To narrow down Charleston, South Carolina, to a handful of must-dos seems impossible, as one could spend weeks here and still not experience its bounty of incredible restaurants, chic wine bars, glamorous hotels, inspiring museums, splendid gardens and more. The Holy City celebrated its 350th birthday in 2020, yet travel writer Kelsey Ogletree (@kbogletree) says it’s never felt fresher. Part of the appeal is the rich history behind every place you visit here, and the locals are more than happy to share stories — so ask away!
PLACE TO STAY IN CHARLESTON:
Emeline (@hotelemeline): Make this sleek and sexy boutique property your home base for exploring downtown. Peruse local goods in the lobby’s Keep Shop, kick back with a Negroni in the courtyard or take the house Mini Cooper out for a spin. (📷: @lindseyshorter, @hotelemeline)
PLACES TO EAT IN CHARLESTON:
Post House (@posthouseinn): European-style boards listing each farm the kitchen’s sourced from that day reflect the true farm-to-table philosophy at this cozy, Parisian-inspired restaurant and bar on the ground floor of the historic Post House inn.
167 Raw (@167_raw): You’ll know it by the small crowd gathered around this tiny King Street spot. Trust us: local raw oysters, oven-roasted crab dip and the city’s best lobster roll are worth the wait.
PLACES TO VISIT IN CHARLESTON:
Gibbes Museum of Art (@thegibbesmuseum): Pop in for the country’s most prestigious mini portrait collection, rotating exhibitions like a gallery of witchcraft drawings (through June 2021) and a diverse mix of American art.
Croghan’s Jewel Box (@croghans): Owned by Charleston family for more than a century, this iconic King Street shop dazzles with everything from diamonds to costume jewelry. Ask about the Goldbug Collection.
Historic Downtown (@explorecharleston): Esteemed guide Eric Lavender of Tours By Locals (@toursbylocals) will have you feeling like a Charleston expert by the time you’re through with his afternoon walking tour, resplendent with ghost stories and pirate tales.