Things to do in Charleston – South Carolina

Welcome to our ultimate guide for discovering the best things to do in Charleston, South Carolina! In this Charleston adventure, we will explore the myriad of attractions this charming Southern city has to offer. From its historical architecture to its bustling food scene, it’s no wonder that Charleston is one of the top travel destinations in the United States.

Key Takeaways

  • Charleston offers a diverse range of attractions, such as historic homes, museums, parks, and gardens that showcase the city’s rich history and culture.
  • The culinary scene in Charleston is teeming with delicious Southern cuisine, fresh seafood, and innovative dishes that cater to all palates.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of activities like biking, kayaking, golfing, and beachgoing during their Charleston adventure.
  • Shopping options abound in Charleston, from the upscale boutiques on King Street to the unique finds available at the Charleston City Market.
  • Charleston hosts numerous events and vibrant festivals throughout the year, providing entertainment and cultural experiences for visitors.
  • Travelers can choose from a variety of accommodations, ranging from luxurious hotels to quaint bed and breakfasts that exude Southern charm.
  • When planning a visit to Charleston, consider seasonality, transportation options, and travel tips to ensure a memorable and enriching experience.

The Charm of Historic Charleston

As a city steeped in history, historic Charleston offers an unparalleled glimpse into the elegance of the past. Its charming colonial homes and picturesque streets capture the essence of the South, creating an enchanting atmosphere that both travelers and locals find irresistible. With the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill being one of the area’s illustrious educational institutions, it is no wonder that this beloved city has become a popular choice for both visitors and permanent residents.

The historic Southern-Colonial downtown area seamlessly blends with the laid-back coastal atmosphere, showcasing the unique Southern charm that sets Charleston apart from other destinations. From the vibrant colors of Rainbow Row to the grand architecture of Church Street, you’ll find yourself immersed in the captivating allure of a bygone era.

There is nothing like the stunning colonial homes and the enchanting pace of life in historic Charleston to make visitors fall in love with the city.

For those looking to explore the city’s history in more depth, there are various Charleston tours to choose from, offering an informative and engaging experience. Walking tours are an excellent way to appreciate the intricate architectural details of Charleston’s historic homes, while guided visits to iconic landmarks such as the Aiken-Rhett House and Heyward-Washington House allow you to step back in time and discover the lives of some of the city’s most notable figures.

  1. Charleston’s Architectural Walking Tours
  2. Historic Home Tours
  3. Ghost Tours and Haunted History
  4. Charleston’s Plantation Tours

Throughout the city, visitors can find various points of interest that cater to diverse tastes, from the South Carolina Aquarium’s fascinating exhibits to The Battery’s stunning waterfront views. While exploring, don’t forget to stop by one of the city’s many charming parks and gardens, such as White Point Garden, which offers an idyllic retreat among picturesque landscapes.

Rainbow RowA prominent row of thirteen pastel-colored historic homes that have become a symbol of Charleston’s charm.
Aiken-Rhett HouseOne of the best preserved antebellum homes in the nation, providing a glimpse into 19th-century plantation life.
Heyward-Washington HouseA museum home featuring stunning Georgian architecture and treasured antiques.
Charleston Tea GardenAs the only tea plantation in North America, it offers an extraordinary experience complete with a tour and tea tastings.

Whether you are coming for a short visit or contemplating a permanent move, the charm of historic Charleston awakens a deep appreciation for the city’s rich heritage and timeless beauty. As you wander through the picturesque streets and explore the stories within the walls of its colonial homes, you too will fall under the enchanting spell of this Southern gem.

Explore the Flavors of Charleston at Local Restaurants

Charleston boasts a rich culinary tradition with deep roots in Southern and Gullah cuisines. The city is home to numerous iconic eateries showcasing Lowcountry dining and the freshest ingredients from land and sea. Check out the most famous local spots for delicious Southern cuisine and seafood specialties that draw both locals and visitors alike.

Savor Southern Cuisine at Iconic Eateries

While exploring the flavors of Charleston’s restaurants, visitors will find an abundance of Southern flavors and dishes crafted from time-honored recipes passed down through generations. Taste the Gullah cuisine, a pillar of Southern fare, at cherished establishments like Bertha’s Kitchen – renowned for their delicious lima beans and honored by the James Beard Foundation as an American Classic.

