Magnolias are in bloom and temperatures are ideal—delightfully warm and not yet scorching—in Charleston, South Carolina, making this the top time to stroll through one of the South’s most picturesque and inviting cities. Perhaps most famous for its role in Civil War and the quirks of its Edwardian era “Charleston single houses,” the city’s history predates the American Revolution by more than 100 years and plenty of its 17th century architecture remains today, giving the historic district more range than most in the U.S. can boast. Whichever era or style you plan to ogle most, you’ll need to refuel between strolls along Charleston’s bewitchingly beautiful streets, and the city’s eat-local obsession combined with its unique lowcountry cuisine give it a culinary scene worth sampling heartily. To get you started, here are 6 top restaurants in Charleston, from fine dining to casual, along with 3 hotels for 3 types of traveler to keep you rested between bites.
For all of its beautiful architecture, incredible history and scenic beaches, one of the highlights about Charleston is the food. Most cities in the South have a distinctive gastronomic culture with dishes and flavors that are entirely their own. Think BBQ in Nashville or a po’ boy in New Orleans. Charleston is no exception. The city’s oceanside locale gives it plenty of access to fresh seafood- couple that with the zesty and spicy flavors that the South is known for, and you’re in for a fantastic culinary adventure that’s reason enough to make a trip. Charleston has no shortage of restaurants, but the following is a list of some of my favorite spots in town.
Along the South Carolina and Georgia coasts, the Gullah-Geechee community guards a unique food culture born from Central and West African roots. Michael W. Twitty embarks on a pilgrimage to explore how the past informs the region's modern-day chefs, farmers, and culinary custodians.
If you’ve never visited Charleston, South Carolina, you are missing out. Charleston feels like a historical time capsule with a modern vibe. The port city, founded in 1670, has original cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriage rides, and charming neighborhoods lined with antebellum mansions. It is a fantastic foodie destination that has an incredible bar scene (especially on the rooftops). If you like shopping, there are boutiques galore on King Street, and if you love history, there are a variety of tours of all the impressive sites both on land and on the water.
This one-day walking and driving tour of Charleston takes you through its historic center but also out of the tourist bubble, to see where real Charlestonians live and play.
The Black residents of Charleston have always shaped the city's identity, and their influence today is as palpable as ever, from food to art.
Any place that seamlessly melds Black history, culture, food and beautiful beaches is worth visiting — especially if you’re looking for a socially distant getaway that won’t break the bank. Long hailed as one of the South’s most beloved-tourist destinations from locals and those hailing from other regions around the United States, South Carolina’s historic city is filled with moss-covered oaks, picturesque squares, and historic plantation museums that lend it the quaint, but exciting atmosphere its known for.
Charleston’s entire downtown is a designated National Historic Landmark District with dozens of 18th- and 19th-century buildings preserved along brick-lined streets. At several historic homes, visitors can explore gardens typical of the period, interiors that include original furnishings, and well-maintained exteriors that make the city so unique.
Celebrate the city’s 350th birthday among the cobblestone streets and colorful row homes of its Historic District. Slip into a swimsuit, sandals, and an easy-does-it way of life on the Mount Pleasant side of South Carolina’s port city.
If there was ever a time to relive your childhood love of coloring, it would be right now. Researchers have found that coloring can put you into a meditative state that eases anxiety. You don’t need to dig out an old coloring book to get some art therapy, though—just head over to the highlights of Explore Charleston’s Instagram stories to download some black-and-white line drawings of your favorite Charleston attractions. It’s got coloring book-style designs of Low Country sunsets, Leon’s Oyster Shop, FIG and Rainbow Row, just begging for your artistic touch.
The low country welcomes nearly four million visitors annually and it's easy to see why: as one of the South's most esteemed cities (and the oldest and largest in South Carolina), Charleston is charm, defined. Cobblestone streets, historic mansions, share the road with horse-drawn carriages, and true living history on every street.
From the time Tanya Gurrieri got her start with Atlanta's renowned Bold Catering & Design nearly 20 years ago, she knew that she'd found her life's passion. A "leap of faith" led her to hook up with a chef / partner and launch her own catering firm, Charleston, S.C.'s Salthouse Catering, as a way to "control our own destiny instead of having others control it for us," she says.
The historic South Carolina city of Charleston beckons brides and grooms to revel in her majesty, he mansions and her many excellent dining establishments. Along with first prize hotels and gracious inns, superb cuisine and guest activities galore, you can expect a healthy helping of Southern hospitality at your Charleston wedding.
Charleston may be the perfect destination wedding locale, but the city's art, architecture, cuisine, cocktails and Southern charm also make it a great spot for a pre-wedding girls' getaway or mother-daughter retreat. It's called the "lowcountry" for a reason: The highest spot in the city is about 12 feet above sea level. In the lowcountry; the sea is in the air... and shrimp and grits may very well be on the plate!
"Walk around the historic district here—delight in the grand architecture of both colonial and antebellum eras; relish the cobblestone lanes and the gas lanterns on posts and along walls; admire the wrought-iron fences, gates, and balconies; enjoy the lovely landscaping and take pleasure in the lovely colors. It’s easy to understand why Charleston is ranked as one of the country’s best-preserved cities."
