For many, the charming coastal town of Charleston needs little introduction. Scenes of horse-drawn carriages passing by houses in pastel shades and the iconic pineapple fountain are a few of Charleston’s sights, without a doubt. Combine that with excellent dining, unique shopping and gorgeous water views and it’s no wonder this Lowcountry destination is so popular. Below you will find the most comprehensive guide to the Charleston SC, area out there, including:
- Brief History Of The Area
- General Things To Do
- Info And Stats
- Important Area Links
- Top Articles On Charleston SC
- Area Musts and Recommendations
- Our Top 5 Picks
- The Best Weekend Itinerary
- Article Archives
The History of Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina, is an iconic city renowned for its centuries-old history and vibrant culture. Founded in 1670 by English colonists seeking a fresh start, another key point is that it became the commercial hub of rice and indigo trading.
Both the independence movement of America and the Revolutionary War intertwined within this port city’s legacy – only to be later liberated by French forces under General Rochambeau. Given the city’s rich history, Charleston’s storied past has certainly contributed to its status as one of America’s most intriguing and beloved cities. With its cobblestone streets, colorful architecture, and lush gardens, visitors are transported to another time while still enjoying modern-day amenities.
It is home to both Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie.
In recent decades, Charleston has experienced a renaissance as its charming streets have been revitalized with old-fashioned charm and modern amenities. Moreover, the city’s historic architecture and quaint cobblestones have become popular destinations for tourists worldwide. Additionally, its renowned restaurants serve up some of the best cuisines in the South, making it a must-visit for foodies.
See And Do In Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina, about two hours south of the well-known Myrtle Beach SC area, has a lot to experience for such a small place.
All things considered, the Battery and White Point Gardens are a must-see for anyone visiting Charleston’s historic district. The scenic views of Fort Sumter and Charleston Harbor, along with the old mortars and canons, add a dash of history to the beautiful public gardens that have been open to the public since 1837. Additionally, Fort Sumter, which is where the American Civil War started, is easily accessible by booking a tour that includes a ferry ride to the historic landmark.
The Gibbes Museum Of Art showcases 6-8 exhibitions annually and has permanent art collections, including photography, painting, sculpture, and illustrations.
Undoubtedly, the Waterfront Park that runs along Cooper River and Charleston Harbor is perfect for a peaceful walk. At the same time, the park was bestowed the 2007 Landmark Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, cementing its status as a must-visit attraction for those exploring Charleston. It is also home to the very Instagrammable pineapple water fountain.
Located in Charleston, Middleton Place is a plantation boasting America’s oldest landscaped gardens. Whether you choose to explore The House Museum, take a tour, or simply wander the vast and picturesque gardens that span acres, there’s no doubt that the beauty and history of this unique destination WILL entrance you.
Where To Stay In Charleston
Before you book your accommodation, make sure you research well because there are so many quaint stays that it’s hard to choose. However, here are some of the places we recommend, with some even offering bike rentals so you can cycle around the local area.
Hotel Emeline is a stylish boutique hotel next to the bustling Charleston City Market. Additionally, the Dewberry is as dreamy as the name sounds, with modern rooms, a luxury spa, and decor that fondly acknowledges Charleston’s history. Moreover, Hotel Bennett is another temptation on the accommodation scene with stellar service and the finest of everything, including the decor, food, and views. Lastly, The Vendue and The Spectator are also stunners worth checking out.
Where To Eat In Charleston
When it’s time to snack, dine, or drink in Charleston, you will be delighted with the options. The diverse options will cater to all tastes, from cozy comfort food to traditional dishes, fusion creations, and trendy bars. Additionally, using locally sourced ingredients from the land and sea, Charleston chefs are out to impress with dishes that range from early-morning breakfasts to late-night divine desserts.
Lewis Barbecue is deliciously meaty with pork spare ribs, sausages, and pulled pork dishes complimented by healthy and creative side dishes.
To start with, Husk in an old 19th-century home is a treat for the decor alone. Additionally, with a revolving menu that makes the most of fresh local produce, you can expect to be wowed by your meal. Have a huge appetite? For this purpose, head to Wild Common and try the outstanding custom-tasting menu. There’s nothing common about it. Moreover, in King Street, amongst the best shopping you might have seen for a while, 167 Raw is the right spot to rest after a shopping spree. Lastly, FIG is another consistently fabulous downtown eatery.
This is just a taste of what Charleston, SC has to offer. To find out more, you will have to go there and trust us when we say it’s a trip you won’t regret.
- Founded in 1670
- Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley Counties
- Population: 150,000+
- Home To College Of Charleston
Top Charleston Articles
CHARLESTON SC MUSTS
Gibbes Museum Of Art
This beautiful art museum in downtown Charleston on the Peninsula has unquestionably some of the best art in the South, including fantastic modern art.
Tour a real-life Battleship and get great views of Charleston’s Peninsula simultaneously. This is one of our favorite activities in the Holy City.
Coupled with its impressive redesign of a classic building, The Dewberry offers a truly amazing aesthetic. The hotel’s restaurant and rooftop space are also equally impressive. And when it comes to the rooms, they are some of the most luxurious in the Holy City!
TOP FIVE PICKS
Where To Stay
- Hotel Emeline
- The Dewberry
- The Vendue
- Hotel Bennett
- Guesthouse Charleston
What To Eat
- Basic Kitchen
- Lewis Barbecue
- Leon’s Oyster Shop
- The Ordinary
Grab A Drink
- The Gin Joint
- The Bar At Husk
- Citrus Club
- Edmunds Last
- Preservation Society of Charleston
- Berlin’s For Men
- House Of Nomad
Things To Do
- South Carolina Aquarium
- Drayton Hall
- Middleton Place
- Old Exchange And Provost Dungeon
- The Aiken Rhett Museum
Arts & Culture
- Gibbes Museum Of Art
- Charleston Jazz
- Halsey Institute Of Contemporary Art
- Fort Moultrie
- Gullah Tours
Spas & Wellness
- The Spa At The Charleston Place
- An ultimate Woodhouse Spa
- The Dewberry Spa
- Salt Spa And Yoga
- Wentworth Mansion Spa
- Shem Creek Park
- Cape Romain Natural Refuge
- Capers Island
- Waterfront Park
- Morris Island Lighthouse
- Angel Oak
THE PERFECT WEEKEND IN CHARLESTON SC ITINERARY
- Stay at Hotel Emeline or The Dewberry
- Explore Bay Street in downtown Charleston
- See The Battery, Rainbow Row, and The City Market.
- Grab dinner at 167 Raw if you love seafood or a classic at Slightly North of Broad
- Get a cocktail at The Gin Joint
- End the night with a boozy milkshake at Carmella
- Wake up and enjoy breakfast at Miller’s All Day
- Hop in the car and drive over the Ravenel Bridge towards Mt. Pleasant. Visit Patriots Point and Shem Creek Park, then head to Sullivan’s Island for some history at Fort Moultrie and then some beach time. Lunch at Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island
- Head back to the Peninsula to explore the shops on King Street.
- Grab an afternoon cocktail on the rooftop at The Dewberry
- Dinner at the most incredible culinary experience Wild Common
- End the night with a ghost tour and learn about the history of the city in a fun way
- Grab breakfast at Mercantile & Mash
- Book a Charleston Harbor Tour
- Get lunch at Lewis Barbecue if you love the meats or Basic Kitchen if you want something a little healthier.
- End the trip with a last-minute stop at the Gibbes Museum Of Art and then a stroll South of Broad.
- On your way out of town, stop at the Cypress Gardens in Monks Corner, SC