Searching for an enchanting honeymoon destination? Book a romantic retreat to Charleston, voted the No. 1 City in the World by Travel + Leisure.
Take flight and arrive at Charleston International Airport, which receives 69 direct flights each day from a variety of East Coast and Midwestern cities. Make the 20-minute trip to the heart of the Historic District and check into Planters Inn, the one and only Relais & Châteaux property in South Carolina. This intimate boutique hotel is housed in a meticulously restored 1844 building and was voted #1 Best U.S. Small City Hotel in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards.
You’ll need plenty of energy for the adventurous day ahead, so stop in at the sophisticated Southern spot Virginia’s on King for fluffy flapjacks and a tall glass of O.J. Don’t forget to ask for the pecan maple syrup!
You’re fueled and ready to explore the streets of charming Charleston. The Old South Carriage Company guides will entertain you with historical facts and humor, while pointing out many of Charleston’s most noteworthy landmarks and attractions – such as St. Michael’s, the oldest church edifice in the city, one of the few churches in America to retain its original design, and one of the many church steeples that dominate the city skyline lending Charleston its “Holy City” nickname.
Following your carriage tour, stroll through the Charleston City Market – one of the oldest public markets in America. Searching for the perfect souvenir? Pick up a Battery Gate pendant from Gold Creations – a memento of the ornamental ironwork adorning gates around Charleston.
Poached pears, walnuts, gorgonzola, and honey sherry vinaigrette – is your mouth watering yet? Make your way to Cru Café for a light lunch. With Chef and Owner John Zucker graduating No. 1 in his class from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, the cuisine is promised to be nothing short of délicieuse!
Next on the itinerary: post-lunch promenade. Take a walk along The Battery and meander through White Point Gardens – a picturesque, six-acre green space that crowns the tip of the peninsula. Head toward Waterfront Park and you’ll pass one of our favorite photo op spots – Rainbow Row, a colorful lineup of Colonial-era town houses. After snapping a newlywed selfie, continue to the park for dolphin spotting, sail boat gazing, and a breezy swing with a waterfront view.
Arrive back at Planters Inn to freshen up and prepare for dinner at Peninsula Grill. Picture this: flickering copper carriage lanterns illuminate the garden courtyard as you cheers to an enchanted evening. Save room for a slice of the 12-layer Ultimate Coconut Cake®, called “a little slice of heaven” by The New York Times.
Good morning to the new Mr. and Mrs. Enjoy a garden-style setting breakfast at The Palmetto Cafe, where the colossal glass windows bring the outside in. Feeling savory? Opt for the Palmetto Omelet filled with fresh lump crabmeat, lobster knuckles, mozzarella cheese, and spring onions. Searching for something sweet? Try the chef’s signature menu item – Peaches and Cream French Toast.
After breakfast, head upstairs to the luxurious Spa at Belmond Charleston Place. Prepare to be pampered! Choose from a wide selection of therapeutic treatments, including a warm stone massage for two. Relax, re-energize, and retreat to the pool for a serene swim with your sweet.
Lunch takes you to Poogan’s Porch, a beautifully restored Victorian-style house that has been serving Southern fare, including homemade buttermilk biscuits and She Crab soup, since 1976.
Ready to explore? Hop in the car and make your way to Middleton Place, home to the nation’s oldest landscaped gardens. Step back in time and envision the self-sustaining lifestyle of a bustling plantation with pottery, weaving, blacksmithing, candle-dipping, and open fire cooking method demonstrations. The plantation’s lively stableyard hosts free-grazing sheep, cashmere goats, and Belgian draft horses, just to name a few. Can you spot the iridescent feathers of the majestic peacock that roams the grounds?
Back at Planters Inn, get gussied up for an evening out on the town. All set? Revel in the sweeping views of Charleston while sipping on an El Matador cocktail (silver tequila + elderflower + southern twist ginger & jalapeno + fresh grapefruit juice) on the rooftop at STARS. Stick around and escape from the hustle and bustle of King Street below while temperatures cool and the sun begins to set, splashing the sky with a vibrant watercolor scene.
Following drinks, head to Ruth’s Chris Steak House, located in the lobby of the French Quarter Inn. Here, Chef Jonathan Kaidas, American Culinary Federation award winner and 2010 graduate of the Culinary Institute of Charleston, serves custom-aged, corn-fed USDA Prime Midwestern steaks. Can’t choose a side? Try the grilled asparagus – one of our favorites.
Rise and shine! Get an early morning start with a scenic drive to Kiawah Island, one of Charleston’s five barrier islands with 10 miles of uninterrupted beaches, and home to the acclaimed seaside Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
Upon arrival, enjoy fresh seafood and organic produce for brunch at Jasmine Porch while relishing an Atlantic Ocean backdrop. Chef Jason Cote offers a seasonal menu using garden-fresh products sourced from farms located near Kiawah Island. For lighter fare, order the Avocado Smash or toasted bagel with smoked salmon.
Hit the pool at The Sanctuary for a full day of blue skies and sunshine. Sit back and relax under the shaded cabanas with a panoramic view of the ocean. Fresh fruit smoothies for two coming your way!
After a full day of basking in the rays, head inside for an evening of fine dining. The mahogany-paneled Ocean Room is a welcome refuge. Indulge in the best this steakhouse has to offer, including caviar, lobster bisque, and the especially indulgent black truffle pommes frites.
Must you go? There’s so much left to explore in Charleston! There’s no better way to end your honeymoon getaway than with a sunset walk along the beach. Stroll along the dunes and soak in the sounds of the lapping waves. Room for dessert? Pop into Beaches & Cream for a scoop of ice cream. Let’s make it a double – it is your final night, after all!
What are you waiting for? Book your Holy City honeymoon here.