United States

4 Days in Charleston

Charleston is a coveted city for southerners and tourists alike. It’s a charming, quaint beautiful cohesion of history meeting modern-day life. Whether you’re looking to take a walking tour of the city, visit plantations or lie by the beach, it has something for everyone.


Francis Marion Hotel

I arrived on a Friday morning and checked into the oldest hotel in Charleston  — I’m happy to report no ghosts, contrary to the rumors. Beautifully decorated, old-fashioned (but in the best way) and quaint, the hotel is located on King Street. It’s also only a block from the college of Charleston.

Pro Tip: If you decide to stay here, eat breakfast at the hotel restaurant – the Swamp Fox – and order the shrimp ‘n grits. My mouth waters every time I think of it.

Zero George

The luxury hotel has a homey look and feel to it. It’s named after Captain George Anson, an at-the-time 26 year-old sailor, who was sent to protect Charleston from pirates. The hotel only has 16 guest rooms, so visitors with a strong interest in staying here, should book early.

The Restoration

This gem of a hotel describes itself as a “new spin on classic southern hospitality,” and it’s located off of King Street, the city’s most popular avenue. It has a nail bar, a retail store, a coffee bar and rooftop bar. Need I say more?

The Belmond

This boutique hotel is luxury wrapped in the city’s historic district. It’s an experience all on its own.  It has a mini shopping center, a 4-star restaurant and a swimming pool on the top floor.


Open Market

In Charleston tourists and residents don’t have to wait for the weekend to go to the city’s open market. While there are some pop-up markets, like the one in front of the Francis Marion Hotel on Saturdays, there’s a permanent market at E Bay and Market Streets.

Souvenirs, tapestries, soaps and if you’re willing to wait in line for it, a gourmet southern biscuit sandwich from Hot Little Biscuit are a few of the frequented shops.

Angel Tree

So magical. The tree is sort of in the middle of nowhere, and it’s not in walking distance of downtown Charleston. You’ll have to take a car, but it’s worth it. To see the tree, park free-of-charge on the dirt road next to the entrance. The masses of people walking to and from their parked cars will be a clear sign you’ve arrived. Get out, walk up to the tree and prepare to be mesmerized.

Boone Hall Plantation

What’s more southern than a plantation? Boone Hall is one of America’s oldest running plantations, built/purchased in the 1600s. But it’s only been open to the public since 1956. For movie buffs, you’ll recognize it as a location for films such as the Notebook, and it’s a must-see for visitors. The avenue of oaks is picture perfect and like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Rainbow Row

If you’re in Charleston you cannot bypass Rainbow Row. The colorful community on East Bay St is the perfect destination for a walk in the city. The vibrant homes line the Atlantic Ocean and originally were storefronts that greeted the ships that docked across the way.

King Street

Walk it. Browse the stores. Try the restaurants. You can walk the entire city without ever leaving King Street. It runs from north Charleston all the way to the water, so you should embrace it. For those who love shopping, there are a plethora of cute boutiques. Stop in at King Street Cookies. The calories are worth it.

Folly Beach

Beach lovers, rejoice.  Soft sand and warm water for miles makes Folly a paradise for anyone who loves a day in the sun. Get there early and try the Salty Dog Cafe.

Pro-tip: Parking can be tough to find especially on a weekend, so get there early and bring your patience.

Also, the town isn’t very big so make sure you’ve packed what you need before you go. There are only a handful of shops, including a gas station, where one can purchase sunscreen and other beach items.

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