Charleston, known as the Holy City, is one of those romantic Southern cities that has so much personality and flavor to experience that it’s hard to compare it to anything else. The city has a blend of old historic charm, modern attractions, and coastal lifestyle that make it one of the best Southern cities to visit. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway with your significant other, a family getaway or a fun girl’s weekend, Charleston has a little bit of something for everyone. Here is a guide for where to stay, what to do, and where to eat in Charleston South Carolina.
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel Bella Grace is a modern boutique hotel in Charleston that combines modern amenities with classical Charleston charm. Built on the bones of the 1830s Delaney House, this 50-room hotel brings grace, elegance, and sophistication at an affordable price point. Some of the amenities include a complimentary fresh breakfast next door at the Delaney House and a wonderful on-property gym. Its super convenient location means it’s only a 3-minute walk to King Street and about a 5-10 minute walk to the downtown historic center of Charleston. It is also a Marriott property so you can use points or get points at this fabulous property.
WHAT TO DO
Take a carriage ride through historic Charleston. There are several companies in downtown Charleston that offer historic carriage tours throughout the city. Each tour is a little different and provides you with a plethora of history and facts about Charleston, its people, and its culture. You can choose to do a group tour in a covered buggy or a private tour for a small group of people in a private carriage ride. There is something so charming about hearing the horse’s clip-clop of its hooves down the cobblestone lane that really makes you step back in time and slow down. Some of the rental companies include Palmetto Carriage, the Old South Carriage, and Charleston Carriage Works.
Shop in the Historic Charleston City Market. Known as the heart of Charleston since 1804, this city market has operated for vendors and merchants for many years. Today you can shop from local artisans, taste some authentic Southern food, and peruse for souvenirs and gifts. Open Monday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays in the summer the market is open from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Pineapple Fountain and Waterfront Park. Take a walk and enjoy the views at the waterfront park of Charleston. Make sure you stop at the pineapple fountain, an iconic symbol of this southern city. Throughout the waterfront park are benches to sit and enjoy a nice day.
Learn about history at Fort Sumter. Learn about the history of the American Civil War at Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War rang out. Reachable only by ferry, this national monument is a fascinating thing to explore and learn about the history of the North and South relationships at a time that drastically shaped the history of America.
See Battery Park. The Battery is a landmark spot in Charleston and was a defensive seawall and promenade back in the Civil War era. Now the Battery is a beautiful park nestled among live oak trees that provides a great place for an afternoon stroll with plenty of grassy area and benches to enjoy a nice summer day.
Walk around Boone Hall Planation. You can’t come to South Carolina without experiencing at least one plantation. Boone Hall is “America’s most photographed plantation” and it’s easy to see why: it’s absolutely stunning. Nestled down a road of live oak trees, the once large plantation is now a museum and gardens for guests to explore. The hours of operation change seasonally but for the most part the Plantation is open every day of the week for a period of time.
WHERE TO EAT
Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit: a great spot for a breakfast biscuit or a mid-day snack. They have two locations in Charleston, one in the City Market and one on Upper King Street.
Poogan’s Porch: Charleston’s oldest independent culinary establishment that has a fresh spin on Lowcountry cuisine.
Slightly North of Broad (SNOB): Located right on Bay Street, this bistro offers Lowcountry food in an elegant atmosphere.
There are so many wonderful things to do in Charleston that it would definitely take more than a long weekend to experience everything this charming southern town has to offer. History is around every corner, and the coastal lifestyle has a large influence on everything from the laidback nature of the people to the traditional cuisine. Hopefully this inspires you to add Charleston to your bucket list and to experience the Southern charmer for yourself!