Charleston is a pleasant reminder of the genteel side or the Old South. It is so well preserved that some families have lived in the same houses for generations upon generations. People are polite and so watchful of their manners that the city once was recognized as “best-mannered.” Charleston uniquely demonstrates a collective sense of its own history yet stays relevant as a vacation destination because it satisfies modern tastes. Here are Our Top 10 Charleston Vacation Ideas.
The Top 10 List
- Walking Tour
- Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens
- South Carolina Aquarium
- JB’s Smokeshack
- Carriage Ride
- City Market
- Charleston Crab House
- Theatre Charleston
- Folly Beach
- Gibbes Museum of Art
There is no better way to get acquainted with a city than with a walking tour. A passionate guide will fill you in on all the quirky points of interest and historical facts. Sales reps for the tours are on practically every street corner. Engage them to find which tour is best for you.
This antebellum plantation 8 miles from downtown Charleston has been in operation for more since 1681, although now instead of cotton and pecans its yields include strawberries, tomatoes and pumpkins. The present mansion, built in 1936, is open to touring, and you can experience other historical and cultural presentations on plantation grounds including tours of Slave Street to view the living quarters and relics of the plantation’s slave residents. The plantation, in Mount Pleasant, hosts several festivals throughout the year, such as the Lowcounty Strawberry Festival, and allows visitors to pick their own fruit and vegetables in season.
From otters in the Mountain Forest exhibit to turtles in the Coast exhibit, learning about our animal friends is fun at the South Carolina Aquarium on Charleston Harbor. The aquarium is committed to education about conservation and raising awareness of environmental issues.
Why get your ribs anywhere else, when JB’s has reigned victorious time and again in barbecue competitions? This “must-eat” destination is about 12 miles west of downtown, across the Ashley River on Johns Island.
Travel around town the way it used to be done! Take a horse and buggy tour to discover Charleston’s little local secrets. There is also the opportunity to take the tours at nighttime. You can sign up for rides at outposts all over the city.
This open-air market has been up and running since 1841. Keep your ears open for the Gullah dialect.
A visit to Charleston isn’t complete without going to a local fish restaurant. This crab house uses local fish and the meals are fresh, fresh, fresh!
Since its inception, Theatre Charleston has had a large cultural presence. The 250- year old Dock Street theater was the first building of its kind. Theatrical shows, ballet, and other cultural exhibitions can be viewed all year round.
Just 15 minutes from downtown Charleston you can find this beautiful little beach at the “edge of the world.” Not only is this beach beautiful but it has some of the finest seafood restaurants around. If you want to fish you can get all the equipment necessary at the shop on the pier.
Over 100 years old, this museum was the dream of James Gibbes, who left $100,000 in a trust to be used in the construction of a hall to display paintings. Some of the collections date to colonial times and others are more contemporary.
There’s something for everyone’s taste at the Gibbes Museum of Art, just as there is, in the broader sense, throughout the beautiful city of Charleston!