By Maria Corvaia O’Donnell~
In today’s times travel options have expanded and choices once not on the table have become more desirable for those who want more flexibility and control. RV and vehicle purchases have skyrocketed, along with the family road trip. When one talks of a winter trip from the Jersey Shore, one state always seems to be at the forefront of that journey. The Shore has long held a loving relationship with sunny Florida. https://www.visitflorida.com/
Many of us flock to the warm weather of the Sunshine State throughout the winter for a burst of warmth that no other state can quite match. Lately more New Jersey families have opted for taking a road trip there over the choice of flying for the comfort, flexibility, and family bonding road trips provide. Few of us can do that drive in one stretch, it’s anywhere from 14-18 hours depending on what part of the giant sunshine state you’re headed to, but right past the midway point offers some very appealing options.
For those on the go with little time to spare, Santee, SC is about 10.5 hours from the Jersey Shore, that perfect stop time because you’re over the hump and then some, but know you should rest before the next haul. Clark’s Historic Inn is right by the I95 exit to Santee, and offers a variety of room size options at low prices, including pet-friendly rooms. The well-known restaurant attached to the hotel offers comforting low country food as well, like their long-time staple, shrimp and corn chowder.
If you have an extra day swing further east and take a stretch in the beautiful city of Charleston for a night or two and explore this special southern city. Charleston, South Carolina is a culinary mecca known for its incredible restaurants, including one of my favorites of all time, 167 Raw.
Few restaurants I can think of hit every single mark as they do. From the absolutely incredible shrimp po boy with Michelin star-worthy complex sauces, crisp buttery garlic buns, and the lightest fried shrimp I’ve ever tasted, to its delectable crab dip served with a thin, soft warm bread, to the freshest oysters flown in from all over North America. If you love seafood like many of us do here at the Shore, this will surely be a memorable experience. The delicious food and historic sightseeing make Charleston a city worth stopping for and a great start to your vacation.
With travel options growing and changing, our appreciation for new and exciting options also grows with it. So if you’re planning that trek to Florida, think of these stops as pockets of fun along your drive that will become part of your trip down memory lane.