Charleston Weekend Getaway Guide (2024) Things You Must Do
Last Updated on December 17, 2023 by Dana Berez
Charleston Weekend Getaway Guide
Charleston has been on my USA travel list for so long, and I was so excited to be able to visit last summer! The charm extends from the homes to the energy there. I am going to cover the top things to do in this Charleston Weekend Getaway Guide from where to stay, fun actives, and the best restaurants. Let’s get into the travel guide.
I’ve also included a handy map at the bottom of this post so you can visualize where everything is located!
About Charleston SC
I was surprised at how much there as to do in Charleston. Activities span from historic walking tours, carriage tours, restaurants, shopping, the beach and so much more. Your weekend will not be shy of activity.
The Best Time to Visit Charleston:
The best time to visit Charleston would be before and after the muggy hot summers. Early April to late May and from late September to late October provide the best kind of weather.
The summer months are hot and humid. I visited in July and I can attest to that. Be prepared for the humidity, and definitely plan a day at the beach to cool off.
Types of Accommodation:
The majority of accommodations in Charleston are locally owned bed and breakfasts. The average price of a 3-5 star hotel in downtown Charleston was around $120-$300 a night depending on season/ availability.
Is Charleston Expensive to visit?
It really depends on how many activities and things you are seeing in Charleston. Restaurant pricing varies, but typically for a nice lunch for two I spent around $80.
How to Get Around in Charleston SC
Not Renting a Car:
The majority of things to do in Charleston are in the downtown area. If you base your entire trip there for the weekend, I don’t that renting a car would be necessary.
From the Airport to downtown Charleston is about a 20-minute drive. A taxi from the airport to downtown Charleston ranges from $30-$40 on average. You can also take an Uber from the airport as well.
Renting a Car:
I decided to rent a car for the weekend because I wanted to see things outside of the downtown area including Folly Beach, Angel Oak Tree, and a Plantation. To my surprise finding free parking in downtown Charleston was not that hard to come by. However, double-check to see if your accommodation will charge you to park a car.
Where to Stay in Charleston
I stayed in the newly renovated Cambria Hotel in Riverview, which was about a five-minute drive to downtown Charleston.
Having a car was a must stay in this area, as the center of town is a short drive away located over a bridge. The benefit, however, being a bit further from downtown Charleston was the large spacious rooms and the hotel had an outdoor pool, which helped in the southern heat.
Where to stay in Charleston SC Downtown:
If you are looking to stay in the downtown area, which would be within walking distance to restaurants and things to do, here are some cute AirBnB’s. Save $55 on your first booking!
- 1890’s House: Entire house sleeps up to 6 guests and has an outdoor patio designed with Southern Charm (AVG: $126/Night)
- Suite with Outdoor Garden & Pool: Just one block from upper King Street. Sleeps 2 people and has a garden and pool! (AVG: $146/Night)
Things to do in Charleston SC
Snap Photos of Rainbow Row
Rainbow Row is Charleston’s most iconic street with its 13 colorful Georgian Townhomes. I am a huge fan of architecture and I just loved looking at them. Don’t forget to walk around the surrounding area.
There are other beautiful homes and corners for a fun afternoon walking tour. I did this when we had a long wait for a restaurant reservation at Miller’s nearby.
See the Pineapple Fountain
The Pineapple is a symbol of hospitality, and back in the colonial days, they were hard to come by. So when you were a guest in someone’s home, it was a sign of wealth and great hospitality. And now the Pineapple Fountain is a visual representation of the hospitality of this city.
Walk Along King Street
King Street is one of the main roads in downtown Charleston SC that you’ll find yourself on more than once. Upper King has a more lively scene for new restaurants and nightlife, while the Southern part has more shops and restaurants.
And did you know the Notebook was filmed in Charleston?
Alley and Noah’s famous first date scene where they lay down in the middle of the street is filmed at the American Theater on King Street. If you are a fan of the movie, be sure to stroll by and take some photos. (However, it’s not recommended that you lay down like the movie- ha!)
