With so many new and interesting things to do and so much history to see and experience, it can be challenging if not impossible to see and do everything in just one visit to Charleston SC. Enchanted by the city’s charm and history, many people visit a a second or even third time, or make a trip to Charleston an annual event. From riding a horse drawn carriage under oaks draped in Spanish moss, to a harbor cruise past Fort Sumter at sunset, Charleston offers a wealth of “bucket list” items, and you may find yourself wanting to plan a return trip to experience them all.  We’ve compiled a checklist of things you might want to add to your list on your NEXT trip to the Holy City!

Explore Another Historic Plantation – Perhaps you’ve visited Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, Middleton Place, or Boone Hall Planation on your last visit to Charleston and you’d like to experience another? Spend an afternoon at McLeod Planation, tour the plantation house, learn about daily life on a working plantation, discover the influence of the area’s Gullah/Geechee heritage and the role of the Freedmen’s Bureau throughout the south.

Visit An Important Military Landmark – While Fort Sumter, Fort Moultrie, and the USS Yorktown are among  the area’s most well known historical military attractions, Fort Lamar Heritage Preserve is considered by many to be the second most important Civil War site in the state of South Carolina. Located on James Island, it’s the site of the 1862 Battle of Secessionville in which a small Confederate force fought back against a hoard of attacking Union troops, preventing the fall of Charleston which would have led to an earlier end to the war.

Dine At A Local Favorite – Maybe you’ve eaten at some of Charleston’s popular and well respected restaurants such as Hall’s Chophouse, Henry’s Fish Market, or Poogan’s Porch but you’re looking for a more authentic local dining experience? Venture a few minutes outside the city to Bowen’s Island. Hiding at the end of a long dirt road, beyond the point where you think you’ve gone too far, a shack of a restaurant awaits overlooking the marshes of Folly Beach. While it’s not much to look at, they steam and fry some of the best locally caught seafood in the state, and the view’s not bad either. Don’t let the line out the door deter you, it moves pretty fast and it’s worth the wait. Dine out on the patio and watch the colors of the sky reflected in the water change as the sun sinks behind the trees.

Shop Local At These Charming Boutiques – The Charleston City Market, Palmetto Moon, and House of Sage are staples of any first timer’s trip to Charleston, but the second time around you’ll definitely want to devote some time to shop some of our favorite local boutiques. Tucked away down a little side street off King Street, find Sapphire Boutique. Offering trendy outfits, jewelry, accessories, and handbags, this super cute boutique is every fashionista’s dream. Just down the street, nearby to Charleston’s Upper King District, Cannonborough Collective is a charming little boutique where local makers collaborate, craft, and sell their goods. Owned and operated by a couple of fierce local ladies, this shop is everything you’ve ever wanted from a combination quirky balloon shop & fun gift shop.

What are you waiting for? Start planning your second, third, fourth, or fiftieth trip to Charleston TODAY!