As the oldest city in South Carolina, Charleston features a deep history, a rich culture, and a distinct Southern charm that beckons travelers from all over the world. This three time winner of Travel + Leisure’s title for “America’s Most Friendly [City]” has a little someone for everyone, be it art, music, history, or memorable cuisine. Discover where to stay, spa, and snack where “the Ashley and the Cooper Rivers come together to form the Atlantic Ocean.”
Where to Stay
Choosing your headquarters for a trip to this Southern shore city can be tough as there are so many notable hotels, resorts, and inns to pick from. We love the award-winning French Quarter Inn (the #2 Hotel in the United States according to Trip Advisor!) for its luxury accommodations and it’s proximity to much of what Charleston has to offer. Book the Corner Terrace King Room for a balcony view of St. Philip’s steeple. If you want to be close to history consider King Charles Inn on Museum Mile where Edgar Allen Poe once stayed during his time as a solider at nearby Fort Moultrie. Should you be seeking water views during your stay, check out the HarbourView Inn, an AAA Four-Diamond property with panoramic views of the city to enjoy from your private balcony.
Beach-lovers may opt to stay in Isle of Palms at the Palms Hotel, an oceanfront property that’s just minutes away from Historic Charleston as well as many southern plantations and the popular Sullivan’s Island where you can visit Fort Moultrie. Another popular barrier island destination that still keeps you close to all Charleston offers but allows you to have beach access, golf courses, and more, is the Kiawah Island Golf Resort on Kiawah Island. Here, a multitude of accommodations await, from private homes, resort villas, and its luxury Sanctuary Hotel.
Where to Spa
In the heart of Historic Charleston enjoy a massage, facial, or a luxurious Javanese Beauty Ritual at Earthling Day Spa & Pilates Studio. Yes, Pilates is also on the menu at this well-reviewed, family-owned wellness location in Charleston. Before your treatment cozy up in your robe and slippers next to the relaxing fountain in the relaxation area and sip on a hot tea while enjoying the calming scent of aromatherapy. There’s also Simply You Spa, a 2,200-square-foot spa with seven treatment rooms for massage, body wraps, facials, mani-pedis, and more!
Where to Snack
After exploring the city, laying by the beach, and relaxing at the spa get ready to experience some truly memorable Low Country cuisine. Seafood and modern twists on traditional Southern comfort food dishes reign supreme in this foodie’s paradise. Stop by James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock’s HUSK for a menu featuring only ingredients indigenous to the South. Basically according to Chef Brock, “If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door.” The menu, thanks to this philosophy, changes daily. For more local fare head to FIG, an easy-going bistro in downtown where a simple menu of sustainably sourced ingredients waits.
For brunch Hominy Gril is a must where Southern favorites like biscuits and gravy, shrimp and grits, cornbread, and fried green tomatoes grace the menu. Be prepared to wait in line as this landmark location is intimate and well-known thanks to James Beard Award winning chef/owner Robert Stehling.
What to See
Stop by Fort Sumter on Sullivan’s Island to step in the same spots where the first shots were fired in the Civil War or take a stroll through the Historical Charleston City Market where open-air buildings host vendors selling their fabulous and unique crafts, food, art, and more! Cobblestone streets mark the downtown’s French Quarter and shopping on King Street is a must as well.
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