Food Guides North America

An Insider’s Guide to Charleston, South Carolina

Whether you live in Charleston, have visited dozens of times or are contemplating visiting for the very first time there is always something interesting and exciting to do. The city is small but lively and sweet as honey with treasures and charms worth discovering and rediscovering over and over again.

Whatever it is that draws you to Charleston, you likely won’t leave this historic town disappointed. In order to make sure of that, we just wanted to give you a little inside scoop to the city we love!

1. Come during the fall
Fall is simply the best time to visit the city. The weather is moderate unlike in the sweltering summer heat and humidity. There is still plenty to do but it’s not quite as crazy as festival and event filled spring and winter just simply does not showcase Charleston in quite the same way. However if you’re looking for better deals summer and winter are you best bets.

2. Stay somewhere fun and unique
One of our favorite hotels in the city is relatively new. The Grand Bohemian is gorgeous and eclectic with so much personality. This hotel is colorful and bright with a vibrant elegance. Beautiful and quirky art hang on the walls. Opulent furnishings (designed by the owner’s wife) fill the lobby and other common areas. They have a lovely (and delicious) top floor restaurant and bar called Eleve that gives a beautiful view of the city. Try their truffle fries! For the wine aficionados or those wanting to become so, the Grand Bohemian has a wine room for tasting and blending. The staff is friendly and warm. All in all, it is a pretty cool boutique hotel. It does however come at a boutique hotel rate per night.

If you are looking for something with a little more historic charm and are maybe on a little bit stricter budget, try the Hampton Inn Charleston Historic District. Don’t let the fact that it’s a Hampton fool you. This hotel is full of history. The building was actually originally an antebellum factory. The gorgeous hardwood floors are the original floorings. It also has one of the largest courtyards in the city. It’s always nice to have your complimentary (and yummy) Hampton Inn breakfast in a beautiful courtyard.

3. Eat Drink and Be Merry!
One of the best things to do in Charleston is eat. With nearly 700 restaurants in the general Charleston area there is no shortage of tasty menus to try. Hands down one of our favorite restaurants is 82 Queen. This quaint restaurant is located in 300 year old building and its menu boasts a delicious barbecue shrimp and grits.

For a slightly more casual yet still delicious dining experience head to Lowcountry Bistro and don’t forget to try the fried green tomatoes!

If you’re down for a short drive, head out to Sullivan’s Island. Aside from being a beautiful and relaxing beach, it also has some fantastic restaurants. Taco Mamacita’s and Poe’s Tavern are fantastic! Try the Mexican street corn or the Goldbug burger.

Looking for a tasty drink and dessert? Go to Kaminsky’s. They have some awesome cocktails and coffee drinks and their Tollhouse cookie pie is to die for.

4. Don’t forget to have fun!
If you’re a shopper, or even if you’re not, check out the King St. shopping district, the shops at Charleston Place, and the Charleston City Market. Local boutiques and high end stores line the streets.

After you’re done shopping take a tour around town. Probably the most Charlestonian tour you could take would be a carriage tour. All of the carriage tour companies line up down at the Market. You’ll smell the horses before you see them but don’t let that deter you.
If guided tours maybe aren’t your thing, go for a stroll along the harbor instead. You’ll come to Waterfront Park, Rainbow Row and the Battery/White Point Gardens. All of which offer beautiful views into Charleston life and history.

Last but not least, head to the beach. With three beaches within a 25 minute drive, it’s easy to enjoy your time in the sun. Folly Beach is the most active of the three with Sullivan’s Island being the simplest and most serene. Isle of Palms is a nice mixture of the two.

Now that you officially have an insider’s guide to Charleston come and explore for yourself!

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1 Comment

  • Reply April Yap January 18, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing about Charleston. I am very interested to visit South Carolina. I will take your advise with visiting during the fall. I think I want to experience the fun and beautiful views of this small and lively city during this year’s fall!

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