Staying in America, if there is one place that should never be missing from a top notch scrapbook, it's Charleston, South Carolina. One of the most sophisticated and romantic destinations in the United States, where tropical atmospheres enclose an intact colonial architecture.
"That summed up Charleston, South Carolina, for me: well-made, thoughtful, sophisticated, not without a certain humor. It is a city for wandering alone, for getting lost, its neighborhoods revealing themselves like stage screens in the theater. The colors of its clapboard buildings and their shutters, unfolded like book covers, open to a bright new day."
Forbes Travel Guide
"The romance of Charleston goes beyond the facade of a stunning Southern city. Culture runs deep here, from the beautiful architecture and thought-provoking art to the amazing culinary traditions, and its something everyone can get behind."
"CHARLESTON, S.C. — Witold Rybczynski, an architecture critic, author and emeritus professor of urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania, was sitting in the lobby of a chain hotel here, trying to peg the elusive charm of this city. After all, as Mr. Rybczynski wrote in his new book, “Charleston Fancy” (Yale University Press), the city of 130,000 people has no world-famous buildings, no grand boulevards and few public squares of any attractiveness. And yet, nearly 7.2 million tourists visited last year."
"The romance of Charleston goes beyond the façade of a stunning Southern city. Culture runs deep here — from the beautiful architecture and thought-provoking art to the amazing culinary traditions — and it’s something everyone can get behind."
"Charleston, South Carolina, can be downright steamy this time of the year, but things really heat up when the sun goes down. After a long day of roaming the cobblestone streets of this charming waterfront city with its majestic antebellum mansions and iconic fountains, you may be tempted to turn in early, but resist the urge. You dont want to miss out on the vibrant nightlife."
"There’s plenty to explore: whether that’s by wandering through the birthday colored historic downtown streets; swaying gently on a rocking chair on a porch of an old clapboard house; exploring layers of history and its pencil-thin church spires."
"From the arrival of the first slave ship through the civil rights era and into the present, Charleston's black residents have shaped the Holy City's food culture, art, music, agriculture, faith, and its national reputation. A visit to these landmarks can help create a fuller understanding of the city."
"For the seventh year in a row, this Southern belle stands above the rest, charming travelers with Lowcountry hospitality, picturesque streets, and a culinary scene that ranges from casual barbecue to refined tasting menus."
"When blooming jasmine cascades over wrought-iron railings and Charlestonians can barely cross King Street without running into a Spoleto Festival performer in town for the city's annual arts extravaganza, tearoom season is in full swing."
"The elegant streets are lined with palmettos (the state tree), and magnificent oaks draped with the Spanish moss. In the private gardens that dot the city, explosions of pink, red and white camellias vie for attention with purple and red crape myrtle trees, and vivid pink oleander bushes. It is this sumptuous beauty, the preponderance of Southern manners, the rich history and the food and art scene that makes it such a winning posting for international business executives."
"Charleston is known for conviviality, as a visit to any of its buzzing bars will reveal. It's not just the local atmosphere that makes for a lively evening. There's plenty of South Carolina history to pour in a traveler's glass as well."
"Charleston has a thriving, multicultural downtown. The 3.5-mile-long peninsula containing 12 small, eclectic neighborhoods has become a beacon for creative professionals from New York and other major U.S. cities looking for more laid-back lives."
"On April 4, British Airways is starting direct flights from London to Charleston, South Carolina, a small city (population 775,000) with enormous charm. Its pastel-coloured period architecture - from Georgian to gothic revival, clapboard to Italianate - is enchanting. "
"The Holy City is a mecca for tourists 6.9 million came in 2017, probably half of them for a wedding who are just as hungry for rice grits and selfies in front of Georgian row houses as they are for a history lesson. What theyll find will fill them up and still leave them asking for seconds, albeit very politely."
"Charleston is a city meant for meandering. Poised on a peninsula surrounded by salt marshes, rivers, barrier islands, and Charleston Harbor, it has a sprawling natural landscape rife with unique flora and fauna. The Holy City's residents are perhaps its best storytellers, though, warmly welcoming visitors and inviting them to slow down and take it all in. "
"As one of the USA's most historic cities, Charleston has been attracting visitors for centuries and, with British Airways' new direct flight linking the South Carolina city directly with London (and Europe), the trend looks set to continue."
"Charleston is a modern city with over 300 years of history and culture. Select from an array of romance packages in which you can stay in a boutique hotel or a posh 19th-century mansion. "
"This year, Travel + Leisure readers named Charleston, South Carolina the number one favorite city in the U.S. for the sixth year in a row. Conde Nast Traveler readers also chose Charleston as the most popular city in America for the eighth consecutive year."
"Or maybe it’s just the fact that Charleston is a sophisticated city with strong educational, cultural and philanthropic institutions, areas in which American women have traditionally held influence."
