Charleston travel guide


Charleston Tourism | Charleston Guide

You're Going to Love Charleston

Visiting Charleston is like stepping back in time and into a different world. Founded in the late 17th century, no city in the United States has such a well-preserved historic core, allowing visitors to experience what life was like before strip malls and skyscrapers.

Take horse and carriage tours, walk the streets with expert guides, or take harbor tours in paddle steamers. Catch the ferry to Fort Sumter to see where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, or find out about Southern belles and antebellum fashions at the Charleston Museum.

Modern Charleston is about more than old mansions, forts, and steamers, though. You'll find some of the finest seafood in the U.S. at restaurants like Hank's, Amen Street Fish, and Coast, while the Historic Downtown district is full of atmospheric bars like the Cocktail Club and the Gin Joint.

From contemporary cuisine and nightlife to a rich, fascinating history, Charleston is a wonderful city break destination.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Charleston

What to do in Charleston

Charleston Historic District
Charleston City Market
Waterfront Park
Middleton Place
Top activities & attractions in Charleston

When to Visit Charleston

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Charleston has a stifling, steamy summer climate, which won't be to everyone's liking. However, in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, it's a wonderful place to be. For the best weather, visit between March and May or September and early November.

Average temperatures
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When the weather is nice in Charleston

How to Get to Charleston

Airports near Charleston

Airlines serving Charleston

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Where to Stay in Charleston

To really get a flavor for what makes Charleston so special, it's a great idea to find accommodation in the Historic Downtown area. If you want top-of-the-range, luxury pampering, the French Quarter Inn is the place to stay. The Embassy Suites and the Francis Marion Hotel are similarly up-market family hotels. However, it's not all about high-end accommodation. Dorm beds can be had for $25 at NotSo Hostel, making it a great budget option.

Popular Neighborhoods in Charleston

Where to stay in popular areas of Charleston

Most booked hotels in Charleston

How to Get Around Charleston

The Cost of Living in Charleston

Shopping Streets

Charleston's retail hub is definitely The Market. Charleston is a great place to shop for locally made souvenirs like reptile skin wallets or seashell candles. King Street is the place to go for upscale apparel boutiques. Check out the menswear at Bluestein's and the women's fashion at Sally Bette's.

Groceries and Other

Supermarkets are fairly thin on the ground in central Charleston, but there are plenty of small stores like King Street Grocery and J&W. Larger supermarkets like Walmart tend to be located in the outer suburbs. In general, grocery prices are around the American average. A good bottle of wine will cost around $15, and one pound of apples around $2.50.

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Cheap meal
A pair of jeans
A pair of jeans
Single public transport ticket
Single public transport ticket

Where to Eat in Charleston

If you love seafood, you'll love Charleston, and the city is crammed with superb restaurants. Try the Cajun cooking at Coast Bar & Grill, or the crab at Hank's Seafood. Pearlz is the place to go for oysters, while the Amen Street Fish Bar serves the city's finest shrimp. O-Ku is a superior sushi restaurant, while Nirlep specializes in fiery Indian curries. For great Southern food, head to Hominy Grill, while Halls Chophouse is the place to be if you just want a satisfying steak dinner. Expect a mid-range dinner to cost from $15-20 and a high-end meal to cost $40 or more.

Most popular restaurants in Charleston

Vincent Chicco's
Excellent (2,160 reviews)
5Church - Charleston
Contemporary American
Excellent (2,017 reviews)
Husk - Charleston
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Butcher & Bee - Charleston
Comfort food
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Excellent (763 reviews)
Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar
Excellent (749 reviews)
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