A visit to Charleston, South Carolina can make for the perfect honeymoon, a memorable family vacation, or even just an amazing trip for personal enrichment. If you fancy romantic carriage rides, Charleston has you covered. If you’re a fan of museums and history, Charleston has a lot to offer you. If you’re a foody, Charleston is the place for you, too. Here are seven things you shouldn’t miss when you visit Charleston.
Classic carriage tours are a great way to see the city and learn about it at the same time. Evening carriage rides can be a romantic experience you’ll never forget. You can arrange carriage rides that will take you through the history of the Civil War, or group carriage rides through residential downtown. If you prefer architecture, you can arrange classic carriage rides that hit all the major sites and offer detailed commentary along the way. If you want something more personal, arrange a private horse tour or private carriage rides for you and your significant other through the beautifully-lit evening streets.
You’ll never be disappointed if you go to Charleston for the food. If you want to learn all about cooking, arrange a stop at the cooking school in Zero George, a boutique hotel. The Hominy Grill is the place for you if you’re looking for old-fashioned Southern cooking done the right way. If Southern soul food isn’t your thing, though, don’t worry. You can head over to Husk, where the award-winning chef serves Southern-sourced foods with a modern, healthy twist, or to FIG, which simply stands for “Food Is Good.” For your seafood kick, try the Darling Oyster Bar, and if you enjoy barbeque you can’t miss Rodney Scott’s BBQ. For dessert head to the Peninsula Grill, whose ultimate coconut cake is the talk of the town. There’s plenty more, and the drivers of Charleston’s carriage rides always have great tips for the aficionado.
Hit the Museums
Charleston has world-class museums that will keep you occupied for days. The Gibbes Museum of Art includes more than 600 pieces, and the Anglin Smith Fine Art gallery displays in a 200-year-old French Quarter building with walls of cypress. The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is part of the School of the Arts at the College of Charleston and regularly hosts some amazing displays, such as the works of Motoi Yamamoto, who makes everything in salt. For those who aren’t into art, the Charleston Museum is the first museum to open in America, in 1773, and celebrates the rich culture and history of the city. The Old Slave Mart, located where slaves were auctioned in the past, now serves to educate on slavery and the slave trade. Finally, don’t miss the Karpeles Manuscript Museum, which holds the largest private collection of historic manuscripts in the world.
There’s something for everyone in Charleston when it comes to shopping. If you want true antique treasures, check out John Pope’s Antiques or David Skinner Antiques and Period Lighting. The Charleston City Market sells an amazing array of specialty foods and handmade items: in fact, one basket maker who still uses marsh grass to weave baskets in a 300-year-old low-country tradition recently had one of her baskets added to the Smithsonian American Art Museum. For clothing, try Shirtini, who specialize in cool, crisp cotton clothing that’s perfect for South Carolina’s sultry temps. One of the oldest existing shops in the area is George C. Birlant and Co, dating from the early 1920s and still owned by the Birlant family.
There’s a lot to do and see in Charleston, whether you want carriage rides or a day of shopping. Whatever your preference, you’re sure to have the time of your life in one of America’s top vacation destinations.