Post Summary: How to Get to Congaree National Park
Located just outside of Columbia, SC, Congaree National Park provides visitors a chance to view what the eastern coast of the United States looked like before settlement. Located in an old-growth timber forest Congaree National Park is South Carolina‘s only National Park. Here is how to get to Congaree National Park in 2022.
Best of Conagree National Park in a Nutshell
GETTING THERE: How to Get to Congaree National Park
- Quick Guide for Getting to Congaree National Park
- Where is Congaree National Park?
- Congaree National Park Entrances
- Congaree National Park Gateway Cities
- Best Way to Get to Congaree National Park
- Flying to Congaree National Park
- Public Transport to Congaree National Park
- Driving to Congaree National Park
- Freuently Asked Questions about how to get to Congaree National Park
- Final Thoughts on Getting to Congaree National Park
- Pin for Later: How to get to Congaree National Park in 2022
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Quick Guide for Getting to Congaree National Park
Congaree National Parks is located just outside the South Carolina state capital of Columbia. Most visitors arrive at the park via personal vehicle; however, there is city transportation available. If you are visiting from afar there are various airports all within a day’s drive of the park, with Columbia Metropolitan Airport being the closest at just over 30-minutes away.
Where is Congaree National Park?
Congaree National Park is located within the Sandhills region of South Carolina, which is located in the middle of the state. Congaree National park is located just a few miles outside of the state capital of Columbia.
Congaree National Park Entrances
Hopkins, South Carolina
When navigating to Congaree National Park, some GPS systems are unable to pinpoint the exact location of the park entrance. It is recommended to navigate to the physical address of 100 National Park Road, Hopkins, SC 29061. Once you turn off either I-77 or I-26 you will be headed towards SC-48 (Bluff Road), this road goes on for about 5-miles before forking off onto Old Bluff Road. This is the road on which Congaree National Park is located. From the park entrance, it is about 1-mile to the Harry Hampton Visitor Center and Parking lots. There is limited parking for oversized vehicles at the visitor center and these vehicles are not allowed at the Bates Ferry and Fork Swamp Trail parking areas.
Congaree National Park Gateway Cities
Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia is the capital of South Carolina and is home to much of the state’s history. Visitors passing through the city looking to stop have various opportunities to sightsee around the city. One of the most popular destinations in the city is the Riverbanks Zoo. The Zoo is home to over 2,000 species of animals and even has a botanical garden within the park. Another popular destination in the city is the South Carolina State Museum, this museum is 4-levels of exhibitions that are always changing; bringing new experiences to seasoned visitors. The final highlight of the city is the South Carolina Statehouse, which is the capital building of South Carolina. Guided and Self-Guided tours are offered of the State House while Congress is not in session. Visitors do have the option of a virtual tour if Congress happens to be in session at the time of your visit. These are the three highlights of Columbia; however, there are many other great places to discover on the way to Congaree National Park.
Where to stay in Columbia, South Carolina?
Hotels in Columbia
- Gallus Stadium Park Inn, Ascend Hotel Collection is a colorful modern hotel in Columbia. Rooms from $76/night; book on Airbnb, Booking.com, or Hotels.com
- Baymont by Wyndham Columbia Fort Jackson is a modern hotel with a bool outside of town. Rooms from $76/night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com
- Courtyard by Marriott Columbia Cayce is a mid-range 3-star hotel with spacious rooms. Rooms from $154/night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com
Vacation Rentals & Airbnbs in Columbia
- Charming Country Cottage is conveniently located to everything Columbia & Sumter SC has to offer, while nestled in a wooded setting for a peaceful stay. Sleeps 6. From $150/night; book on VRBO.
- Cottage Tree house is located on a wooded lot on over 2 acres. Step out onto the deck overlooking the property and into the trees. Enjoy the unique solitude of the sound of the birds and peaceful serenity while giving up none of the amenities. Sleeps 5. From $148/night; book on VRBO.
- Blue House is a quaint aparment located on 2 acres of land with plenty of amitities. Sleeps 2. From $102/night; book on VRBO.
Best Way to Get to Congaree National Park
The best way to get to Congaree National Park is by car or Central Midlands Transit (COMET). There is only one entrance into the park and visitors have to travel through Columbia, South Carolina. Transportation into Columbia is available; however, a car is then required to enter the park.
Flying to Congaree National Park
Map of Congaree National Park Airports
Click here for an interactive map of the airports near Congaree National Park.
Airports near Congaree National Park
Columbia Metropolitan Airport
Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) is home to American, Delta, Silver, and United Airlines offering nonstop service to 12 major airports around the country. Passengers can find nonstop flights to and from Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York (LGA), Philadelphia, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Washington D.C. airports.
Distance from Congaree Park Entrance: 28 miles
Drive time from Congaree Park Entrance: 30 minutes
Charleston International Airport
Charleston International Airport (CHS) is home to American, Delta, Silver, Allegiant, Alaska, JetBlue, Southwest, and United Airlines offering nonstop service to numerous major airports around the country. Passengers can find nonstop flights to and from airports like Atlanta, Chicago, Tampa, New York, Boston, Minneapolis, Denver, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, and many other domestic locations.
