View Full Version : Charleston SC - any tips?

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07-14-2012, 08:59 PM
My husband and I are heading to Charleston in three week for our honeymoon and we are SUPER excited!

Anyone been there/live there and have advice on places not to miss (or to miss!) - things to do - places to eat/drink - any advice would be greatly appreciated!


07-14-2012, 09:45 PM
Congratulations on the wedding! :)

I lived in Charleston for a year but that was so many years ago I'm sure it's changed a lot. I don't remember street names but make sure to spend time in the city center. You can just wander and find great little restaurants and bars and shops. The old slave market is someplace you probably want to visit but only for an hour or two - it's a commercial market now with lots of cheap tourist souvenirs. There are some women there who weave and sell beautiful Low Country sweet grass baskets, a bit pricey but worth it IMO.

The Battery has some incredible homes and it's fun to walk and peek through the wrought iron fences at the gardens.

I don't know where you live but the heat is brutal in August and the humidity is about 90% all day long. There's a boardwalk near the harbor that has fountains to cool off in and huge "porch" swings under cover - then close to that are some indoor/outdoor cafe bars that are fun for people watching.

Here's a site that might be more specific for what you're looking for (I haven't read it ;))



ETA - I see you live in Alberta. Yeah, it's gonna be hot.

07-14-2012, 09:58 PM
Charleston is stunning! Summer is a BAD time to go though. As milanessa said, the heat and humidity are disgusting. Think Atlanta and add more grossness. And bugs. Lots and lots of them.

The city is very walkable, and that's really the best way to see it--another reason summer is a bad time to visit.

Sorry, this probably isn't what you wanted to hear :(

07-14-2012, 10:13 PM
Charleston is one of my favorite places to visit. I do have to agree w/the others that it is going to be HOT and humid. If you walk the streets, look at the houses' gates and into the back yards. Beautiful. Have some she-crab soup. Walk through the open market, but don't take pictures of the women weaving baskets unless you ask first. They are very private people. To cool off, take the boat ride out to Ft Sumpter. The city is so historic that for me, it is overwhelming (in a good way). It's a bit touristy, but take a carriage ride through the city. It's a great personal tour. Have picnics on the nearby beaches in the evenings (cooler & less crowded). sigh. It is just so beautiful there; I am envious.

07-14-2012, 10:26 PM
Thanks for the tips! We weren't sure about the bugs - but good to know. Knew about the heat. We are going for the PGA Championship and made it worth our while and got hospitality suite tickets so we could have cover and air!

07-14-2012, 10:29 PM
Congratulations on the wedding! :)

Thank you!

07-14-2012, 11:03 PM
If the history of the South interests you, the Old Slave Mart Museum (located near the market) is both educational and highly regarded.


The Nathaniel Russell House is highly regarded, too. It gives you an idea of how people lived in the 18th - 19th Cty., at a time when Charleston was an important city.

I found an elaborate yet unpretentious Sandwich place on Meeting Street (on the right as you head toward the Battery) which was great for lunch. The name escapes me!

I myself was there in August, 2009. The heat is something else. Try to time your walking during the morning or early evening hours if you can. Do something that requires you to be inside during the bulk of the afternoon or at least near the water.

07-14-2012, 11:29 PM
I found an elaborate yet unpretentious Sandwich place on Meeting Street (on the right as you head toward the Battery) which was great for lunch. The name escapes me!

Butcher and the Bee maybe?

07-14-2012, 11:57 PM
I highly recommend a carriage tour (http://www.palmettocarriage.com/) before you start walking around. Most of the guides are knowledgable and a little theatrical--you usually get gossipy tidbits about past and current residents. Go early in the morning, though.

There are tons of good restaurants in Charleston and the surrounding areas. Some good places for a casual lunch: Diana's (http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g54171-d1075827-r7616550-Toast_Restaurant-Charleston_South_Carolina.html) for Southern food (save room for pie!) and Hyman's (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g54171-d436532-Reviews-Hyman_s_Seafood-Charleston_South_Carolina.html) for seafood. For dinner....so many good choices (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g54171-Charleston_South_Carolina.html).

