Did you know you don’t have to travel far to have a nice weekend getaway? The very idea of a break can be found in nearby adventures and driving distance destinations. The most important thing to remember is that this getaway is a break from the routine and the grind; it’s a chance to reconnect in the midst of a busy season. Camden, SC is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. I worked with Visit Camden-Kershaw County for this weekend getaway article. All opinions are my own based on the experiences I had personally.
How to Get to Camden, SC
Camden is a beautiful historic town rich is history and loaded with Southern charm. The town is located in what’s called the Midlands region, so it is more or less in the middle of South Carolina. Interstate I-20, which extends from Florence, SC all the way to Kent, TX traverses the outskirts of Camden and SC Highway 601 cuts directly through downtown. The state capitol of Columbia is located just 35 miles southwest. Getting there is a breeze and getting around is just as easy.
When to take a weekend getaway to Camden, SC
In fall, cool mornings with temperatures in the 60’s let you wake slowly. The warm sunshine of the mid-day with temperatures rising to the 80’s gives you ample time to play and explore outdoors. Day fades as the sun sinks down and a pleasant coolness returns. Fall break is the perfect time for a weekend getaway to Camden, SC with things for you to do from morning until night.
Spring in Camden, SC would also be an optimal time for a weekend getaway. With the temperatures starting to warm as early as March you can enjoy outside time comfortably. South Carolina is beautiful in azalea blooming season, which usually happens in April. Be sure to pack your allergy meds, though, because the oak and pine allergens will be out in full force!
One of the best seasons in the midlands of SC is winter. With light layers you can spend all day outside and be content. Although the daylight hours are fewer, the pleasant sunshine of the afternoon will feel like spring temps for many. Camden is a nice little escape for those of you who may experience a tough winter season.
Summer is hot, I’m not going to lie. Walking around downtown and spending time in the outdoor spaces can be sweltering with high temperatures in the 90’s and heavy humidity. The summer months are not Camden’s most shining. For those of you that live in the south you will know what to expect, seeking shade and moments of air conditioning to get you through!
Where to Stay for a Weekend Getaway in Camden, SC
While there are several chain hotels to use your hotel points and get exactly what you expect, part of the charm of Camden is staying in an inn. This may not be your first choice with kids in tow, but I would challenge you to give it a try. I stayed at Old McCaskill’s Farm with my two teenagers and we had a wonderful visit. More on that below. In town you can look into Bloomsbury Inn or Four Oaks Inn. They both provide gorgeous rooms and walkable convenience to downtown. There are places to RV camp nearby as well.
What to do on a Weekend Getaway to Camden, SC
You can expect a mix of history, great food, a bit of shopping, outdoor playtime and beautiful surroundings. The bustle of a downtown with shops and restaurants is juxtaposed with the wide open spaces beyond the town center. My teens loved having a place to eat out and shop, but enjoyed the outdoor spaces away from everyone else too.
For us, the best weekend getaway has a mix of movement, relaxation, and great food. Camden, SC has all of that. My teenagers enjoyed escaping home for time away from their typical day. Camden has a brand new Revolutionary War Visitor Center that is located just as you enter town. Here you will discover how South Carolina’s quest for independence turned the tide of the American Revolution. You can brush up on your history, and have your kids fill in blanks and answer questions. I personally did not grow up in the south and had different focus points on Revolutionary War history. My kids remembered SO much from their South Carolina History year in school. The facility is beautifully done and and keeps the learning fun. This stop will set up your context for Camden and its very important history. I suggest stopping at this visitors center first!
Conveniently located just next door is Historic Camden and the battlefield where hundreds of men died in a significant battle during the Revolutionary War. Both the campus and battlefield are on the National Register of Historic Places and offer incredible insight on the Southern Campaign and colonial life in the backcountry.
We finally had the opportunity to jump on a new trend on our visit as well. We learned how to play pickleball! Weekend getaways are all about connecting, and a great way to connect is to learn something new together. My youngest is a tennis player and had a little experience with pickleball, but we truly enjoyed taking lessons as a family. The bonus of this activity is that this can be multigenerational fun. The Tennis Center of Camden is an incredible facility with 16 lighted tennis courts AND 12 lighted pickleball courts. You can take private lessons, play with friends, and sign up for open play. What an incredible thing to pull your friends into and have an outdoor activity to do together. I can’t wait to fill my car up with a bunch of teenagers and take them down the road for more of this fun activity.
