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Charleston Getaway Guide

Try a Charleston Getaway for a glimpse of the genteel South

Charleston South Carolina

Charleston is a lovely city set on the tip of a peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers.

Quaint streets, beautifully preserved Colonial, Federal and Greek Revival homes and lots of history make for a great destination..... especially for a girls getaway or romantic weekend getaway.

The city was founded in 1670 and the first shot of the Civil War was fired just off the harbor.

Check out the historic City Public Market with its open air stalls and shops with art, jewelry, clothing and more.
Charleston Carriage Rides
Carriage Rides

For a unique view of this elegant city, check out Classic Carriage Tours which offers 4 different horse drawn tours for your Charleston getaway.

The area south of Beaufain and Hasell Streets is a great area for wandering...with its lovely avenues and quaint backstreets.

Two interesting sights to see are Rainbow Row, 14 homes (83-107 E. Bay St.) painted in different colors of the Rainbow and Angel Oak, a live oak at 3688 Angel Oak Rd which is more than 1400 years old.

Check out other reader's reviews, tips and stories here.

Things to do on a Charleston Vacation

There are many Charleston SC attractions and sights to see on your Charleston getaway. Here are some highlights....


Magnolia Plantation Gardens
Magnolia Plantation Gardens
  • Magnolia Plantation - Highlight of this plantation is it's 50 acres of gorgeous English style gardens, swamp garden, bird sanctuary and atmospheric oaks draped in hanging moss. Check out beautiful nearby Middleton Place, also.
  • Drayton Hall - built in 1738, America's oldest plantation house and one of country's finest examples of Colonial architecture, check out the tour

Historic Houses

  • Aiken-Rhett House - urban plantation featuring Anebellum life, including the role of slaves
  • Nathaniel Russell House - late Federal style of architecture, spectacular self-supporting spiral staircase, lovely grounds and formal garden
  • Edmondston-Alston - opulent 1825 mansion in the Battery area, has tours available, most of the furnishings belonged to the original family, lovely view of harbor

Museums - The Charleston Museum was founded in 1773 and it houses exhibits on the state's history. To see Southern fine art and architecture, try the Gibbes Museum of Art.

Charleston SC Inns and Hotels

There are many Charleston lodging choices including hotels, inns and B&Bs. The rates are fairly high in this elegant city, but I have included a couple of reasonable options below for your Charleston getaway.
  • Wentworth Mansion Hotel - 21 elegant rooms, great place of a Charleston romantic getaway, some rooms with fireplaces, breakfast and afternoon tea and wine, expensive
  • Planters Inn - another great choice for a romantic weekend, located in the center of the historic district, luxury boutique hotel complete with canopy beds and 10ft ceiling, some with fireplaces, whirlpools and verandas, restaurant and lounge
  • Hawthorne Suites - comfortable rooms, breakfast, affordable rates
  • Holiday Inn Historic District - excellent quality Holiday Inn, great service and hospitality, hot chocolate chips cookies in the afternoon

Another option to check out for a family vacation, reunion or couples traveling together is Charleston vacation rentals, which include condos, cottages and townhomes for rent.

My sister and her husband stayed at the Holiday Inn Historic District on a recent Charleston getaway. They enjoyed this hotel, but especially was impressed with chief concierge, Kevin McQuade! His excellent recommendations, information and personal walking tour of the historic neighborhoods were tops!

Charleston SC Bed and Breakfast

Charleston Two Meeting Street Inn
Two Meeting Street Inn

Two Meeting Street Inn is a lovely Queen Anne mansion on the Battery. This B&B, with nine unique rooms, is in a beautiful neighborhood near the harbor. It has a lovely porch, breakfast and afternoon tea and would be great for romantic weekend getaway.

1837 Bed and Breakfast is an intimate 1800 cotton planter's home and brick carriage house. The rooms have canopied poster beds and period furniture and the rates are reasonable.

Check out these reviews on the best Charleston Bed and Breakfasts.

Restaurants for your Charleston Getaway

For a elegant romantic dinner on your Charleston vacation check out Grill 225 a refined restaurant famous for Prime beef. Fig is a contemporary bistro with a full menu and "small plates" where you can sample small portions.

Set in an elegantly restored 19th century building, Old Village Post House has a main dining room and casual tavern....try their oyster stew. Pavilion Bar and Cafe is on the rooftop of the Market Pavilion. Go at sunset for a great setting....casual menu of gourmet salads, sandwiches and more.

Check out Low Country Cuisine for the seafood boils, shrimp and grits or chicken and biscuits, Basil's for Thai food and Crab Shack for local and regional seafood.

Shopping on a Charleston SC Vacation

Charleston Sweetgrass Baskets
Sweetgrass Baskets

Shoppers....head to the brick stores along King steel, art and antique stores in the historic district, the high end Shops at Charleston Place on Market Street.

Don't miss the City Public Market for arts, crafts...the local specialty is sweetgrass baskets, and Civil War memorabilia.

Share your Charleston memories with us!

Have you been to Charleston or are planning a trip? We would love to hear from you! Share your best tips, reviews and stories here. You can even add your favorite photo.

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Charleston is a great getaway! We met some friends from Canada there & had a wonderful time. I saw your note about the Holiday Inn Historic District. …

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