8 Iconic Streets to Explore in Charleston
Charleston’s early city planners laid out a grid of easily navigable streets that invites intimate urban discovery. Whether you’re hitting up King Street for shopping, strolling down East Bay for photo ops, or headed towards Queen Street for iconic Lowcountry cuisine, you’re sure to stumble upon many of Charleston’s charms.
Take a walk and discover the splendor, soul, and spirit that define modern Charleston.
Art enthusiasts, don’t miss Gallery Row on historic Broad Street. You’ll find about 15 galleries here, with another two dozen on the surrounding streets. The galleries in the Charleston area number around 70.
Wander down Chalmers Street, one of only eight remaining cobblestone streets in Charleston, for a window into the past at the Old Slave Mart Museum. This museum explores the history of Africans who where forcibly brought to America, and the hardships they endured.
In addition to the Dock Street Theatre, the nation’s first permanent playhouse, Church Street is also home to St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, which was constructed in 1835-1838. In St. Philip’s churchyard are the graves of John C. Calhoun, Secretary of War and Vice President of the United States; Edward Rutledge, signer of the Declaration of Independence; Charles Pinckney, signer of the Constitution; and Dubose Heyward, author of “Porgy.”
East Bay Street is an Instagram-lovers delight! After snapping a #ViewFromTheTop of your buttermilk fried oysters at High Cotton, or your pimiento cheese fritters at Charleston’s newest barbecue joint, Poogan’s Smokehouse, stroll a bit further down East Bay for a vibrant photo op at Rainbow Row and afternoon stroll along the selfie-worthy Charleston Battery.
Recently named one of the nation’s top 10 shopping streets by U.S. News and World Report, King Street’s shops are emporiums of chic and one-of-a-kind wares. Lower King is an esteemed antiques district while Upper King is a thriving contemporary design district. King Street favorites include M. Dumas & Sons and Croghan’s Jewel Box.
Legare Street will have you questioning if you’ve been transported to Wonderland along with Alice. This quaint street is filled with winding gardens, creeping ivy, and beautiful piazzas. Adventure awaits!
Foodies love Queen Street. Located at 76 Queen, Husk is hailed as one of the most important restaurants in the history of Southern cooking. As if Husk alone wasn’t enough reason to mark Queen Street on your map, Poogan’s Porch and 82 Queen will have you reaching for the red pen. TRY THIS: a bowl of She Crab soup at 82 Queen, which has served more of the Lowcountry specialty than any other restaurant on the peninsula.
Every inch of Charleston radiates Southern charm, and Tradd Street is no exception. Go ahead; get lost amid the secret gardens and flickering copper carriage lanterns.