Needing a weekend away from your house in quarantine? Looking for a romantic weekend escape? Charleston is the perfect city to spend a few days, a long weekend, or even a week. My husband and I spent our five year anniversary in Charleston last spring, and it certainly did not disappoint. Don’t take my word for it, even Forbes seemed to think it’s the perfect romantic destination! Even if you’re planning a Charleston two day itinerary, Charleston three day itinerary, or a romantic weekend in Charleston, South Carolina, keep reading for some tips for your next trip to Charleston!
If you’re looking to spend more than a few days in Charleston or want to venture to Folly Beach, read this complete guide to Charleston!
Charleston Packing Guide
A weekend in Charleston
Why should you visit Charleston? Charleston is such a unique city, it has been rated one of the top cities to visit in the world multiple years in a row. It has small town Southern charm, with European inspirations and top notch cuisine. If you’re already living close to this city, it can be a great road trip destination as well!
What season should you visit Charleston?
We visited Charleston in May, and the famous heat and humidity of the south was already starting for the season. We experienced temperatures from 60-80F, and since we went in early May the crowds weren’t too terrible. Closer to the summer season and Memorial Day is when the crowds will pick up a bit so keep that in mind.
SUMMER in Charleston can be quite hot and humid, and busy with crowds. The FALL season is another great time to visit, the Fall Wine Festival and Taste of Charleston usually occurs in the fall but sometimes in the WINTER season. The winter season will be the least busy in Charleston, and you can find the best travel deals during these months. If you’re looking for book a romantic weekend in Charleston, Valentine’s Day weekend is the perfect opportunity, but make sure to book early as it can be a popular option for tourists!
How to get to Charleston
Whether you want to stay in a five star hotel in Charleston or an Airbnb in Charleston, South Carolina, keep in mind how much you want to spend during your weekend in Charleston. Since my husband and I only spent a long weekend in Charleston, we decided to splurge on our accommodations.
Whether you’re driving or flying into Charleston, make sure you consider this when booking your trip. Charleston currently only has one airport, but is an international airport. We took a cab from the airport for our first accommodations, and rented a car at a later date to get around outside Charleston. If you’re looking to get out of the city a bit, it is definitely possible and doable for a weekend.
Where to stay in Charleston
Here’s a list of a variety of different accommodations, from five star hotels to Airbnbs.
1. The Vendue– Located in the heart of the French Quarter, The Vendue is also recommended by Travel and Leisure. This boutique hotel is known as Charleston’s Art Hotel as it has its own exhibition space inside the hotel. My husband and I stayed two nights here, and it was the perfect location within the city.
2. Hotel Bennett– Considered one of Charleston’s newest and grandest luxury hotels, it is located on the famous King Street, right off the historic Marion Square.
5. Airbnb right off King Street– This Airbnb will cost you less than $500 for two nights, not a bad price for Charleston.
If you’re wanting to stay outside the city I would highly recommend the Inn at Middleton Place.
3 Day Charleston itinerary
Day 1 Friday evening: Visit a rooftop bar
After you’ve settled in a bit and checked into your luxury hotel or Airbnb in Charleston, grab a drink before dinner at the Pavilion rooftop bar at the Market Pavilion Hotel. This bar offers a beautiful view of Charleston, and even more romantic to watch the sun set across the water. The Vendue also has a fantastic rooftop bar, as well as Stars Rooftop and Grill.
Charleston is so picturesque, here are some of Charleston’s most instagrammable spots.
Day 2 Saturday morning: Explore the city by bike
Have a complimentary breakfast at the hotel or take a short five minute walk, if you’re staying at The Vendue, to Poogan’s Porch. This was one of my favorite restaurants we ate at in Charleston. After breakfast you can take a romantic horse drawn carriage ride, the Old South Carriage Company has horse drawn carriage rides around the city. If you would prefer to bike around the city, make sure to check out the historic district of downtown Charleston. One advantage of staying at The Vendue is they offer complimentary bicycles to use during your stay. If you’re looking for a bike route first start at Hampton Park and take Rutledge Avenue or King Street. Continue to Colonial Park and Broad Street, Queen Street, and Church Street.
Saturday afternoon: Rainbow Row and Waterfront Park
To continue the day, make sure to check out all the gems of Charleston, especially the instagrammable Rainbow Row. Waterfront Park, home to the famous pineapple fountain, is about a ten minute walk from The Vendue.
Saturday evening: Catch a romantic sunset after dinner at Husk
Husk Charleston is one of the most popular restaurants in Charleston, and the epitome of Southern cuisine. Because we were celebrating our anniversary, they even made custom menus for us with our last name on them! It made the evening even more memorable.
If you’re wanting to stay inside the city, head to Battery Park and walk around the neighborhood. If you have a car you can drive to Folly Beach, the cutest beach town. Make sure to walk along the beach and the pier. There are multiple restaurants along the main strip including Rita’s and Taco Boy.
Day 3 Sunday: Visit America’s oldest garden
Known as America’s oldest garden founded in 1676, Magnolia Plantations and Gardens is a must see! These gardens are about 30-40 minutes outside the city, so keep that in mind when planning your trip. With your admission ticket you will receive a map of the entire estate including the plantation and different garden areas. Plan to visit for at least a couple hours to experience all the winding stone pathways, different floral gardens, and finding the other hidden points of interest on the map. My favorite spot was the iconic white bridge. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, and hopefully convince you to visit!
If you’re deciding to stay outside the city or want to split your time, don’t forget your stay at the Inn at Middleton Place will include admission to Middleton Place and their gardens. You could easily see Magnolia Gardens in an hour or two and head to Middleton Place. We did the official hour tour, but you probably only need an hour or two here as well. They do have a lovely farm to table restaurant if you plan to have lunch before heading home for the weekend!