Charleston

The Dryftwell Guide to

Charleston

Introduction

Charleston is known as the crown jewel of South Carolina. It has been ranked as one of the best travel sites in the US by several online forums because it offers visitors a lot of tourist attraction spots and culinary delights. People around the world adore it because of its rich southern culture and gorgeous old architecture. In this guide to Charleston, you'll get to know about Charleston's famous and charming spots along with the rich historical sites and best food places. Charleston is wrapped-up with both new and antique locations. You can find many modern restaurants, bars, and cafes in the ancient buildings, shops, and piazzas, covering up the appetite of both the modern and old-fashioned folks. Additionally, it has fairly mild weather. It is common that you may find yourself walking around on Charleston's dreamy beaches and parks. The city is continuously trying to keep up with modern days. It is a blend of classical trends such as cobblestone streets, secret gardens, etc. and the latest essence such as restaurants, food places, hotels, etc.

When to go

Charleston has somewhat humid and subtropical weather. It is mostly cloudy all year round because of the Atlantic Ocean currents. A complete guide to Charleston from the seasonal temperature perspective is given below:

Winter

Charleston has a short tenure of the winter season. With an average temperature of around 50 Fahrenheit in December and January, it will feel cold, but it won't last long. Also, you'll not get to see the snowfall. Many food-related festivals occur during this period; therefore, many tourists visit Charleston in this pleasant weather. You can enjoy your Christmas in Charleston and can enjoy many family-oriented activities. Take part in Charleston Restaurant Week, Lowcountry Wine festival, and Lowcountry Oyster festival to enjoy the culinary eateries at a fixed price. Also, enjoy the houses and Garden festival taking place at the same time.

Spring

Most of the travelers prefer to visit Charleston in spring. It starts in March and lasts until the start of June. Local recommendations are also in favor of this period as the weather is not too hot. You will see the blooming flowers and bright colors all around you. Charleston's brightly painted building becomes more vibrant, with the perfect greenery coming back to life in spring. Spring season is the local favorite season here, so most parks, gardens, and outdoor places will be packed. You can take the walking tour to see historical places or go to the farmer's market to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.

Summer

The summer is going to be hot and humid. The highest peak of temperatures is in July and August. In the summer season, the streets of Charleston become crowded with kids and visitors. Summertime is the best time for you to visit the dreamy beaches of Charleston to get a beautiful skyline view of the Charleston Harbor.

Fall

The fall season in Charleston starts in September, and you might find the occasional tropical storm caused by the rainy season around this time. The city offers a cozy feel in fall with the colorful foliage and warm cider. It gives fall vibes generously, so you'll get to capture a different side of this city. The crispier winds and cozy nights will also warm you up. You can see the old historical places and can dine in many famous restaurants during this time.

Neighborhoods

Harleston Village

Harleston Village is an old neighborhood where you can find many historical sights. Many cafes, coffee shops, and shopping stores can be seen in this town. You can enjoy your breakfast at Caviar and Bananas, which is the most liked cafe by the locals of this neighborhood. For evening activities, you can visit Boone's bar, where you can enjoy live music and grilled dishes. The main campus of Charleston College and Colonial Lake is located in this neighborhood, so you will get to see many students there. You can visit the campus to see its classical architecture and learn about its incredible history.  

Cannonborough

Cannonborough is one of the most famous downtown areas because of its eateries, residential area, and party places. You can enjoy different cuisines and eat snacks from many restaurants and bakeries as it has a blend of almost all the places. Visit Trattoria Lucca to enjoy the most famous Italian dishes or go to 5 Loaves to enjoy a quick bite. You can walk the blocks to see the bar and enjoy the nightlife. There are many shops in this area too, where you can get clothes, souvenirs, or antique products.

James Island

James Island is a very relaxing and laid back island known for its beautiful skyline and view. If you want to spend your day sitting near the pond and just feeling the day, this is the place for you. It has antebellum architectural styled buildings and residential houses. There are many parks, sports arenas, and beaches linked to this island so you can enjoy your family vacation here.

Downtown

The downtown region is situated between Ashley and Cooper River. You can feel the Old American vibe in this area because of the cobblestone streets, old buildings and Churches. See the gardens, architecture, and mansions in the South of the Broad Area or visit the Hampton Park for a picnic. This area is mostly famous because of its sightseeing points. Thus, you can see it in one or two days.

Upper King

As compared to the other neighborhood, Upper King has a modern vibe. You will find many modern restaurants, night clubs, and bars there. This area was not a part of guide to Charleston’s places but it is becoming famous with time. This area can be considered as a place of festivals as most of the collective activities happen here. You can enjoy the picnic and soak in the Sun at the beautiful Green City Park and visit the farmer's market to buy fresh veggies. Apart from that, you can also enjoy the Charleston Fashion Week, Piccolo Spoleto festival, or Food and Wine festival if you visit this area during the wintertime.

Map

Transportation

Driving/Parking

If you plan to stay in Charleston for a long time, it is not recommended to rent a car. As most of the places are close, you can easily travel using other methods. However, if you want to travel to Charleston's distant beaches and islands, you can rent or take your car. You can also get a taxi or Uber quickly. The base fare is $1.50, so it can also be considered as a good option. If you are staying at a hotel, your accommodation will give you free parking. The limit of parking is determined by meters for 2 hours. The parking fee is charged from Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm. Sunday is the best time to find the perfect parking in downtown. Because of the church, you can find free parking on some spots too.

Public Transit

Even though Charleston does not have a complex network of subway trains or buses, it does provide pretty decent public transportation. You can take the CARTA bus or can travel for free using Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) to all the tourist attraction spots and historical sites. There are many categories of bus passes, so you can take the one that suits your time frame and budget. The shuttle service is also useful for people who work downtown or live nearby. It starts every 15 minutes, from 6 am to 3 pm.

Biking/Walking

Although this city has a lot to offer to its tourists, biking culture is not the one. If you plan on renting a bike, it would be dangerous in the old streets; therefore, we recommend you to walk instead of biking around. The best way to get around in Charleston is on foot. Allow your feet to feel the Holy City's warmth.