Experience the dramatic atmosphere of Church and Union, a modern dining hotspot within a converted church. Here, innovative twists on Lowcountry classics marry traditional Southern flavors with contemporary culinary techniques. With many establishments that elevate Southern cooking to new heights, dining in Charleston is a food lover’s haven.

Indulge in Seafood Specialties Along the Waterfront

The waterfront setting of Charleston offers the perfect atmosphere to enjoy scrumptious seafood dishes crafted from the freshest catches. Places like Leon’s Oyster Shop and The Wreck of Richard and Charlene delight guests with quintessential seafood delicacies served in unique spaces, from renovated body shops to rustic shacks.

“A visit to Charleston would not be complete without indulging in the local seafood specialties and waterfront dining experiences that celebrate the city’s coastal charm.”

Do not miss out on the legendary Bowen’s Island, an institution for great seafood since 1946, known for serving the finest oysters. With a multitude of waterfront restaurants that make the most of the seaside bounty, Charleston offers an unrivaled experience for seafood lovers.

Bertha’s KitchenGullahLima beans
Church and UnionModern SouthernLowcountry classics with innovative twists
Leon’s Oyster ShopSeafoodOysters
The Wreck of Richard and CharleneSeafoodLocal catches
Bowen’s IslandSeafoodOysters

Best Hotels in Charleston

Charleston, South Carolina is a charming and historic city known for its beautiful architecture, delicious cuisine, and Southern hospitality. If you’re planning a trip to Charleston, you’ll want to find the perfect place to stay. In this article, we will explore the best hotels in Charleston, South Carolina.

  1. The Spectator Hotel – This boutique hotel is located in the heart of the historic district and offers luxurious accommodations and personalized service. The hotel has a charming and elegant atmosphere, with beautiful furnishings and decor. Amenities include a rooftop bar, complimentary breakfast, and nightly turndown service.
  2. The Dewberry – This stylish and modern hotel is located in the historic district and offers a range of luxurious amenities, including a spa, rooftop bar, and fine dining restaurant. The hotel has a retro-chic design, with mid-century modern furnishings and decor. Amenities include complimentary bicycles, valet parking, and a fitness center.
  3. Belmond Charleston Place – This grand and luxurious hotel is located in the heart of the historic district and offers an opulent and refined atmosphere. The hotel has a beautiful lobby with a stunning chandelier, and amenities include a rooftop pool, spa, and fine dining restaurant. The hotel also features a shopping center with high-end retailers.
  4. The Vendue – This boutique hotel is located in the French Quarter and offers a range of eclectic and art-inspired accommodations. The hotel has a vibrant and colorful atmosphere, with beautiful artwork and decor. Amenities include a rooftop bar, complimentary bicycles, and an art gallery.
  5. Zero George Street – This charming and intimate hotel is located in the Ansonborough neighborhood and offers a range of elegant and historic accommodations. The hotel has a beautiful courtyard with a fountain and fire pit, and amenities include complimentary breakfast, bicycles, and a wine and cheese reception.

In conclusion, Charleston offers a range of luxurious and beautiful hotels to suit all tastes and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a boutique hotel with personalized service, a grand and opulent hotel with fine dining and shopping, or a charming and intimate hotel with a beautiful courtyard, there’s something for everyone in this charming and historic city. So, book your stay at one of these top hotels in Charleston and experience Southern hospitality at its finest.

Experience Charleston’s Vibrant Festivals and Events

Charleston is home to a bustling calendar of events and festivals, providing entertainment for all ages. The city’s minor league baseball team, the RiverDogs, and their stadium, are focal points of local entertainment and dining, showcasing the city’s spirit and community engagement. Seasonal events like the Charleston Tour of Homes invite visitors to explore the city’s interior design scene during the spring.

Below is a list of notable Charleston eventsvibrant festivals, and cultural events that captivate both locals and visitors throughout the year:

  1. Charleston Wine + Food Festival
  2. Charleston Farmers Market
  3. Southeastern Wildlife Exposition
  4. Lowcountry Oyster Festival
  5. Cooper River Bridge Run
  6. Charleston International Film Festival
  7. Spoleto Festival USA
  8. Charleston Music Confab
  9. Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
  10. Charleston Symphony Orchestra Designer Showhouse

“The combination of rich history, vibrant festivals, and cultural events make Charleston an essential destination for all.”