"There is a certain vibe that radiates from the cobblestone streets of Charleston....This kind of tangible energy is all over Charleston. From the echoes of history found at countryside plantations to the laughter, aroma, and flavors found at a hot new restaurant, Charleston is a city that all your senses will appreciate."
"Charleston's history is central to its experience, and the city's Historic Charleston Foundation, along with several other organizations, maintain several historic homes and properties that will give you a deep dive into the area's background. "
"Like a sweet Southern belle whose appeal only seems to get more potent as the years go by, South Carolina's oldest and largest city offers beautiful architecture, a vibrant food scene, history that dates back to the 17th century and extreme walkability."
"Here in 'The Neck,' where seven breweries have opened within a short bike ride of each other in the last three years, serendipity is celebrated, dogs and chicken are welcome, and you can come as you are."
People gravitate to Charleston for a lot of reasons: its buzzing restaurants and bars, eclectic art and style scenes, its utter curb appeal, proximity to water, its rich history.
"People often think of Charleston as a small Southern town, but when it comes to its nightlife, the city can compete on many levelssurprising visitors, and making their decisions about where to go that much harder."
Charleston is mostly a town of highs were talking, of course, about its healthy rooftop bar scene. And it makes sense where better to soak in that balmy Charleston weather and those unparalleled church spire views than atop one of the citys many swanky hotels? So get climbing this is a city whose charms are best experienced from on high."
"South Carolina (and Charleston, in particular) is blessed with a bounty of seafood, swept in from the Atlantic Ocean—and no one, neither resident nor visitor, should deny themselves the wonders of these fresh and salty gifts."
"But we're in the South...throw those attempts at a summer body to the wind...for brunch in Charleston, a tasty, buttery, boozy (and, okay, occasionally healthy) bunch, where warmth, charm, and good company are as essential to the experience as a perennially filled glass."
"Technically, Charleston is classified as a small city—but it's a mighty force on the nation's food scene. For years now it's known for its dynamic mix of offerings—classic Southern food, like Lowcountry cuisine and barbecue done at peak levels, alongside fresh Eastern seafood, and innovative kitchens with creative chefs who redefine what we think of as farm-to-table cooking."
"History buffs, shoppers and casual urban explorers will all find lots to love about a stroll or carriage tour around downtown Charleston. Cobblestoned streets, iron gates and blooming gardens serve as the perfect accents to the city's well-preserved architecture, with classic examples of Georgian, Victorian, Federalist and other historic mansions at every turn."
"Charleston has successfully evolved into a modern metropolis without sacrificing the rich history of its landscape or architecture. With a skyline punctuated by church steeples instead of high-rises and streets lined with grand Georgian homes, this popular South Carolina destination envelops you with the charm of its colonial past while delighting you with a seemingly endless array of noteworthy restaurants, boutiques and cultural opportunities."
“What sets Charleston apart - the real secret to the city’s centuries-spanning allure - is not just that it keeps offering more to visitors or that there’s always something new to discover here. It’s that there’s always something new for everyone to discover regardless of what you’re interested in, where you’re coming from, or what you’re looking to find.”
"Charleston is an international food destination now, like Paris or San Sebastián, Spain. You can't walk half a block without stumbling on some inventive new oyster bar, café, or barbecue joint..."
"People say when painter Alfred Hutty arrived in Charleston, he took one look at the steepled skyline, towering palmetto trees and wide waterfront and immediately telegrammed his wife: “Come quickly, have found heaven.” That was in 1919, but the Atlantic port is no less compelling today, arguably even more so thanks to a thriving food scene and a spate of new galleries and boutiques."
“With fragrant magnolia trees lining cobblestone streets and horse-drawn carriages, passing candy-colored 19th century mansions, Charleston, South Carolina looks as though it could be the set for a historic film” - EBONY
"Charleston is renowned for its Southern charm. Its lovely buildings are filled with graceful architectural details that conjure images of sipping sweet tea on a piazza on a sultry summer afternoon."
"A mere two-hour flight from New York City, South Carolina's oldest and largest city Charleston is a perfect weekend getaway, especially for those who love to eat and drink, play golf, visit historic homes or just chill out."
"Think: Cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and Lowcountry fare—everything from locally-caught oysters to slow-cooked pork. Add to that its enduring hospitality, laidback sensibility and walkability and it’s no wonder Chucktown is a tremendously popular travel destination—particularly for romantic getaways."
"...People are mesmerized by how interesting [Charleston] is—the architecture, the food, the entire environment... And because we lived in geographic and economic isolation for generations after the war along this coast, there’s a purity here that people like. Charleston is real.”
Charleston, South Carolina Named No. 1 Small City in the U.S. by Conde Nast Traveler 2017 Readers Choice Awards. Charleston Voted No. 1 Travel Destination in the U.S. for the Seventh Consecutive Year.
"Following a decade of national praise and attention... it’s natural to wonder whether [Charleston's culinary] scene remains vibrant. Judging by the influx of mouthwatering barbecue and the prevalence of pickled shrimp and benne seed okra salad, the answer is yes. More than ever."
"Charleston is one of the most charming cities. There, I said it. Small but urban, with a Southern something something that hasn't waned, the town has really come into it's own with more and more chic eateries and bars."
