Excellent 3 Day Charleston Itinerary

Excellent 3 Day Charleston Itinerary

Charleston, South Carolina is a metropolis steeped in historical past, tradition, and attraction. With its cobblestone streets, colourful row homes, and historic landmarks, Charleston gives guests a glimpse into the wealthy historical past of the American South. For those who’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Charleston seems like stepping again in an outdated, but one way or the other acquainted, previous. Shielded from fashionable structure, the streets are lined with brick and stucco mansions and enormous shuttered home windows. Reside oaks drizzled with Spanish moss and palm bushes compete for house as horse drawn carriages move by. 

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

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

After spending a number 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 earth for 2016! With virtually 400 years of historical past, Charleston is one among America’s greatest preserved cities. 

However, whereas some historic cities can really feel stale and outdated, Charleston is a school city (4 schools are positioned right here), so there’s a hip nightlife scene and an necessary historic previous that provides us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

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

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 at all times 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 non secular freedom- you possibly can be any faith and denomination. Now nicknamed the “Holy Metropolis” due to the 400+ church buildings right here, you possibly can’t miss the steeples (not skyscrapers) that dot the skyline of this bustling port metropolis. 

Life feels simpler while you stroll the streets of Charleston, meals tastes higher, and the ample sunshine punctuates the flowery houses and awe-inspiring bushes. 

Right here’s every part you must know with a purpose to plan the right journey to Charleston. 

3 Day Charleston Itinerary

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

What I beloved in regards to the metropolis is the convenience of getting round. You may 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 part I will be overlaying:

Getting Round Charleston

I extremely advocate 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 straightforward to stroll across the metropolis in a number of hours and cease for lunch or dinner after your stroll. 

Or, should you want, try 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 way of stately dwell oak bushes, however the bushes 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 may see folks protesting round this space.

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

You may’t miss Rainbow Row. These stunning, pastel coloured buildings seem like a rainbow. Inbuilt 1680, Rainbow Row represents the longest cluster of intact Georgian row houses in america. Over time the buildings served as outlets and residences of steel retailers and planters.

Sadly, the world went into decay after the Civil Warfare. Within the Nineteen 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 photos 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 folks flock to see the colourful buildings. The homes seem like the older fashion 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 cope with African American life within the early 1920’s. 

After snapping some photos, preserve strolling up East Bay Road for the Provost Dungeon and Previous Change Constructing. Whereas a fantastic 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 world across the Previous Change Constructing was some of the widespread websites of downtown slave auctions. Hundreds of slaves have been offered right here as early because the 1770s. Take a while to learn by way of the historic markers round this space, or head into the museum. This necessary constructing has been the location of business trade, publish 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 method up the road, you’ll begin to see many bars and eating places.

Be certain that to show to your proper, in the direction of the water, and stroll out to Ravenel Waterfront Park. Right here you’ll see folks 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 go to the Charleston Metropolis Market. It’s straightforward to get round when all of the names of streets are literal! Relationship again to 1680, Charleston Metropolis Market is likely one of the oldest public amenities 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 every day. The evening market has extra fashionable choices and even has dwell music however often 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 could possibly be offered right here. 

To circle again, we’ll stroll down King Road, aptly named for King Charles himself. Initially referred to 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 should you’re trying to store that is the right spot. You’ll additionally discover stunning iron work, a fantastic 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 standard 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 numerous 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 purpose to get my bearings and an understanding of a metropolis. 

I realized a lot about a number of the buildings, the tradition, and even the delicacies, I’d by no means know in any other case. 

Whereas the English clearly had a large affect on Charleston, after settling right here within the late 1600s for non secular freedom, one of many different bigger teams that got here right here have been Germans. For those who discover the iron work, that is most actually hand carried out 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 influence. A lot of the downtown space is referred to as the “French Quarter” the place the French settled. That is additionally the artwork district on the town and also you’ll discover numerous artwork galleries and cocktail bars. 

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

After a tour, hit the highway to a plantation. It’s anyplace from 20 to 40 minutes outdoors of town heart 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, nevertheless it’s additionally necessary 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 influence.