In addition to these annual events, Charleston offers various cultural performances, art exhibits, and pop-up markets throughout the year, ensuring a diverse and immersive experience for visitors.

Some of the most respected and renowned cultural institutions hosting events in Charleston include:

  • Gaillard Center
  • Charleston Music Hall
  • Footlight Players Theatre
  • The Dock Street Theatre
  • The Gibbes Museum of Art

Exploring Charleston’s vibrant festivals and events allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the rich culture and history of this beautiful city. Whether attending a premier music festival or discovering unique performances and exhibits, the opportunities for enjoyment and enrichment are endless.

Navigating Charleston’s Shopping Scene

Charleston’s bustling shopping scene offers a delightful blend of trendy boutiques, exclusive stores, and enchanting markets. With a wide range of shops – from fashion and jewelry to unique souvenirs and handcrafted goods – you will certainly find that perfect memento to take home.

King Street is the heart of Charleston shopping, and brings together a delectable array of major brands and chic local boutiques. With its picturesque surroundings and historic charm, King Street is a favorite destination for shoppers who enjoy a unique and captivating shopping experience.

“King Street offers a world-class shopping experience within the historic charm of Charleston.”

The Charleston City Market is an essential destination for those who appreciate shopping in Charleston. Open every day of the year, this lively marketplace is home to countless vendors offering one-of-a-kind finds, such as:

  • Sweetgrass baskets, woven with intricate designs and historic significance
  • Beautiful pottery, crafted by local artisans
  • Bespoke jewelry, with a touch of Charleston elegance
  • Delectable food items, from traditional spices to regional specialities
  • Captivating artwork, capturing the essence of Charleston living

A visit to the Charleston City Market is a quintessential Charleston experience, where you can explore, sample, and treasure locally made crafts and products.

Charleston Shopping HotspotsWhat to Expect
King StreetMix of major brands, local boutiques, and specialty stores in a picturesque setting
Charleston City MarketUnique finds, handcrafted goods, and souvenirs representing Charleston’s rich cultural tapestry
The Shops at BelmondUpscale stores offering luxurious clothing, accessories, and home goods
Tanger OutletsDesigner brands at discounted prices, ideal for bargain shoppers

Outdoor Activities to Enjoy in Charleston

Charleston is not only rich in history, culinary delights, and shopping experiences, but it also offers a diverse range of adventures for outdoor enthusiasts. We present to you some exciting outdoor activities in Charleston to add to your bucket list that lets you connect with nature and wildlife while creating unforgettable memories.

“Outdoor enthusiasts can delve into an array of activities in Charleston.”

Brewery Hopping

For those who appreciate a good craft beer, Charleston is truly a haven. With over 50 breweries, visitors can embark on brewery tours and tastings to explore the engaging and ever-evolving craft beer scene. From Edmund’s Oast to Revelry Brewing, you will undoubtedly discover your new favorite brew.

Cycling Around the City

Charleston offers a plethora of stunning sights, and cycling is an eco-friendly and healthy way to explore the beautiful landscapes. Rent a bike from Affordabike or use the Holy Spokes bike share program to embark on a self-guided tour, meander through historic neighborhoods, and take in the charming town’s atmosphere.

Kayaking Adventures on the Intracoastal Waterway

Charleston’s nature and wildlife are best explored by gliding through the calm waters and beautiful marshes of the Intracoastal Waterway on a kayak. This paddling excursion will bring you up close and personal with Charleston’s diverse wildlife such as dolphins, egrets, and more, making it a thrilling and immersive experience.

Outdoor ActivityDescriptionObligatory Gears/Equipment
Brewery HoppingEmbark on brewery tours and tastings at over 50 breweries in Charleston.ID proving legal age, comfortable shoes, and a mode of transportation.
CyclingExplore the picturesque landscapes and historic neighborhoods of Charleston on a rented bike.A bike, helmet, and a city map or smartphone with GPS.
KayakingPaddle through the calm waters of the Intracoastal Waterway, and experience Charleston’s nature and wildlife up close.Lifejacket, kayak, paddle, and sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen).

