Finallyyy, here I am with my long due post about my weekend trip to the gorgeous peninsular city in South Carolina, Charleston. We visited there on the March 31st weekend. And today I am finally sharing my weekend travel guide to Charleston, South Carolina.
My husband and I drove a little over 7 hours from our home to reach this beautiful city. We were totally exhausted from the drive and so just grabbed some dinner and slept in our beautiful cozy Airbnb.
And yes, I would love to mention our sweetest and most gracious host, Grace. She was home when we arrived and gave us a warm welcome, made us feel completely at home and gave us some wonderful recommendations. She even provided us yummy continental breakfast every morning! ‘Mi casa es su casa’ –a Spanish saying she told us meaning ‘My house is your house.’ ❤😚 I highly recommend her Airbnb in Charleston. 👍🏻
So now, coming on to the must-do things in Charleston, I would have to start by my most favorite of them all (as I won’t save it for the last)-
1. Rent a bike and roam around
I wish I did this all the days of my trip. I managed to rent for just a day- but I did enjoy to the fullest! The city is not completely bike friendly but you can use it in most places. (and wherever you can’t, just walk your bike, that’s what we did😆)
Holy Spokes offers a great rental service, the app is so convenient and shows exact location/number of bikes/distance etc of your nearest bike station. We took a day pass and it was very affordable and favorable, we could drop or pick up bikes at any point. 🚲
2. White Point Gardens and The Battery
These are situated parallel to one another. Oh, I could stay here forever! The place is so full of greenery and natural beauty, with oak trees as far as the eye can see. There were families having picnics, photographers doing photo shoots, kids playing around, and the ocean breeze coming from across the road- it cannot get any better! 😍
We walked around looking at the beautiful beach-view houses as the ocean breeze played with our hair. 👫
PRO TIP- IF you are driving you can park at ‘The Battery’ as it has free parking, but as everyone knows it’s free to park, it is almost full most of the times.
Okay and I also found my dream house- Palm Trees, ocean views and pastel pink perfection! 💁🏼👇🏼
3. Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
I have a whole other blog post dedicated to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. We were lucky to visit there when it was in full bloom with all shades of Azaleas. You can check out which flowers are in bloom before you visit here. I think you have to plan a full day trip here as there is a lot to see and learn. Check it out here
There are many other famous plantations like Boone Hall Plantation, Middleton Palace plantation and Drayton Hall. I so wish we had more time to visit all of these. But definitely on the list for my next visit.
4) Shopping at Charleston City Market & King Street
Charleston City market was established in 1804. Artists from all over the world display their stalls here. You can find amazing handmade art pieces, bags, paintings, bracelets and so much more! It is situated in the downtown with King street & Market street and all major brand showrooms lined up. A perfect shopping destination! 🛍
5) South of Broad, Rainbow Row, Meeting Street
These are some of the most charming and my favorite neighborhoods in Charleston. And for a weekend trip here you must visit these for a leisurely walk. All you have to do is just take a relaxing stroll and soak in the beauty of the city. Pretty homes, gorgeously painted with pastel shades, beautiful lush gardens and flowers in window boxes- these are straight out of a fairytale. I was actually stopping to take pictures after every 2 minutes (which made my husband not so happy,😝 but you do what you gotta do!!) Everything is very close by, you can probably walk and bike easily to get around. Below are some of the colorful facades and streets of Charleston.
I mean they even make the trash look GOOD !!
And do not miss these, Cobblestone streets only a few of which remain in Charleston, South Carolina now. Below is a picture showing cobblestone roads in Maiden Ln, Charleston. Another famous one is Chalmers St.
Some lores claim that a pregnant woman can get into labor, after riding on these cobblestone roads. I cannot say how true is that, but these do make for a very bumpy ride.😄
6) Waterfront Park Pineapple Fountain
One of the most popular spots for both locals and tourists, it’s a beautiful park, perfect to take a leisurely stroll or have a picnic. Again, a wonderful spot for photo opportunists like me (and I love pineapples 😍). This place often gets crowded on weekends and good weather days. It was very joyous and cheerful when we visited, as it was Easter Sunday!
7) Folly Beach and Sullivan’s Island
We had planned to visit Sullivan’s Island but the rain played spoilsport and delayed our schedule☹. I am definitely visiting there the next time I come here. You take a boat ride to the island and if you get lucky, you might spot some dolphins on the way. Also, the first shot of the Civil War was taken from the Fort Sumter there.
Folly beach is another popular tourist spot not very far from the city. You can rent a boat or kayak and relax while enjoying beautiful views in the water.
8) Hampton Park
This being one of the largest parks in Charleston, boasts of a wide variety of flora and fauna. It has beautiful ponds with ducks and geese swimming into them. A lovely place to bike around and have picnics with family, also one of the popular wedding venues.
9) Food Favorite- Cafe Framboise
Okay, anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I am a true blue Francophile! 🗼💕 This cafe really gave me the Parisian feels; I haven’t been there yet, but it’s on the TOP of my list.) The ambiance was beautiful and the food was beyond delicious. We enjoyed soup, sandwiches, and coffee while it was raining for a couple of hours. It was the perfect way to stay dry in the rain, eat some healthy yummy food and enjoy the view of carriage rides.
We are vegetarians so our options were limited, but this city is known for its southern low country food and seafood delicacies. For all the seafood lovers out there, you will be in absolute heaven- with award-winning southern food, seafood and oyster places. Leon’s Oyster Shop is nationally recognized.
10) Ghost Tours & Carriage Tours
Okay, so Charleston is considered of the most haunted cities in America. Walking ghost tours, haunted jail tours, haunted harbor tours, crime stories and pirate ghost tours and more. They are mostly scheduled at night and as I mentioned in my New Orleans Blog, I am definitely NOT one of the bravest people out there. 👻 But if you want to discover the secrets of this city that has a history filled with marauding pirates, bloody battles, slavery and more- do go for these.
There is so much this city has to offer and I cannot wait to go back to visit all the places I could not see this time. I can now understand why people visit Charleston once, and then decide to move here forever and make it their home. This city has everything… from beaches, to museums, to gardens, culture, history, southern charm, hospitality, food, music… and everything else too. It’s actually a dream place for a person like me. I used to wonder why bloggers staying in Charleston never run out of content or fall short of beauty… they have it in abundance❣
No wonder this beautiful city has won the ‘Best City in the South’ by Southern Living Magazine, ‘Best Small Town’ by Nat Geo Channel, ranked among the ‘Best Places to Start a Business’ by Wallethub and so many more awards to its credit. I actually never wanted to return home, it’s so very prettyyyyy!! 2 days are sure not enough to fully absorb the beauty and energy of this southern charmer and I cannot wait to go back! 💖
Do comment below and let me know any particular experiences or places that you may know of in Charleston. Hoping you’ll find these ideas helpful whenever you plan a visit to Charleston!