#1 Food food food and more FOOD!
Known for its authentic, southern food, Charleston will never disappoint in the food department. From fried chicken smothered in gravy to the best creamy grits you’ll ever have, this charming little city has it all. Take a visit to one of Charleston’s more high-end restaurants like Hall’s Chophouse or Husk. Or if you’re looking for a more laid-back dining experience, take in the breathtaking views at Fleet Landing at their waterfront outdoor dining area.
#2 Downtown Parks
If you’re on a budget, there are two gorgeous waterfront parks located in Downtown Charleston you can explore for free. Take in the Spanish Moss covered oaks blended with pastel-colored mansions at The Battery. It is one of the most picturesque parks in America, clustered with pieces of history. The second park known for its famous pineapple fountain is the Waterfront Park. Here, visitors can dip their feet in the two water fountains located on the peninsula’s edge or take a break on one of the swings overlooking Fort Sumter and Patriot’s Point on the large community dock.
#3 Horse Drawn Carriage Tours
There’s nothing more authentic than bumping along one of Charleston’s cobblestone streets on a horse-drawn carriage. Learn the history of the Holy City while accompanied by beautiful horses. These tours take you through the heart of Downtown Charleston where you are enlightened with architect wonders, tales of the Civil War, and even ghost stories. Private carriages are also available for your liking.
#4 Trips to the Beach
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Charleston, you’re in luck! There are 3 stunning beaches about 20 minutes away from the heart of downtown. You can’t go wrong between Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, and Isle of Palms. If you’re looking for a more private, residential beach Sullivans is the place to be. Cluttered with impressive southern homes and oak trees, it’s almost impossible not to relax. Your visit to the Island isn’t complete without a quick historic stop at Fort Moultrie and a nice dine-in experience at Poe’s Tavern. A short distance away, Isle of Palm is another residential beach lined with a large beach. Stop by the famous oceanfront bar the WindJammer to enjoy live music and a nice cold beer. In the opposite direction, Folly beach is home to quaint beach houses and a local surfer feel to the small town. Take a peek out on the Folly pier or join the locals down at the Washout.
#5 Shem Creek
Looking for the perfect place to enjoy the sunset and get some great food? Look no further, Shem Creek, located in Mount Pleasant just over the Ravenel Bridge is a bustling tourist destination. With boats flowing in and out of the small canal lined with restaurants on both sides, it’s the ideal place for sunset viewing and cocktail sipping. You’ll probably even see some dolphins swimming around.
#6 Rooftop Bar Hop
After you’ve seen the sights of the gorgeous city and gotten a nice tan from the beach, the nightlife in Charleston is something you don’t want to miss out on. Any rooftop bar has a phenomenal view of the city and the water surrounding it. Start off at the Vendue rooftop bar right down the street from Waterfront Park to get the best water views. Then make your way to the chic Grand Bohemian Hotel where ascending in the elevator brings you to the lavish rooftop where you can indulge in a fresh mojito followed by some savory appetizers. Stop by the Market Pavilion Hotel rooftop or Restoration Hotel Rooftop, The Watch, for a classy look over the city. If you want to venture out to a more Americanized bar, Henry’s is the place to go.
#7 Sunday Funday
You haven’t truly experienced Charleston until you brunch in Charleston. Sundays are all about the Bloody Marys and Bottomless Mimosas. Sunday brunch is a lifestyle in the Holy City, so you should plan on making reservations to beat the crowds. Enjoy a caraffe of bubbling mimosas while indulging in a truly southern brunch style meal. If you’re looking for a higher end brunch, Hall’s Chophouse, The Macintosh, The Palmetto Cafe, and Poogan’s porch are legendary for their brunch menus. Feeling a more casual experience, Toast, Low Country Bistro, and Hominy Grill have people lining the streets to get in. Enjoy the outside patio at the oldest bar in Charleston at Blind Tiger or a renovated church with stained glass windows and high ceilings at 5Church right off Market Street. If you’re looking to go somewhere off the peninsula, Shelter is perfect for outdoor seating and cocktails.