We were in Charleston several weeks ago. Spent the week at James Island and if you are traveling with kids and plan on spending time in the park, with the bike paths and water park it would provide something for them to do. We had planned to stay at Oak Plantation but decided on James Island because on the location to downtown and was central to the other areas we were interested in seeing. Plus it gave us access to the bike paths and dock areas as something to do when we came back early. Only problem was we usually got back later in the afternoon and to tired from walking all day to use them as much as we wanted....
On other threads about James Island, it was commented on how tight the approach to the Park was. They were right, the roads are a bit narrow and sometimes the trees are closer and lower than I would like or wanted. the Park instructions had us coming off of Folley Rd and using Maybank Hwy to go to Riverland Dr. The next road to Riverland was Central Park Rd, but there was no light there and getting onto Riverland Dr easily depended on the time of day. I initally arrived to James Island on Maybank....but after scouting out the others, we departed using Camp Rd. Less stressful and just as easy.
As you stated you will be approaching from the north side of Charleston and visiting Patriot Point area as well as down town....on another thread Mt Pleasant/Charleston KOA was mentioned as has Oak Plantation and from a map view, both appear about equal distance from downtown.
I drive a F350 CC DRW, driving in town was interesting...and being new to driving such a beast was managable but parking was a problem on street meters because on the cost and width of the streets. There are a lot of parking garages listed on the maps but since I've never taken a dually in one yet, didn't want to try it while on vacation...
Found there is a gravel parking lot at the end of N Market St that is run by the cruise ship people. Cost us $8.00 for the day, come and go as many times as we wish, and was very convient to the lower section of Charleston. The second trip downtown we found out about a parking garage just north of the Visitor Ctr that has a lower/ground level section for RVs and larger vechiles. We were able to park there for the afternoon.
You need to enter that garage from Mary St.
Charleston provides a Trolly service called Dash
that we used from the Visitor area to other areas, its free and times between stops/pickups were convient.
Found this site, INZANOUTS
, very helpful in planning the trip.