What to see, do, and eat in Charleston

eat in Charleston
The Dewberry Charleston, Saturday July 16, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Stephen B. Morton)

Take a trip down to this lovely coastal port town and experience all the unique culture and world-famous charm it has to offer. Spend your days touring the city and admire its beautiful architecture, pristine views, and laidback climate. Try some of the best places to eat in Charleston, have a drink by the water, explore the sites, or spend some time shopping. Whatever you want to do, we have you covered.

Fast Feasting

Bay Street Biergarten
Located on the historic Charleston peninsula, Bay Street Biergarten offers a selection of craft beers with the unique opportunity of having a tap at your table so you can pour your own drink! You can also enjoy cocktails, liquor, and wine in this friendly German-themed environment. Sit inside and enjoy the full service bar and kitchen or spend some time outside on the patio.

Tavern & Table
Take a trip down to Tavern & Table and you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy the friendly, comfortable atmosphere similar to a neighborhood tavern of old. Bring your friends and try some of Tavern’s cocktails and handcrafted food based on the flavors of the Lowcountry. The majority of the food is sourced from local vendors, fishermen, and farmers, so you’re also supporting small businesses while having a good time.

eat in Charleston

Goat Sheep Cow
Enjoy the smaller things in life with an outing to Goat Sheep Cow, Charleston’s own artisanal cheese shop. This small shop provides a warm, welcoming atmosphere with specially crafted cheeses in the style of French fromagerie. The European aesthetic combined with southern hospitality makes this a unique place guaranteed to make you and your stomach smile.

Poe’s Tavern
Travel to Poe’s Tavern and take a step back in time. Named in honor of the mysterious Edgar Allen Poe, enjoy the themed decor and delicious food with an oceanfront view. Poe’s offers great burgers, tacos, salads, and a multi-national beer selection. Whether you’re out for a lunch break or trying to beat the heat of the beach, Poe’s has something for you.

Fine Dining

Husk Restaurant
Ask anyone and they’ll agree that Husk Restaurant is a good place to get great food. Husk offers Southern cuisine with a unique twist, as all of Husk’s food is locally sourced. The menu changes with the availability of products, so expect something new every time. Enjoy a classic dish made from fresh ingredients and savour the flavors of the South.

Chez Nous
If you want something a little outside of Charleston, try Chez Nous. Chez Nous offers cuisine and wine from Southern France, Northern Italy, and Northern Spain. Live on the finer side of things and try something from each of Chez’s three courses with a wine pairing. Sit back, relax, and let this small neighborhood restaurant take care of you and your food needs.

Treat yourself to dinner at SNOB, or Slightly North of Broad Street. This restaurant offers high quality food and service for an excellent experience. Try a variety of high-class dishes made by experienced chefs and have a drink while you wait. SNOB offers an experience that is a step above the rest, so sit back, relax, and enjoy this fine dining experience.

Zero Restaurant & Bar
There’s zero risk you’ll leave Zero Restaurant & Bar unsatisfied. Zero specializes in fine dining cuisine, with a dishes prepared by an experienced chef with local ingredients. Enjoy the tastes of freshly prepared dishes while enjoying a masterfully crafted cocktail in this sublime atmosphere. Whether it’s lunchtime, happy hour, or dinner rush, Zero Restaurant & Bar will only serve you the highest quality food and drinks that will leave you wanting more.

Down for Drinks

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a trip to Carmella’s Cafe and Dessert Bar. Enjoy a vast selection of gourmet desserts, gelato, and sorbet. If you can’t find anything for your sweet needs, try Carmella’s organic coffee and sandwiches, or have a drink at the bar. The Italian cafe and dessert bar may look like it belongs in Europe, but it makes Charleston feel more like home.

