Charleston, South Carolina has been named the Best City in the World by Travel & Leisure. So it is probably about time that you head down south to discover what is so uniquely charming about this southern city. Here is my Weekend Guide to Charleston, South Carolina.
Head over to Marion Square for the Charleston Farmer’s Market. The market is open from 8 am to 2 pm on Saturdays from April 9th through November 26th. The market has lots to offer in terms of local coffee and breakfast food so I would recommend grabbing breakfast there. The farmer’s market is a regular spot for many Charleston “locals” so you will be able to get a feel of what it might be like to live in Chucktown.
Next take a stroll down the iconic King Street which is adjacent to Marion Square. King Street boasts many of Charleston’s unique restaurants and shops. After roaming down King Street (which is super long), stop into one of the eclectic restaurants that caught your eye to have lunch. Charleston is a serious foodie city so there are awesome restaurants on every block.
After lunch, head over to what is known as The Battery. Located in downtown Charleston’s historic district, the Battery is a park/promenade on the ocean that displays many artifacts and memorials from the Civil War. The battery is about 1.3 miles from Marion Square. If you don’t feel like fighting the Charleston traffic and searching for a parking spot, it is very feasible to walk down King Street all the way to the park. But, beware of the Charleston heat! Once you are at the Battery, take in the views of Fort Sumter, the ocean and the awesome green space.
Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Charleston’s historic district where you can see the characteristic Charleston homes and cobblestone roads. Make sure not to miss Rainbow Row, which is a cluster of colorful Georgian row houses located on East Bay Street. This area is great for anyone interested in photography.
If you have a chance, stop by the Charleston City Market (open from 6:30-10:30 pm on Saturday nights) to pick up some souvenirs. The City Market can be very touristy, however it is considered one of the main attractions in the city.
Walk or jog the Cooper River Bridge (which is actually officially named the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge). The walking path on the bridge is 2.5 miles one way. Depending on available time and your ability, you may just want to walk to the top of the bridge and then turn around to return to the car. The best place to park is on the Mt. Pleasant side at the Mt. Pleasant Pier. Walking or jogging the bridge is another favorite of the Chucktown locals.
Morris Island Light House
Next, head over to Folly Beach to check out the Morris Island Light House. Once you arrive on Folly beach, you take a left on East Ashley Ave and follow it all the way to the end. You will then park your car along the road and continue walking until you reach the beach. The light house is not accessible from the shore, but it makes for a great view. The beach by the light house is often quiet which is an added bonus.
Brunch time! Jump back in your car and drive the 4ish miles to the Lost Dog Cafe. The Lost Dog Cafe is great for lunch, brunch and mimosas! They offer southern favorites like shrimp and grits and biscuits and gravy….yum! The Lost Dog Cafe often has a wait time, but don’t be discouraged! There is a cute garden with benches next door where you can wait.
Folly Beach Pier
From the Lost Dog Cafe, head to the Folly Beach Pier (walking distance), which has free entry. You are able to walk to the end of the pier which has awesome views of the beach. Then, take a stroll down the main beach and try to spot a shark’s tooth. If you want to grab a quick bite to go before you head out of town, stop by Bert’s Market to grab a wrap or sandwich from the Wooden Spoon Deli.
**You can park for free along most side streets on Folly. Just watch out for no parking signs and be sure that your tires are completely off the side of the road. Folly Beach is known for giving some hefty parking tickets.
There is no doubt that Charleston, South Carolina is a fascinating city. With its rich history and abundance of outdoor activities, Charleston is a great place to vacation for a weekend. I hope this guide to Charleston helps you have an amazing adventure in a city that I love dearly.