Why does Charleston top the lists of best U.S. travel destinations year after year? The city blends Southern charm, Eastern history, and a luscious stretch of waterfront to create a unique allure. The air is warm with grace and sunshine, and church steeples and glimpses of the sea dominate the view. The people of Chucktown are welcoming, the pace leisurely, and the beaches divine.
The key to enjoying Charleston is choosing the right base for your stay. The perfect lodging will fill your soul with South Carolina sweetness and stuff your belly with rich Southern cooking, so don’t skimp on a cheap room at a motel. Use a tool like Hipmunk.com to get the best price on a truly enchanting hotel or B&B that will send you home glowing and relaxed.
What Will You Do?
There are a boatload of sights, foods, and activities to cram into your time in Charleston. During the day, you might ride bikes, take a surfing lesson, do some sailing, lie on the beach, or shop ’til you drop. You could clip-clop over the cobblestones in a horse-drawn carriage or try some she-crab soup (only the lady crabs are good enough to get in). In the evening, rock out to live music, go dancing, or pick out the perfect spot on the beach to watch the sun go down. (Image by Martha & Brian Criscuolo)
Where Will You Stay?
Charleston’s beauty is in its historic richness and Southern grace and charm, so choose a hotel that will let you steep in the city’s spirit. The Francis Marion, for instance, shows like a Southern belle, with lavish draperies and sparkling chandeliers, and offers a luxeday spa and a full Southern menu in its restaurant. Nestled in the historic district, the hotel is in easy walking distance of fine dining options, historic sites, and boutiques.
If sunny days on a boat are your idea of heaven, choose a waterfront option like the Charleston Harbor Resort. The resort has a private marina and its own water taxi to ferry you downtown. You’ll enjoy fresh seafood in the resort’s restaurant, cocktails at the rooftop bar, and a summer concert series on the beach.
For intimacy and historical elegance, try the Barksdale House Inn. This 1877 mansion offers a classic bed and breakfast experience. The mansion is surprisingly affordable and will envelop you in Southern hospitality.(Image by yvette mac)
One of the most beloved hotels in the city is the French Quarter Inn. Like a loving Southern grandma, the Inn stuffs its guests all day long. They’ll give you breakfast in the morning, cookies and port in the evening, and a wine-and-cheese course in between. The decor is gorgeous, views are stunning, and the service will spoil you for any other.
Spend some time exploring Chucktown’s gardens, plantations, golf courses and shopping options. Try the fresh seafood and Southern cuisine. Relax on the beaches and, each night, soak up the grandeur and hospitality of your hotel. Soon you’ll know why people who come to Charleston keep coming back.
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Feature image by Mike Druckenbrod