Charleston, South Carolina
As one of America's oldest cities, Charleston allures visitors from all over the world with its Southern charm, sweet tea and history that spans centuries. Cobblestone streets and horse-drawn carriages in the downtown area beckon tourists to a simpler time. Grand homes in colours of pink, blue and yellow sit upon the famous Rainbow Row across from the water's edge. Visitors can spend their days strolling along the streets and wandering into historic homes, landmarks or churches like the First Baptist Church or St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church. As the sun sets, the street lamps are aglow in the Batterywhile sidewalk cafés and restaurants prepare evening dinners.
Although Charleston has a prim and proper side, it is full of trendy, creative spots like the College of Charleston,the Upper Kingarea, and King's Street.For travellers who love the outdoors, visit Charleston plantations such as Boone Hallor one of the many beaches. Charleston is a vacation destination filled with Southern hospitality that visitors will fall in love with.
Charleston's Top 10
10. HL Hunley Museum Tourists coming to Charleston can view and tour this military museum that houses the submarine, the HL Hunley.
5. Charles Towne Landing From living history to an animal forest, the history of Charleston can be seen, touched and heard at this beautiful attraction.
9. Fort Sumter National Monument This historic Civil War site in Charleston is fun to explore and is only accessible by boat.
4. Gibbs Museum of Art Thanks to the efforts of James Gibbs, Charleston is home to this exquisite museum that features art from Colonial to contemporary.
8. Folly Beach Not far from Charleston, this island town hosts great shopping, dining and relaxation by the ocean.
3. Charleston Museum This is America's first museum and visitors must see the exhibits that include the history of the Civil War, jewels, navigation and much more.
7. Old South Carriage Co. Take a guided carriage ride through Charleston and uncover the history of this old city.
2. Patriots Point Located in Mount Pleasant near Charleston, this naval and maritime museum boasts the enormous USS Yorktown, which is on display and open for tours.
6. Magnolia Plantation Visit and explore this Charleston gem filled with Southern charm and history that spans centuries.
1. City Public Market Also known as ‘The Market’, this is a must-visit location before leaving Charleston.
- Brass Pirate – Take the walking tour and follow the pirate map to see the city and its history.
- Aiken-Rhett House – Take the audio tour for a look at how the urban antebellum Southerners lived.
- Drayton Hall – This plantation house is the oldest such establishment open to the public.
- Calhoun Mansion – This historic mansion gives guided tours.
- Edmonston-Alston House – Built in 1825, this house museum boasts an impressive view of Charleston Harbor.
Charleston Art & Culture
- Sound of Charleston – Where you go to investigate the music of Charleston.
- South Carolina Aquarium – One of the best aquariums and includes a wetlands exhibit.
- Dock Street Theater – This venue produces great plays and live theatre.
- Charleston Music Hall – See fabulous live performances.
- Rainbow Row – The pastel-painted homes have been photographed and painted thousands of times over, but you need to see in person.
- Market Square – Three blocks of local crafts, jewellery and art.
- Christophe Artisan Chocolatier – This is a whole shop of wonderful and unique chocolate.
- Spice & Tea Shop – Step into this shop and you will find any kind of tea or spice that you can imagine.
- Worthwhile – The name says it all; find beautiful clothing made with quality fabrics.
- Shops at the Riviera – These are exclusive specialty boutiques.
Gay & Lesbian Charleston
- Club Pantheon – This is an energized disco club with a Friday night cabaret that begins at midnight.
- Dudley's – If you like your bars a little quieter but just as fun.
- Patrick's Pub – Just 15 minutes north, this gay bar has theme nights and karaoke.
- Market Pavilion Hotel – This is a gay-friendly hotel in Charleston.
- GayCharlestonOnline.com – This site is devoted to all things for and about the gay community in Charleston.
- Charleston Waterfront Park – This expansive park is the place to go for a picnic and a lazy afternoon.
- Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge – A bridge that is lovely to look at and gives you a great walk if you choose.
- Battery and White Point Gardens – This is what many people think of when they hear the word Charleston.
- Magnolia Plantation and Gardens – Founded in 1676, this is the history of the United States and the gardens have seen it all.
