The City

A Travel Guide to Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Rhett Butler described it best when he said that he was going home to Charleston, a place of peace, charm and grace. For friendly hospitality, pastel Antebellum mansions and fresh catch of the day at any hour, Charleston shines as a beacon of Southern comfort in the United States. Established in 1670 in South Carolina, one of the original thirteen colonies, the city gained the nickname of the “Holy City" thanks to its many churches and has one of the richest histories in America, of particular interest to Civil War buffs. A peninsula and port city, Charleston also serves as a stunning setting for rooftop bars, walks along the “Battery” promenade and sailing excursions. Our travel guide to Charleston takes you to the best hotels, restaurants and attractions that this vibrant Southern city has to offer.

Sleeping

Where to stay in Charleston: Zero George

Named after its address at 0 George Street, this luxurious boutique hotel is the picture of Southern hospitality reimagined with a modern sense of elegance. The Federal-style buildings that comprise Zero George host sixteen guest suites with heart pine floors, high ceilings, white shutters and wide verandas. Guest comfort comes first, so marble bathrooms are equipped with Grohe rainshower heads and Malin + Goetz products and all the rooms have Nespresso machines, luxury mattresses and sound machines to put you to sleep. The location is ideal for walking to nearby King Street or you can hop on a complimentary bike from the hotel and enjoy cycling along the peninsula. For a quiet and upscale night in, the Zero Restaurant + Bar offers dishes a discerning palette will love.

Best Hotels in Charleston

The Planters Inn: A quirky and elegant boutique hotel located in the heart of the Historic District.

The Dewberry: A mid-century inspired five-star hotel with a vast variety of suites to choose from.

Grand Bohemian Hotel: A contemporary luxury hotel with an artistic twist and luxury amenities.

The Governor’s House Inn: A historical bed and breakfast showcasing aristocratic luxuries and traditional features such as drawing rooms and veranda porches.

Eating

Where to Eat in Charleston: McCrady's Tavern

If you’re up for an unusual dining experience, McCrady’s Tavern packs big flavours into endless small bites. Surrounded by numerous other delicious restaurants, this sleek restaurant with an open kitchen is the only one in South Carolina awarded AAA five-diamond status. Helmed by James Beard Award winning chef Sean Brock, McCrady’s intimate 22 seat counter offers a tasting menu of 16 to 18 courses in the span of two hours. Brock’s mission is to present dishes that both challenge and surprise the guests, mingling historic Charleston crops with international flavours. He chooses fresh ingredients at the peak of their lifespan, “when they are their happiest” and plates them with a flourish. A dinner here is more than just a meal – it's a gastronomic experience.

Best Restaurants in Charleston

Rodney Scott’s BBQ: Very casual eatery serving delicious country-style barbecued meats.

Hominy Grill: Bustling restaurant known for its fantastic brunch served in a welcoming and buzzing setting.

167 Raw: Intimate seafood restaurant famous for its lobster rolls and fish tacos.

Lewis BBQ: A trendy industrial-chic restaurant specialising in house-smoked meats.

Jestine’s Kitchen: Traditional Southern eatery with a welcoming atmosphere and a menu boasting comfort foods such as fried chicken and gumbo.

Bertha’s Kitchen: Casual counter-serve style restaurant serving southern classics since 1981.

The Darling Oyster Bar: Stylish and contemporary oyster bar on King Street specialising in fresh oysters and seafood.

Seeing

What to do in Charleston: Middleton Place

Visit the stunning Middleton Place for beauty, nature and a history lesson of the Old South. A National Historic Landmark, Middleton Place is a preserved 18th-century rice plantation with 65 acres of the oldest landscaped gardens in America. Take a guided tour of the House Museum and discover the story of the Middleton family and the slaves that once inhabited and worked on the plantation. Told through the artefacts left behind, from portraits and furniture to documents and letters, the story reaches a climax with the burning of two of the main buildings by Union Troops just two months before the end of the Civil War. Finally, visit the stable yards where re-enactors work as blacksmiths, carpenters and potters to present a vision of what life was like here in the 18th and 19th century.

Best Things to do in Charleston

Spoleto Festival: Major performing arts festival showcasing established and up-and-coming artists. The Festival takes place in late spring (24th May – 9th June 2019).

Folly Beach : Picturesque island town where you can surf, walk along the pier, go fishing and enjoy fantastic seafood.

Morris Island : A beautiful historical island with famous light house accessible only by boat from the Charleston Harbor.