Things to do in Charleston

Things to do in Charleston

Judd Grutman

Some locals say Charleston is all about “BBQ and Beer”. Others call it the “Holy City”. In 2016, Travel + Leisure named it the “World’s Best City.” No matter to whom you’re listening, you’re in for a good time, lots of Lowcountry cooking and cobblestone-street strolls that transport you to another place in time. With sunshine year-round, Charleston makes for a restorative getaway, especially if you’re in the mood for palm trees, seafood, and warm weather. Wondering what to do in Charleston? Mr Hudson has got you covered.

492 | Photo: Andrew Thomas Lee

492 | Photo: Andrew Thomas Lee

Where to eat in Charleston

Despite all its steeples and rich religious history, Charleston is a place for gluttons. Foodie destinations are plentiful and well-done. Not to be missed is Husk Restaurant, located in an eye-catching Victorian mansion in Charleston’s French Quarter. James Beard award-winning chef Sean Brock changes the menu daily and the Bar at Husk next door serves fancy cocktails and nightcaps. Fans of Sean Brock can also check out McCrady’s Tavern, tucked away in an alley off East Bay Street. Forbes recently listed it as one of the world’s “10 Coolest Places to Eat in 2017”, and the restaurant buzzes with diners dressed for the occasion. You’ll find fresh oysters and seafood throughout Charleston – they’re what sets Lowcountry cuisine apart – but we really enjoyed The Darling Oyster Bar in the Upper King District. Just across the street is 492, which serves a great boozy brunch.

As we said, BBQ is a big deal in Charleston. You’ll find most people can rattle off their favourite establishments, so we encourage you to ask around and choose your own adventure. In no particular order, here are three that we recommend: Rodney Scott’s, Home Team BBQ, and Cumberland Street Smokehouse.

Charleston things to do

Charleston has a well-preserved, but complicated history. Civil War buffs flock to visit centuries-old homes of the Confederacy, quintessential Southern historical landmarks, and Museum Mile, jumping aboard horse carriage rides and joining nighttime ghost tours. You can skip history lessons altogether, though, and explore downtown by foot. Architecture and design junkies can get lost along the charming neighbourhood lanes South of Broad and along the Battery. Make your way (preferably during the day) along the Lower and Upper King Street, brimming with clothing stores, local shops, and a wide-range of restaurants. Craft breweries are also frequent destinations. Palmetto Brewing Company and Revelry Brewing Company are worth a visit if you’re planning a beer tour.

The Darling

The Darling

What to see in Charleston

Beach lovers have two local options in Charleston. Sullivan’s Island, the setting of numerous literary works situated at the entrance to Charleston Harbor, has a wide and quiet beach perfect for a casual day. Grab a burger and beer after the beach at Poe’s Tavern or something lighter at The Obstinate Daughter, both located on a quaint commercial strip two blocks from the sand. Folly Beach, also known as “the Edge of America”, is a popular surf destination and eclectic beach community. Be warned — the traffic getting there can be brutal. Another enjoyable but touristic way to see Charleston is by touring the city harbour by boat

Charleston hotels

Navigating Charleston’s hotels can be tricky and underwhelming, but there are two hotels that really stand out. The Dewberry, an upscale hotel housed in a recently repurposed federal building, is mid-century modern meets Southern charm. Even if you aren’t staying there, check out Henrietta’s and the Living Room, the hotel’s onsite brasserie and lounge. Zero George, also slightly off the beaten path, is chic and enchanting. The boutique hotel offers 16 rooms in five historic buildings and boasts an impressive restaurant and bar.

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