- Audubon Swamp Garden – A nature preserve where you can see animal habitats native to the Charleston area.
- Baseball is played by all kinds of people, and Charleston has its own minor league team, the Charleston River Dogs.
- Swimming is fun as Charleston is close to beaches and rivers, as well as swimming pools.
- Roller Derby was established in 2008 in the form of the Lowcountry High Rollers.
- Soccer is played professionally by the Charleston Battery.
- College sports are played by the Citadel and the College of Charleston and include football, basketball and volleyball.
January's Low Country Oyster Festival in Charleston is the world's largest oyster festival and has been celebrated for more than 25 years.
The Charleston Southern Comfort Low Country Blues Bash spans more than 15 days in February and includes numerous musical performances, as well as food and beverages from local restaurants and bars.
In March, attend the Charleston Food and Wine Festival, which features the best wine and food of the area during this four-day event.
The Charleston Festival of Houses and Gardens gives tourists a rare chance to walk through and tour the private historic homes of the city in April.
From historic ships to modern fleets, the Charleston Harbor Fest in Mayis a sight to see and offers visitors many activities for the whole family.
In June, the Spoleto Festival is Charleston's premier musical and theatrical festival that runs for 17 days.
The 4th of July Festival in North Charleston is packed with live music, activities throughout the day and a spectacular fireworks show at Riverfront Park.
Filled with everything from dance to art, the Moja Festival in September gives visitors and residents of Charleston the opportunity to be immersed in creativity.
The Coastal Carolina Fair has been going on for more than 50 years and is one of Charleston's favorite annual events. Enjoy the rides, entertainment and family-friendly fun.
Every December for two decades, lighted boats head out towards West Ashley during the Annual Charleston Parade of Boats. Visitors will enjoy this dynamic display of holiday spirit.
When To Go
Spring and early summer are the best seasons to visit Charleston with moderate temperatures for enjoying outdoor activities and taking tours of the city.
Fall in Charleston can be nice, especially after September, which tends to stay warm. As November approaches, the weather cools down with evening temperatures of about 46°F (8°C).
Winter (December-February) is the low season for Charleston. With rainy days and cloudy skies, the average temperatures are around 62°F (16°C) during the day and 39°F (4°C) at night.
In North Charleston, the Charleston International Airport will bring visitors to South Carolina's busiest airport, with more than 100 flights a day arriving from all over the country and world.
By train, the Amtrak Palmetto makes stops in Charleston at a station in North Charleston. The Palmetto runs between the cities of Miami and New York every day and makes various stops in cities like Raleigh and Philadelphia.
Greyhound has a station in the northern part of harleston, and comes in from many cities all over the United States.
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120 hotels in Charleston, US
Belmond Charleston Place is located 10 miles from Charleston International Airport and at the vicinity to the Riviera, antebellum mansions and Patriots Point Maritime Centre. The hotel presents... More
Experience unsurpassed views of the historic harbour at the Francis Marion Hotel, the only high-rise hotel in Charleston's historic district. GeneralA full array of business services are also... More
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel offers you special hospitality, gracious service and upscale amenities to make your stay a memorable one. GeneralThe Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel offers... More
Boasting well-furnished spaces in a central location, Courtyard Charleston Historic District Hotel makes for an ideal base for corporate and leisure travellers visiting Charleston. This downtown... More
Featuring comfortable accommodations highlighted by up-to-date facilities and the ambience of a bygone era, The Vendue creates an elegant haven for discerning travellers in this part of South... More
If you are looking to explore the natural beauty of a city like Charleston, then come along to the Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel to experience a comfortable stay and also never... More
Overlooking Charleston's historic harbour and Waterfront Park, the HarbourView Inn provides modern features and services, old world charm and unpretentious southern hospitality. GeneralThe hotel... More
Look carefully among the gracious Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, Second Empire and Queen Anne style homes of historic Charleston and you will discover a quaint and comfortable bed and breakfast,... More
Charleston, South Carolina has been voted, "2012 Top City in the United States" in the Conde Nast Traveler Reader''''s Choice Awards and the number one tourist destination in the world. Holiday Inn... More