Charleston Travel Guide

  • Charleston Harbor
    Charleston Harbor
    by WaRPer
  • Colonial Cobble Stoned Street
    Colonial Cobble Stoned Street
    by TexasDave
  • Old Market
    Old Market
    by TexasDave

Charleston Highlights

  • Pro
    TheTravelingNerd profile photo

    TheTravelingNerd says…

     Beautiful Landscapes, Architecture, Culture, Southern Hospitality, Beaches, Weather, Diversity, History, Pirates, Azaleas and FOOD 

  • Con
    Tom_Fields profile photo

    Tom_Fields says…

     Hotels are either very costly or way out of the way 

  • In a nutshell
    mpeagler profile photo

    mpeagler says…

     Find History, Romance, and Sunny Beaches 

Charleston Things to Do

  • Battery Park

    Battery Park and White Point Garden offer views of Fort Sumter, scenic antebellum homes, and a number of historic monuments. Located at the southeastern point of the city, the area was established initially as Fort Broughton in 1735, later as Fort Wilkins, as a park in 1837, and it later became a Confederate artillery battery during the Civil War....

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  • Market

    This first carrier was sunk in 1944. Another with the same name was built, and road the seas until about 1980's, when retired to Charleston. Taking a tour of a carrier is long and fantastic. Tickets are $18 for adults, and $15 for military people.

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  • Fort Sumter

    Where the American Civil War Began; decades of growing strife between North and South erupted in civil war on April 12, 1861, when Confederate artillery opened fire on this Federal fort in Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Union forces would try for nearly four years to take it back. Sullivan's Island has long served as...

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Charleston Hotels

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Charleston Restaurants

  • Slightly North of Broad (S.N.O.B.)

    I got the sautéed duck breast (medium well), with a confit duck, goat cheese & green pea risotto, carrots, turnips, topped with a honey thyme reduction. It was, without a doubt, the best duck I’ve ever eaten (don’t tell my Dad). The risotto I could eat for days and days. It was so good. I’m not sure my vocabulary is evolved enough to be able to...

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  • Hyman's

    Loved the photo's of famous diners. We sat at a table with the markings of Joe Lieberman. Restaurant is a block long, we had a drink at the bar on the first floor and worked our way through 3 rooms upstairs to one of many dining rooms. On the way out we wound through more dining rooms and downstairs through the gift shop. Servers were friendly and...

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  • Sticky Fingers Restaurant

    The building that houses Sticky Fingers was built in 1875. The hardwood pine floors are 100 years old. There are brick archways and cozy little nooks. Be prepared to have a good southern BBQ meal. Of course you will want to start off with sweet tea and some spinach and artichoke dip. Then it's time to settle in and do some serious eating. A slab of...

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Charleston Nightlife

  • Not recommended

    We went on a Saturday. Almost every bar charges a cover so bar hopping gets expensive really fast. The covers don't stop even after midnight, nor get reduced, and rarely will you find a place that lets even women in for free. Some of the bars are misleading, advertising a rooftop bar except after you've paid and entered, you discover you have to be...

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  • Live Theatre

    The Charleston Stage Company operates this old historic theater in the historic heart of the city. I attended no shows there, but if I ever return, I'll try to make one.

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  • Bar Hop

    Wow! I haven't had so much fun out on the town in a long time. Downtown Charleston is a watering-hole wonderland. Every kind of Bar or club you can imagine, live music, good people. Dress codes vary-I didn't see anywhere that required a jacket, but at the same time I think people tended to "dress up" a little more here than other areas. Everyone...

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Charleston Transportation

  • parking headaches

    As I read through other reviews about transportation & parking in Charleston, I thought a more recent one would be in order (all I am seeing is stuff from 2005-2009). We just returned from our first visit tot he city.I totally concur with the other reviews about how horrible parking is there. From the looks on other drivers faces we viewed while...

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  • Think Green Take a Pedicab

    The day was getting warmer and now after visiting the Charleston Museum and 2 of the homes on our 2 day pass, having had our lunch and gelato we needed to head South of Broad near the Battery to try to get in one more home before they closed for the day. Question - how to get several miles further south without taking our car from the parking...

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  • Park by the Visitors Center

    On our first full day in Charleston we got up, got ready, had the breakfast buffet at the hotel and then crossed the bridge into the city for our first full day's activities in Charleston. A lot of the guide books we had seen mentioned to make a stop at the Charleston Visitor Center to get an orientation of the city, pick up any necessary brochures...

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Charleston Shopping

  • Old City Market

    The Old City Market is fronted by a historic building and has everything from souvenirs to local baked goods and sweets. This is the best plce to pick up reasonably priced souvenirs.

