Good 3 Day Charleston Itinerary


Charleston, South Carolina is a metropolis steeped in historical past, tradition, and appeal. With its cobblestone streets, colourful row homes, and historic landmarks, Charleston affords guests a glimpse into the wealthy historical past of the American South. When you’re planning a visit to Charleston, right here is the right 3-day itinerary that can assist you take advantage of your go to.

Charleston looks like stepping again in an outdated, but in some way acquainted, previous. Shielded from fashionable structure, the streets are lined with brick and stucco mansions and enormous shuttered home windows. Stay oaks drizzled with Spanish moss and palm timber compete for area as horse drawn carriages move by. 

Did we simply step again in time? No, it’s simply Charleston! A stunning metropolis stuffed with a storied previous, southern appeal, and scrumptious delicacies.

This 3-day itinerary will information you thru one of the best issues to do in Charleston.

After spending a couple of days right here, I can see why Charleston was repeatedly named the primary metropolis in the U.S. and the primary metropolis on the planet for 2016! With nearly 400 years of historical past, Charleston is certainly one of America’s finest preserved cities. 

However, whereas some historic cities can really feel stale and outdated, Charleston is a school city (4 faculties are positioned right here), so there’s a hip nightlife scene and an vital historic previous that offers us context for at present.

Charleston looks like a world of it’s personal. However with this magnificence, it’s vital to notice that Charleston was constructed on slave labor and the close by plantations and museums give testomony to oppression of African People. 

Charleston is a vibrant and buzzing city that stole my coronary heart immediately. Whether or not I used to be strolling the historic mansions, consuming wealthy “Lowcountry” delicacies, or admiring the large dwell oaks swaying within the breeze with moss, there’s all the time one thing to see and do.

Charleston was began in 1669 when Captain West of England, set his websites on new land for financial achieve for the crown. However coming right here additionally meant spiritual freedom- you could possibly be any faith and denomination. Now nicknamed the “Holy Metropolis” due to the 400+ church buildings right here, you may’t miss the steeples (not skyscrapers) that dot the skyline of this bustling port metropolis. 

Life feels simpler whenever you stroll the streets of Charleston, meals tastes higher, and the ample sunshine punctuates the frilly houses and awe-inspiring timber. 

Right here’s every little thing you have to know with a view to plan the right journey to Charleston. 

3 Day Charleston Itinerary

This space of South Carolina is known as  “lowcountry” as a result of it’s within the southern a part of South Carolina and close to the ocean marsh. Whereas there’s heaps to see and do, you are able to do all of it in about 3 days. 

What I cherished in regards to the metropolis is the convenience of getting round. You’ll be able to merely stroll, get misplaced, and run into one thing stunning and historic. Three streets to recollect are King Road, Assembly Road, and East Bay – which run parallel to one another and the place a lot of the most historic buildings are positioned. 

This is a map of every little thing I will be masking:

Getting Round Charleston

I extremely suggest renting a automobile to get round Charleston. We really flew into the airport in Savannah, and it was slightly below 2 hours to go from right here to the Battery in Charleston. This additionally made it a lot simpler to get out to the plantations and Hilton Head. We additionally had the good thing about seeing alligators on, actually, “Alligator Alley” on our drive over. 

Charleston Day 1: Self Guided Tour of the Historic District 

Get to know town with a self-guided strolling tour. Charleston is compact, so it’s simple to stroll across the metropolis in a couple of hours and cease for lunch or dinner after your stroll. 

Or, for those who want, take a look at this guided strolling tour.

Begin your tour on the Battery, a jaw-dropping neighborhood with giant mansions overlooking the port the place the rivers Ashley and Cooper meet. In Battery Park you’ll stroll by stately dwell oak timber, however the timber remind of one thing a bit extra sinister. That is the place pirates have been hung and left with their our bodies dangling as a message to different pirates. The Battery is the wall that protects town of Charleston and was 20 toes excessive to guard from invaders. There are some controversial accomplice monuments right here so that you would possibly see individuals protesting round this space.