Boone Corridor Plantation

Over our 3 days we went to three completely different plantations: Boone Corridor, Magnolia, and Middleton. If I needed to solely choose one, I’d counsel Boone Corridor as I believe they did an outstanding job on sharing the historical past, it’s a fantastic property, and you may even tour the home. 

As you make your method down the Avenue of Oaks in the 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 gives loads of actions. You may take a tour of the home and the brick slave cabins which every inform a narrative of what the slaves endured. Lastly, I extremely advocate going to a couple of the talks supplied. We heard a superb speak from a girl who spoke, sang, and educated on the Gullah folks 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 way of the generations. Their affect is much reaching, from the scrumptious flavors of Lowcountry delicacies, artwork, music, and language. 

What I beloved 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 centered on their outside areas. There are stunning bridges and pathways you possibly can take to discover the gardens. There are excursions right here as properly that share extra about slavery that occurred on the plantation. 

Magnolia Plantation leads you proper by the marsh and pathways are dappled with daylight and moss strewn bushes waving within the wind as you move by. The bushes look as if they might 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 displaying 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 likely one of the oldest and estimated to be between 800 and 1,000 years outdated. 

You may 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 Previous Metropolis Jail. Open for 137 years and shut down in 1939, the jail NEVER had operating water, AC, or electrical energy. The common life expectancy right here was 3 weeks. 14,000 folks died right here! Now, that is thought of to be some of the haunted buildings in America. The tales listed below are downright a number of the creepiest. 

Remember 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 Seashore is likely one of the hottest seashores (and closest to Charleston) with outlets and eating places. This lengthy and vast stretch of sand is straightforward to stroll and an incredible 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 some of the magnificent bushes in your entire world: the gargantuan Angel Tree. Whereas it is a brief cease, it’s price it to make the journey. This properly preserved 500 12 months outdated tree has a gargantuan trunk and branches practically so long as a soccer discipline.

Charleston is nicknamed the “Holy Metropolis” for a motive, 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 non secular construction.

There are many church buildings across the metropolis, so take a peek inside a number 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 may take a tour of the sprawling Williams Mansion, the most important personal residence within the metropolis of Charleston. With gorgeous Italianate structure, 26,000 sq. toes, and 30 bedrooms you possibly can spend a pair hours wandering right here. 

End your time in Charleston with rooftop drinks at Vendue. This spot with provide the greatest vantage level of town when 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 onerous pressed to discover a dangerous meal so preserve your plans versatile or plan forward with reservations. Simply test opinions to verify! 

Our first evening in Charleston we realized this the onerous method. After attempting 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 an extended wait. So… we headed to Walmart and had Ramen for dinner! Not very best. The remainder of our journey we made reservations and had completely scrumptious meals.

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

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

Husk – You should make reservations right here weeks (if not months!) prematurely. Utilizing solely substances from Southern farmers, the menu modifications usually. Located in a restored Victorian period dwelling you possibly can’t go fallacious with something on the menu. 

Callie’s Scorching Little Biscuit – for a filling seize and go breakfast, however bear in mind, you may 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 will probably be a pleasant break from seafood and BBQ fare. 

Maison – echoing the French heritage of Charleston, this shiny restaurant gives a seasonal menu with a $5 champagne glad hour.  

Hannibal’s Kitchen – Lowcountry delicacies are served on this basic restaurant. That is soul meals and seafood at its greatest in an informal ambiance. 

Coast – tucked away on a bit alleyway you may discover coast. Conventional seafood dishes. Skip the appetizers and stick with 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 undoubtedly the most effective locations to remain in Charleston. It is a Most popular Inns & Resorts property (which suggests this is likely one of the greatest inns you possibly can keep in!) and is lush and beautiful.

Staying round West Ashley you’ll discover cheaper inns 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 simple alternative. Greatest Western right here is a superb funds pleasant choice.

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

When to go to Charleston?

