How to Experience Charleston, According to a Lifelong Traveler
Charleston sits firmly at the top of many travelers’ lists of favorite places. And with good reason.
From its historic houses to its thriving food scene, Charleston has an eclectic and well-preserved culture that remains uniquely its own. Join Nathan Lump as he wanders through some of his favorite spots in the city.
One of the first stops on any well-rounded Charleston itinerary should be the landmark city center. Stop by the brightly-colored and aptly-named Rainbow Row, a street of historic townhouses all festooned in brilliant hues of paint. Book a ride on a horse-drawn carriage to experience the town as it would have been seen hundreds of years ago. Visit the McLeod Plantation to learn about Gullah culture and how the Civil War changed the lives of residents both enslaved and free.
Charleston’s parks are among the city’s most charming features. Visit Waterfront Park for a stroll by the water and stop for a photo in front of the park’s emblematic pineapple-shaped fountain. Brittlebank Park provides an excellent place to sit on the pier and catch your own fish. (Just be sure to cook it later in a Charleston-approved manner.)
Charlestonians also take their cooking seriously and every local has a different favorite barbeque joint. Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ often tops the list. But, if BBQ doesn’t do it for you, you can take advantage of the city’s coastal location and eat as much seafood as you possibly can. Leon’s Oyster Shop is a time-tested favorite for, as the name may suggest, oysters.
At the end of a jam-packed day, bed down in one of the city’s charming repurposed historic hotels. The Dewberry Hotel sits in a historic federal building from 1964 and has since been made modern and luxurious with an on-site spa and restaurant. The Vendue calls itself Charleston’s Art Hotel and is known for its rooftop bar, with pristine views of the Charleston harbor and skyline. But really, it doesn’t matter where you say, because everywhere in Charleston is ready to welcome you.