"With ornate wooden house-fronts straight out of the 19th century and the warmest welcome this side of the Atlantic, you would be forgiven for thinking Charleston was frozen in time. Long the darling of the south, this settlement was among the most cosmopolitan of the colonies and a powerhouse economy of the early United States."
This old South Carolina city sparkles with history and natural beauty, but a new generation of hotels, restaurants, and shops has infused it with fresh energy. Hit our favorite spots to get your full of culture and style.
JetBlue Loves Charleston!
The historic streets of Charleston are perfect for pleasant detours. Charleston exudes charm and everything comes together to make it one incredible destination: antebellum houses with secret gardens, horse-drawn carriages, cobblestone streets, Spanish moss-draped trees, intricate ironwork, church bells ringing, amazing cuisine, and Southern hospitality. Plan your JetBlue Vacation to Charleston!Watch Video
Seattle Refined Loves Charleston: Part 2
Discover the sights, sounds, flavors, and traditions found only in Charleston, South Carolina! To learn more about the city voted #1 in the United States by readers of both Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure, visit Charlestonly.com.Watch Video
Seattle Refined Loves Charleston: Part 1
Discover the sights, sounds, flavors, and traditions found only in Charleston, South Carolina! To learn more about the city voted #1 in the United States by readers of both Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure, visit Charlestonly.com.Watch Video
"This Southern city boasts a deep bench of kitchen talent and a prolific pantry that capitalizes on its coastal location and mild climate, which means long growing seasons at fertile farms."
"The Holy City has been the home of countless political and military figures, writers, artists, socialites, and of course one particular Bravo reality show, but it's the city's traditions, beauty, and endless array of venue options that make it the prime setting for your big day"
"This is the kind of Southern grace and hospitality that is standard in this old port city, a leafy haven by the sea that is home to stately and well-preserved architecture."
"Charleston is fast on its way to becoming one of the country's most exciting southern cities. Blessed with a rich food scene, robust history, and a welcoming climate that beckons guests year-round, there's little doubt why the holy city was recently voted one of the country's best city destinations"
"Charleston's architecture, history, and food scene have earned the city a reputation as the quintessential Southern city - not to mention the top spot on Travel + Leisure's World Best Cities list."
"About 30 minutes away from Kiawah is the city of Charleston, also known as the Holy City for its historic churches. We had only a day and half to spend here, but it could take a week to soak in the history, the flourishing culinary scene and the beauty"
"A city beloved for its historic charm might not be front of mind for boundary-pushing beverage programs, but Charleston, South Carolina, has emerged as an epicenter of inventive bars and restaurants"
"There's a good reason Charleston is consistently ranked as one of the country's top destinations - from a bustling food and bar scene to hot hotel openings, history galore, and world-class shopping, you'll find something for everyone in the coastal South Carolina city."
"At once gracious and hip, historic and fresh, Charleston is having its moment. Open the door to this stylish Southern belle of a city, and come see why so many of its boutique lodgings have been voted No. 1 Best Small Hotel by Travel + Leisure readers in the World's Best Awards of 2016 and recent years"
"The quiet, antebellum city of Charleston, in South Carolina, has long been creeping its way up the Worlds Best Cities list. From its No. 2 spot in 2015, the Holy City had only one place to go: up."Watch Video
"The Restoration, a boutique hotel that opened earlier this year in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, owes its existence to a curious fact: that the line for the 2013 Cartier exhibition at Paris's Grand Palais was too long"
"Charleston has exploded as an enticing food destination, with innovative preparation of local ingredients like shrimp, wreck fish, okra, and Carolina Gold rice. The City is a fertile breeding ground for culinary experimentation, with its diverse cultural roots and year-round bounty of produce, seafood, and meat.”
"For this is the sort of Southern Hospitality that comes naturally to folks here in Folly Beach, South Carolina, where life is laid-back, smiles are sincere and people don't think twice about helping complete strangers."
"Southern Living Live is our way of acknowledging our readers' long love affair with Charleston (which we've put on the cover five times) and the way the city has always represented the best of the South."
"The burger at Husk, in Charleston, South Carolina, has a great smoky beef flavor, and I love that they use American cheese. Not to mention the bun is perfect, because it smashes down just so."
"The Magnolia Plantation - home to the oldest public gardens in America, situated along the Ashley River in Charleston, South Carolina - showcases a timeless vision of a romantic garden seeped in Southern charm"
"Charleston has long been a colorful city of intrigue and frisson. Founded in 1670, this Southern city is defined by its cobblestone streets, its pre-civil war pastel-colored homes, and its atmospheric harbor alongside Waterfront Park."
"Yes, the region's unofficial trademark dish, shrimp and grits, is gluten-free. But it's the natural Lowcountry beauty, distinctive architecture, and burgeoning (and GF-friendly) dining scene that make South Carolina's historic city one of our favorite places for a hearty helping of Southern hospitality"
"Traditionally known as the design district thanks to beautiful brick buildings, stunning churches, art galleries and housewares shops, Charleston has recently become a distinct culinary destination."
