How to Spend 1 Day in Charleston
Centuries-old mansions, flowery gardens, ironwork balconies, and palmetto palms accentuate the old-world charm of Charleston, a city where American history and Southern hospitality meet. While you could easily spend a week or more exploring, here are some tips for how to make the most out of a single day in the Holy City.
Morning: Historic District
Much of Charleston’s appeal lies in its immaculately preserved historical district, so spend time this morning soaking up the scenery of this romantic neighborhood. Visit some of the city’s many mansions, gardens, and churches by horse-drawn carriage, or lace up your shoes for a walking tour of its historic streets. Most sightseeing tours, whether on foot or by bus or carriage, include a historical introduction to the city, with stops at points of interest such as Rainbow Row and the Waterfront Battery.
Afternoon: Forts and Plantations
This afternoon, take your pick of one of the city’s star attractions to focus your attention. History buffs might want to hop on a boat and visit Fort Sumter National Monument to see where the Civil War began. Another option is to spend the afternoon at one of Charleston’s antebellum plantations, such as Magnolia Plantation with its romantic gardens or 17th-century Boone Hall Plantation, among the oldest working plantations in the US.
Night: Sunset Sail
Some of the best views of Charleston are from the water. This evening, board a classic tall ship for a sailing excursion through picturesque Charleston Harbor and sip a cocktail as the sun sinks below the horizon. Once back on solid ground, head to King Street to sample some of the city’s famed Low Country cuisine, such as shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, po’boy sandwiches, or pimento cheese (aka the caviar of the South). Let your stomach lead the way, or join a local foodie for a guided tasting through the city streets.