With charming pastel buildings, incredible southern hospitality, and some seriously delicious eats, it’s easy to see why Charleston, South Carolina is at the top of so many travel bucket lists. There is so much to do on vacation in this low-country destination. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of our favorites. From where to eat, shop, relax and play, you’ll find something for everyone in this action-packed itinerary. So, grab your bags, and get ready for the perfect weekend in Charleston!
Start Your Weekend in Charleston Exploring the City Market
Spend your first morning in Charleston meandering through the City Market’s historic stalls. Make sure you start with a stop at Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. They serve up some of the best breakfast in town, and their blackberry jam can’t be missed! From there, enjoy perusing the myriad of art, florals, foods, and crafts that make this market famous. With something for everyone, you’re sure to find the perfect souvenir of your weekend in Charleston! The market opens every day at 9:30. We recommend going early to beat the crowds.
Take a Carriage Ride on Your Weekend in Charleston
After all that shopping, you may be ready for a rest! What better spot to do it than the back of a horse-drawn carriage? Hop in and kick your feet up as the guide narrates your ride through the historic streets of Charleston’s city center. The city boasts the second-largest number of historic buildings in the world after Rome. A slow ride past the quaint porches and elegant exteriors is the very best way to take it all in.
End your carriage tour near the Battery. Then head back out for a stroll down the cobblestone streets in one of Charleston’s most photographed destinations. You won’t be able to help but admire the perfectly manicured window boxes, and the vivid hues of each building are sure to have you grabbing your camera! Rainbow Row offers some of the most photo-worthy backdrops you’ll find on the weekend in Charleston. Additionally, it is also close enough to the iconic pineapple fountain that you can walk a few blocks to grab some quick snaps there.
Visit Magnolia Plantation and Gardens During Your Weekend in Charleston
After spending some time in the hustle and bustle of downtown Charleston, an afternoon at Magnolia Plantation is the perfect way to wind down your day. This gorgeous property has been selected as one of America’s Most Beautiful Gardens. While spending some time wandering the meticulously manicured paths, it will be oh so easy to see why. With picturesque bridges, hidden paths, and a never-ending display of florals, this is sure to be a favorite stop of your weekend in Charleston.
Dive Into the Weekend Food Scene
When you think of a weekend in Charleston, you most likely picture good old-fashioned southern cooking. But what you may not know is what an amazingly eclectic array of restaurants await you! We recommend tracking down the Roti Rolls food truck for some truly unique flavors and heartily recommending the cabbage pancake at Xiao Bao Biscuit. If traditional soul food is more your style, head to Poogan’s Porch for some of the best shrimp and grits the city has to offer.
Head to a Charleston Beach
What better way to start the second half of your weekend in Charleston than with a quick trip to the beach? There is no shortage of choices when it comes to a sandy soiree on your Charleston vacation, but our most favorite is Folly Beach. Pack your towels, chairs, and a breakfast picnic, and enjoy a morning watching the surfers who tend to gather here on the weekends.
Take a Tour
Let a local show you the ropes by taking an afternoon tour! If you’re a foodie, there are an array of offerings that will allow you to sample local cuisine. If you’re into the historical side of things, a walking history tour may be up your alley. From ghost tours to bike tours (and even ones done by kayak!), a weekend in Charleston truly has something for everyone.
Window Shop on King Street
Spend your final evening window shopping on King Street. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, stop at the Darling Oyster Bar for dinner. Their amazingly fresh seafood only rivals the restaurant’s perfect setting. You can even sit up in the window-side bar to watch the master shuckers at work. Afterward, wander back down King and find your way into Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams for a scoop or two.
Grab a NightCap to End Your Weekend in Charleston
What better way to end a trip than with celebratory cocktails? Find your way into Prohibition on King Street. There, you’ll find some of the best cocktails in the city and a jazz-age ambiance that can’t be beaten. Once you’ve settled on the perfect libations (their extensive menu makes it hard to choose!), raise your glass and toast to a perfect weekend in Charleston!