In the unusual case of a holiday destination that provides a little bit of everything, Charleston is the perfect destination for a long weekend with family or friends. You can get there in two hours by plane from New York, which is ideal if you’re like me and can’t afford to take much time off from work. If you just have three days in Charleston, you won’t have enough time to see all you want to see and dine at all of the best restaurants in the city. However, apart from that, the weather is noticeably warmer and more sunny down south!
What I propose for individuals who wish to spend a couple of days in Charleston is the following itinerary. The first day’s program includes visits to the historic downtown area, the Waterfront, and the Rooftops of Manhattan.
Wandering about the downtown area on your first day might help you become used to the new environment. Charleston is a small city with a small footprint, which makes it simple to go about on foot and explore the city.
Joe Riley Waterfront Park is a waterfront park with two fountains and a scenic location on the river. Following your stroll around the park, make your way to Rainbow Row, a Georgian-style row of homes that dates back to 1748 to 1845 and is worth a visit. Due to the fact that it is one of Charleston’s most popular Instagram locations, anticipate to be on the waiting list.
As you make your way there, have a look at the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, which was constructed in 1771 as a trade exchange and customs house. A variety of functions have been performed by this historic edifice throughout the course of the previous two and one-half centuries. It has functioned as a trading exchange, customs house, post office, city hall, military headquarters, and museum, among other things. It is included in the price of entry to the building’s top two floors to take a 25-minute guided tour of the Provost Dungeon, which is located in the basement. For adults, the cost is $12, and for children aged 6 to 12, the cost is $5. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free of charge.
The Old Slave Mart Museum, located in the heart of Charleston’s historic French Quarter, is a fascinating destination to learn more about the city’s terrible history of slavery and its participation in the slave trade before to and during the American Civil War. Discover more about the history of slavery in South Carolina by taking a self-guided tour, which takes less than an hour and lasts less than an hour.
Take a stroll around the historic Charleston City Market, a vast indoor market that dates back to the 1790s and occupies four city blocks. A diverse selection of handcrafted products is available from a number of merchants and vendors in this neighborhood.
If you’re feeling fatigued, go to the Citrus Club, which is located on the rooftop of the Dewberry Charleston hotel, where you may unwind for a bit. The rooftop terrace of the Charleston Marriott is the highest point in the city and offers spectacular views of the city. Prepare yourself in sophisticated casual wear, and remember to bring a collared shirt for the gentlemen with you.
During the evening, stop for a bite to eat at one of Charleston’s well-known restaurants.. Pearlz, Magnolias, and Husk were recommended to us by locals as three outstanding alternatives. Husk is a Victorian-era restaurant that serves Southern food with a contemporary twist, using ingredients sourced from the local region. We ate there on a Saturday night. The food and drinks were delicious, and the service was excellent!
Day 2: Spend the day at Shem Creek Beach, where you will be able to watch the sunset.
Folly Beach has a lot of traffic on weekends, which our Uber driver warned us about before dropping us there. The journey should take no more than 20 minutes if there is no traffic, but he told us that during rush hour, the trip may take up to an hour and a half.
As a result, Sullivan’s Island, which is closer to the city, was our preferred location. Some of the greatest restaurants in the region may be found within a few minutes’ walk of the beach. Located in the heart of downtown, Poe’s Tavern, named after Edgar Allan Poe, is an excellent location to dine and drink. Poe’s provides burgers and other American food in a casual setting on the restaurant’s famed terrace, which is popular with locals. A Bloody Mary at this establishment is like having a feast in a glass!
In Folly Beach, South Carolina’s most popular tourist destination, you’ll find an abundance of dining choices, including The Crab Shack, Lost Dog Cafe, Rita’s Seaside Grille, and the Jack of Cups Saloon, just to name a few.
After a day at the beach, the Tavern & Table in Shem Creek is a terrific site to watch the sunset after a meal. The historic Shem Creek can be viewed from the restaurant’s interior and outdoor bars, which are located on the first and second floors, respectively. The Burnt End Mac & Cheese was my favorite of the various little dishes on the menu that are excellent for sharing, and it was also the most affordable. It was also one of my favorite dishes from their main course menu, which was the Ahi Tuna Bowl.
Day three includes a visit to a plantation.
On your third day in Charleston, pay a visit to a plantation. Magnolia Plantation, Boone Hall Plantation, and Middleton Place are just a few of the many plantations that can be found in the region. Visiting Magnolia Plantation and Middleton Place at the same time is the most effective approach to explore both attractions in a short amount of time.
