Attractions, Culture, Kids, Events, Shopping, Dancing
Festivals, Outdoors, Restaurants, History
Best Attractions, What to see in Charleston, Best Charleston Restaurants and Attractions
to visit in Charleston
Photos by Patricia Blackstock
All photos enlarge when clicked
Charleston voted #2 of 15 "Cities in the World"
by Readers' Choice Awards Condé Nast Traveler Magazine
* Map of the Historic District Charleston, S.C.*
I hope you will enjoy our suggestions for the
best things to do in Charleston, S.C.
On April 12, 1861, the Confederate artillery opened fire on Ft. Sumter in the Charleston Harbort. Ft. Sumter was the scene opf the opening engagement of the Civil War. (Photos above.) After Sherman forced the evacuation of Charleston, the United States flag once again raised over Ft. Sumter on Apr. 14, 1865 Fort Sumter became a National Monument in 1948. This large grassy area houses the monuments and historic 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 for anyone isiting Charleston. Charleston. You'll find hundreds of vendors selling sweetgrass baskets and other sweet grass designs, candy, art, local food, jewelry and much moe.f Charleston, SC
Best of Charleston Shopping - The Historic District
For your best shopping experience in Charleston, be sure to visit the City Market located in the Historic District. This is where you'll find the famous hand made Sweetgrass Baskets (sewn with long leaf pine needles and strips of Palmetto leaves) as well as a multitude of crafts, souvenirs, jewelry, local candy, local honey and many other items on display inside the covered Market area. You'll find the best of Charleston in the historic area, offering many local pecialty shops and restaurants.Charleston Place is located on the first floor of the Charleston Hotel in the historic district. If you like shopping in style, you will love the Shops at Charleston Place! Even if you don't purchase anything, you'll love the polished marble floors, columns, grand staircase and mammoth chandelier. There is something for everyone ...incuding your most discriminating Aunt Tillie! See the best kept secrets of Charleston!
Guide to the Shopping! It's still one of the the Best things to do in Charleston. After you leave the Historic Downtown area, you'll find plenty of good shopping in Charleston.
Earth Fare - Tjhe 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 and restaurants at the crossroads of Kiawah, Seabrook and Johns Island
Mr. Pleasant Towne Center - check the Directory for many hours of happy shopping!
Tanger Outlets Tanger Outlet Blvd. North Charleston, SC
I often tell people one of the best things to do in Charleston is to check out the Islands of Charleston. Kiawah, Isle of Palms, Seabrook, James Island and Johns Island are all an easy drive - and in many cases just a few minuttes from Charleston. Each island has something beautiful and unique to offer visitors, and it's one of the best things to do 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 area. You'll see basket stands along Hwy 17 North, allowing basket makers to compete with retail markets and establish direct contact between themselves and their patrons. Watching these baskets as they are being made is one of Charleston's bedt things to do. You can watch as they develop new shapes, such as roses and picture grames. Some Basket Weavers are east of the Cooper River, but basket weavers can be found in the downtown area of Charleston, along Market, Broad, and Meeting Streets.
Charleston in 2016 has so many things to do! Stop by the Visitors' Bureau to see the best things to do in Charleston. 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 way to get acquainted with Charleston is on foot! It's not only good for your mind, it's good for your body. It's one of the best things to do inb Charleston! 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, old 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 yours at no upfront cost so you can enjoy a quality sightseeing experience, no matter your budget. Eveeryone 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 restaurant and attractions Charleston Coupons and Discounts
Charleston, SC discount for Tours, Restaurants, Attractions Charleston Ticket
Coupons and Discount 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!
TIP: If you do a carriage tour FIRST, you can park your cars free (included in carriage ride price) in the lots of the various carriage companies without paying a parking meter while on the carriage..
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|
A Few of 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)
Congratulations to Taylor Garrigan, Home Team BBQ's Executive Chef and Pitmaster, for winning the cooking competition, CHOPPED, on the Food Network last night. 6/16/2015
|Charleston Crab House - Wonderful Southern Seafood
||Tommy Condon's Restaurant and Pub - Historic Downtown
|Peninsula Grill - Hisgtoric 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 - 41 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 - 101 Palm Blvd. Isle of Palms||Fish - 422 King St.
|The Macintosh 479B King Street||McCrady's 2 Unity Alley|
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, S.C. 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.
Don't miss: Sweetgrass Baskets 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 streets, 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 photos of both churches and cemeteries.
I've recently discovered one of the Best Kept Secrets of Charleston - Consignment Shops! I could spend days in these consignment stores which offer some mazing bargains for the savvy shopper!
Butterfly Consignmenb Shop
Low Country Consignments
Second Hand Love
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 look at the bark of 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.