Mention Charleston to anyone and they'll tell you it's beautiful... and it is. The historic district is a time capsule and an architectural delight. The homes and churches are perfectly preserved and the best way to see them is to take a horse-drawn, carriage ride. They are highly regulated by the city and take about an hour. Tour routes are decided randomly by drawing a number, but all routes are in the district. Our driver/guides was a college student, a Charleston native, and was very well versed in the local history and the architecture. If you plan on taking a tour, we highly recommend the beautifully produced Charleston Architectural Map. It's a great souvenir and a very detailed reference of the Historic District.
There is much to explore, experience and enjoy in Charleston. You can take a sailing cruise of the harbor out to Fort Sumter where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. See the Hunley, the confederate submarine that was the first ever to sink a ship during war. It's at the Hunley Museum. Visit a rice plantation. Play golf at one of the many courses in the area. Relax at the beach at the Isle of Palms about 30 minutes from the city.
Where to Stay
You can stay in a modern hotel in the heart of the historic district, an historic Inn or B&B on the Battery, or a nearby beach/golf resort... the choices are many and varied.
In the Historic District
Francis Marion Hotel
French Quarter Inn
Isle of Palms
Boardwalk Inn Wild Dunes Resort
What to Do &See
Tour the Historic District
See the Hunley at the Hunley Museum
Piccolo Spoleto Festival
Middleton Place Plantation
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
Where to Eat
The historic district and market area is loaded with restaurants and pubs that serve "low country" dishes, barbecue, fresh seafood and Italian cuisine. We didn't find the food especially memorable, so we won't make a recommendation except for Hyman's Seafood on Meeting Street. It was voted the number 1 seafood restaurant in South Carolina 5 years in a row by a Southern Living survey. The atmosphere is very raw bar and they use video cameras to decide where to seat you. Try the crispy-fried fish. We did enjoy our dinner at the Middleton Place Plantation more for the ambience than for the meal itself. The service was excellent and friendly.
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