Stroll round a few of the streets and soak up a few of the stunning mansions earlier than heading up East Bay Road. 

You’ll be able to’t miss Rainbow Row. These stunning, pastel coloured buildings appear to be a rainbow. Inbuilt 1680, Rainbow Row represents the longest cluster of intact Georgian row houses in the USA. Over time the buildings served as retailers and residences of metallic retailers and planters.

Sadly, the world went into decay after the Civil Warfare. Within the Forties, town of Charleston fastened up and painted the 13 homes in pastel colours to honor their sister metropolis Barbados. Higher but, Nationwide Geographic got here and took footage of the gorgeous buildings. When Rainbow Row was featured within the journal, this kicked off tourism to Charleston! 

The nickname “Rainbow Row” caught, and now individuals flock to see the colourful buildings. The homes appear to be the older model of Charleston houses. They have been portrayed in “Porgy and Bess,” George and Ira Gerswhin’s opera primarily based on DuBose Heyward’s novel “Porgy.” Heyward was a Charleston businessman fascinated by the Gullah tradition. The novel and play take care of African American life within the early 1920’s. 

After snapping some footage, preserve strolling up East Bay Road for the Provost Dungeon and Outdated Trade Constructing. Whereas a lovely metropolis, Charleston does have some horrible historical past, significantly with the slave commerce. Charleston was one of many largest slave buying and selling cities within the US within the 1800s.

The realm across the Outdated Trade Constructing was one of the crucial widespread websites of downtown slave auctions. 1000’s of slaves have been bought right here as early because the 1770s. Take a while to learn by the historic markers round this space, or head into the museum. This vital constructing has been the location of economic change, put up workplace, customs, metropolis corridor, navy headquarters, and now a museum. The Provost Dungeon was additionally used as a navy jail. The constructing has been visited by George Washington, and the US Structure was ratified right here.

As you make your manner up the road, you’ll begin to see many bars and eating places.

Be sure to show to your proper, in direction of the water, and stroll out to Ravenel Waterfront Park. Right here you’ll see individuals weaving baskets and roses out of candy grass. Stroll round for the view of the harbor in addition to the well-known Pineapple Fountain

Now, preserve strolling up and hook a left on Market Road to move to the Charleston Metropolis Market. It’s simple to get round when all of the names of streets are literal! Courting again to 1680, Charleston Metropolis Market is without doubt one of the oldest public services in steady use in Charleston. Right here you’ll discover each a daytime and a nighttime market. The day time is extra conventional crafts, souvenirs, and handmade jewellery and opens each day. The night time market has extra fashionable choices and even has dwell music however normally solely opens on the weekend. When the Pinckney household ceded the land to the Metropolis of Charleston for a market, he had three guidelines: 1. Metropolis market 2. Closed on Christmas 3. No slaves might be bought right here. 

To circle again, we’ll stroll down King Road, aptly named for King Charles himself. Initially known as Charles City (as a substitute of Charleston) the road is taken into account to be the third greatest procuring district within the USA! So for those who’re seeking to store that is the right spot. You’ll additionally discover stunning iron work, a lovely theater, and excessive finish shops. 

As you stroll round, discover that no constructing is taller than 70 toes excessive, which is the peak of the tallest steeple, St. Matthew’s Church. 

After a day of strolling across the metropolis, have dinner at Chubby Fish or the ever fashionable Husk.

Charleston Day 2: Day Journey to Plantations + Ghosts 

Kick off with breakfast at Callie’s Scorching Little Biscuit for filling, scrumptious biscuits. There are a pair places in Charleston so that you’ll certainly discover one close to you.

Within the morning we opted for a shuttle tour – this was an effective way to cowl a lot of floor and achieve an understanding of town. There are additionally horse and carriage excursions in addition to strolling excursions. I’m an enormous fan of taking a tour with a view to get my bearings and an understanding of a metropolis. 

I discovered a lot about a few of the buildings, the tradition, and even the delicacies, I might by no means know in any other case. 