Charleston’s outdoor adventures cater to diverse interests, making it an ideal destination for making lasting memories. Whether you’re brewery hopping, cycling around the city, or navigating the Intracoastal Waterway on a kayak, the opportunities for fun and exploration are endless in this vibrant Southern city.

A Day at Charleston’s Renowned Beaches

Charleston is home to several exquisite and inviting beaches. Each beach offers a unique experience and caters to different preferences, ranging from family-friendly to thriving surf spots. Find your perfect day at the beach among the tranquil Sullivan’s Island, lively Folly Beach, or the upscale and natural Kiawah Island.

Find Serenity on Sullivan’s Island

Sullivan’s Island is the epitome of serene beaches in Charleston, boasting 3.3 square miles of beachfront perfect for families and visitors seeking peaceful relaxation. This tranquil retreat is quieter than its counterparts, offering a laid-back atmosphere and an idyllic setting for spending restful beach days.

“Sullivan’s Island is where you’ll find peace and serenity amidst the soft sands and gentle ocean waves.”

Stay tuned to the tide schedule, as low-tide sandbars offer extraordinary shelling and sandcastle-building opportunities. With ample parking and a family-friendly atmosphere, a beach day at Sullivan’s Island is a must for any Charleston visit.

Surf and Sun at Folly Beach

Known for its quirky island feel and lively atmosphere, Folly Beach is a popular destination for beach activities, including surfing and watersports. The well-maintained public beach stretches along the coast and welcomes surfers, beachcombers, and sunbathers.

Center Street, located just a short walk from the beach, is a bustling strip filled with shopping, local eateries, and beachfront bars. Soak up the sun, ride the waves, or join a volleyball game before heading to the lively beach town scene for a memorable evening.

Discover the Natural Beauty of Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island offers a luxurious beach experience with natural beauty, an upscale ambiance, and world-class golf courses. This Charleston gem provides a slice of southern heaven with expansive and pristine beaches, fine dining, and opportunities to explore coastal wildlife.

  • Develop an appreciation for nature with the possibility of encountering turtle hatchlings, alligators, or birdwatching.
  • Challenge yourself on one of the island’s prestigious golf courses, including the stunning Ocean Course.
  • Revel in upscale dining experiences, such as The Atlantic Room or the Jasmine Porch.

Whether you prefer serenity, surf, or luxury, Charleston’s renowned beaches have something for everyone. Don’t miss the opportunity to make everlasting memories on the shores of Sullivan’s Island, Folly Beach, or Kiawah Island during your trip to historic Charleston.

Charleston’s Nightlife: From Jazz to Juleps

Charleston’s nightlife scene offers a variety of exciting experiences, boasting live jazz performances, popular local bars, and historic cocktail destinations. Whether you’re seeking to dance the night away or engage in more relaxed jazz lounges, Charleston offers options that cater to diverse preferences and group dynamics.

As the birthplace of jazz, Charleston is home to a multitude of venues dedicated to honoring this rich musical heritage. One such place is FortyEight – Wine Bar & Kitchen, set along the beautiful waterfront at Charleston Harbor. Here, you can enjoy live music, gourmet snacks, and an extensive selection of wines.

Charleston’s nightlife thrives with offerings like the Charleston Light Dragoon cocktail at Husk Restaurant, creating a vibrant scene where history and modern mixology meet.

For a more spirited jazz experience, check out the Charleston Music Hall, which serves as a gathering point for talented local musicians and a mere sampling of world-class talent. The venue’s intimate setting encourages lively conversation and dancing, offering an energetic atmosphere that anyone can appreciate.

  1. FortyEight – Wine Bar & Kitchen
  2. Charleston Music Hall
  3. Husk Restaurant

As Charleston embraces its historic roots, several cocktail bars contribute to the city’s vibrant nightlife through the revival of classic libations. The much-lauded Husk Restaurant, for instance, tempts visitors with its Charleston Light Dragoon cocktail, showcasing a perfect blend of history and modern mixology.

