Best Attractions, Best Places to Visit
Best Restaurants, Local Guide
Photos by Patricia Blackstock
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I'm Patricia Blackstock. My husband and I have lived in Myrtle Beach for 16 years. It takes about an hour and a half to arrive at one of top-rated cities in the U.S. and the world. For us, Charleston can be a day trip, or ofren we'll enjoy an extended weekend.
Charleston was voted #2 of the "Top 25 Cities in the World by Readers' Choice Awards 2014 Condé Nast Traveler
I hope you will enjoy our suggestions for what we think is
The Best of Charleston!
The Cooper River Bridge (above) also known as the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge is North America's longest cable stay span, and 8 lanes of north-south traffic including a bicycle /pedestrian lane. This bridge opened July 16, 2005.
White Point Garden near the famous Battery
This large grassy area is shaded by massive moss covered ancient oaks and fringed with cannons, monuments, and historical statues. My friend Bonnie shows off a Platter Magnolia, and I'm standing near the monument. Charleston City Market/ Daughters of the Confederacy Museum. The City Market is a must to see. You'll find hundredes of vendors selling Sweet Grass Baskets, jewelry, art, candles, cookies, and much more.
Guide to Best Shopping in Charleston - the Historic District
For your best shopping experience in Charleston, be sure to visit the City Market located in the Historic District. Here's where you'll find the famous hand-made Sweetgrass Baskets (sewn with long leaf pine needles and strips of palmetto leaf) as well as a multitude of crafts, souvenirs, jewelry, local candy, honey and many other items on display inside the covered Charleston Market area. You'll also find many small specialty shops and restaurants. Charleston Place is located on the first floor of the Charleston Hotel n the Historic District. If you like shopping in style, the Shops at Charleston Place are for you! Even if you don't purchase anything, you'll love the polished marble floors, columns, grand staircases and mammoth chandelier. There's something here for everyone ...including your most discriminating Aunt Tillie!
Guide to more of the best Shopping in Charleston. After you leave the Historic District, there is still plently of good shopping to experience in Charleston.
Earth Fare - The Healthy Supermarket
Trader Joe's - Mt. Pleasant. Sometimes we drive from Myrtle Beach just to shop at Trader Joe's
Whole Foods - Mt. Pleasant
Freshfields Village Shops and restaurants at the crossroads of Kiawah, Seabrook and Johns Island
Mr. Pleasant Towne Center - Check the Directory for many hours of happy shopping
I often tell people not to miss the Islands of Charleston. Kiawah, Isle of Palms, Seabrook, James Island and Johns Island are all an easy drive from Charleston. Each island has something beautiful and unique to offer visitors, and it's one of the best things to do when in the Charleston area.
The art of basket weaving was introduced to the Low Country in the 17th Century. Today, Sweet Grass basket making is centered in the Mt. Pleasant community. Basket stands along Hwy 17 North allow basket makers to compete with retail markets and establish a direct contact between themselves and their patrons. You can watch as they develop new shapes, such as roses and picture frames. Some Basket Weavers are east of the Cooper River, but Basket Weavers can also be found in the downtown in area of Charleston, along Market, Broad, and Meeting Streets.
Charleston in 2015 has so many things to do! Stop by the Visitors' Bureau to orient yourself and learn about the best tours of Charleston that are available to you. Or just start walking. We've discovered that one of the best ways to get acquainted with Charleston is on foot. It's not only good for your mind, it's good for your body. You can plot your own course with a map and a guide book. This is the best way to learn about the Confederate Homes and how the Civil War affected Charleston.
Let your feet be your guide! You can join a guide for the Charleston Walks. Plan on about 3.5 miles to cover the best of Charleston - the Historic District. It's not strenuous, and you will be stopping often to view the many Charleston monuments, homes, historical markers, and more.
Another option for walking is the Free Tours by Foot. They provide a platform for licensed, professional, freelance tour guides to lead tours at no upfront cost, so that you may enjoy a quality sightseeing experience, no matter your budget. Everyone should be allowed to take a guided tour for a price they feel is worth it - even free!
Charleston Guide for Savings, Discounts and Coupons
Savings, locations, and complete information available at Tourist Pack
Discounts coupons to the best local restaurants and attractions Charleston Coupons and Discounts
Charleston, SC Discount Tours, Restaurants, attractions Charleston Ticket
Coupons and Discounts, Tour, Attractions and Dining from Charleston Coupons
Charleston's Museum Mile is located along Meeting Street and runs from the Charleston Visitor Center to the Nathaniel Russell House. The Mile is easy to navigate on foot and with public transportation. You can use the DASH trolleys and CARTA buses to traverse the downtown area, travel to various sites and link with the tourist busses at the Visitor Center. .