A few miles northwest of Charleston, Middleton Place is home to some of the country’s oldest and most artistically designed gardens, which date back to the 17th century. Located on 110 acres, it has been in the Middleton family for numerous generations and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. Middleton Place is a historical site where visitors may learn about the Middletons and the generations of slaves who worked, lived, and died there throughout the centuries. Slavery in the United States: Beyond the Fields: Enslavement at Middleton Place is a tour that promotes conversation about slavery in the United States’ historical past. Purchase your tickets online and save $26 on an adult entrance to the plantation, or pay $29 at the gate to avoid the online discount.
Beautiful gardens may also be seen at the nearby Magnolia Plantation, which was created in 1676 by the Drayton family and has been dubbed one of “America’s Most Beautiful Gardens” by Travel + Leisure Magazine. In addition to the house and gardens, there is a nature tram, zoo, café, and gift shop on the plantation’s grounds at the present day. On weekends and holidays, tours of Manolia’s old flooded ricefield along the Ashley River are available. The cost of entrance to the plantation is $20 for adults, while children under the age of five are allowed free of charge.
Once you’ve returned to the city, it’s time to refuel with something fresh. Because there are so many fantastic alternatives in the downtown area, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining. For our entrée, we ate at Le Farfalle, an Italian restaurant in which we enjoyed the Octopus Carpaccio and the Whipped Ricotta, respectively.
As a side note, Chubby Fish, FIG. 167 Raw Oyster Bar, and Fleet Landing were all places that piqued my curiosity while there. I’m certainly going to check them out the next time I’m in Charleston! In addition to winning the James Beard Award and appearing in well-known culinary journals, a number of Charleston-area restaurants, including FIG, Husk, and Rodney Scott’s BBQ, have achieved national recognition.
Inquire about available accommodations.
In Charleston’s historic downtown neighborhood, there are a number of attractive boutique hotels that are both more pricey and do not have swimming pools. During the summer months, I suggest staying at Mount Pleasant, which is near to the water and offers the option of cooling down in the pool if the weather becomes very hot.
The cozy and palm-fringed Hotel Indigo in Mount Pleasant is the perfect place to unwind. A bridge that links the cities of Charleston and Savannah makes it simple to travel between the two cities. Reservations for the Hotel Indigo may be done directly here.
Tavern & Table and Red’s Ice House are two well-known eateries in Shem Creek, and this motel is a short walk from both of them. Shem Creek Inn is a bed and breakfast. From the pool area, several of the rooms provide views of the stream or the surrounding mountains. Incentives such as complimentary koozies and six-packs of craft beer are excellent methods to attract guests to Shem Creek Inn’s establishment. You may book a room at the Shem Creek Inn.
The Dewberry – The Dewberry is one of Charleston’s most fashionable and expensive hotels, and it is located on Meeting Street. Hardwood flooring, leather armchairs, plush Irish linens, and a lavish bathroom embellished with Vermont marble from Danby Marble Company can be found in each of the hotel’s large bedrooms. In addition, the Citrus Club, Charleston’s most famous rooftop bar, is just a short elevator ride from the hotel. Reservations for the Dewberry may be made online.
Emeline is an attractive boutique hotel in Charleston’s historic district that offers a wood-fired grill and coffee shop, as well as a garden and fitness facilities for its guests. Amber Wood Red Flower and Matouk soft towels, as well as custom embroidered linens and Susan Gregory-designed porcelain bath accessories, are among the bathroom’s luxurious amenities.
The process of getting to and from the city
Given that we were only in Charleston for three days, we didn’t have the opportunity to rent a vehicle, so we resorted to using Uber and Lyft to go about. Because of the scarcity of vehicles in Charleston, we often had to wait a long time for a ride, however this may be attributed to the fact that we are used to having so many in New York. If you pre-book a ride with Lyft and arrive at your location on time, you’ll get the best service.
If you’re looking to hire a vehicle from the airport, Priceline and Hotwire are both good places to start.
When is the best time to visit Charleston?
In Charleston, the summers are scorching and humid, while the winters are mild and pleasant. Most people come between March and June, when the weather is warm and bright and the flowers are in full bloom, since it is the most pleasant time of year. This time of year is very humid, with afternoon thunderstorms becoming increasingly prevalent. The fall season is a wonderful time to visit Charleston, when the sky is bright blue, the sun is shining, and the air is crisp and cool. During the months of December and January, a few snowflakes are possible, although temperatures are generally nice.