Local's Guide to Hotels & Restaurants in Charleston

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  • Domestic Travel

  • USA

  • Charleston

  • South Carolina

  • City Travel

  • Boutique Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Foodie

  • Local's Guide

  • Nightlife

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Fora’s Take

Charleston is truly magical. From its cobblestone streets to moss-covered trees, there is beauty in every step. Charleston's food and beverage industry is notably dynamic, ranging from old-school steakhouses to new, swanky hotel bars. The options are truly endless. This is the perfect weekend guide for first-time visitors.

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Where to stay in Charleston, South Carolina

Zero George

Sophisticated chic Charleston home with an air of Southern charm perfect for laying back on the balcony or enjoying a bike ride around town.

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  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

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One-of-a-kind in Charleston, this style stay is packed with thoughtful features, from the destination restaurant to the well-curated boutique.

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  • $25 food / beverage credit.

  • Welcome treat in room on arrival.

  • Upgrade & guaranteed late check-out.

The Dewberry Charleston

Charleston’s reigning style stay overlooking Marion Square, with a popular terrace lounge and must-visit rooftop bar.

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  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Things to do in Charleston, South Carolina

colorful buildings with palm trees during daytime

After checking into your accommodations, trek down to the historic Battery park. Along the way, zig and zag through the cobblestone streets while marveling at the one-of-a-kind architecture. There is nothing more beautiful than the historic mansions, colorful homes and iron gates that line the side streets.

Do a walking tour downtown. It is so special to hear the stories of the people that lived in the houses and streets you're walking through.

You also can't come to Charleston without shopping down King Street. There is a plethora of shops, from boutique baby stores to high-end brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

If you're feeling adventurous, drive down to Sullivan's Island for lunch and a beach walk. Home Team BBQ is a favorite lunch spot. After indulging, take a walk down the beach and admire all of the beautiful homes that line the ocean.

Places to eat & drink in Charleston, South Carolina

people sitting a bar with dark leather chairs

For lunch / brunch:

Halls Chophouse - Be sure to go on a Sunday to experience their one-of-a-kind gospel brunch.

Leon's - Casual and fun atmosphere with the best chargrilled oysters you will ever eat.

Gaulart & Maliclet Fast and French Café - Hidden gem that has been a staple in Charleston for generations. Grab a seat on the sidewalk and enjoy a house rosé with your croissant and cup of soup.

Home Team BBQ (either the downtown or Sullivan's Island location) - Don't miss their famous frozen cocktails and dry-rub wings!

167 Raw Oyster Bar (do not take reservations, get there early - so worth it!)

Post House Inn - Wonderful brunch spot in Old Village Mt. Pleasant - beautiful neighborhood to walk around before or after.

The Obstinate Daughter - The most delicious brunch spot on Sullivan's Island. Take a walk on the beach after to soak it all in.

Pre- / post-dinner cocktails. There are so many incredible options downtown, but a couple go-to's are:

The Spectator Hotel - Cozy hotel bar in a Gatsby-esque library room. Phenomenal drinks! Be sure to dry the Revolver (their take on an Old Fashioned) and the Dude Imbibes (similar to a White Russian).

Bar Vaute (below Brasserie Le Banque) - A hidden gem. What used to be an old bank vault is now the the only underground bar in downtown. Speakeasy vibes with delicious cocktails. Their 30-layer crêpe cake is a must order!

The Citrus Club - Beautiful rooftop bar with amazing views. Try to get a spot here at sunset!

Last Saint - A new spot in town and a bit off the beaten path, this is a great neighborhood cocktail spot when you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of King Street. The bartenders are friendly and their craft cocktails are one-of-a-kind.

Cocktail Club - Fun, upbeat lounge tucked away on King Street with unique craft cocktail options.

Favorite dinner options:

The Ordinary - Located in a 1920s bank with a classic seafood menu. Be sure to get their seafood tower.

Chez Nous - Cozy, French restaurant with a new, handwritten menu every night. Great spot for a date night.

Chubby Fish - Comfortable neighborhood eatery with a changing seafood menu. They do not take reservations, so put your name down and walk next door for a drink while you wait.

167 Sushi - Intimate sushi bar where you sit at the chef's counter and enjoy everything they throw at you.

Le Farfalle - Don't skip the whipped ricotta appetizer.

Jackrabbit Filly - Asian fusion restaurant in Park Circle, an eclectic neighborhood 15 minutes north of downtown.

Need to Know

For more travel inspo, check out this guide to St. Barths: 7-Day St. Barths Honeymoon Itinerary (Foodie Edition).

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