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Charleston, South Carolina Travel Guide

Tourist Tips


Cypress Gardens: a magical swamp garden experience
Cypress Gardens: a magical swamp garden experience


Wake up on the water and take breakfast on board, your coffee on the deck.  Cruise the harbor and then request to be dropped off either at the Charleston Water Taxi location in Mt. Pleasant, or at the Aquarium Wharf downtown. Running hourly, the Water Taxi shuttles between Mt. Pleasant, Patriots Point and downtown Charleston in a continuous loop around the harbor. Bring your bike if you want to cycle your way around Mt. Pleasant.

Atlantic Coastline
Atlantic Coastline
Explore the South Carolina Aquarium, where the entire state's ecosystem is displayed as a drop of water experiences the mountains to the coast.  Penguins and an albino alligator are big draws. 

For an exceptional lunch, head to SNOB – Slightly North of Broad. Chef Frank Lee has been at the helm of this Maverick Southern Kitchens venture for over two decades, and he's showing no signs of slowing down.  Leading the way in the local fare and sustainability march, this spot has been garnering esteemed praise for longer than most restaurants have been in business.  The lunch specials are reasonably priced, and the dining room blossoms into a meeting spot for the who's who of Charleston around noon each day.

Charleston's museums have plenty to offer for both adults and children. Adults will find interesting history at The Charleston Museum and great art at The Gibbes Museum. Established in 1773, the Charleston Museum holds an honored place in the history of American museums, as it claims to be the nation's first. Founded as the Carolina Art Association in1858, The Gibbes Museum of Art opened to the public in 1905 and today houses more than 10,000 works of mostly American art with a Charleston or other Southern association.

A pitmaster serves a whole pig at BBQ & Blues
A pitmaster serves a whole pig at BBQ & Blues
With little people in tow, the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry offers a full-scale shrimp boat for exploration, giving children a taste of the history of the area.

If you need to fill your suitcase before leaving, find trinkets and collectibles at The City Market. Here's where the iconic sweetgrass baskets are sewn and sold.  An economical alternative is the palmetto rose, fashioned most often by young men who are quickly becoming some of Charleston's most promising youthful entrepreneurs.  Be sure to buy only from the kids who have their proper credentials issued by the city. On Lower King Berlin's and Ben Silver are Charleston institutions of both men's and women's attire. Here you'll also find the highest end antiques, but the northern end of the famed shopping corridor is where you'll find more unusual and affordable deals.

Finish the trip by treating yourself to dinner at Peninsula Grill in the Planters Inn. Here you'll find the ingenious Southern-inspired cooking of Robert Carter. One bite of his coconut cake—his grandmother's recipe—and you'll know you have been in the South.

For more information, visit the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.


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Middleton Place Gardens

Charleston Hotels
Charleston Restaurants
Charleston Attractions
Travel Guide South Carolina
Charleston Area Convention
& Visitors Bureau

* Pit master image courtesy of the Charleston Picture Company and the Charleston Food and Wine Festival; Cypress Gardens and coast line images courtesy of the Charleston Area CVB

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