Welcome to Charleston, SC!
Charleston is the epitome of Southern hospitality and old-world charm. A city rooted in history, and still defined by much of its storied past, it is a picture-perfect place full of elegant architecture and romance. The city’s history is a complex one, and this is also one of the best places to visit to get a true understanding of the impact and legacy of slavery in the US.
The tourists who arrive daily at Charleston Airport might know the most famous sites, but a worldwide local will always explore beyond the beaten path. This is an insider guide to the best of Charleston.
Visit Park Circle to Make the Most of the Charleston Weather
Park Circle is one of the hippest, trendiest neighborhoods in Charleston, and is a great place to start to get a flavor of authentic life in the city. The main strip is full of excellent restaurants, bars, cafes, and even a brewery, while just a few blocks away is the park which gave the area its name, a lovely place to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Worldwide Local Tip: Don’t miss the Hunley Submarine, a bizarre and mysterious Confederate submarine which disappeared during the Civil War, and was only recovered in 2000!
Eat Like a Local at the Charleston Restaurants
Charleston’s dining scene is world renowned, and it is full of award-winning chefs and amazing restaurants. The city is a melting pot of cuisines, with European, Caribbean and West African influences, and delicacies like raw oysters, fried green tomatoes and she-crab soup must be tasted to be believed.
Worldwide Local Tip: Husk Restaurant features a daily changing menu, and is dedicated to reviving the Southern ‘Heirloom’ tradition. Located in a wonderful old colonial mansion, this is an amazing place to try some of the best food in town.
Appreciate the City’s Architectural History
Charleston is the oldest city in South Carolina, and one of the oldest in the US. Its historical progression is clearly shown by the glorious variety of its architectural styles, and an exploration of some of the jewels in this Southern crown is well worth undertaking. The Old Exchange Building is a fine example of Colonial architecture, the Aiken-Rhett House is one of the most famous Federal-style buildings in town, and the Fireproof Building shows off the Classical Revival perfectly.
Worldwide Local Tip: Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens is a beautiful example of the classic Southern Plantation style, and is in an amazingly pristine condition considering its age! One of the oldest working farms in the US, crops have been grown here for over 320 years and provides a fascinating insight into the history of plantations in South Carolina. The Gardens, in particular, are immaculate and stunning.
Don’t Miss These Historical Things to Do in Charleston, SC
Charleston played a fundamental role in a huge number of key moments in the history of the United States, and its museums are some of the best and most significant in the country. Head to Fort Sumter and the Confederate Museum for a wonderful explanation of the Civil War, and the Charleston Museum for a comprehensive look at the rich history of the town and its impact on the wider nation.
Worldwide Local Tip: Slavery played a fundamental part in much of Charleston’s past, and the Nathaniel Russell House Museum provides an interesting take on this sad aspect of the city’s history. The Old Slave Mart, on the site of the last slave auction facility in South Carolina, is an even more visceral and chilling reminder of the horrors of slavery.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Charleston offers history, beauty, and old-fashioned Southern hospitality, and is an amazing city to visit. As a worldwide local you’ll find the best spots and the most authentic experiences, and be able to explore the best and most exciting places in this wonderful old town.