Take a Candle Making Class
If you want to have a fun local experience, stop by Candlefish on King for their candle-making class. It’s recommended to book your seat in advance. Classes are typically 1-1.5 hours and you can either pick up your candle or have them ship it out to you when you are finished. This is perfect if your suitcase tends to be stuffed packed. Oh and it’s also BYOB, could it get any better?
Visit a Plantation
There are a few Plantations you can visit when in Charleston, so for my weekend trip I knew I could only pick one to see in the time that I had.
Visiting any Plantation shows a dark side to our history, but it’s one we should all know. I decided to visit Middleton Place which was about a 45-minute drive from downtown Charleston.
Middleton place is known for its manicured gardens, roaming sheep, and guides to help you with any questions you might have.
Angel Oak Tree
After doing some research on Charleston, I kept hearing about this huge tree everyone was raving about. Now, I am not the one to make it a point to drive out to see a tree, but the Angel Oak Tree was actually worth it.
This tree is around 400 to 500 years old, and the branches span 28 feet in circumference. I have never seen a crazier looking tree in my life. If you like nature this should be on your list of things to see in Charleston.
It’s also a free activity!
You can find free parking spaces at the tree, and the hours of operation are Monday-Saturday 9 am -5 pm, and Sunday 1 pm-5 pm.
Where is the Angel Oak Tree Located?
The Angel Oak Tree is actually located on John’s Island, which is about a 20-25 minute drive from downtown Charleston.
Since I visited the tree in the morning, finding a good coffee shop on the way was a must. I stopped at Muddy Waters Coffee shop, which was the perfect spot for a pick-me-up. They also sell cute Charleston gifts!
If you are visiting during the summer, you are going to want to cool down from the Southern heat! Trust me. I had no idea how hot it can get in Charleston, so adding in an afternoon at the beach was a must.
Along Center Street, the main road in Folly Beach, you can find plenty of colorful restaurants, surf shops selling Charleston goodies, clothes, etc. It is a cute lively scene and a great place to take a break from the beach.
How Far is Folly Beach from Charleston?
Folly Beach is a 30-40 minute drive from downtown Charleston along HWY 171. It is a pretty straightforward drive, but you’ll run into traffic once you reach the Folly Beach area.
You will have to drive around the side streets for a while to get a free parking spot in the area. I found a location about a 10-minute walk from the beach. Or you can pay for parking right at the main Folly Beach fishing pier. Prices are $10 Monday -Friday and $15 Saturday – Sunday.
Where to Eat in Charleston
I had to see for myself if this restaurant was worth the hype, and yes it is! I went here for brunch on a Sunday and the wait was about 2 hours.
Thankfully I wasn’t that hungry and could hold off for the long wait time. The food and service were just perfect. The waffles with bananas and caramel were delicious, a must order.
This restaurant has such a fun cool vibe. Located in an old garage, they serve your favorite fried chicken and oyster dishes plus rosé on tap.
If you are looking for Southern Cuisine, go to Poogan’s Porch. They specialize in all that Southern goodness and it’s located in a Victorian townhouse.
Cute Coffee Shops:
Located inside the Restoration Hotel, located on King Street. This cute coffee shop offers an exclusive blend of roasted coffee from Springbok Coffee Roasters which is located only a few blocks away. I love the support of local businesses and It is a must-try in Charleston.
Where to Drink
Camillas is a pink Champagne bar located inside Hotel Bennett, which is nicknamed the “Queen of King Street”. This lounge offers an extensive champagne list by the glass and champagne cocktails. Camillas is the perfect spot for a romantic date, or a night out with your girlfriends.
The interior is so impressive, I couldn’t stop looking at the sparkly crystal chandelier. Definitely an Instagram spot of South Carolina.
Here is a Map of Top Things to See in Charleston:
Check out my other USA travel guides.
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