D and I left one hot city for another one, but it was worth it! Charleston, South Carolina is the epitome of southern charm. With its cobblestone streets, delectable food, lively nightlife, beach getaways and historic homes, this colorful city offers something for everyone. Whether you’re staying for a weekend or a few weeks, you’re sure to catch a glimpse of what Travel + Leisure Magazine has named America’s most interesting city for six years in a row.
With luxury rooms that have their own fireplaces, this Relais & Chateaux boutique hotel has character.
With 41 different room types available, this art deco-inspired located in the heart of downtown is a stunning more modern option.
A mid-century landmark, The Dewberry overlooks Marion Square Park. The hotel’s minimal brass-and-marble accents speak to a classy modern-meets-history. And bonus, the hotel offers complementary bicycles.
John Rutledge House Inn
Dating back to 1763, this historic building has a rich history, namely that several iterations of the US constitution were written in the second floor of the drawing room. This family-owned hotel offers a quaint experience in the heart of downtown.
After major renovations, this old house opened as a chic hotel in 2017. With decor by Betsy Berry, a local couple opened the doors of a three-story single house boutique inn with a concept similar to its predecessor, Zero George.
This wildly popular bakery, opened by a NYC-based couple that now lives in the same building. They’ve nailed the cream-to-cake ratio, with flavors like ‘honey’ and ‘almond coconut.’ Seconds, please?
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Follow the smell of freshly made waffle cones along King Street and you’ll find it. Open until 11pm, how could you resist trying their sweet cream biscuits and peach jam pint flavor?
Grace & Grit
This place knows how to do grits. With creative flavors accompanied by surf ‘n’ turf, this Soulful restaurant will serve sizeable portions that you won’t be able to say no to.
Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit
Don’t let the single dollar sign fool you, this snug grab-and-go counter serve will have you rethinking breakfast every morning. Sweet or salty? You decide.
Ok, insider’s tip. We’re told that the thing to do is buy some rib tips here, but save some room for Home Team BBQ’s smoked wings just around the corner. It’s really a question of what’s bigger – your eyes or your stomach.
The diamond of the city is this 13-row cluster of Georgian-style, pastel colored houses. Dating back well before the Revolutionary War, this street is as interesting as it is picturesque.
The Battery & White Point Gardens
If you walk the streets of the historic district long enough, you’ll end up at the southern tip of the city’s peninsula, which was first called Oyster Point because of its piles of washed-up oyster shells. Today, it’s a dreamy seaside walk in along some of the city’s grandest mansions.
Overlooking the bank of the Cooper river is half a mile of park located near the French Quarter. Dolphin sightings aren’t uncommon, even amid the many tourists that visit the park’s popular pineapple fountain.
As one of the oldest public markets in the US, the City Market offers some tasty samples, not to mention fresh lemonade from Lowcountry Lemonade. Stroll through and maybe you’ll find some treasures.
Step away from the city and venture to Folly Beach, just south of Charleston (a 20-minute Uber drive, though be warned it’s harder to find an Uber back). It’s a legit beach. The whole shebang: sand, waves, surf shops, a dock. Felt like I was in California.
Another coastal option is Johns Island, which is the largest island in the state of South Carolina. Visit a tea plantation or the famous angel oak, a 1,400-year-old, 65-foot high tree to trump all trees.
We didn’t get a chance to visit, but really wanted to. Ascribed as America’s most photographed plantation. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds got married here. If it’s good enough for Blake, it’s good enough for me!
Our favorite way to get around quickly became the Holy Spokes bicycles (pictured) that are all over the city. And while it’s not built for two, we fenagled our way into using it as such.
Photography by Diego Silva.