The outdoors is a huge part of a weekend getaway for me. Camden, SC has a delightful downtown, but much of the charm of Camden is in the wide open spaces nearby. Make sure you take time to get out in nature at Goodale State Park. Enjoy the walking trails around the water while admiring the cypress trees or rent a kayak or canoe to get up close. The reflections are mesmerizing! Take a picnic and a blanket and maybe a frisbee or football to let the kids play around. The solitude of nature is a nice way to get away on your weekend getaway. There is no better therapy for teenagers than nature therapy so I always seek outdoor places for us to add to our adventures.
Explore Historic Broad Street
One of the best things about a weekend getaway in Camden, SC is the charm of the downtown area and its historic main street, Broad Street. As you make your way up and down the heart of town, stop in the Camden Antiques Market for some unique finds, Camden Quilts to stay cozy for fall and winter, and Pink Stable for your next event dress. The kids most favorite stop, though, was Books On Broad. Not only can you pick up your next read, but there is a coffee shop in the back with delicious chai lattes and outstanding fruit smoothies. For obvious reasons, this is a great mid-morning stop or mid-afternoon stop.
Head to the Farm
Just a ten minute drive from downtown Camden you can be out in the country and enjoying Old McCaskill’s Farm. Be sure to stop in the general store for farm fresh meats, canned goods, local honey, and 100% wool products. Hours of operation are Thursday and Friday from 10-6. Enjoy observing all of the farm animals. If you DO stay the night, be sure to join in on the farm chores each morning. My teenagers were in love with the 1-2 day old baby goats! Special events include a family farm weekend in early October, a sheep shearing day in late March, and a Christmas vendor event in December. During the summer, you can sign your kids up for farm summer camp. The kids get to truly work the farm by learning how to take care of the animals feeding and cleaning, make butter, canning, and all of the other farm work that is required.
Puppies & Horses
Camden, SC is known for two other very popular interests. Did you know the Boykin Spaniel was first bred by Camden, South Carolina hunters? You can take part in a self guided scavenger hunt in downtown Camden as you explore the town. You will find 11 bronze puppy statues around downtown. Find the scavenger hunt clues here. Take photos and post them to the Facebook page to get a certificate of discovery sent to you if you find all 11! If you are interested in learning all about the breed, check out the Boykin Spaniel Society, located in downtown Camden.
If you are at all involved in the horse competition world, you’ve likely spent time at the South Carolina Equine Park. The park is a 60 acre center with a variety of facilities for horse shows, breed shows, and youth events. Check the calendar of events for an opportunity to see horses in action. If you happen to be in town during the big event The Carolina Cup at Springdale Race Course, you’ll want to be a part. The annual race takes place in April and is a lot of fun. You should get dressed in your best southern spring duds (especially those seersucker suits)! Also located at the Springdale race course is The National Steeplechase Museum. Don’t miss out on the only museum in the U.S. dedicated solely to the national story of steeplechasing and its history.
Weekend Getaway Eats in Camden, SC
Even though Camden isn’t very big, you’ll find plenty of places to eat and enjoy throughout your weekend getaway. For sweet treats, make a special stop at Shortcake Bakery & Tea Room for a nice pot of tea and some delicious scones or cinnamon buns. The egg nog scones were fabulous! If ice cream is your kryptonite then make your way to Sweet Lili’s Ice Cream & Desserts on Broad Street.
I had the best experience at The Loopy Lemon Cafe for lunch. We enjoyed some of the best sweet tea and lemonade we’ve had anywhere in South Carolina. There was an incredible selection of soups and sandwiches to choose from. The Loopy Lemon is a great lunch spot. You will notice that locals and visitors alike are enjoying the cafe and remains quite busy. If you aren’t able to find a table, check out DeBruhl’s Market Street Cafe for true country cookin’ or Broad Street Lunch for an old fashioned burger.
Depending on your mood and the clothes you’ve packed for your weekend getaway, there are some great options for dinner. Salud Mexican Kitchen is an authentic restaurant and tequila lounge. My kids love Mexican cuisine and we each enjoyed our entrees as well as the chips & salsa we munched on before. If you are celebrating a special occasion check out Sam Kendall’s, but if f you’ve had a long day and the kids are antsy, make a quick dinner out of Camden House of Pizza.
Make The Weekend Getaway Happen
I know that weekend getaways can seem like more work than they are worth. Getaways take planning and maneuvering all while getting your people on board with your plan. Camden, SC has the perfect mix of chill time and activity, leaving you restored and energized at the same time. I love the blips of time where I can connect with my teenagers in a real way and get away from the distractions of regular life. Visit Camden’s tourism website for even more information on creating a wonderful weekend getaway.