Planning a trip to Charleston SC soon? With so much to do and see, Charleston is a city that you’ll want to check off your bucket list, and without a doubt, want to revisit. If you’re “in the know” about hottest places in the U.S. to visit right now, then you’ve heard the hype around the Holy City. As one of the top destinations for couples, bachelorette and bachelor parties, weddings, foodies, and history buffs, it’s no wonder this city is taking the spotlight. If you only have a weekend in Charleston, make the most of it by hitting both the typical tourist sites and the local hidden gems.

Many will visit the iconic sights like The Angel Oak, Fort Sumter, and Battery Park, but there are a few travel morsels that tourist guides won’t tell you about. That’s where we come in!  Renting a home is the way to go when it comes to lodging in the Holy City. It allows you to stay and explore like a local no matter how long you are here. Who wants to be cooped-up in a expensive hotel room anyway when you’re traveling with family and friends?

When you arrive on Friday night, it’s an easy Uber ride from the airport to downtown Charleston (unless if you drove in). Settle into your Luxury Simplified Retreats vacation rental and take a stroll down King Street to pick your dining spot for the evening. As a foodie’s mecca, you can find whatever your in the mood for, so call ahead to put your name in and grab some oysters at The Ordinary for an appetizer. If you love seafood, then one of the best seafood spots in town that you WON’T read about in your tourist guide is 167 Raw it’s highly-ranked and for that reason you’ll be lucky if you can get in!

Saturday is going to be the day you want to explore all of Charleston SC and beyond.  Grab a coffee and pastry at Browns Ct. Bakery, a local delicacy, and kick-start your adventure-filled day. Instead of going straight to the better-known sites, like Rainbow Row and Battery Park, make it a morning walk and get lost along the way. One of the most magical parts about this city is all the hidden side streets and alleyways that are often overlooked. Trust me, you will fall more in LOVE with this city when you explore this it way than just visiting the typical tourist highlights. Meander your way down the side street to Waterfront Park, lap through the French Quarter on your way to Pineapple Fountain, Rainbow Row and Battery Park beyond – these are most photographed parts of the city. You’ll get some great Instagram-worthy shots, but the journey along the way is what will truly charm you.

Once you’re done with sightseeing in the historic district, head to Sullivan’s Island, a little beachfront island with loads of coastal charm. Take a stroll on the beach followed by a beverage and delicious lunch at either Poe’s Tavern or Obstinate Daughter, either is a great way to spend the afternoon. On your way back downtown, make sure to stop at Reds Ice House to enjoy a bucket of cold beer while watching the sunset with our favorite saltwater pals – the dolphins. No matter when you visit you will find a crowd of people enjoying the incredible weather that just adds to the allure of Charleston.

On Sundays, we brunch. A good Bloody Mary or mimosa is not hard to find in the city and is definitely the “doctor’s orders” after a busy Saturday. Have a bountiful brunch at Macintosh or Prohibition then hit the up & coming part of town, the fast growing Upper King Street District or what we locals call, “The Neck.”  Here you’ll enjoy the views of the iconic Ravenel Bridge from Revelry Brewing’s rooftop, and if Sunday afternoon means you’re packing your bags to head home, then you need to start planning your next trip because you have yet to see it all. That is after all, the magic of Charleston … because next year – you’re bound to have an entirely DIFFERENT vacation!

Both of our downtown Charleston and Folly Beach vacation rentals are all conveniently located to provide the most out of your trip to Charleston SC. Each time you visit the Holy City, there’s more to explore so start planning your getaway today and once you get here, let us provide recommendations and suggestions for the top restaurants, activities and events!