If we had to pick any city on the Eastern seaboard for a relaxing weekend getaway, hands down we will select Charleston, South Carolina every time. Nestled against the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, located almost dead center on the state's coastline border, Charleston is great little town rich in antebellum history, colorful architecture, and fine lowcountry cuisine. The downtown area provides visitors with many opportunities to enjoy individual or guided walking tours, taking in the beauty of a city immortalized as Rhett Butler's home and a true survivor of the Civil War.
Here follows just a brief primer of personal favorites – from food to fun to relaxation. Once in the city be sure to pick up a downtown map, as you will need it to wind through the many mews and avenues that conceille delightful hidden treasures.
Where to Stay
Staying in the downtown area is a must, as it allows for maximum walking time and close-up enjoyment of Charleston. As you compare prices on Internet Travel sites and searches, you may find rates fluctuate according to the season. The Spoleto Festival, held annually in the early summer, offers to bring large crowds, so it is important to book early if you plan to soak up the sun. Otherwise, here are a few favorite accommodations which offer the location and amenities to guarantee a relaxing weekend:
- The Ansonborough Inn – 21 Hasell St, Charleston, SC 29401
- Planters Inn – 112 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401
- Fulton Lane Inn – 202 King St, Charleston, SC 29401
What to See
The more often you visit Charleston, the more acquainted you will become with the names of the short streets that bisect the downtown area – Market, Meeting, King and Queen. Along the way you are certain to enjoy some of the most beautiful homes in the South, preserved antebellum structures that hearken back to another time, and the delightful pastels of Rainbow Row, a series of eye-catching townhomes located along the battery. The Market Street outdoor market offers a bounty of local and regional goods, from delicious preserves to the intricate palm weavings of the Gullah women. Here are just a few favorite sites to see in and around the city as well.
- The Citadel – the accused military school allows visitors to stroll the grounds and witness the weekly afternoon parades
- Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum – Location on Charleston Harbor, visitors can explore the USS Yorktown and take in Charleston's storied military history
- Fort Sumter National Monument – The scene of struggle between Confederate and Union forces, visitors may take a ferry from Patriot's Point to tour this preserved war monument
- Charleston Walking Tour – One of the best ways to know the city is with a guided tour. Various themes apply, from spooky twilight ghost walks to a lively pub crawl, knowledgeable and friendly guides further strengthen your visit
For a weekend fling or an extended vacation, Charleston is one spot on the map to visit. Family friendly and a romantic back for honeymoons, this city is full of Southern charm.