made a few days stop in Ashville, NC to check out the city and also to visit the Biltmore House. We were fortunate to see the Biltmore when it was decorated for Christmas. There are 250 rooms in this estate and the ones we were able to see were amazing. General admission was $65 per person but to tour the house and the gardens was worth every penny. I would highly recommend a visit.
James Island County Park in Charleston was our next stop. We have stayed at this park several times but never during the Christmas season. They have a Festival of Lights celebration like none other. The park gates close at 4:30 every day (dusk) and for a $10 per car charge you could drive through miles of lights. You also could park and walk through Winter Wonderland which was a place to purchase food, gifts, and walk through a trail in the woods filled with more lights and of course, sit on Santa’s lap and ride on a Merry-go-round. Our campsite was a short walk from Winter Wonderland so each night we walked over and enjoyed the walk through the woods to discover something we hadn’t noticed the night before. We didn’t drive our car through the park instead enjoyed a shuttle service the campground provided for a $3 fee. We enjoyed the lights in comfort and didn’t have to worry about driving in the traffic. At 10:00 everything stopped and the park was closed to visitors. It was a nice set-up.
We also spent a day in Charleston, one of our favorite cities. We were able to take a shuttle from the campground to the visitor’s center in Charleston for a $10 charge. The CG was about 10 miles out from downtown so it was nice to be dropped off and picked up in the same spot. We had about 7 hrs. to walk and that we did. We put on many miles, enjoyed lunch at a wonderful rib place, did a little shopping in the Market Place, walked to the ocean, and enjoyed the beautiful old homes of Charleston. We both agreed this would probably be the last time we visit Charleston. The traffic getting to and from the campground is getting harder for us and we are starting to enjoy more and more the quiet settings of state parks. But for anyone who has never been to Charleston it is a beautiful, clean, safe city that everyone should check out.
We finally make it to the Atlantic Ocean, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet, SC. This is our third visit to this state park and we love it. Some of the campsites are wonderful and some not so much but if you stay in this park for just the campground you are missing out on a lot. This park has miles and miles of beach to walk, trails, birds, alligators, biking trails, and did I mention the beach to walk. I do love to walk on the beach and it was so peaceful. Because of the time of the year it was pretty quiet. During the month we were in South Carolina Joe and I walked 100 miles. It was pretty easy to do with walking on the beach and several other state parks we visited. We discovered you could stay in this state park for a reduced monthly rate during the winter. We plan on doing that next time we head in that direction. LOVE this park!
Love to all!