How to Spend a Perfect Day in Downtown Charleston

How to Spend a Perfect Day in Downtown Charleston

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Spend just one day in Charleston and you’re sure to understand why our treasured destination has been voted America’s no. one destination again and again by the readers of Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler. Our perfect day in downtown Charleston looks a little something like this:


After popping into La Pâtisserie, Clerks or another of Charleston’s top coffee shops to fuel for the day, enjoy a stroll down East Bay Street to the Battery at the tip of the Charleston peninsula. Along the way, you’ll pass shops, galleries and restaurants, and admire the city’s distinctive architecture — including the iconic, colorful lineup of Colonial-era town houses known as Rainbow Row. Don’t miss your chance to see a larger-than-life sized pineapple, a symbol of hospitality, at Charleston’s beloved Joe Riley Waterfront Park during your exploration.


Time for lunch. Get your fill of fried chicken and fresh seafood from Leon’s Oyster Shop! Housed in a refurbished garage, this laid-back establishment is loved by locals and visitors alike. Try the Char-Grilled Oysters with lemon, parsley and parmesan, and the Fried Chicken Sandwich, alongside a refreshing glass of frosé. INSIDER TIP: Ending your meal with a cone of soft-serve, sprinkles included, is non-negotiable!

Ready to set sail? See the Holy City skyline from the water with a harbor cruise aboard the Schooner Pride – an 84-foot, three masted wooden schooner. Sail past Civil War landmarks, barrier islands and the longest cable-stay bridge in North America for this cruise through history and one of the nation’s most picturesque harbors. It is from these waters that local shrimp boats trawl for some of the East Coast’s premier seafood.


Seafood is the star of the show at The Darling! With a focus on local, seasonal ingredients and sustainability, this energetic establishment blends classic preparations with exciting new flavors. Pull up a stool at the 14-seat raw bar for a view of bustling King Street or slide into a booth at this hot spot housed in lovingly restored 115-year-old storefront. INSIDER TIP: Don’t skimp on the fresh lobster roll!

Click through to check out more things to do in downtown Charleston



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