"Its history, food and Southern graciousness are what makes Charleston one of the world's favorite cities. Take a fresh look at one of the South's most popular destinations."
"If Charleston, South Carolina, were to be cast as a character in Gone With The Wind, she would definitely be Scarlett O'Hara... beautiful, strong willed, entrepreneurial and a real survivor."
"Indulge in your inner foodie at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, where you can take a pasta-making course, attend a wine tasting led by local sommeliers, or feast at one of the many decadent dinner events happening throughout the week."
"Escape the cold and check out the rich history, robust dining scene, bustling nightlife and delightful adventures [in Charleston]. And while other flowers are still resting, camellias are blooming."
"It's easy to understand what consistently attracts travelers to the South Carolinian harbor city: brightly painted houses, streets lined with gnarled oak and jasmine trees, countless art galleries, and award-winning restaurants serving lowcountry cuisine."
"Charleston is a city of palmetto tree-lined streets straight out of the 19th century, polite locals in khakis or pearls, and a well-observed cocktail hour. Traffic is regularly held up by horse-drawn carriage tours, and the city's emphasis on preservation makes each average house worthy of its own history lesson."
"Gentle beaches, nature adventures, and activities to wear everyone out: These are the themes across the 20 best U.S. islands for families, as chosen by our readers."
"Charleston is one of those cities that embodies everything about Southern hospitality. The quaint streets, the history, and above all, the kindness of its residents promise to make any trip there one to remember."
An appetizer fit for the world's most powerful man. A little-known island escape. Strange water mammals. For Yachtsmen, this is the Charleston you never knew, from the inside out.
"With three centuries of heritage, incredible dining and a thriving shopping scene, it's no wonder Charleston is constantly voted among the best places to visit in the United States."
Known for rich history, well-preserved architecture, a celebrated restaurant community and mannerly people, the Charleston area has been recognized as the No. 1 Small U.S. City for the fifth consecutive year by Conde Nast Traveler 2015 Readers' Choice Awards.
"From tidal tributaries to the Atlantic, the pristine waters surrounding Charleston produce a bounty of fresh seafood, including shrimp, fish, oysters, clams and crabs."
"From historic homes and architecture, a thriving culinary scene, to its stylish locals, there are many reasons why T+L readers named Charleston the Number One City in America for 2015."
"I love the American South, but nowhere moreso than the Carolinas, and most especially Charleston. It was in Charleston where I tasted my first authentic fried green tomato, swooned over the fluffiest biscuits I've ever encountered and ate boiled peanuts like nobody's business."
"With a penchant for low-country decadence, chef-driven ingenuity, and a citywide reverence for all things delicious, Charleston's secret recipe for experiential gastronomy unfolds at its top restaurants."
"The grand, antebellum mansions and pastel-washed clapboard houses, the gas-lit back alleys and clip-clopping carriages conspire to lull you into the delightful delusion that your aircraft has traversed not just the Atlantic but the centuries."
CBS News Sunday Morning
"Charleston has the oldest historic district in the country. It has carefully preserved the city's grand public buildings, as well as the mansions along The Battery, and of course the famous Rainbow Row."Watch Video
"Charleston, SC, is one of the country's most charming - and well-mannered - cities... and with a booming dining scene, plus the draw of the artsy Spoleto Festival, there's never been a better time to head to the Lowcountry."
Office with a View
"With its beautiful beaches, quaint Antebellum neighborhoods, and historic landmarks, it's no wonder Charleston, South Carolina is consistently named one of the top destinations in the country."Watch Video
"...walking through Charleston is something to be done with all the senses. You need to smell the salt air, hear the clop clop of horse hooves on cobblestone streets, see the afternoon light hitting the church steeples."
"With its acclaimed restaurants, soul-stirring landscapes, vibrant culture, and exquisitely preserved Antebellum wonders, Charleston, South Carolina, exudes a gravitational pull for travelers as the one American South city they absolutely, positively, must visit."
"...as a sophisticated culinary scene emerged and a few beer-friendly bills from the Statehouse led to seven more craft breweries, three brewpubs and dozens of shops and restaurants devoted to beer-with plenty more on the way."
"In Charleston, South Carolina, Christmas is celebrated with pecan roasts aplenty, bourbon-spiked eggnog, and loads of antebellum charm. It's time to deck the halls, Lowcountry-style."
"Charleston to me is like the diamond of South Carolina...it's old and it's historic and there is so much to do and so much history there and I just love it."- Lee Brice, Country Music Singer
"Charleston is, indeed, a welcoming, sophisticated city steeped in storied architecture, intriguing history, delicious Lowcountry cuisine, and attractions and events galore- surrounded by unspoiled beaches and complemented by pleasant weather much of the year."
"Picturesque Charleston charms with its three hundred year-old cobblestone streets woven between confection-colored Antebellum mansions, flowering trees showering the sidewalks with colorful petals, and church steeples- not skyscrapers- dotting the skyline."