For those looking to explore a more diverse array of cocktails, don’t miss out on the city’s burgeoning craft cocktail scene. Places like The Belmont and Proof are fantastic spots to try innovative concoctions crafted by skilled bartenders, providing patrons with unique tasting adventures that showcase Charleston’s dynamic bar scene.

Check out the table below for a concise summary of some of the best nightlife options in Charleston:

FortyEight – Wine Bar & KitchenWaterfront location, live jazz, extensive wine selection
Charleston Music HallIntimate setting, local talent, lively atmosphere
Husk RestaurantHistoric cocktails, rich Southern flavors, elegant ambiance
The BelmontCraft cocktails, modern twists on classics, relaxed vibe
ProofInnovative concoctions, talented bartenders, welcoming atmosphere

Clearly, Charleston nightlife offers captivating experiences for all, from the discerning jazz aficionado to the adventurous cocktail explorer. The spirited energy that permeates this vibrant city after dark is an essential component of any Charleston adventure.

Historic Homes and Architecture Tours

Charleston offers an array of historic homes and architecture tours that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the rich history of the city. The well-preserved homes and stunning architectural elegance provide a unique glimpse into the lives of Charleston’s historical figures.

  1. Aiken-Rhett House
  2. Drayton Hall

The Aiken-Rhett House is a prime example of the city’s antebellum past, with its original furnishings and artwork still adorning the grand mansion. A tour of this historic home offers a rare opportunity to peek into the world of the elite families who resided in historic Charleston.

“The Aiken-Rhett House stands as a testament to Charleston’s antebellum heritage, its impact on the city’s architectural landscape, and the lives of the people who called it home.”

Drayton Hall is another historic gem in Charleston, boasting a rich history and a beautifully preserved example of Georgian-Palladian architecture. Guided tours through this historic home reveal stories of the generations of Draytons who lived there, as well as insights into the skilled craftspeople and enslaved individuals who maintained the property.

Historic HomeYear BuiltArchitectural StyleTour Highlights
Aiken-Rhett House1818Federal and Greek RevivalOriginal furnishings, slave quarters, and stables
Drayton Hall1750Georgian-PalladianUntouched architecture, interactive guided tours, and immersive exhibits

While exploring these homes, visitors can marvel at the exquisite details and craftsmanship that tell the story of Charleston’s storied past. A visit to these historic homes and a guided architecture tour are essential for any traveler looking to dive deep into Charleston’s rich history and embrace its timeless beauty.

Charleston’s Rich History: Museums and Memorials

Charleston’s rich history is beautifully preserved and showcased in fantastic museums and historical sites that capture the spirit of the city. From Civil War landmarks to revered works of art, visitors are invited to explore fascinating tales and marvel at the works that highlight the city’s glorious past.

Relive the Past at Fort Sumter National Monument

Fort Sumter National Monument stands as a formidable historical site that marks the location of the first Civil War battle. An essential destination for those fascinated by Civil War history in Charleston, one can embark on educational tours to gain a deeper understanding of the pivotal moments that unfolded during the conflict.

“Fort Sumter National Monument is the birthplace of the American Civil War, a pivotal event in our nation’s history.”

  • Explore interactive exhibits at the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center
  • Learn about the events that lead to the beginning of the Civil War
  • Discover the lives of soldiers stationed at the fort

Visitors to Fort Sumter National Monument can witness the remnants of the historic fort, pay their respects to the brave men who fought in the Civil War, and learn about the political climate of the era.

Appreciate Art and Culture at the Gibbes Museum of Art

Charleston’s vivid culture and art scene come to life at the Gibbes Museum of Art. Following a $13.5 million renovation, the museum offers an invaluable trove of American art chronicling Charleston’s history, boasting a collection of miniature portraits emblematic of early 20th-century courting traditions.

Charleston RenaissanceA selection of paintings depicting Charleston’s resurgence as a cultural and economic hub during the 1920s and 1930s
Hearts Afire: Miniature PortraitsAn intimate glimpse into the portraits and love stories from the early 20th century
Modernism Takes RootAn exploration of the impact of modernism on Charleston’s artistic landscape in the mid-20th century

The Gibbes Museum’s fascinating exhibits capture the essence of Charleston’s unique art scene and share the city’s cultural heritage with visitors from around the world.