The Rooftop Bar at the Vendue
Enjoy some of the best drinks and views at one of the highest altitudes Charleston has to offer. Situated on the roof of one of Charleston’s most popular hotels, The Rooftop offers an experience that is calm, casual, and cool. Sip on a cocktail, eat a meal al fresco style, listen to live music, and enjoy the views of the Charleston Harbor, Waterfront Park, the Holy City skyline, and more!

eat in Charleston

Joséphine Wine Bar
Inspired by a French empress, Joséphine Wine Bar seeks to offer an experience that is fit for royals. Try their twist on a modern day French wine bar and enjoy one of their special elevated food and wine combinations in a relaxed setting. The bar also offers cocktails. You won’t leave disappointed as the staff pride themselves on providing a harmonious food and drink selection with flawless service.

The Living Room (at the Dewberry)
Experience the richer side of Charleston’s history at The Living Room. Enjoy the comfort and stylings of a mid-century living room, featuring a reading library and a brass bar. The Living Room is the perfect destination for morning coffee, afternoon cocktails, or an evening nightcap while enjoying the atmosphere of an older, richer Charleston and the good company of others.

Adventure Time

The Schooner Pride
Explore Charleston like people of the past and take a ride on the Schooner Pride. The 84’ tall ship is modeled after the beautiful coastal trading ships of the 18th century and has a maximum capacity of 49. The Schooner Pride takes group tours around the Charleston Harbour and offers dolphin sails, sunset sails, and private charters. See Charleston from a cool, new viewpoint.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, founded in 1676, is literally a sight from another world. Tour the oldest public gardens in the United States on one of the largest plantations still in existence. Explore the last Romantic-era gardens with their thousands of flowers, walk around the plantation mansion, ride the nature tram, or take the rice field boat tour. Magnolia Plantation offers a beautiful view for every interest.

South Carolina Aquarium
Grab your family and head to the South Carolina Aquarium. The SC Aquarium offers exhibits of over 5,000 animals, spanning several climates and landscapes. Check out the touch tank, where kids and adults can interact with small sea creatures. The aquarium also offers a saltwater aviary and shallow pools to pet stingrays, and a sea turtle care center for conservation.The South Carolina Aquarium is fun for all ages.

Charleston City Market
Shop ‘til you drop at the Charleston City Market, one of the oldest public markets in the nation. The market is home to over 300 vendors selling all kinds of goods and services and is open everyday of the year. The Day Markets operate from 9:30am-6:00pm and the Night Markets operate Friday and Saturday from 6:30pm-10:30pm. You’re guaranteed to find the perfect gift, souvenir, or little something for yourself at Charleston City Market.

Sights to See

Rainbow Row
Visit a place that’s hard to miss! Known for its delightful pastel-colored houses, Rainbow Row has become a must-see spot in Charleston. All of the houses on the row date back to the 1800s and are built in a variety of different period styles. Spend the afternoon taking in beauty of the design of these houses paired with the different pastel colors that make Rainbow Row one of the best (and brightest) views in Charleston.

Fort Sumter National Monument
If you’re a history buff or you just appreciate things from the past, you have to tour Fort Sumter National Monument, widely known for its role in the Civil War. Tour the remains of the fort, look at some of weapons used during the Civil War, and learn about the people who used to occupy the fort. The fort is open year round and requires access by boat or ferry. Buy your tickets, book your tour, and explore a small piece of America’s history.

Patriot’s Point
Much like Fort Sumter, Patriot’s Point Naval & Maritime Museum offers a glimpse of the past. Tour the USS Yorktown, a retired Navy air carrier ship, and see how navy seals lived onboard. You can tour during the day from 9:00am-6:30pm, and if you pay extra you can sleep onboard the ship overnight. Spend the day sightseeing and spend the night Navy Seal style at Patriot’s Point.

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge is one of the most notable parts of Charleston’s skyline. It’s hard to miss with its two diamond shaped towers that light up the night sky and allow boats to pass under it. The massive eight lane bridge includes truck, car, bike, and pedestrian lanes, runs 2.71 miles in length and stands 15 feet higher than the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. It is a beautiful architectural site and a must see for any visitors.