Take a Carriage Tour through Historic Charleston and the Battery, or hop on the Gray Line!
If you do a carriage tour FIRST, you can park your car free in the lots of the various carriage companies without paying a parking meter!
Palmetto Carriage Tour - Charleston Guide discount coupons on the web site
Old South Carriage Company - Charleston Guide discount coupons on the web site
The Gray Line of Charleston offers a choice of Charleston guided mini-bus tour guides of the historic, charming city of Charleston, designed to give you an informative look at the city and its well-preserved past.
Click here to view my short photo gallery of Folly Beach!
Tour some of the best Historic Homes and Gardens in Charleston
|South Carolina Aquarium at Charleston
||Historic Charleston Foundation
|Fort Sumter and take a Harbor Tour
|HL Hunley (limited dates/times)
||Spoleto Festival (dates on website)|
|Middleton Place||Magnolia Plantation|
Charleston's Best Restaurants:
You will not run out of good restaurants, no matter how many times you visit Charleston.
Here are a few that we think are the best restaurants in Charleston, in no particular order.
Be sure to check the link above for Charleston discount coupons)
|Charleston Crab House - Wonderful Southern Seafood
||Tommy Condon's Restaurant and Pub - Historic Downtown
|Peninsula Grill - Historic Downtown Area
||Bubba Gump - Historic Charleston area
|The Crab Shacks
Historic Downtown Area
|Pavilion Bar & Grill - Rooftop dining
||Circa 1886 - 149 Wentworth St. Charleston
|FIG - 232 Meeting Street, Downtown
||Slightly North of Broad - Voted Best of the Year
|Hank's Seafood Restaurant - corner Hayne and Church
||Cypress Lowcountry Grille
185 E. Bay Street
|Hominy Grill - 207 Rutledge Ave. Charleston||Caviar & Bananas - 51 George St. Charleston, SC|
|Cru Cafe - 18 Pinkney St. Charleston||Poogan's Porch - 72 Queen St. Charleston, SC|
|Hyman's Seafood - 215 Meeting St. Charleston||Coast - 39-D Charleston, SC|
|Boathouse at Beach Inlet - 101 Palm Blvd. Isle of Palms||Fish - 422 King St.
St. Philip's Episcopal Church is an Historical Episcopal church. It is a National Historic Landmark, built in 1836. Between 1860 and 1865, St. Philip's steeple was targeted for shelling by the invading Union Army. One shell exploded in the churchyard during a Sunday service.
St. Michael's Church was built in 1751, and is the oldest church in Charleston today. It towers above other historic buildings along Broad Street in Charleston. George Washington once worshipped in this church and General Robert E. Lee worshipped in the same pew. The two churches are known as some of the best landmarks in Charleston.
The two black bolts pictured on the house to the left are earthquake bolts. Charleston suffered two major hurricanes in 1885 and an earthquake in 1886. During repairs, workmen inserted long iron rods through the houses and tightened them with bolts against the outside surfaces to bring the buildings back into alignment. The houses above are part of Charleston's famous Rainbow Row. Rainbow Row is the name for a series of colorful historic houses in Charleston, South Carolina. The houses are located north of Trade St. and south of Elliot St. on East Bay Street. It is referred to as Rainbow Row for the pastel colors used to paint all of the houses. It is a common tourist attraction and is one of the most photographed parts of Charleston.
You won't want to miss Sweetgrass Baskets being made at the Charleston Market! Arthur Ravenel Bridge, inside and outside of the Charleston City Market, our brunch at the Palmetto Cafe, tours of Charleston carriage rides, churches and cemeteries, cobblestone Street, fountains, historic homes, and more! Charleston is known as The Holy City, due to the prominence of churches and steeples which dot the city's skyline. I've added some new pictures of both churches and cemeteries.
Below, left to right row 1: Marble staircase in downtown Charleston. Daughters of the Confederacy, St. Philip's Episcopal Church, Bubba Gump's in Charleston for lunch with my sister-in-law, Granddaughter.
Below, left to right row 2: Charleston's Public fountains are free and open all summer long, Cobblestone Street, Historic Charleston harbor, Paula and Wally looking at bark on a Crepe Myrtle
Below, left to right row 3: Be sure to visit some of Charleston's historic cemeteries. Wally at the Charleston Aquarium of South Carolina, Ancient moss-covered oaks near the Battery.
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