John Rutledge was an active player in early American politics, signing the Constitution and serving as Charleston's first governor. But his townhouse on Broad Street, now the John Rutledge Inn, was built before he even attended his first Continental Congress. The house was embellished and expanded over the years, including the addition of elaborate lacelike ironwork that still stops passersby in their tracks. The inn comprises the main building and two carriage houses. In the 1980s, a major renovation prepared it for its new life as an inn, restoring the parquet floors, marble fireplaces, and crown molding to fully honor the property's past.
Rooms evoke the property's Colonial Era origins, with canopy beds, tilt-top tables, and brass fireplace screens. Tempur-Pedic mattresses, property-wide Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TVs help guests remember that they're still in the 21st century. Around the property, visit the sumptuous ballroom for evening sherry, or stroll the lush, secluded courtyard.
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Directly across the street from the hotel, Charleston's stately, manicured South of Broad neighborhood begins. A quiet, pristine area, South of Broad is brimming with elegant mansions—the real old Charleston. On lower Meeting Street, visit the neoclassical Nathaniel Russell House Museum and its period gardens. Visit Burbage's Grocery, a neighborhood favorite open since 1948, and stock up on pimiento cheese and egg salad. The waterfront White Point Gardens, with its gazebos and shaded walks, is a great picnicking spot. Nearby shopping options are classically Charleston. Visit local institution the R.S.V.P. Shoppe for monogrammed stationary, the Ben Silver emporium for Southern-preppy clothing, and the antique stores of lower King for one-of-a-kind treasures.
Need to Know
Rooms: 19 rooms; from $340. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The property has no on-site restaurant, but guests can enjoy breakfast in their rooms or in the courtyard or ballroom. The offerings include a full continental spread along with one hot option per day. Guests love when shrimp and grits show up on the menu. Spa and gym details:While there is no spa or gym on-site, guests have access to EcoFitness on Wentworth Street for a $5 fee per visit.
Who's it for: History buffs who want a quiet and luxurious base for local exploration. Our favorite rooms: Stick to the main house for historical details. Consider the carriage house rooms if you put a premium on seclusion and quiet. Southern culture:Live it up in period style at complimentary afternoon tea in the ballroom.