Charleston, South Carolina is the perfect blend of new innovation and old historical charm. It's where people from all the country (and world) flock to in droves, in search of Charleston's mysterious je ne sais quoi. What is it about this city? Why is it so perfect? Everything you hope to find can be found in Charleston, South Carolina. History buffs? come on. Foodies? perfect. Shopping lovers? there is plenty for you too. Or are you just in search of a relaxing getaway in a pretty setting? Charleston can take care of that too.
Charleston is easily my most favorite city (possibly in the world) and there are so many reasons why. My most recent visit was a quick three day visit, so this guide was created with those that only have a few glorious days in Charleston, in mind.
where to stay:
Stay in the downtown historic district of Charleston. 100%. Charleston is so walkable and the nightlife, shopping, markets, and entertainment will all be within walking distance if you stay downtown. I've stayed at both the Andrew Pinckney Inn and the French Quarter Inn and can wholeheartedly recommend both. Andrew Pinckney is more of a mid range boutique hotel and French Quarter Inn is definitely more of a splurge. They both are centrally located in great spots. Both hotels feature my favorite thing about Southern hotels. The happy hour of wine and cheese receptions. When staying at the French Quarter Inn, we actually would return to the hotel each day during reception hour as to not miss it. That is how bomb the wine and cheese happy hour at the French Quarter Inn was. Another very charming touch unique to the french Quarter Inn was that they offer free champagne upon check-in to welcome you, and if you happen to have a nice receptionist, they'll even give you a second!
How to entertain yourself:
Spend a day here if you're visiting during the warm summer months. If not, I would say you can live without a beach day. I went to Folly beach during my first trip to Charleston and it was sort of windy and rainy. It was enjoyable as everything in Charleston is, but you can live without it. Especially if you only have a few days in Charleston.
There are so many tour options in Charleston. There are walking tours, ghost tours, food tours, carriage tours, plantation tours, etc. I would just reccomend choosing two categories that you're interested in and choosing a tour from those groups. I've personally done all of the tours listed above and love them all. My favorites are the carriage tour at Palmetto Works and the walking food tour. The walking food tour in Charleston was better than other food tours I've done. The tour was very filling and the selections were impeccable, and the tour guide was really cool and gave us interesting insights into living in Charleston. I've done the carriage tour twice on two different visits and loved it both times.
shopping on king street
There is a wide range of stores ranging from thrift/vintage all the way to upscale. There is truly something for everyone on King Street.
farmers market on Saturday's
If you happen to be in Charleston on a Saturday, this Farmer's Market is a can't miss stop. Years ago, I bought a Rewined candle (a candle made from a recycled wine bottle) from the Farmer's Market. I still have that candle to this day and savor the scent every time I burn it. I've seen the Rewined candles a few times in West Elm, although slightly more expensive. If you are lucky enough to visit this Farmer's Market, be sure to scoop a few up! They smell amazing and come in Wine inspired scents like Pinot Noir and Champagne. It is impossible to leave the Charleston Farmer's Market empty-handed.
Angel Oak/Tea Plantation/ Firefly Distillery and Winery
Make a visit to all three of these tourist destinations in one day. Angel Oak is an ancient tree that stands over 60 feet tall. It's a little outside of Charleston so you need to rent a car if you're planning on visiting. A good idea is to rent a car for a day and visit Angel Oak, then stop by the Tea Plantation and tour the fields where the tea is harvested. You can also tour the inside factory to see where the tea is made. Firefly Distillery and Winery is a must for any Charleston itinerary, in my opinion. You can stop by the distillery and sample various Firefly liquors and then head over to the Winery across the way and do a wine tasting in the back. There are tables with a pretty, rustic view in between where we sat and listened to live folksy music. The live music really made the ambiance absolutely perfect. All three of these attractions are a car ride away from downtown Charleston, but in the same direction. If you are able, definitely try to visit these fun destinations!
The debate of which Plantation to visit in Charleston typically falls between Boone and Magnolia. I've visited Magnolia and it is stunning. I really enjoyed the house tour and history of the plantation, as well as the views of the ponds around the property and the alligator spotting. Boone Plantation looks gorgeous as well, and it's on my list to visit during my next Charleston trip.
Have you been to Charleston? What are your favorite things to do there?! Tell me in the comments!!
PS Stay tuned for my guide to where to eat and drink in Charleston!!
That's it! Those are my recommendations of what to do and see in Charleston! Have you been? if not, add it to you bucket list. I promise you won't be disappointed! Let me know what you all think of Charleston in the comments! I'd love to hear your feedback.