"Brace yourself for a proper Southern feast. With buttermilk pie, spicy fried chicken, sticky barbecue ribs and Mexican-style clams on the menu, this charming South Carolina city in the Lowcountry has seriously good taste."
MSNBC Morning Joe
Morning Joe announces that Charleston was named the named the No. 1 destination in the U.S. and Canada for the second consecutive year in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards!Watch Video
"This city, which once made South Carolina the economic jewel of the colonial empire, has recurring emotional influences. A brief respite here leaves you pining for a return."
"An Island-Hopping Southern Seafood Crawl from the bottom of Georgia up to Charleston, S.C., stopping for luxe lodging and delicious, dicey seafood shacks along the way."
"Long before he agreed to take over as host of the Late Show, Stephen Colbert was just another Charleston boy- swimming, fishing, and skateboarding down the quiet streets of what he recalls as a "sleepy Southern town." Today, the South Carolina city is still one of his favorite vacation spots."
"Charleston has been described as a city set in a garden, and it’s easy to see why. No matter the season, greenery and flowers envelop Charleston in a lovely mix of artful design and haphazard beauty."
"With every invitation from our newfound Charleston friend to return, I realized that indeed, Charleston had stolen a piece of my hear. Even now, I am drawn to return and renew my love affair with this charming city. That's what's to love about Charleston."
"If you cannot find something to do in Charleston everyone you better stay home. You've got the scenery, you've got the beaches, tennis, and golf, and culinary delights."Watch Video
"We couldn't have asked for a more poetic start for our journey than the sign on Highway 171 welcoming us to "the Edge of America," the tagline adopted by the laid-back community of Folly Beach..."
"When it comes to South Carolina, Charleston may be the state’s crown jewel. But 25 miles outside of the city’s confines, a very different—and magical—world awaits: the coastal refuge of Kiawah Island."
"A stroll through the scenic gardens of Charleston's antebellum plantations reveals serene and riotous beauty: rainbow-hued azaleas, camellias and roses; fruit trees; bird species; and other natural delights."
"With a rich history written into its well-preserved architecture, moss-covered gardens, and quaint cobblestone streets, this charming South Carolina port town also boasts a cutting-edge food scene, fine-art galleries, and chic shopping districts."
"Beyond an impressive assortment of chefs and personalities (Andy Ricker, Nancy Silverton, Charleston's own Sean Brock), many consider the star of the festival to be Charleston itself -- the historic city provides a variety of atmospheric event spaces such as the Old City Jail and the William Aiken House."
"Long regarded as one of the great, traditional food cities of the south, Charleston has gone into culinary overdrive lately. New, innovative restaurants are popping up all over, transforming the local dining scene into one of the most dynamic in the region."
"Whether you're planning a romantic weekend for two or a getaway with the girls, the charming intercoastal city of Charleston, South Carolina may be the perfect place to relax, unwind or fall in love again."
"It's one of the country's most romantic cities. It's easy to see why, really. After all, once you begin strolling hand in hand by oversize pillared porches and onto centuries-old cobblestone walkways between the Palmetto-lined streets, there's a good chance you'll find yourselves alone-no screaming kids, no deadlines. Just you."
“Situated in South Carolina’s bucolic Lowcountry, the Charleston area is a veritable living museum, thanks to pretty, preserved antebellum public buildings, mansions and plantations, lamp-lit cobblestone streets, the restored Historic Charleston City Market, and renowned restaurants serving farm- and sea-to-table southern cuisine the way it was prepared in the Lowcountry centuries earlier.”
The Charleston Place Hotel, French Quarter Inn, HarbourView Inn, John Rutledge House Inn, Market Pavilion Hotel, Wentworth Mansion, Planters Inn, the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, and the Restoration on King were all included on the 2014 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List.
"Jazz may not have been born in Charleston, but there’s no denying the lowcountry’s impact on the genre. Today, jazz is celebrated throughout Charleston. We’ve selected a few of Charleston’s best jazz bars to give you a flavour of this city’s infectious music scene."
"Charleston sits on a peninsula surrounded by barrier islands. It's often veiled by a hazy golden light that can make the cityscape- pastel two-story houses all in a row, interrupted every so often by a pointy church spire- look as if it had been painted in watercolor."
For the third consecutive year, Charleston has been named the #1 U.S. City with an overall score of 83.2 from the Culture, Friendliness, Atmosphere, Restaurants, Lodging, and Shopping categories.
"There’s a reason Charleston has been voted America’s Best City three times over: the grits are spicy, the weather is warm, and the people are oh-so charming. This ain’t a resort town either, ya’ll-- the city’s got a history as rich as a biscuit covered in gravy."
"Charleston is known for rich history, celebrated restaurants, and great shopping. Keep these allures in mind, turn down the temperature a little, and it's ready for your winter visit."
"Charleston - this is the third time in a row for Charleston. It has a population of 125,000. It's really got it all- Fantastic climate, 79 degrees and sunny today, historic, very beautiful, increasing number of fantastic restaurants."Watch Video
"It's part edgy beach town, part southern belle preservation society, with history that hits kid-friendly high notes and food that's adventurous but grounded in down-home roots."
