tips and advice for visiting Charleston

So my girlfriend and I will be visiting Charleston for a few days in a couple weeks. For those that have been before and know the places to hit, what are the must-see sights and best restaurants?

Our hotel is in a phenomenal location, right in the heart of historic Charleston on Market street, so we can walk to most everything in that area, but I’m open to out-of-the-way suggestions as well.


Two quick ones, but obvious ones that come to mind are:

Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie (on Sulivan’s Island).

USS Yorktown

Old Slave Mart

I’d suggest checking out this site, especially if you like old landmarks.


Edit - Oh yea, and an nice boat ride in the harbor is quite nice as well :slight_smile:

South Battery is cool. Rainbow row, on E. Bay st. There’s a boardwalk type thing along the water, and the homes along that area are pretty awesome.

definitely take the ferry to Ft. Sumter. It’s awesome.

be sure to check out the old city marketplace too.

if you want a beach, Folly Beach is nice.

really you can’t go wrong anywhere in the city. it’s full of history, sights, shopping… i love that city.

High Cotton

Went to the one in Greenville, SC last week and it was great. Girl I was with said the one in Charleston was just as good if not better.

i certainly hope you’ll have seperate rooms in that hotel!!
jkjkjk! have fun!

My wife and I are leaving for Folly Beach in the morning… We have been to Charleston many times and love it. All of the suggestions so far are great. We have been to all. Any other suggestions? Great restaurants!

I am a big fan of [URL=]Magnolia’s.[/URL] Great food and nice atmosphere, very Charleston. [URL=]Hyman’s[/URL] Seafood is a local legend. I like it because of the history, and the seafood is good and fresh, but I wouldn’t wait crazy long to get in. Often there is a long line. EDIT: You did ask for the best restaurants and I almost forgot the [URL=]Charleston Grill[/URL]. Not sure what best means to you, but this is a great place. Not sure what pricey means to you, but this is pricey. I would still go to Magnolia’s.

I also like the carriage rides as a good way to start your trip. They are interesting and you will see it all, and can then walk back to everything that interests you. It doesn’t matter which one you take, the city regulates the routes and each time one leaves they have to take the next one on the list. This keeps them spaced out. You see all the main sights regardless.

Walk down to Waterfront Park in the evening and sit in a swing on the pier.

I personally think Charleston is best viewed from the water. Take a tour of Fort Sumter and get a great view of Rainbow Row from the water.

I’m sure that after your visit is over, you’ll be in favor of us adding a home-and-home against The College of Charleston.

as was mentioned before I would recommenfd Hyman’s Seafood is you like seafood. You can’t go to Charleston without going there!

We like Poogan’s Porch. Fantastic food.

just enjoy it.

i’ve never had a bad time in charleston. ever.

South Battery, The SC Aquarium, and the old slave market. A.W. Shucks is a good place to get lunch or dinner. The Mellow Mushroom down there on King Street is phenomenal as well. My girlfriend and I went to Charleston on spring break. I love Charleston, pretty much everything down there is fun.

I lived in charleston before i came to charlotte. you are def in a good location with hotel bc everything is in walking distance. Depending on what type of budget and how much you like history will depend on what you will do. Highly recommend fort sumter. My uncle is the park ranger there. Outside tours are best, most of houses and dungeons are a little pricey for what they are. Try to plan them out bc you can package and save money. If you are 21 wet willies is the best for summer. nothing like frozen daqs. If you want a romantic dinner then she will be wowed at a restraunt called California Dreaming, front half is all glass looking over harbor very classy and not too expensive . As for beaches dont go to folly beach has a bad rip. Isle of palms is the best, like a beach town. Nighttime is good for walks along battery and historic district. Waterfront park is good for a picnic. Marketplace is neat too. have fun

The Wreck at Shem Creek is incredible. Most people have no clue it’s even there since it’s down an old road back in behind the more common spots near the main road. Incredible seafood.

We also always have dinner at the Mustard Seed in Mt. Pleasant. More of a local’s spot but the food is amazing.

We prefer Sullivan’s when it comes to lounging on the beach. More of a private feeling there and you can’t beat a pint with a burger at Poe’s.

There are a lot of great spots to eat in Charleston if you stray
off the main strip and venture down some of the side roads. Nothing all that cheap but if you’re going to Charleston, you have to live a little.

Highly recommend Patriot’s Point. I’m not even a big history or war buff but that was a blast. You can spend half a day there easily touring the Yorktown and other various vessels.

What’s funny is that we don’t even really spend a lot of time in Charleston itself. There are so many great things to do and places to go in the surrounding areas that each time we go, we spend less and less time in downtown Charleston. We almost didn’t even cross the bridge when we went earlier this month.

Have fun. I can’t wait to go back in April for the Bridge Run.

Have fun. I can't wait to go back in April for the Bridge Run.

How many people on the board go for the Bridge Run?

I always see at least 2-3 niner shirts during the run.

If you like seafood you’d be a fool not to go to Hymans.

Hyman’s has been mentioned a few times and I’ll repeat it. There can be a line, but if it’s just you and her it usually isn’t too hard to get a table for two from my own two experiences and from what I’ve been told by others. You go with a 4+ party and the wait can get long.

Walking the historic district can be good for a day b/c there is a good amount of stuff you can just browse through and take in.

Folly Beach is a good beach, but at mentioned it can get a bit rough current wise. Isle of Palms was mentioned as better, but hell someone just drowned there a few weeks ago due to the rip current so I can’t speak to it being better if that’s the case.

As JCL mentioned there are a number of parks and old plantations you can visit in the surrounding areas of Summerville and Mt. Pleasant, so don’t forget to take a look. I went to Cypress Gardens as a kid outside Summerville, and there are trails through the swamps where you can see a bunch of wildlife, especially gators, it’s really cool if you’re into that kind of thing. There are plenty of these types of things throughout that area.

I would vote for The Wreck over Hymans.

Seriously, if the place doesn’t even have to put a sign up you know it must be good.

EAT AT “COAST”- the best low key restaurant in Charleston, end of discussion

go drink at Rooftop - near the market (must have collar shirt on no flip flops)

Shem Creek across the bridge in Mt Pleasant has 5-6 great places

I would vote for The Wreck over Hymans.

Seriously, if the place doesn’t even have to put a sign up you know it must be good.


the wreck is fine as long as its under 85 degrees, I at there in 95 degree weather and almost died