In summary, Charleston’s many historical and cultural attractions, including Fort Sumter National Monument and the Gibbes Museum of Art, provide visitors with a vivid and immersive experience of the city’s intriguing past. Whether delving into Civil War history or appreciating artistic masterpieces, Charleston offers captivating experiences for history and art enthusiasts alike.

A Glimpse into Gullah Culture and Cuisine

Charleston, renowned for its diverse culinary scene, owes much of its rich heritage to the Gullah culture. The Gullah people, descendants of enslaved Africans, have had a significant influence on the Lowcountry’s regional cuisine. Embracing traditional African cooking techniques, local ingredients, and a resourceful approach to the preparation of meals, Gullah cuisine is beloved for its unique flavors and cultural significance.

One of the most revered establishments showcasing Gullah cuisine in Charleston is Bertha’s Kitchen, a family-owned restaurant that has been serving delicious dishes for over four decades. Known for their incredible selection of soul food, Bertha’s Kitchen has gained prestigious recognition from the James Beard Foundation and is the go-to place for both locals and tourists looking to indulge in authentic Gullah flavors.

“The secret to our food’s delicious taste lies in the Gullah roots that have been passed down through generations in our family.” – Sharon Coakley, granddaughter of Bertha Grant (founder of Bertha’s Kitchen).

Among the highlights of Bertha’s Kitchen menu are:

  1. Fried chicken
  2. Collards
  3. Lima beans
  4. Okra soup
  5. Cornbread

As if the mouthwatering dishes weren’t enough, Bertha’s Kitchen’s inviting atmosphere makes every meal feel like dining with family.

If you’re visiting Charleston, make sure to explore the city’s dynamic culinary scene, which is deeply rooted in Gullah culture. A visit to Bertha’s Kitchen guarantees a true Lowcountry dining experience that should not be missed.

Picturesque Parks and Gardens

Charleston’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty is evident in the lush parks and gardens scattered throughout the city. These picturesque landscapes offer tranquil spaces for relaxation, leisurely strolls, and admiration of the stunning scenery. In this section, we explore some of the most breathtaking Charleston parks and gardens, perfect for immersing yourself in the city’s dedication to maintaining its verdant charm.

The following table highlights some of the top parks and gardens in Charleston:

Park or GardenLocationFeaturesNotable Details
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens3550 Ashley River Rd.Historic plantation, garden, and houseFounded in 1676, it is known for its stunning azaleas and ancient oak trees
Hampton Park30 Mary Murray Dr.Scenic parkland with a lake, gardens, and trailsOften hosts outdoor events and features picturesque Spanish moss-draped live oaks
Middleton Place4300 Ashley River Rd.Historic property with extensive gardens, a house museum, and a stableyardThe landscaped gardens are America’s oldest and offer beautiful views of the river
Waterfront Park1 Vendue RangeGreen space along the Cooper River with fountains, a pier, and beautiful viewsFamous for its Pineapple Fountain and great views of the harbor and Ravenel Bridge
Washington Square ParkMeeting St. & Broad St.City park with ample green space and benchesAn inviting park amid historic buildings and home to the famous ‘Goddess of Liberty’ statue

A visit to these gardens in Charleston not only provides an opportunity to enjoy the colorful flora but also offers a deeper appreciation for the city’s historical roots. Many parks and gardens are situated within or near historic plantations and residences, allowing visitors to explore the city’s layered past while reveling in the picturesque landscaping.

“From the sweet scent of blooming azaleas to the sun-dappled canopies of ancient oaks, Charleston’s parks and gardens are a feast for the senses.”

In addition to the featured parks and gardens, Charleston boasts several more green spaces that provide serene settings for picnics, leisurely strolls, and outdoor activities. So, during your visit to this charming city, don’t miss out on the chance to explore its array of parks and gardens that truly celebrate the natural beauty of the Lowcountry.

Take a Stroll Down Rainbow Row

Charleston is a city rich in history, and one of its most iconic attractions to explore is Rainbow Row. This enchanting, historic street is a must-see destination year-round, perfect for capturing those memorable photographs that showcase the history and charm of historic homes in Charleston. As you walk down the street, you will be immersed in the stunning architectural details that have captivated visitors and locals for centuries.