Whereas the English clearly had a big affect on Charleston, after settling right here within the late 1600s for spiritual freedom, one of many different bigger teams that got here right here have been Germans. When you discover the iron work, that is most actually hand accomplished by the Germans. An instance of that is on the 1734 St. John’s Lutheran Church, with handmade wrought iron by Christopher Werner. 

The French additionally had a big impression. A lot of the downtown space is known as the “French Quarter” the place the French settled. That is additionally the artwork district on the town and also you’ll discover a lot of artwork galleries and cocktail bars. 

You’ll discover that there’s no fashionable structure allowed in Charleston Metropolis Middle because it’s required to construct in conventional single home model. However the entire homes appear slender then go straight again. There’s a cause for that. Property taxes have been on the width, not the size, which is why they’re constructed so slender and deep. 

After a tour, hit the street to a plantation. It’s anyplace from 20 to 40 minutes outdoors of town middle to go to those sprawling estates. Charleston was one of many richest cities within the USA and the explanation for that was slavery. Whereas slavery was not solely within the plantations, slavery performed an enormous position within the success and riches for the plantation homeowners. Rising indigo, cotton, and “Carolina Gold” rice, was back-breaking labor. Visiting the plantations is, after all, stunning, however it’s additionally vital to know the historical past right here. 

Over time, plantations have refocused a lot of their tourism to extra closely give attention to slavery and its impression.

Boone Corridor Plantation

Over our 3 days we went to three completely different plantations: Boone Corridor, Magnolia, and Middleton. If I needed to solely decide one, I’d recommend Boone Corridor as I feel they did an exceptional job on sharing the historical past, it’s a lovely property, and you’ll even tour the home. 

As you make your manner down the Avenue of Oaks in direction of the home an arch of dwell oaks reaches out with a lacy cover of Spanish moss, it’s a jaw dropping sight.

Boone Corridor affords loads of actions. You’ll be able to take a tour of the home and the brick slave cabins which every inform a narrative of what the slaves endured. Lastly, I extremely suggest going to some of the talks provided. We heard a superb discuss from a lady who spoke, sang, and educated on the Gullah individuals and dialect. Gullah is a phrase used to establish sea island descendants of enslaved Africans who developed their very own language and customs which can be handed down by the generations. Their affect is much reaching, from the scrumptious flavors of Lowcountry delicacies, artwork, music, and language. 

What I cherished about Boone is that they don’t attempt to sugarcoat their previous however current an actual image of what actually occurred right here. 

Magnolia Plantation

Magnolia Plantation is extra targeted on their outside areas. There are stunning bridges and pathways you may take to discover the gardens. There are excursions right here as nicely that share extra about slavery that happened on the plantation. 

Magnolia Plantation leads you proper by the marsh and pathways are dappled with daylight and moss strewn timber waving within the wind as you move by. The timber look as if they may whisper secrets and techniques from the previous and jasmine perfumes the air. However do be careful for alligators! We noticed one proper close to a path within the swamp. 

That is America’s oldest public backyard full with a Carriage Home, Veranda, and Conservatory together with a stunning pure panorama. 

Middleton Plantation

Middleton’s historic working plantation has dwell craftsman and animals exhibiting the way it used to within the 17 and 1800s. Once more you’ll discover giant, lushes oaks on the property however the Middleton Oak is without doubt one of the oldest and estimated to be between 800 and 1,000 years outdated. 

You’ll be able to watch craftsmen work, hear in regards to the hardships of the slaves in addition to their escape techniques, and be taught extra about plantation life. 

For dinner, have barbecue at Rodney Scott’s. I had one of the best hush puppies of my life together with beans and a pulled pork sandwich. 

Finish the day with a ghost tour within the Outdated Metropolis Jail. Open for 137 years and shut down in 1939, the jail NEVER had operating water, AC, or electrical energy. The typical life expectancy right here was 3 weeks. 14,000 individuals died right here! Now, that is thought of to be one of the crucial haunted buildings in America. The tales listed here are downright a few of the creepiest. 

Do not forget to take Charleston in at night- it is lit up superbly!

