The long Labor Day weekend is just days away, and if you’re still deciding how to spend it, the QCity Metro team has some suggestions.

The best part? They’re all in driving distance of Charlotte.

Take a look and plan your trip.

Editor’s note: Some of the guides we publish are underwritten by sponsors. In each case, we insist on retaining QCity Metro’s editorial independence. Our goal is to spotlight destinations and experiences we truly enjoy…and always doing so from a Black perspective.


Black history, seafood and Southern charm await in Charleston

Charleston is the definition of Southern charm. Offering perspectives on the trans-Atlantic slave trade and its impact on South Carolina, the International African American Museum in Charleston is a must-visit. 

Make a trip of your visit by staying at one of Charleston’s inns or hotels, like The Spectator Hotel which gives off a “jazz age charisma.”

Get your fill of shrimp & grits, she-crab soup or sweet-tea-glazed salmon. Explore nature at the South Carolina Aquarium or kayak along Shem Creek, where you might see a dolphin. Read our full guide to the city. 

  • Drive time: 3.5 hours
  • Vibe: Charming, historical, foodie’s dream
  • Climate: Hot with a breeze 


48 hours on the Hammock Coast

Our publisher, Glenn Burkins, recently visited Georgetown, the largest city within South Carolina’s Hammock Coast. He even created a guide for what to do and see there. 

If you’re a beach lover or someone interested in Black history, this may be the perfect Labor Day destination. 

  • Drive time: 4 hours
  • Vibe: Beachy, historical, laidback
  • Climate: Warm and comfortable


Meet bears and otters at Grandfather Mountain4

You may already know about Grandfather Mountain’s famous Mile-High Swinging Bridge, but did you know that you can meet black bears there? 

Grandfather Mountain offers experiences where guests can get up close and personal with wildlife.

From painting with an otter to going behind the scenes with wildlife experts to meet elks, eagles and mountain lions, it’s a fun destination for animal lovers. 

  • Drive time: 2.5 hours
  • Vibe: Relaxed, outdoorsy, kid-friendly
  • Climate: Cool and breezy


A girls’ guide to Columbia, S.C.

Columbia S.C. has everything you need for a girl’s trip. There’s shopping, relaxation, and good food. Treat yourself to a nice mani-pedi and good eats while in town – you deserve it!

You and your girls can stay at an old-style hotel like The Graduate or a more traditional hotel like Hyatt Place or Hampton Inn. 

No matter how you want to spend your trip, there’s a little something for everyone. 

Read or watch our girls’ trip guide to plan your visit.  

  • Drive time: 1.5 hours
  • Vibe: Relaxed, vintage, fancy
  • Climate: Warm and cloudy


Explore South Carolina’s Olde English District… county by county

For all you history buffs, South Carolina’s Olde English District has historical sightseeing in each of its counties. 

You can visit the Southern African-American Heritage Center documenting Black people’s contributions to Chesterfield County, see the railroad museum in Fairfield County, or see a wall of fame honoring the best and brightest in Lancaster County. 

In addition to history, there are also plenty of Southern food spots to visit as well as nature to enjoy.

Read our county-by-county guide to plan your trip. 

  • Drive time: 1.5 hours 
  • Vibe: Historical, quiet, nature
  • Climate: Clear and warm


Calling all pimento cheese lovers

If you like pimento cheese, you’ll love Columbia’s pimento cheese trail.

Our freelance writer Asha Ellison went to try some of the area’s pimento cheese dishes, like Lowcountry hash browns and Southern egg rolls. 

Whether you’re in town for Labor Day weekend or just passing through, be sure you try some of these local dishes from the local restaurants and bars. 

Read or watch to see some of the dishes Asha tried during her visit. 

  • Drive time: 1.5 hours
  • Vibe: Laid-back, good food, nightlife
  • Climate: Warm and cloudy

Also read:

Amanda was born and raised in Charlotte and graduated from UNC Charlotte with a Bachelor’s in Communications and English. She covers Mecklenburg County. Reach her at

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