Distance from Congaree Park Entrance: 101 miles
Drive time from Congaree Park Entrance: 1.5 hours
Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport
Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) is home to American, Delta, Silver, Allegiant, Southwest, and United Airlines offering nonstop service to 21 major airports around the country. Passengers can find nonstop flights to and from airports like Atlanta, Chicago, Baltimore, New York, Houston, Orlando, Denver, Dallas, and many other domestic locations. Passengers can reach other 150 other destinations by just adding a single stop.
Distance from Congaree Park Entrance: 125 miles
Drive time from Congaree Park Entrance: 2 hours
Major Airports within a done day drive of Congaree National Park
Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) is the closest major airport to Congaree National Park that offers long-distance flights and international. Major airlines like Delta, American, Air Canada, JetBlue, Southwest, United and Frontier all fly to and from Charlotte. Charlotte Douglas International Airport does have seasonal flights from Swift Air, Sun Country, Vacation Express, and Viva Aerobus along with the major airlines. Being a major international airport, direct flights are offered to almost all other major domestic and international airports.
Distance from Congaree Park Entrance: 111 miles
Drive time from Congaree Park Entrance: 2 hours
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is the largest airport within the southern states. Major airlines like Delta, American, Air Canada, JetBlue, Southwest, United, and Frontier all fly to and from Atlanta daily. Being classified as a major international airport, direct flights are offered to almost all other major domestic and international airports.
Distance from Congaree Park Entrance: 234 miles
Drive time from Congaree Park Entrance: 4 hours
Public Transport to Congaree National Park
The Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (COMET) offers bus service via Route 47. The bus stop is #11 and is located at the Harry Hampton Visitor Center. A one-way bus pass costs $2.00. An all-day pass cost $4.00. On Monday – Friday, the bus only stops at Congaree upon request so you will need to let the driver know when you board to stop there. To be picked up by the bus, you need to call (803) 255-7124 and request pick-up about a half-hour before the scheduled stop at Congaree. If you don’t have cell service ask the ranger in the visitor center to call for you.
Other forms of transportation like UBER and LYFT may not pick up from Congaree National Park. So don’t count on this.
Driving to Congaree National Park
Driving into Congaree National Park is the preferred and most popular option to arriving at the park. There is not an entrance fee associated with Congaree National Park and ample parking is available throughout the park. It is to note that RVs, Trailers, and Oversized vehicles have limited parking at the Harry Hampton Visitor Center and are not allowed to park at the Bates Ferry and Fork Swamp Trail.
Drive time from South Carolina Cities
|Charleston||101 miles||163 km||2 hours|
|Clemson||152 miles||244 km||2.5 hours|
|Columbia||20 miles||32 km||30 min|
|Greenville||125 miles||201 km||2 hours|
|Hilton Head Island||152 miles||244 km||2.5 hours|
|Myrtle Beach||134 miles||215 km||2.5 hours|
Drive time from Major US Cities
|Fairbanks, AK||4,286 miles||6,897 km||69 hours|
|Anchorage AK||4,401 miles||7,082 km||72 hours|
|Seattle, WA||2,898 miles||4,663 km||42 hours|
|Portland, OR||2,825 miles||4,546 km||41 hours|
|Bozeman, MT||2,188 miles||3,521 km||32 hours|
|Jackson, WY||2,094 miles||3,369 km||31 hours|
|Boise, ID||2,397 miles||3,857 km||35 hours|
|Salt Lake City, UT||2,100 miles||3,379 km||31 hours|
|Minneapolis, MN||1,221 miles||1,965 km||18 hours|
|Denver, CO||1,632 miles||2,626 km||23 hours|
|Omaha, NE||1,214 miles||1,953 km||17 hours|
|Las Vegas, NV||2,194 miles||3,530 km||32 hours|
|Los Angeles, CA||2,446 miles||3,936 km||35 hours|
|Chicago, IL||828 miles||1,332 km||12 hours|
|Houston, TX||1,017 miles||1,636 km||14 hours|
|Atlanta, GA||230 miles||370 km||3.5 hours|
|Washington, D.C.||482 miles||775 km||7.5 hours|
|New York City, NY||718 miles||1,155 km||11 hours|
|Orlando, FL||422 miles||679 km||6 hours|
Freuently Asked Questions about how to get to Congaree National Park
What airport do you fly into for Congaree National Park?
Columbia Metropolitan Airport is the closest to Congaree National Park at just over 30min from the entrance.
What is the best way to get to Congaree?
The best way to get into Congaree National Park is by personal vehicle, there is not an entrance fee for Congaree National Park.
Final Thoughts on Getting to Congaree National Park
Congaree National Park is the only National Park located within South Carolina. A trip to Congaree offers a glimpse into one of the largest and last hardwood forests left along the eastern coast of the United States. Located just outside the state capital of Columbia there are many ways that visitors can approach Congaree National Park.
Do you have any questions about Congaree National Park or need help planning your National Park trips. Let me know in the comments or join me in my National Park Trip Planning Community!
More Information for your trip to South Carolina
- SOUTH CAROLINA: National Parks in South Carolina
- CONGAREE: Visiting Conagree National Park: The Complete Guide
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