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  • Charleston's City Market

    Charleston's city market stretches along four buildings from Meeting Street all the way to the Customs House at the water's edge. The small buildings or, "sheds," were built between 1804 and 1830 after the land was donated to the city in 1788. The main building was constructed in 1841 and is a replica of the Temple of the Wingless Victory in...

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  • For Every Sort of Souvenir

    Four blocks of open-air market filled with all types of souvenirs--that's Charleston City Market! Yet, not only souvenirs, but you'll also find some beautiful crafts, such as, this area's famous SWEETGRASS BASKETS*(pic #4), paintings, watercolors and pottery.We discovered a colorful booth selling tablecloths from Provence, France(pic #3). I...

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Charleston Local Customs

  • Sweet Grass Baskets - Mount Pleasant

    Sweet grass is a grass that grows naturally from the Carolina to Texas along the coastal dunes. It is also common on the coast of Africa, in countries that grew rice hundreds of years ago. These people used the grass to make baskets for winnowing and hauling rice and other products. When the slaves were brought to America beginning around 1500, the...

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  • Sweetgrass baskets

    Sweetgrass basket making is an art that has been handed down from generation to generation (mostly women), and is part of the uniquely low country Gullah culture.The art was brought to the coastal islands of South Carolina and Georgia by slaves from West Africa. The materials have been modified but the techniques are centuries old.They are coiled...

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  • The Union American Flag

    This was the flag that was flow at Ft. Sumter and still very well preserved to this day. That is hard to imagine. Ft. Sumter and the flag were surrendered to Southerners, as the first thrust of the Civil War. It is now is the museum for display

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Charleston Warnings and Dangers

  • please don't go on Nassau St. or America...

    Please take my advice, Dad told me that Nassau St. and America St. are one of the most dangerous streets in Charleston. The things that might happen there are stabbings, shootings, drug trafficking, and maybe forcible rape. If you see anything suspicious, call the police and tell what is happening. Also, these streets are dangerous at nighttime,...

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  • Mini Bottle Law

    READ: South Carolina is the only state left in the Union that uses mini bottles to serve drinks. Each mini bottle is equivlent to 1.5 oz. If you order a drink with two liquors in it, you will receive 3 oz's. And be charged for both. For example, If you get a white russian, you get both the full vodka bottle and full kaluha bottle. Your drink will...

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  • Boycott of Charleston South Carolina

    One should show caution when planing a trip to the City of Charleston in coastal South Carolina. The boycott seems to be related to the deaths of 9 firemen and the City of Charlestons reluctance to change policy's that directly contributed to their deaths. The Mayor and Fire Chief stand accused by many as for having created unsafe conditions in the...

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Charleston Tourist Traps

  • TO THE LODGE ALLEY INN WARNING POSTING

    It is apparent by reading your post that you have no knowledge of Lodge Alley Inn or bluegreen corp. for that matter. Your 20. deposit is just that. A deposit. The people are making it available for you and your family to tour this 300 year old former merchant warehouses. The arrange the schedules for the people who shows you around. What would...

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  • Magnolia Plantation - a huge...

    I went to Magnolia Plantation for the gardens. The experience was very disappointing. The grounds looked unkempt and some bushes needed pruning pretty badly. Even my husband who is not a gardener noticed it. In some areas the flower array looked like an awful technicolor display with no apparent thought given to the design. There was nothing...

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  • lines lines lines

    There really aren't many tourist traps here. During peak season Folly beach can get a bit busy, but it's still tolerable. To avoid crowds go to the Isle of Palms beach or Sullivan's Island beach. If you want to eat on Market St. or at Hman's Seafood Iwouldn't during peak hours...the lines can be quite long. Go to King St. to get food there..no...

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Charleston What to Pack

  • warm

    Anything you would need for a day walking and soaking up the sun Cool clothes but fancy for dinner sandals are fine bring fancy shoes unless you have any fancy sandals look at pics for examples Any meds Tablet or phone for catching that sc sunset Bathing suits and sunscreen

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  • It's HOT and Humid in Summer, so be...

    Pack for play, site seeing, casual classy, and dressy.You can show some skin in Charleston, but keep it classy.This is not Miami and if you roll in all hoochied up, you will get looked down on here. Light cottons, sun dresses for the ladies.Flip flops are acceptable pretty much everywhere, except for some of the restaurants on East Bay, which you...

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  • Island Casual

    The SC summers are HOT. June -September average 95+ degrees and with the humidity it can be stifeling. The best time to visit is October - May! Island casual is acceptable most anywhere. Great photo ops of beaches and historical sites.