For those who don’t wish to soften, are available late fall, winter, or spring. Spring is while you discover shiny inexperienced bushes and flowers in bloom so this tends to be my favourite time. Summer season is scorching and there are extra vacationers so I counsel 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 bushes and flowers are in full bloom, and the climate is pleasantly delicate. Nonetheless, if you wish to keep away from the scorching warmth and crowds of vacationers, it is best to avoid town in the course of the summer time months. Now that you’ve got sorted out your lodging and journey dates let’s discover some additional 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 depends upon your pursuits and preferences. Right here is extra data on one of the best time of 12 months to go to Charleston, considering climate and seasonal occasions:

Spring: Spring is a fantastic 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 colour to the panorama. In April, town hosts the Charleston Wine + Meals Competition, which attracts foodies from across the nation.

Summer season: Summer season in Charleston could be scorching and humid, with temperatures within the mid-80s to mid-90s Fahrenheit. Nonetheless, town comes alive with outside festivals, live shows, and occasions, such because the Spoleto Competition USA, which showcases performing arts from world wide. The summer time months are additionally the height vacationer season, so count on 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 attraction, and there are many outside actions to take pleasure in, akin to mountaineering and kayaking. In November, town hosts the Charleston Meals and Wine Competition, which celebrates the area’s culinary traditions.

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

General, one of the best time to go to Charleston depends upon your pursuits and preferences. Spring and fall provide milder temperatures and seasonal occasions, whereas summer time is the height vacationer season with a full of life ambiance. Winter is a superb choice for many who wish to keep away from the crowds and revel in a quieter getaway.

Additional Issues to Do in Charleston

The Frampton Home acquired its title from the proprietor and builder John Frampton who alongside along 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 straightforward to get to if heading to or from Savannah.

Carolina Cherry Firm is positioned simply off the facet of the highway in an cute espresso and bake store. You may strive all kinds of dwelling 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 conflict started. On April 12, 1861, the accomplice troops gathered in gun ships and began to fireside at Fort Sumter and these have been the primary pictures of the civil conflict. For those who’re wanting to go to, the fort is simply accessible by boat. 

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

Among the best 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 number of the greatest meals with a dwell information. This tour is about 2 and a half hours. I at all times love an excellent 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 akin to hostels and funds inns can begin from round $50 per evening, whereas mid-range inns and trip leases can price anyplace from $100 to $200 per evening. For a three-night keep, the overall price of lodging can vary from $150 to $600.

Transportation: Charleston is a walkable metropolis, so lots of the primary points of interest could be reached on foot. Nonetheless, guests should still want to make use of public transportation, akin to buses or taxis, for longer distances. A one-way bus fare prices $2, whereas a taxi journey from the airport to town heart can price round $30. For a three-day journey, the overall price of transportation can vary from $6 to $100.

Meals: Charleston is legendary for its delicacies, however the price of eating out can fluctuate enormously relying on the place you eat. Funds choices akin 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 overall price of meals can vary from $90 to $270.

Sights: Lots of the primary points of interest in Charleston, such because the Battery and the Metropolis Market, are free to go to. Nonetheless, some museums and excursions could 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 overall price of points of interest can vary from $0 to $100 or extra.

Whole: Relying in your lodging, transportation, meals, and attraction selections, a three-day journey to Charleston can price anyplace from $546 to $1,070 or extra. It is necessary 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 america as an entire. Right here is extra data on the historical past and tradition of Charleston, together with its significance to america and the South:

Historical past: Charleston was based in 1670 by English settlers and rapidly grew to become an necessary 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 grew to become a serious heart of the slave commerce, with 1000’s of enslaved Africans passing by way of 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 thought 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 dwelling 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 america 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 an entire, with Southern hospitality and attraction turning into an indicator of American tradition. Right now, Charleston continues to be a preferred vacation spot for guests looking for to expertise one of the best of Southern historical past, tradition, and attraction.

Stroll the dazzling streets, take heed to the lyrical accents, peek into historic houses and be taught in regards to the necessary historical past of Charleston. Whether or not you’re concerned with 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 straightforward to see why that is such a treasured city.

Even with it is far-reaching historical past, Charleston is a youthful metropolis that you could go to many times.

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