“Rainbow Row not only offers a visual feast with its colorful historic homes but also serves as a lesson in Charleston’s rich architectural history.”

For visitors interested in Charleston architectural tours, we highly recommend taking a guided walking tour of Rainbow Row. This will allow you to fully appreciate the history and beauty of the 18th-century Georgian-style homes that have been carefully preserved and restored. As you walk along the famous street, you will learn about the unique stories of each house and the prominent residents who once called them home.

  1. Learn about the history of each colorful home
  2. Discover how Rainbow Row got its name
  3. Explore the evolution of Charleston’s architectural styles
  4. Hear the stories of the prominent residents who lived on Rainbow Row

As you stroll down the picturesque street, don’t forget to admire the lush, private gardens nestled behind the homes. These hidden gems offer a tranquil retreat from the bustling streets and provide a glimpse of the elegant lifestyle of Charleston’s elite in times gone by.

House ColorArchitectural StyleNotable Features
Pastel PinkGeorgianStunning wrought-iron gates and balcony
Soft YellowFederalBeautiful fanlight windows
TurquoiseItalianateOrnate cornices and decorative window trim
Warm OrangeColonial RevivalClassic columns and front porch
LilacAdamesqueElegant arched doorways

So, whether you’re an architecture enthusiast or simply looking for a charming spot to snap some unforgettable pictures, a stroll down Rainbow Row should definitely be on your list of things to do while in Charleston. We are sure that the vibrant colors, stately historic homes, and fascinating history will leave you in awe of this essential part of Charleston’s charm.

Affordable Accommodations: Where to Stay in Charleston

Charleston offers a wide range of accommodation options from luxurious hotels providing Southern charm to quaint and cozy bed & breakfasts. Here, we will explore some of the most popular choices for both upscale and intimate stays in the city.

Luxury Hotels with Southern Charm

Those in search of luxury hotels Charleston can find an array of choices for a comfortable and elegant vacation. Charleston’s Southern charm accommodations impress visitors with their hospitality, world-class amenities, and stylish décors. Some of the best upscale stays in Charleston are:

  1. Hotel Bennett: Boasting a rooftop pool, luxurious guest rooms, and a prime location on King Street, it offers an unforgettable experience for any traveler.
  2. The Loutrel: A chic boutique hotel located in the heart of historic downtown, blending contemporary design with traditional Southern elegance.
  3. The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Resort: A five-star oceanfront hotel for those interested in enjoying golfing on award-winning courses and relaxing in spa facilities.

Quaint Bed & Breakfasts for a Cozy Stay

If you’re looking for more intimate bed and breakfast stays in Charleston, the city offers a selection of quaint B&Bs that will make your stay truly special. These charming accommodations are often found in historic and elegant 19th-century residences, providing an authentic experience of Charleston’s character. Some popular cozy accommodations in the city include:

  1. John Rutledge House Inn: A beautiful bed & breakfast set in an 18th-century residence, featuring a delightful courtyard and antique furnishings.
  2. Two Meeting Street Inn: A romantic B&B located on Charleston’s iconic Battery, offering Southern hospitality with a touch of elegance.
  3. Zero George Street: A luxurious yet intimate boutique inn nestled within restored historic buildings, hosting a delightful courtyard and verandas.

With a variety of beautiful places to stay in Charleston, both luxury seekers and those looking for a cozy escape will find the perfect accommodation to suit their needs. Experience the renowned Southern charm and hospitality in this picturesque destination.

Travel Tips for Your Charleston Adventure

When planning a Charleston trip, it’s important to consider the best time to visit, transportation options, and the potential impacts of hurricane season on your travel plans. Here are our top travel tips for visiting Charleston:

1. Time your visit for favorable weather and exciting events.

Charleston is a wonderful destination year-round, but spring and fall are the most popular seasons for travelers. The weather is mild and pleasant, and there are numerous vibrant events to attend. Plan your trip during these seasons to enjoy the city at its finest.

2. Walk or use public transportation to explore the city.

Charleston is a walkable city with various public transit options. The CARTA and DASH buses, as well as water taxis, are convenient alternatives to driving in this charming location. Save the hassle of parking and embrace the opportunity to stroll through the city’s historic streets while soaking up the atmosphere.

