How to Enjoy a Quick Trip in Charleston, SC

If you are looking for an unforgettable travel experience you must visit Charleston, South Carolina. The city will welcome you with open arms and a relaxing vibe. The Southern hospitality flows easily like sweet tea and before you know it you’ll be indulging in lazy southern afternoons and Charleston charm.

There is something here for everyone and I am happy to share a few of the highlights in Downtown Charleston, known as The Historic District.

A horse drawn carriage tours tourists around Charleston.

Most of the attractions in downtown are easily walkable but I highly recommend taking a Carriage Tour The carriage tour will take you around most of the Historic Charleston area. Make a note of places you might be interested in returning to on your own. The carriage tours are a lot of fun and they are led by some of the most animated and knowledgeable guides.

If you are more comfortable doing your own thing, I suggest taking a Historic Charleston Tour. Download the  Historic Charleston Foundation app for a great audio tour that will take you through all of the historic sites around town. Another great resource is the Free Tours by Foot website, this site features an in-depth list of tours and pricing.

My favorite historic site to visit is Fort Sumter. Fort Sumter is where the civil war began. Visitors can spend roughly an hour on the Historic National Monument learning all about American history.

Green Table with handmade sweet grass baskets with a green umbrella

For the shoppers in your group, head over to The Old City Market. The market dates back to 1841 and features individual vendors selling a variety of items in an open-air setting. There are also descendants of the Gullah culture demonstrating the art of making a traditional Sweetgrass basket. Visit the enclosed area of the market, protected from the elements that house permanent vendors. Give yourself a few hours to browse and take everything in. Be sure to snag some special souvenirs for yourself, friends and family.

Indoor market with a variety of vendors.

Charleston is a shopper’s paradise. There are unique boutiques, national upscale brands, and Haute Couture. You name it, we have it. Bring an extra suitcase to take all of your special finds home with you.

If you appreciate art, the galleries in Charleston are amazing.  Their exhibits showcase some of the most talented artists in the world. A very popular hot spot is the One of a Kind Gallery. My favorite artist displayed here is Tim Cotterill. Tim is known as the “Frogman” for his beautiful works depicting frogs.  He is one of the bestselling bronze artists in the world.

Large fountain in the middle of a park

Just for Fun
Stop by Five Loaves Cafe and order a picnic to take to Charleston Waterfront Park. In the summer months, bring a change of clothes for the kids because they will definitely want to play in the fountains. The view of the Charleston Harbor is unparalleled and you can enjoy the jogging trails and beautiful gardens located throughout. Bring your Frisbee and let the stress of the real world fade away.

Stuffed hush puppies with craw fish and cheese.

Dining Downtown
My favorite restaurant in the Charleston Market area is Fleet Landing. In 1942, the Navy started using this building to off-board sailors and to stock Navy Ship supply. Today, with a stunning view of the Charleston Harbor and outdoor dining, Fleet Landing serves delicious sustainable food. Be sure to try the crab soup and seafood stuffed hushpuppies.

Side street in Charleston, SC

If you want to have some fun in the evening head on down to the popular hangout, Closed for Business. CFB has over 40 beers on tap that change nightly and they offer beer flights featuring local Charleston Breweries.  There is an upscale pub menu available as well.  If you are not a beer fan, no worries, CFB serves amazing cocktails as well.  If you arrive and there is a line outside, don’t be detoured.  The wait is well worth it!


Charleston is also home to many rooftop bars. I suggest visiting Balao Seafood for their rooftop dining and bar. The restaurant specializes in seasonal and locally-sourced seafood. Try one of their Lime in the Coconut cocktails while enjoying the fantastic view of Charleston from the rooftop bar.

As mentioned earlier, there truly is something for everyone here in Charleston. From the great outdoors to its classic southern charm, Charleston is ready to welcome you for your next vacation!

Know Before You Go

Lady smiling in a red flannel shirt

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Shannon G. Are you interested in traveling to Charleston? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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