Charleston Day 3: Seashores & Angel Tree

One of many nice issues about being in Charleston is the entry to the coast. Folly Seaside is without doubt one of the hottest seashores (and closest to Charleston) with retailers and eating places. This lengthy and extensive stretch of sand is simple to stroll and an excellent place to hunt for shells. Nicknamed the “Fringe of America” it is a laid again seaside that’s additionally nice for late nights.

We ate lunch on the seaside and watched because the early morning fog moved out. 

Subsequent, head to one of the crucial magnificent timber in your complete world: the gargantuan Angel Tree. Whereas it is a brief cease, it’s value it to make the journey. This nicely preserved 500 yr outdated tree has a gargantuan trunk and branches almost so long as a soccer subject.

Charleston is nicknamed the “Holy Metropolis” for a cause, 400 church buildings are right here alone! Head over to St Michael’s Church, the place George Washington and Robert E Lee and Teddy Roosevelt got here to worship. The church is the oldest surviving spiritual construction.

There are many church buildings across the metropolis, so take a peek inside a couple of.

If you wish to see the costliest houses in Charleston, head to South of Broad, the place the houses are a mean of $2.5 million! You’ll be able to take a tour of the sprawling Williams Mansion, the biggest personal residence within the metropolis of Charleston. With gorgeous Italianate structure, 26,000 sq. toes, and 30 bedrooms you may spend a pair hours wandering right here. 

End your time in Charleston with rooftop drinks at Vendue. This spot with provide the finest vantage level of town whilst you sip chilled cocktails.

The place to Eat in Charleston

Make reservations or be ready to attend about an hour+ for dinner. I don’t like ready, even whether it is for scrumptious meals. Charleston jogs my memory a little bit of New Orleans or Paris, in that you’d be exhausting pressed to discover a unhealthy meal so preserve your plans versatile or plan forward with reservations. Simply test critiques to ensure! 

Our first night time in Charleston we discovered this the exhausting manner. After making an attempt 4 completely different eating places, and even driving 20 minutes outdoors of town, we merely couldn’t discover anyplace to eat that didn’t have a protracted wait. So… we headed to Walmart and had Ramen for dinner! Not splendid. The remainder of our journey we made reservations and had completely scrumptious meals.

Listed here are my suggestions on the place to eat, in addition to suggestions I received from locals:

Rappahannock Oyster Bar– You can also make a reservation on-line. Begin with oysters, we received two of every sort on the menu. Then cut up two entrees. First up, fish Milanese which was pan fried fish in panko bread crumbs with salad. This was a few of the finest fish I’ve had in fairly some time. Then we cut up a shrimp po’ boy, on tender bread with completely fried jumbo shrimp with tomatillo salsa verde and home made chips. Perfection.

Husk – It’s good to make reservations right here weeks (if not months!) upfront. Utilizing solely substances from Southern farmers, the menu adjustments usually. Located in a restored Victorian period house you may’t go flawed with something on the menu. 

Callie’s Scorching Little Biscuit – for a filling seize and go breakfast, however bear in mind, you might need to attend in line!

Rodney Scott’s – profitable a James Beard award for BBQ, you’ll discover scrumptious, hardy parts and one of the best hush puppies round. 

Chubby Fish – positioned simply north of city in a neighborhood setting, this space jogs my memory of Uptown New Orleans. This small, intimate restaurant serves up nice seafood. 

Jackrabbit Filly – an Asian-fusion restaurant began from a meals truck. This creative menu might be a pleasant break from seafood and BBQ fare. 

Maison – echoing the French heritage of Charleston, this brilliant restaurant affords a seasonal menu with a $5 champagne completely happy hour.  

Hannibal’s Kitchen – Lowcountry delicacies are served on this traditional restaurant. That is soul meals and seafood at its finest in an off-the-cuff environment. 

Coast – tucked away on a bit alleyway you will discover coast. Conventional seafood dishes. Skip the appetizers and follow the mains. I went with braised grouper over truffle bacon and mushroom grits – divine!