"We've always loved the palmetto-lined streets and legendary Lowcountry cooking this city offers. But the real draw is a booming restaurant scene that has made it the South's most exciting food destination."
"They call this the Holy City because of the number of churches gracing its street corners. These days, though, the city's restaurants could be its new tabernacles- for Charleston truly has become a venerable place to worship."
Charleston, South Carolina: Long known for its rich history, antebellum architecture, and genteel residents, this Low Country capital is quickly gaining a reputation as a culinary hot spot.
"Charleston is a city that mixes world-class quality with Southern home tradition. Its streets are lined with foodie-favorite restaurants, and one of its best offerings is Low Country fried fish. It boasts the art galleries and specialty stores of any modern city, but evidence of its 300-year history can be found on every corner."
Travel + Leisure ranks Charleston #1 City in the U.S and Canada
"Charleston really pulled it out this year...readers love it for the friendliness of the people, the antebellum charm of the beautiful historic buildings, and incredible local food scene. If you haven't had Sean Brock's food you must go to Charleston immediately!"Watch Video
"I am happy to report that in Charleston, South Carolina, unlike many American cities where it's sometimes hard to find anything original, it's hard to find anything that's not completely one-of-a-kind."
"Let's talk a little bit about Charleston, South Carolina. We had such fun...It's so much better than advertised in all of the brochures. You read about how beautiful and great it is and then you get there and it is so much better than everything I read!"Watch Video
"We're back in Charleston, South Carolina at the beautiful College of Charleston campus...it is so great to be in the South...We have had the best time in Charleston. It's one of the most charming places in the whole country."Watch Video
"KLG and Hoda are live from Charleston! The ladies are touring Charleston, S.C. this week! They hit the town by horse-drawn carriage, enjoying the historic city market and plantation house Drayton Hall… all while dressed as Scarlett O'Hara. When in Rome, you know?"Watch Video
"Founded in 1670, Charleston, South Carolina bills itself as "where history lives." Even cooler: You and the kids can live that history for yourselves at Middleton Place, a former plantation that's been transformed into a living history museum." Read more on Middleton Place and resident potter, Jeff Neale: www.charlestonly.com/blog
"While the Holy City is packed with antiques-filled B&Bs, few properties have been able to give the obligatory nod to Charleston's rich history without losing their sense of self."
"We went looking for spring, Mark and I, down in Charleston, S.C. a stunning city, rich with history both sad and ecstatic, in a region that offers a tremendous bounty of fresh ingredients and regional flavors."
"Coursed by palmetto-lined promenades and graced with some of America's best-preserved historic architecture, Charleston, South Carolina, still bows to traditions-from Sunday suppers to sweet tea and pralines-while keeping up with the 21st century. The city is bursting with cosmopolitan energy..."
"It hit me, as I strolled through Charleston’s gas-lit and cobblestoned French Quarter, that everything I loved about this unapologetically historic city was something I love about Philly as well: contained streets, colorful rowhomes, horse-drawn carriages bearing infatuated tourists, and the sense that for all its designer boutiques and craft cocktail bars, the city still hums with its own heritage."
"Chef Mike Lata and I are standing in pluff mud on an oyster bed near Dewees Island just off Charleston, South Carolina, when he pops open an oyster with his pocketknife, hands it to me and says, "Here, eat that." I slurp it right from the shell. It's tender, salty and delicious, with just a hint of that Lowcountry mud. Lata watches for my reaction as if it's a dish he's been preparing all day. "The secret to an oyster is to serve it quickly," he says, prying one open for himself. "That way there's no time for it to lose its sense of place. A great Charleston oyster should taste like Charleston."
"Look toward the sky from virtually anywhere in the Charleston Historic District and chances are you'll see a steeple. Towering spires decorate the skyline of South Carolina's oldest city, marking religious institutions that hold centuries of stories and an assortment of rich American history."
"Turns out, Charleston is truly a “best of” the South: Flickering gas lamps adorn pastel, antebellum mansions; cobblestone streets offer views of colorful, formal gardens; horse-drawn carriages clip-clop alongside cars; and polite shopkeepers..."
"A visit to the Holy City, so named for its historic houses of worship, pulls you back in time. Horse-drawn carriages transport tourists along cobblestone streets flanked by centuries-old, beautifully preserved, and impeccably manicured gardens and homes, many open to the public. From land, you can gaze across the harbor to Fort Sumter, where Union soldiers suffered the first hit in the Civil War. But Charleston comes with a fast-forward button, too. Lowcountry cuisine keeps raising the bar, and a new wave of boutiques and bars buoy several neighborhoods. Mix it all together for heavenly results."
"Halfway through our baking, I telephoned Peninsula Grill in Charleston and inquired about their celebrated Ultimate Coconut Cake, which I had tasted on my previous trip to the city."
To tell us all about the Elvis Presley milkshake is Chef Sean Brock, owner of the restaurant Husk and McCrady's in Charleston, South Carolina. It's something he concocted to share with his staff as a treat. It goes great with cheeseburgers, he says.