3. Keep an eye on the hurricane season when traveling in summer.

Summer in Charleston can be enjoyable with its sunny days and beach activities. However, it’s crucial to be aware of hurricane season, which typically occurs from June to November, with peak activity from late August to September. Check the weather forecast and make contingency plans to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

  1. Consider the best times to visit, which are spring and fall
  2. Utilize public transportation options, such as CARTA and DASH buses
  3. Be aware of hurricane season when planning a summer trip

In summary, Charleston is a captivating city with a rich history, stunning architecture, and delectable cuisine. By following our travel tips for your Charleston adventure, you can fully experience everything this incredible destination has to offer.

Luxury Experiences: Spas and Golf Courses

Charleston is not only known for its rich history and picturesque landscapes but also for its luxurious experiences. For those looking to indulge in first-class treatments, the city offers a myriad of upscale spas and world-renowned golf courses. With such a wide array of luxury experiences, Charleston caters to all tastes and preferences, ensuring a visit to the Holy City is one to remember.

Escape the hustle and bustle by treating yourself to a rejuvenating spa session. One of the city’s premier spas, The Dewberry, invites visitors to relax within its sumptuous space, offering a wide array of services ranging from massages and facials to unique treatments tailored to your specific needs. With an emphasis on Southern hospitality and world-class treatments, you’ll find yourself fully immersed in a soothing atmosphere designed to help you unwind and recharge.

For avid golfers, Charleston boasts some of the country’s most prestigious and scenic courses. Kiawah Island Golf Resort stands out as a popular destination for golf enthusiasts. With several award-winning courses, including the renowned Ocean Course, you’ll be challenged and entertained amidst the natural beauty of Charleston’s waterfront. Enjoy the stunningly picturesque golf experiences that await you in this beautiful Southern city, all while appreciating the signature Lowcountry charm that defines Charleston.


What are the top attractions in Charleston, South Carolina?

Top attractions include historic architecture, a diverse food scene, outdoor activities, historic homes like the Aiken-Rhett House, Fort Sumter, Gibbes Museum of Art, and exploring Charleston’s beaches, such as Sullivan’s Island, Folly Beach, and Kiawah Island.

What are some must-try local restaurants in Charleston?

Charleston’s culinary scene is rooted in Gullah cuisine, so must-try restaurants include Bertha’s Kitchen, Church and Union, and seafood spots like Leon’s Oyster Shop, Bowen’s Island Restaurant, and The Wreck of Richard and Charlene.

What events and festivals can I enjoy in Charleston?

Charleston features various events and festivals throughout the year, including seasonal events like the Charleston Tour of Homes and RiverDogs baseball games. Check local event calendars for current listings.

Where can I go shopping in Charleston?

Popular shopping destinations include King Street, known for its mix of major brands and local boutiques, and the Charleston City Market, a hotspot for unique finds such as sweetgrass baskets, pottery, and souvenirs.

What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Charleston?

Outdoor enthusiasts can take part in brewery hopping, cycling, kayaking, exploring parks and gardens, and spending a day at the beach in Charleston.

What nightlife options are available in Charleston?

Experience Charleston’s nightlife at various cocktail bars, jazz clubs, and modern establishments like Husk Restaurant, offering a unique blend of history and mixology.

How can I explore the historic homes and architecture in Charleston?

You can visit preserved homes like the Aiken-Rhett House and Drayton Hall, as well as stroll down the iconic Rainbow Row for a glimpse of Charleston’s architectural elegance.

Are there any notable museums and memorials to check out in Charleston?

Yes, some notable museums and memorials include Fort Sumter National Monument and the Gibbes Museum of Art, both rich in history and culture.

Are there any unique accommodations available in Charleston?

Charleston offers a variety of accommodations, from luxury hotels like Hotel Bennett and The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Resort to quaint bed and breakfasts housed in charming historic residences.

What is the best time to visit Charleston?

The best times to visit Charleston are during the spring and fall for favorable weather and a variety of vibrant events. While walking is recommended, CARTA and DASH buses and water taxis offer convenient transportation options. Remember to consider hurricane season during summer trip planning.