The place to Keep in Charleston

Lodge Bennett – This landmark lodge is within the coronary heart of Charleston on Higher King Road and positively the most effective locations to remain in Charleston. This can be a Most well-liked Accommodations & Resorts property (which implies this is without doubt one of the finest motels you may keep in!) and is opulent and beautiful.

Staying round West Ashley you’ll discover cheaper motels because you’re not within the coronary heart of downtown. Because it’s solely a 10-Quarter-hour drive to downtown, it makes it a straightforward alternative. Greatest Western right here is a superb funds pleasant possibility.

Grand Bohemian Lodge is in Charleston’s historic district and is an upscale, fashionable and artfully embellished lodge. There’s additionally a lovely rooftop terrace.

When to go to Charleston?

When you don’t need to soften, are available late fall, winter, or spring. Spring is whenever you discover brilliant inexperienced timber and flowers in bloom so this tends to be my favourite time. Summer season is scorching and there are extra vacationers so I recommend avoiding Charleston then!

The most effective time to go to Charleston is in late fall, winter, or spring, significantly in the course of the latter when the timber and flowers are in full bloom, and the climate is pleasantly gentle. Nevertheless, if you wish to keep away from the scorching warmth and crowds of vacationers, it is best to keep away from town in the course of the summer time months. Now that you have sorted out your lodging and journey dates let’s discover some further issues to do throughout your keep in Charleston.

Charleston, South Carolina is a well-liked vacation spot year-round, however one of the best time to go to is determined by your pursuits and preferences. Right here is extra data on one of the best time of yr to go to Charleston, making an allowance for climate and seasonal occasions:

Spring: Spring is a lovely time to go to Charleston, with temperatures starting from the mid-60s to mid-70s Fahrenheit. Town is in full bloom, with azaleas, wisteria, and dogwoods including pops of shade to the panorama. In April, town hosts the Charleston Wine + Meals Pageant, which attracts foodies from across the nation.

Summer season: Summer season in Charleston may be scorching and humid, with temperatures within the mid-80s to mid-90s Fahrenheit. Nevertheless, town comes alive with outside festivals, concert events, and occasions, such because the Spoleto Pageant USA, which showcases performing arts from world wide. The summer time months are additionally the height vacationer season, so anticipate bigger crowds and better costs.

Fall: Fall is a well-liked time to go to Charleston, with milder temperatures starting from the mid-60s to mid-70s Fahrenheit. The autumn foliage provides to town’s appeal, and there are many outside actions to take pleasure in, comparable to mountaineering and kayaking. In November, town hosts the Charleston Meals and Wine Pageant, which celebrates the area’s culinary traditions.

Winter: Winter in Charleston is gentle, with temperatures starting from the mid-40s to mid-60s Fahrenheit. Town is much less crowded throughout this time, making it an excellent possibility for individuals who want a quieter environment. In December, town hosts the Charleston Christmas Parade and Pageant of Lights, which options holiday-themed occasions and actions.

Total, one of the best time to go to Charleston is determined by your pursuits and preferences. Spring and fall provide milder temperatures and seasonal occasions, whereas summer time is the height vacationer season with a energetic environment. Winter is a superb possibility for individuals who need to keep away from the crowds and revel in a quieter getaway.

Further Issues to Do in Charleston

The Frampton Home received its identify from the proprietor and builder John Frampton who alongside together with his brothers shared 1000’s of acres in what’s now Beaufort & Jasper counties. Initially a King’s grant to the proprietor within the early 1700s, Frampton Home was divided into working plantations. This cease may be very simple to get to if heading to or from Savannah.

Carolina Cherry Firm is positioned simply off the aspect of the street in an cute espresso and bake store. You’ll be able to attempt all types of house brewed ciders. We opted for peach- it was scrumptious! And we sipped on this for our whole journey. 

Fort Sumter is the place the American civil struggle started. On April 12, 1861, the accomplice troops gathered in gun ships and began to fireplace at Fort Sumter and these have been the primary photographs of the civil struggle. When you’re wanting to go to, the fort is barely accessible by boat. 

Prince William Parish Church, or Outdated Sheldon Ruins is a historic web site about half-hour outdoors of Charleston. It had simply rained, so we received to see the Resurrection fern in it’s full glory sprouting in bursts on the timber. 