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Charleston Off The Beaten Path

  • Awendaw Green - Barn Jam

    For those who have both their own transport, an interest in live music and a desire to see a show that is unique to Charleston, the Awendaw Green 'Barn Jam' is the place. I would never have found this place if a couple local friends had not invited me, but now I must admit that I've gone several times on my own or when I have friends passing...

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  • Don't miss the CSS H. L. Hunley

    The CSS H. L. Hunley was a submarine of the Confederate States of America that played a small part in the American Civil War, but a large role in the history of naval warfare. H.L. Hunley, a small, hand-powered submarine, was privately built at Mobile, Alabama, in 1863, based on plans furnished by Horace Lawson Hunley, James R. McClintock and...

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  • Cool Off with Genuine Italian Gelato

    After visiting our 2nd historic house of the day it was time for an afternoon break and a stop at Paolo's Gelato Italiano. We had seen this place during our lunch stop next door, but we had decided we weren't ready for a dessert yet after lunch so we made it a point to stop back about 90 minutes later.Once we stopped into the store we were...

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Charleston Sports & Outdoors

  • Exploring by Water

    So many great places to explore outdoors in Charleston, and many of them are accessible only by watercraft. During our visit we stayed an Middleton Place and explored the numerous trails by foot, but the best perspective was by kayak. The outfitter on site offers kayaks for rent, or guided tours. We opted for the guided tour and got some great...

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  • MM 461.1 Charleston Maritime Center

    There are lots of marinas in the Charleston area, but not many actually in Charleston that are suitable for us.We've stayed at Charleston Harbor Marina, but that is across the Cooper River at Mt. Pleasant. We've stayed at Buzzard's Point and Ross Marine - which are both on Johns Island. And we've usually stayed at Isle of Palms, which is off the...

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  • Kayak Charleston

    There is also a place to rent kayaks aon Shem Creek in Mt. Pleasant. It is called Nature Adventures and they also do tours from that location as well as other places around the Low- country. They provide the important stuff like kayak, paddle and life vest. You bring water and bug and sun gunk. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that can get wet.

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Charleston Favorites

  • Cruise ships

    I was a little surprised to see one of the gigantor cruise ships docked in Charleston but amazingly it didn't seem to affect Charleston with the exception of the City Market which is within walking distance of the docks. When we asked our walking tour guide, he said the cruises that dock just for the day don't really have much of an effect on the...

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  • Closed 2007 - IMAX 3D

    The IMAX closed Sept of 2007, but is scheduled to reopen in the fall of 2009We have not been to this IMAX although we did visit the one next to the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. IMAX theatres seem to be associated with large aquaria. I find them to be a trifle overwhelming, and possibly a bit over-priced. I'm not a big fan of bigger is...

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  • Great Trip to Charleston

    Having never been to Charleston before my wife and i weren't sure on what do do and how to get around the city. I stumbled upon a helpful Website that also is a visitor publication. It highlighted different things to do, had maps and a calendar of events that we found helpful. I believe that it can be downloaded for free from their Website -...

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Explore Deeper into Charleston
South Carolina Aquarium
Things to Do
Middleton Place Plantation
Things to Do
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
Things to Do
Museum
Things to Do
Waterfront Park
Things to Do
Architecture
Things to Do
Magnolia's
Restaurants
82 Queen
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High Cotton
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The Peninsula Grill
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California Dreaming
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The Charleston Crab House
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Step Back in time
Things to Do
Vietnamese Salads and Sandwhiches
Restaurants
Fort Sumpter
Things to Do
Festival of Lights
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Charleston City Market
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Seafood & Deli?
Restaurants
Magnolia Plantation
Things to Do
Old Slave Mart Museum
Things to Do
Mt Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park
Things to Do
The Old Exchange
Things to Do
Rainbow Row
Things to Do
Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim
Things to Do
Local eats with a casual feel
Restaurants
Quirky Little Cafe with Good Breakfast Food
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Great Food, Nice Location
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Breakfast and Lunch Only
Restaurants
Best Burgers in Town
Restaurants
Good eatin'
Restaurants
Visit Fort Sumter
Things to Do
Charles Towne Landing
Things to Do
Excellent evening meal
Restaurants
USS Yorktown
Things to Do
Very good
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Soul Food, sorta
Restaurants
Battery Park and White Point Garden
Things to Do
Charleston's cathedral
Things to Do
Fort Sumpter is a Worthwhile Excursion
Things to Do
Battery Park of Sunset
Things to Do
Map of Charleston

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