Planning a holiday is fun. Even if it is not for many months you cannot help feeling excited as you long to arrange your travel and accommodation. The Internet has made research extremely easy and with plenty of reviews from people who have stayed at a particular hotels or eaten at certain restaurants you will have help from travelers with no vested interest. The city and port of Charleston on South Carolina’s Atlantic seaboard is a great place to visit; lots of variety, accommodation for every budget and plenty of good restaurants.
All the major USA Chains have accommodation in Charlestown. Perhaps the first thing you need to decide is which district do you want to make as your base? The historic downtown area is many visitors’ first choice and you should expect to pay a premium if that is your choice, especially if you opt for historical alternatives.
A great place for a weekend in Charleston is the 1843 Battery Carriage House Inn on Charleston Harbor; a mansion for a couple of days. There are plenty more to pick from however:
- Charleston Place Hotel offers quality accommodation and food.
- Francis Marion Hotel was lovingly restored in 1996 and will guarantee a great stay.
- Charleston’s NotSo Hostel includes cheap dormitory beds as well as private facilities.
- Church Street Inn is close to the Market, a hive of activity.
Across the rivers there are two places, West Ashley and Mount Pleasant there are cheaper alternatives and they are just a few minutes’ drive to downtown:
- Seaside Inn is close to the beach on the Isle of Palms.
- Comfort Suites West of Ashley is close to many facilities as well as the airport.
North Charleston is also close to the airport and slightly cheaper than downtown; perhaps try Courtyard North Charleston Airport or Suburban Extended Stay Airport Hotel?
While Charleston’s coastal location is the attraction for some visitors it is its history and the buildings that largely survived the Civil War that appeal; they give Charleston a unique atmosphere found in few other modern cities in the USA.
There are tours in horse drawn carriage or on foot that reveal much of the city’s history. Downtown Charleston has no skyscrapers to interfere with history though one of its major attractions is the Arthur Ravenel Bridge which was only completed in 2005, the largest cable-stay bridge in the Country. There are plenty of other highlights close by:
- The French Quarter as a whole.
- Historic Churches from the late 17th Century: Circular Congressional, French Huguenot and First Baptist notably.
- Fort Sumter a ferry ride away.
- Museums including Charleston and Patriots’ Point Naval & Maritime.
There are actually culinary tours of the city as well as plenty of good restaurants to sample typical Southern cuisine and much more. Seafood is especially good and it need not cost a fortune. There are plenty of cheap chain restaurants for those on a budget and great seafood at moderate prices is available at such places as Coast Bar & Grill, Hyman’s and Hank’s.
You can pay more and if you want something special then perhaps the Charleston Grill in the Charleston Place Hotel or Magnolia’s on East Bay Street deserve mention?