About 3 months ago, my husband and I got fed up with staying home. We decided we would look for an Airbnb in a town or place within a few hours drive that we could safely explore and stay at. After a few hours of searching, going back and forth between north Georgia mountains, Savannah, or another beach town we decided on Charleston.
We’d been talking about going to Charleston for years after hearing good things from friends and coworkers, however never prioritized it as a destination. So here we were only able to do road trips, finally making it possible.
I started searching for properties on Airbnb, teetering between older colonial homes and industrial style condos. Unsatisfied, I started expanding my search a little outside of central Charleston and came upon a result for a Johns Island barn right off of Burden Creek which spills out to Stono River. This place sounded perfect with a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment right above an actual little red barn! The barn was described as home to horses, goats, cats, and dogs. So we booked it!
With a toddler, the drive to Johns Island was about 5 hours with pit stops and bathroom breaks. But once we arrived there it was like another world. The property sits right off of a long dirt road lined with large oak trees on both sides making it look like a perfect balance of mystique and mystery. Once you reach the address, you enter through an iron gate where you’ll see the barn surrounded by a fence. The barn sits adjacent to the owner’s main residence. Speaking of the owner’s they were probably the most warm, friendly, and welcoming Airbnb hosts. They’ll give you a full tour and lay of the land and introduce you to all the animals by names. We were introduced to their two rescue horses, Chester and Golden Boy, dwarf ponies, donkeys, cats, and dogs. Majority of the animals are rescued animals which makes them even more special to see thriving.
The owners (Susan and Michael) even welcomed us to exploring other parts of their property, like their swimming pool, large fish pond, and dock right off the creek which connects to the river. There are several fiddler crabs that can be found crawling around the creek and marsh area by the docks, but they weren’t a bother. Back to the barn. A gated staircase leads you up to the apartment. Once inside you’ll find a large window which faces the front of the barn with a well equipped kitchen and cozy living area with plenty of seating, flat screen TV equipped with a Roku and a small dining table. There are two bedrooms with comfy queen sized beds as well as 1 full bath in the master and a half bath in the hallway.
When you’re in the mood for some city lights, the drive to main Charleston is only about 15-20 minutes depending on traffic. There are several delicious local restaurants to dine-in or takeout from on Johns Island. We did curbside pickup from and also takeout from a true country restaurant called Tomato Shed. There’s a nice little market at the restaurant too with fresh produce, local goods and handicrafts. For something more special you can also dine-in, carry-out or do curbside pickup from Wild Olive which specializes in Italian cuisine. We loved everything from Wild Olive — from their pastas to their desserts!
Activity wise there’s a ton to do in and around the Johns Island and Charleston area. Just a few miles from the barn is Angel Oak Tree. It’s a live oak tree over 400 years old. There’s no fee to enter or view the tree and definitely an Instagram worthy spot! Outside of Johns Island, you can also drive down to Folly Beach which is a small beach town less than 20 miles away filled with a number of bars and restaurants. When the weather is nice, I would recommend to just spend a day at the beach getting some vitamin D.
So if you’re looking for a getaway with a perfect balance of city and farm life, book Susan and Michael’s little red barn and don’t forget to mention that Amber referred you!