Halfway up the South Carolina coast lies the city of Charleston. Nicknamed “The Holy City,” it has a rich history and offers plenty for both residents and visitors to do. From culinary indulgences to artistic influences and plenty of regional offerings it is a place not to be missed when visiting the East Coast.
Charleston has also received a number of accolades in recent years, including: "America's Most Friendly [City]" by Travel + Leisure in 2011 and in 2013 by Condé Nast Traveler, and also "the most polite and hospitable city in America" by Southern Living magazine.
So what can you expect to find during your Charleston visit?
City of Kings
Charleston was original known as Charles Towne, named for England’s King Charles II. It is therefore fitting that the city is now a hub of art, as the monarch for which it was named was a patron of the arts. King Street also is at the heart of the city, both geographically and as a road that boasts a large number of galleries and venues.
Art & Antiques
Galleries and art can be found across the city, and as Charleston is considered a very walkable city it is possible to explore the variety of offerings without driving from location to location. Start on King Street and then branch out to discover hidden gems hidden amongst the historic buildings.
Music & Theater
Performing arts take center stage every spring for the Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto. For 17 days the city’s venues are alive with a myriad of performances ranging from classical music to opera, jazz and more. However throughout the year the city hosts a number of other cultural events and is the home for several theater groups.
Charleston also hosts numerous world –class restaurants. Seafood is in abundance, and it mingles with regional flavors for a taste that cannot be found elsewhere. Foodies also come into town several times a year for culinary festivals. The year begins with the Lowcountry Oyster Festival, the largest oyster festial in the world. Then the BBT Charleston Wine + Food Festival celebrates the culture of excellent cuisine in the city, and the Lowcountry Cajun Festival then brings Cajun flavor to the fore soon after.
More to Explore
Outside of Charleston proper there are also small towns and cities that should be on your list of places to visit. For stunning landscapes and adventures near the ocean the South Carolina Barrier islands will provide days of enjoyment.
Inland from the bustling city is the town of Summerville. Historically a place of respite from seasonal problems of the coastal regions, and later as a place of healing , this town has remained a favorite spot for people to venture to. Recently designated the ‘Birthplace of Sweet Tea’ it offers visitors a chance to learn more about this beverage and discover its roots. The town also comes alive the Third Thursday of every month with live music, shopping, dining and more.