Probably the greatest methods to see a metropolis and be taught it’s historical past is by taking a meals tour. Study Charleston’s distinctive delicacies and pattern a few of the finest meals with a dwell information. This tour is about 2 and a half hours. I all the time love a very good meals tour!

Funds breakdown for a 3-day journey to Charleston, South Carolina:

Lodging: The price of lodging in Charleston can fluctuate relying on the kind of lodge or rental you select. Funds choices comparable to hostels and funds motels can begin from round $50 per night time, whereas mid-range motels and trip leases can price anyplace from $100 to $200 per night time. For a three-night keep, the whole price of lodging can vary from $150 to $600.

Transportation: Charleston is a walkable metropolis, so most of the essential sights may be reached on foot. Nevertheless, guests should still want to make use of public transportation, comparable to buses or taxis, for longer distances. A one-way bus fare prices $2, whereas a taxi trip from the airport to town middle can price round $30. For a three-day journey, the whole price of transportation can vary from $6 to $100.

Meals: Charleston is known for its delicacies, however the price of eating out can fluctuate enormously relying on the place you eat. Funds choices comparable to meals vans and quick meals can price round $5 to $10 per meal, whereas mid-range eating places and cafes can price $15 to $30 per meal. For a three-day journey, the whole price of meals can vary from $90 to $270.

Points of interest: Lots of the essential sights in Charleston, such because the Battery and the Metropolis Market, are free to go to. Nevertheless, some museums and excursions might have admission charges. For instance, admission to the Charleston Museum prices $12 for adults, whereas a guided tour of the historic district can price round $25 per particular person. For a three-day journey, the whole price of sights can vary from $0 to $100 or extra.

Whole: Relying in your lodging, transportation, meals, and attraction decisions, a three-day journey to Charleston can price anyplace from $546 to $1,070 or extra. It is vital to funds accordingly and plan forward to take advantage of your journey with out overspending.

Charleston Historical past

Charleston, South Carolina has a wealthy historical past and tradition that has formed town and influenced the USA as a complete. Right here is extra data on the historical past and tradition of Charleston, together with its significance to the USA and the South:

Historical past: Charleston was based in 1670 by English settlers and shortly turned an vital port metropolis for commerce and commerce. Town performed a big position within the American Revolution, with a number of key battles fought in and across the metropolis. Within the 1800s, Charleston turned a serious middle of the slave commerce, with 1000’s of enslaved Africans passing by town’s ports. The Civil Warfare started in Charleston with the Accomplice assault on Fort Sumter, which nonetheless stands as a monument to town’s pivotal position in American historical past.

Tradition: Charleston’s tradition is formed by its historical past and geography, with influences from African, European, and Native American traditions. Town is understood for its distinctive structure, with colourful row homes and historic landmarks just like the Battery and Rainbow Row. Charleston can be well-known for its delicacies, which options conventional Lowcountry dishes like shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, and boiled peanuts. Town can be house to a vibrant arts scene, with galleries, theaters, and museums showcasing one of the best of southern tradition and creativity.

Significance: Charleston’s significance to the USA and the South can’t be overstated. Town performed a key position within the American Revolution and the Civil Warfare, and its historic landmarks and monuments function reminders of town’s pivotal position in shaping American historical past. Charleston’s cultural and culinary traditions have influenced the area and the nation as a complete, with Southern hospitality and appeal changing into a trademark of American tradition. In the present day, Charleston continues to be a preferred vacation spot for guests searching for to expertise one of the best of Southern historical past, tradition, and appeal.

Stroll the dazzling streets, take heed to the lyrical accents, peek into historic houses and be taught in regards to the vital historical past of Charleston. Whether or not you’re considering magnificence, historical past, artwork, or delicacies Charleston is the right place to discover. For greater than 300 years Charleston has impressed artists, writers, and folks from all walks of life. It’s simple to see why that is such a treasured city.

Even with it is far-reaching historical past, Charleston is a youthful metropolis which you can go to repeatedly.


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