Quick Summer Guide to Charleston, SC

Charleston is a hot travel destination of 2019. The cuisine, historic tours, and beautiful old homes make Charleston an ideal place for a romantic getaway. Even though I am a solo traveler I enjoy the air of romance Charleston brings. The unique art, food, and culture make Charleston one of my favorite places to visit. Luckily, Charleston is only a three hour drive from the home I grew up in so I have been able to visit several times. Don’t let the summer heat get to you, Charleston is an amazing place to visit in the summertime. Here is a quick guide to the perfect weekend getaway.

Walking through an old plantation is a must when visiting Charleston. Boone Hall is the only plantation still a fully operated plantation. The dreamy oak trees welcome guests as they arrive to the 17th century home.Don’t miss the Gullah presentation either. The performance gives insight to the Gullah culture and a background knowledge of the African Americans from Boone Hall Plantation. Boone Hall is a popular wedding destination. In fact, the last celebrity couple to be married here is Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds. Though don’t get too excited yet the venue costs around $25,000.

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  • Waterfront Park 

The cooling waters of the Copper River make the waterfront park a must on my Charleston to-do list. Along with the swings and relaxing waters there is a huge fountain. Children run through the large fountain and even though I am not wearing my bathing suit I am almost jump in.

This ancient home is the height of luxury. Which is evident because it is is built by one of the wealthiest merchants of the 17th century. Each room is decorated to perfection, giving viewers a glimpse of what social gatherings and living was like for the upper class of Charleston.

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  • The Battery

The Battery is another popular wedding destination in Charleston particularly because of the live oak trees scattered throughout the park. Stretched along the Charleston peninsula the Battery is the where the Ashley and Copper River collide offering a nice ocean breeze to visitors. Also the Battery is one location in Charleston you are likely to find free parking.

  • Rainbow Row 

Rainbow Row is a cluster of thirteen colorful houses located on East Bay Street that has captivated visitors for centuries. As a photographer this is one of my favorite places to take pictures of. Living on Rainbow Row is a dream. If it meets your price range check out the houses on rainbow row for sale here. 

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The Aiken-Rhett House is unique because the home is being preserved rather than restored. The walls are cracked and furniture slowly falling apart, but there is a certain aesthetic to the authenticity of the house. The Aiken-Rhett house does a good job telling the stories of both the families and the slaves who lived on the property before it operated as a museum. Also note that purchasing a ticket for both the Aiken-Rhett house and Nathanial Russel house together is $18. If you purchase a ticket to only one of the homes the cost is $12.

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Staircase at Aiken-Rhett House

  • Local Eateries 

There are tons of places to grab a bit in Charleston. Local eateries are a great way to taste to Charleston cuisine culture. I especially like to try out the vegan and vegetarian food spots of Charleston. However, if you like seafood this is certainly the city to eat fresh fish.

  • Shopping in City Market

 The vibrant city market is lively place to shop in. Food, art, and jewelry are sold in the market. The city market is one of the oldest free markets in America dating back to the late 1700s. Artisans come every day from 9am-6pm to sell products to tourists, visitors, and locals.

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Charleston City Market

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  • The Pineapple Fountain

The Pineapple Fountain is the icon of Charleston. In addition, it people swim in the fountain when the weather is hot. Again I think to myself I wish I had brought my swimwear, but alas I sit back an envy the young kids splashing freely and enjoying the cool waters. On a hot summer day in Charleston putting my feet in the water is great for cooling off.

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  • Fine Art Galleries

Fine art photography and painting studios are located all over Charleston. While all the art is pricy, it costs nothing to walk through the shops and admire the artists work. As an art lover, I like simply walking through the galleries and getting a taste of new art in the area.

Here are some of the galleries I enjoyed:
De La Art Gallery 
Hagan Art Gallery
LaPrince Art Gallery

  • Old Exchange Building Dungeon 

This spooky dungeon is once the location of prisoners. The dungeon is also where Charlestonian’s hid tea so they wouldn’t have to pay taxes on it to the British. Some people say they hear voices upon entering the dungeon. However, I found it to be nothing more than a creepy old warehouse. Let me know if you hear anything when you visit.

  • Take Carriage Ride 

Taking a historic carriage ride tour allows me to see the city while staying off of my feet. While carriage rides can be expensive I find them to be a lot of fun, and most tour guides know so much about the history it feels worth the cash. Though I have been back to Charleston several times I have only gone on a carriage ride once. That is my recommendation- one and done. Enjoy your getaway!

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  • King Street Shopping 

King Street has large clothing-retail stores and local boutiques alike. If you are looking to add a few more pieces to your wardrobe King Street is the place to go.

  • Old Churches

  • St. Michael’s Church
    The first time I spot St. Michael’s Church is during the golden hour of sunset. It looks simply magical at this hour. Along with aesthetic appear St. Michael’s Church has historic value as it  is also the oldest church in Charleston.

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  • Circular Congregational Church
    The Circular Congregational Church’s exterior is unique, but the backyard of the church is also interesting because it houses the oldest graveyard in the city.

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  • French Huguenot Church
    I called this church the ‘pink church’, for obvious reasons. The gothic style architecture and pink exterior make this church unforgettable once you see it.

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  • Gibbes Art Museum

The first floor of Gibbes Art Museum is free, but if you want to explore the rest of the museum it costs $10. Local artist and exhibits are on display on the first floor and the permanent exhibits are on the upper levels.

  • Coffee~Coffee~Coffee

The local brew of Charleston is delicious. As a coffee addict I am always searching for the best coffee joints wherever I visit. Delicious coffee shops are located all over Charleston.

Here are my two favorite coffee shops:
Gnome Cafe
City Lights Coffee

  • Sullivan’s Island Beach

Relish in a getaway from the crowds and enjoy the summer sun on Sullivan’s Island.The beach is a perfect place to relax in the summer. The sand dunes, tall grass, and crashing oceans waves invite vacationers and travelers to pause and rest for a moment.

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Getaway to the beach at Sullivan’s Island

Other articles on having a Charleston getaway

NotSo Hostel is the Globe Trotter’s Hub of Charleston

A Regal Weekend Trip To Charleston, SC Under $50

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