Charleston is a dream come true for history lovers, architecture lovers, and photographers of all levels. Plus there are dozens of great restaurants and plenty of shopping. We've been there several times and always enjoy strolling around the city and taking in the sights. I'm sharing some of the scenes from our visit earlier this month, plus a new favorite place to eat and some fun things to do while you're there. In case you missed it, there's an entire post dedicated to some of the pretty windows with flower boxes here.
If you visit Charleston, the best way to see it is on foot. You can get maps for self-guided walking tours and take your time stopping wherever you want. Or you can go on a guided walking tour and get a history lesson while you're at it. Either way, wear comfortable shoes (I wore these). And if you're there in the summer months wear lightweight clothes. It gets hot. If you'd prefer not to walk, there are fun carriage ride tours as well.
Here are just a few of the beautiful entry doors we saw. Aren't they all just gorgeous?
Wow. The arch, the wood, the brackets, the glass...this one is a stunner.
Ornamental ironwork is all over the place in Charleston. It looks like sculpture to me.
This church and adjacent cemetery were surrounded by centuries old ironwork. There are many beautiful old churches with cemeteries and most of them allow tours.
The detail is incredible. And the patina is perfect.
One of the oldest buildings in Charleston is the Pink House. Built around 1690, it has been a brothel and a tavern and is now an art gallery.
One of many windows that we saw. Go here to see several more that are just as pretty.
Wouldn't this be fun to tour around town in? I'm pretty sure it wasn't actually available for that, but I had to take a picture of it anyway.
Where we ate:
I didn't take a picture of our food or the restaurant but if you're in Charleston you must eat at Jestine's Kitchen. Be sure to bring a big appetite with you. The food is southern style and is wonderful. I had their fried shrimp with baked mac and cheese and fried okra. My husband had the fried catfish. We shared several desserts around the table and my favorite was the pineapple bread pudding and the Coca Cola cake. They also have a dessert shop right next door to the sit down restaurant.
We've eaten at Hyman's Seafood before and have never been disappointed there either, but it's a bit more touristy. There are many good restaurants in Charleston to choose from.
For more dining recommendations go here.
Where to stay:
There are plenty of lovely inns and hotels in Charleston. A couple of favorites are the French Quarter Inn and the Hyatt Place in the Historic District. Or if you have a large group you could rent a home.
On this trip we rented a cottage on Kiawah Island. We made a day trip into Savannah that I'll share next week. We found a great spot to eat there and really enjoyed walking around the town. Go here to see our favorite things to see and do and places to eat in Kiawah.
Here are some other popular beach areas to stay that are just outside Charleston:
A few must-do things while you're in Charleston:
1. Historic plantation tours - We've toured Middleton Place or Drayton Hall and have thoroughly enjoyed both of them. Allow a few hours for each one.
2. Ft Sumter - spend an afternoon taking a boat ride out to the fort. You get a great view of the city from the water and the fort is a great look back into history.
3. Rainbow Row - you have to see this while you're here. It's a Charleston icon.
4. College of Charleston - a beautiful campus in the middle of town. We toured it a couple of years ago with our daughters.
5. Market Square - anything and everything you could imagine in an open air market.
6. Charleston Tea Plantation - about a half hour from town, this is an interesting tour if you want to see a peaceful, quiet side of the area.
Want to see more? Here are some highlights of our past visits to Charleston and the surrounding area.
Have you been to Charleston before? What's your favorite thing about the town?
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