Collected by Lori Ostrom
544 King St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
A two-story dining room with an always-packed raw bar, The Ordinary serves some of the South’s best seafood. Here, chef Mike Lata dishes up must-try options like a seafood tower, crab toast, fish chowder, and triggerfish with fingerling...
207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
For those seeking a true taste of Charleston, it’s hard to recommend anywhere better than Hominy Grill. You’ll likely have to wait for a table, but just grab a drink in the front courtyard until it’s your turn to sit. Meals...
1870 Bowens Island Rd, Charleston, SC 29412, USA
Bowens Island Restaurant has existed in one form or another since 1946. The original building, covered in Sharpie messages scrawled by diners over the years, burned to the ground in 2006. Owner Robert Barber rebuilt it...
698 King St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
Leon’s is a meticulously renovated former auto-body shop that's now famous for oysters and fried chicken. Don’t overlook chef Ari Kolender’s shrimp roll, though—lightly dressed with horseradish mayo, it’s served...
1081 Morrison Dr, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
This cavernous brewpub has a wide-open kitchen, a long bar, tall communal tables, and a patio shaded by live oaks. If you can, grab a seat at the chef’s counter and watch the team spread creamy aïoli on locally made rye...
1068 Morrison Dr, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
This tiny, pink soul food restaurant is a great spot to visit for fried chicken, fried pork chops, and, for the adventurous, fried chitterlings. Don’t let all that deliciousness keep you from trying the stand-out veggies, though, which range...
616 Meeting St A, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
Spero focuses on small plates made with local, seasonal produce. The restaurant’s unpretentious vibe belies its sophisticated menu, for which most everything is crafted on-site—including the delicious bread (order the bread-and-butter...
6617 Maybank Hwy, Wadmalaw Island, SC 29487, USA
Charleston has a long plantation history, but the most unique attraction in the city is the Charleston Tea Plantation. Located on Wadmalaw Island, it's one of the few places where tea is still grown and produced in the United States. The tea...
511 King St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
With its pressed tin ceilings, exposed brick walls, and extensive cocktail menu, The Belmont could easily be mistaken for a bar in Brooklyn. But the laid-back vibe is pure Lowcountry. The Belmont is one of Charleston's first craft cocktail bars,...
2169, 182 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
The Gin Joint opened in 2010 and was Charleston's first real dedicated craft cocktail spot. Five years later, it's still going strong with its creative drinks menu (including a "bartender's choice" option for the patron who wants a surprise) and...
547 King St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
Prohibition serves great classic cocktails, like a Blood and Sand and a solid mint julep. The place also serves fancy comfort food (chorizo- and mushroom-studded mac and cheese, pork chop with a ginger-peach glaze), hosts live music and swing...
70.5 Beaufain St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
This coffee bar serves great pour-over coffee, has a lovely selection of teas, and makes incredible cold brew that customers can buy by the glass or by the growler. A clean, serene environment for a work session or chat with friends.
652 B King St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
The Daily is hard to describe: they serve Stumptown coffee and fresh juices, but they also sell cheese, local produce, and dry goods, not to mention a great selection of wine and beer. Oh, and you can pick up some arty magazines from their...
41 George St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
Tricera's owners opened this downtown cafe after growing their fanbase through their James Island roastery, Cup. It's no surprise, then, that Tricera's coffee shines, from its excellent iced coffee to its signature saffron latte. Don't skip out on...
2 Murray Blvd, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
White Point Garden is located on Charleston's Battery, and it's surrounded by beautiful grand mansions. There are sweeping views of Charleston Harbor, and ample trees to hang a packable hammock and relax for awhile. The historic park is a good...
83 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
One of Charleston's most charming features, and there are many, is its beautiful architecture. Nowhere is that more on display than on the famous Rainbow Row, a series of colorfully painted historic homes on East Bay Street. Every square inch of...
Hampton Park, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
Located in the northern part of the city, Hampton Park is by far the biggest green space on the peninsula. It contains beautiful oak trees, a fitness trail, and lush flowers (including one of the city's best collection of roses).
340 Concord St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
Taking a trip to Fort Sumter gives visitors a chance to explore a little Civil War history (the first shot of that long bloody war was fired here in 1861) through an orientation in town at the education center, followed by a ferry ride out to the...
476 1/2 King St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
Whether it's for breakfast, brunch, or a late eat after a night of revelry on King Street, owner Carrie Morey whips her mother's recipe of the freshly baked, handmade Southern staples inside this counter-serve bake shop. Consisting of flour,...
4300 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414, USA
Middleton Place exists because of slavery—a stark reality that’s acknowledged in exhibits throughout the sprawling plantation. Today, however, the site is a beautiful place to spend a day or a weekend. Just stroll through the 65 acres...
251 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
If you head to Charleston looking for fried chicken, collard greens, and banana pudding, Jestine's Kitchen is a good place to get it. This isn't nouveau fancy southern food--no gourmet touches, just the classics done right.
188 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
Once the center of commerce in Charleston, the City Market is now the heart of tourism. Although its location near the cruise terminal can make it feel like a kitschy open-air market in the Caribbean, the tackiness is part of its charm. Yes,...
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