Weeks were spent criss-crossing the States in search of just the right spot. Ultimately, they were drawn to Charleston, South Carolina. Known for its grace and hospitality, it also has an up-and-coming gastronomic scene, which appealed to these foodies.
Willie Geist talks with Conde Nast Traveler editor, Lisa Gill about the 25th annual reader's choice awards: "For the 2nd year in a row the top city in the U.S. and now top in the world is Charleston, S.C."Watch Video
"Indeed, a hum of creative energy pulses throughout the city, from the cool new boutiques to the fanciest of kitchens that draw on the city's distinctive mix of English, French, African, and Caribbean influences."
Columbia to Charleston, South Carolina: "Like Tuscany in the '80's and California a decade ago, The American South is in the grips of what one cultured gastronome in the food-obsessed city of Charleston described to me as "a culinary boom of epic proportions."
Going the whole hog got James Beard– nominated chef Craig Deihl into sausage-making. “I bought a whole pig, and from that point, not only did I buy the whole pig, but I had to make use of the whole pig,” says Deihl, of Cypress restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina.
The Ocean Course: Kiawah Island Resort, Kiawah, S.C.: The PGA, one of golf's four majors, was played here in August, cementing Kiawah's position as one of the most respected and all golf communities on the Eastern Seaboard- with an arsenal of award-winning courses by Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Tom Fazio. Pete Dye's starkly pretty Ocean Course is scary-good-stunning, daring, boldly featured, and nearly impossible to play.
"In 2009, Mike Lata won the James Beard award for Best New Chef in the Southeast. His Charleston, S.C. restaurant, FIG, which stands for Food Is Good has received many rave reviews over the years. This December, he and his partner will open The Ordinary, an oyster bar and seafood hall. He joins us with his ultimate dish: baked sea bass and capers inlet clams."Watch Video
"Southern hospitality meet Hollywood glamour: Historic Charleston was the charming setting for the heartfelt nuptials of actress Eva Amurri and sports commentator Kyle Martino."
"It's part edgy beach town, part southern belle preservation society, with history that hits kid-friendly high notes and food that's adventurous but grounded in down-home roots."
"Charleston, South Carolina: Here you will discover a remnant world of the bygone Old South. The time worn cobblestone streets, the preserved antebellum homes, the unspoiled Atlantic beaches. History lives here."Watch Video
Horse-drawn carriages still roll past pristine, prettily hued antebellum homes. Craggy live oaks shade the streets, and Confederate jasmine perfumes the air...But despite its slow-paced gentility, Charleston i s no relic-not with the authentically preppy boutiques arts festivals that bring together everything from modern dance to bluegrass music...and chefs who take local staples like shrimp, grits, and rice to new heights.
"Older than the United States itself, the Rutledge House is the perfect spot for History Channel devotees, architecture buffs and people who want to be able to say that they and George Washington have eaten breakfast in the same place..."
"Behind the wrought-iron gates and shy, sideways-facing entries of opulent 250-year-old homes lies a colorful city with regionally renowned cuisine, hot beaches, and the subtly, snarky charm of the old South."
"Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert joins Morning Joe on set in South Carolina to discuss his exploratory committee to run for United States of S.C., and his recent team-up with Herman Cain."
"Jeff Glor takes a tour of Charleston, S.C., a city full of old southern style, charm, and hospitality that was most recently voted as the No. 1 travel destination among cities in North America."
"As the home of Ft. Sumter, Charleston took center stage during the 150th anniversary of the Civil War this year. But mostly the city looks toward the future. In the last few years, it's cosmopolitan restaurant and cultural scenes have flourished."
Bon Appetit named Husk Best New Restaurant in America for 2011. Chef Sean Brock, who won the 2010 James Beard Foundation Best Chef Southeast Award, opened Husk in November 2010.
"On the June morning when the Great Hall at the Charleston City Market, in Charleston, S.C., reopened to the public after an 18-month renovation, spotting the locals amid the vacationing throngs was easy."
"Even though I left Charleston a few months ago, it is still with me. I am not talking about the indelible memories, photographs or souvenirs picked up along the way, but rather the few pounds I happily acquired over a week of overindulging in some of the best cuisine I have experienced in recent memory."
"If you think of fried food as cloddish, you need to eat seafood in the Lowcountry. Because the freshest oysters, shrimp, and flounder have always been so readily available, local cooks have evolved a style of cooking that's as exquisite as tempura, the point being to halo flavor rather than to smother it." Click the cover to read more.
Read the May issue to discover "Five Farm-Fresh Treats" available at the Charleston Farmers Market as well as the Black Guinea Hogs favored by Chef Craig Deihl of Cypress. Click the thumbnail to read more.
"Charleston is having a moment. And it has almost everything to do with food. A fresh spirit has swooped in and lit up the town's restaurant scene, where chefs are breaking ground by, first and foremost, celebrating Southern tradition and homegrown ingredients." Click the cover to read more!
"On the afternoon of April 11, 1861, a small boat flying a white flag pushed off from the tip of the narrow peninsula surrounding the city of Charleston." Click the cover to read more.