One of the things we like to do in Charleston (but we've been a zillion times, so you may not want to take the time), is go to Shem Creek (http://www.shemcreeksc.com/) for lunch or dinner. The shrimpers dock there and when they come in at the end of the day, the creek is full of dolphins and other sea critters hoping for a snack. You can also go kayaking there. If you are into military museums, Patriots Point (http://www.patriotspoint.org/)is nearby. It's so hot on the aircraft carrier--take water. We also like to go to the Charleston Crab House on the James Island (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g54171-d436509-Reviews-Charleston_Crab_House_James_Island-Charleston_South_Carolina.html), which is right on the intercoastal waterway. The food is just so-so, IMO, but you can sit on the deck (or inside, with AC) and watch all the boats go by.

The plantations (http://www.discovercharleston.com/plantations/) are worth looking at; they are outside of town on Ashley River Road, as easy drive away. The Audobon Swamp Garden (http://www.magnoliaplantation.com/swamp_garden.html)is right next to Magnolia Plantation if you want a change of pace.

There are a lot of barrier islands around Charleston if you are looking for some fun, beachy things to do--parasailing, boating, water skiing, cruises of all kinds, etc. If you are interested in something like that, PM me and I can tell you a few things to do (and not do). IME, everyone is quite casual about everything, for better or worse.

07-15-2012, 01:08 AM
Personally, I find Boone Hall Plantation worth a visit. The house itself may not be that impressive but the estate is. They've got one of the three longest Oak Alleys, among other things.
Be prepared to take a lot of photos, I've been to Charleston a couple of times, a day only each time, but I found it a very picturesque city.

07-15-2012, 01:54 AM
We are going for the PGA Championship and made it worth our while and got hospitality suite tickets so we could have cover and air!

I didn't even notice this, but you're going to Kiawah? In three weeks? I will see you there (maybe ;)). I didn't even know the PGA was there again this year.

I've been to Kiawah eleventy billion times (I'm rather tired of it, to be honest). I can give you some very specific tips if you can tell me what you want to do.

07-15-2012, 12:25 PM
Congrats on your wedding! Take the ferry to Fort Sumpter and tour the museum there.

07-15-2012, 03:17 PM
Butcher and the Bee maybe?

Sorry :( I want to say it had the word 'Magnolia' in it but I'm probably misremembering! It was on Meeting St., the main North-South drag, on the right if you're traveling toward the battery, and it was a small drab one or two-story building

07-17-2012, 12:19 AM
Definitely do a carriage tour, walk the Battery, go through the market, and visit a plantation. I went to Magnolia plantation and gardens, but Middleton Place next to it has a nice little restaurant. Boone Hall is also popular.

Isle of Palms is nice - the beach is nice and there are some restaurants along the main drag.

Jestine's Kitchen is a must for shrimp/grits, fried oysters, or fried green tomatoes. It is a Charleston institution. Great for lunch. Great prices. There is usually a line so get there early.

FIG (Food is good) is probably my fave so far in Charleston.

82 Queen http://www.82queen.com/ Good low country food, really pretty location

Magnolia, Blossom, and Cypress are all owned by the same company -- all good: http://www.magnolias-blossom-cypress.com/

High Cotton and SNOB - Slightly North of Broad -- never been but my friends like them. But my friends who live there think they are touristy. http://www.mavericksouthernkitchens.com/highcotton/charleston/ http://www.mavericksouthernkitchens.com/slightlynorthofbroad/

Wreck - a nice price restaurant with great fried shrimp located on a boatwreck site (Hugo): http://www.wreckrc.com/ I think this is on Shem Creek or near to it.

Oyster Bars -- Pearlz http://www.pearlzoysterbar.com/location/
AW Shucks http://www.a-w-shucks.com/

Sometimes there are outdoor concerts on the waterfront in North Charleston, near the old Navy officers living quarters historis district. They film Army Wives exteriors there.

07-17-2012, 01:19 PM
Another vote for the plantations! Magnolia, Middleton and Drayton Hall are all in row just outside of town - Drayton Hall is particularly interesting because it is empty, with just the old wallpaper and mouldings etc. You can also tour many houses and gardens in town (and just walk around and peak over walls - I've never seen so many gorgeous gardens!).

Dining is fabulous in Charleston - make a few reservations in advance so you don't miss the highlights.

And sure it's hot, but that's a great excuse to spend an afternoon sipping sweet tea or mint juleps on a porch and fanning yourself :)

So jealous re the golf - have fun!!! Oh and congratulations!!