A Perfect Day in Charleston, SC
America’s friendliest city, Charleston, South Carolina, is full of charm and history. Wander cobblestone streets alongside historic houses. Enjoy views over the harbor and its islands. Roll through public markets that are among the oldest in the United States. Sample Southern food & drinks in restaurants & pubs dating back centuries. Here's how to make the most of one day in this must-see destination.
23 Places • 8 Saves • ago
Free

First things first - Park the Car

Charleston is full of charming historic areas that are also congested, have limited parking, and are not fun to navigate by car.  There's plenty to see and do without having to drive from place to place.  Here's a map and info for where to park.

Charleston also runs a free trolley with routes that will take you all around the Charleston area.  They have several park & ride lots that are also free.

Get fueled up for the morning

Callie's Hot Little Biscuit
@christinafield
Get here at opening time and grab a biscuit sandwich. If you can't snag one of the few seating options, stroll to Waterfront Park to have an al fresco breakfast.
Add to
Details
Toast All Day
@christinafield
Voted by The New York Times Magazine as a must-eat place in Charleston, Toast is a winner all the way.
Add to
Details

Wander the French Quarter

Stretch your legs and walk all the way to The Battery, then make your way back up to the heart of the French Quarter, stopping along the way to soak in the ambiance.

The Battery
@christinafield
The landmark defensive seawall is one of the top tourist attractions in Charleston, offering some of the city’s finest views. Stroll past elegant antebellum houses with river side views.
Add to
Details
Rainbow Row
@christinafield
One of the most iconic landmarks and most photographed places in Charleston.
Add to
Details
Joe Riley Waterfront Park
@christinafield
Named after beloved former mayor Joe Riley, Riley Waterfront Park is one of Charleston’s most popular parks for both tourists and locals with many spots to rest and take in the views of the harbor.
Add to
Details
Charleston City Market
@christinafield
The Historic Charleston City Market is one of the most visited places in Charleston. Visitors and residents flock to the market to buy souvenirs, crafts, woven baskets, jewelry, clothing, sweets, and artwork. Take a stroll through the market to experience Charleston's true Southern charm.
Add to
Details

Leisurely lunch

Cru Cafe
@christinafield
Serious comfort food in an 18th century Charleston single-style home.
Add to
Details
BASIC KITCHEN
@christinafield
Ladies-who-lunch type experience with grain bowls, veggie burgers, grilled salmon, and other light options.
Add to
Details
Millers All Day
@christinafield
Hearty portions at this bistro, bakery, and bar rolled into one.
Add to
Details

Afternoon browsing

Let lunch settle and take a carriage ride to learn a little history and see highlights of Charleston you may have missed.

Palmetto Carriage Works
@christinafield
This is one of those touristy things that is well worth it. Learn some fascinating history about the city and visit both busy classic landmarks and quieter backstreets all from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage.
Add to
Details

Shop Local Along King Street - the choices are almost endless but here are a few ideas . . .

Blue Bicycle Books
@christinafield
Intimate and cozy shop offers a mix of new and used books, including literary jewels like rare first editions by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Harper Lee, and William Faulkner. You’ll also find dozens of new books and “just about every new and used Charleston book ever written.”
Add to
Details
Candlefish
@christinafield
Features a 100 Candle Library (offering 100 unique scents). All candles are hand poured in store or at the Charleston, SC facility using 100% soy wax.
Add to
Details
Buxton Books
@christinafield
Add to
Details

George C Birlant & Co
@christinafield
A King Street stalwart since 1922, is a don’t-miss emporium of silver, estate finery, old clocks and antiques of all sorts.
Add to
Details

Time for a pick-me-up

Bitty and Beau’s Coffee
@christinafield
Staffed with a very enthusiastic crew that live with issues like autism and cerebral palsy. Stop in for a cup of joy.
Add to
Details
Kudu Coffee and Craft Beer
@christinafield
Extensive coffee and craft beer program with outdoor patio.
Add to
Details
Off Track Ice Cream
@christinafield
Hip dessert spot serves traditional ice cream, as well as vegan and gluten-free versions. The shop has creative options for milkshakes, sundaes, and cookie sandwiches.
Add to
Details

Find the car and head over the bridge for some military history

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum
@christinafield
Visit and learn about military history. Located on Charleston Harbor, it is home to several historic boats, displays, and monuments, including the USS Yorktown.
Add to
Details

Have dinner by the water

Tavern & Table
@christinafield
Rustic chic decor with great views.
Add to
Details
Saltwater Cowboys
@christinafield
Barbecue, pork rinds, fish tacos, and more.
Add to
Details
Red's Ice House
@christinafield
No frills dive where the locals go.
Add to
Details
Water's Edge
@christinafield
Southern staples with an extensive cocktail and beer selection.
Add to
Details
Page's Okra Grill
@christinafield
Recognized by Southern Living and the Travel Channel for for authentic southern-style staples.
Add to
Details

And that's a wrap - you've just had a perfect day in Charleston, SC !

* * *
CURATED BY
Hi, my name is Christina Field, and I am a life long traveling nomad having grown up in the Air Force and having traveled extensively as an adult on family vacations, trips with my hubby, and work-related travel. My husband and I love travel, exploring new places, and meeting new people so much we left our traditional house-based life and are living life on the road in our RV and on extended international trips. I strongly believe in the power of travel to enrich our lives. Travel provides opportunities for renewal, discovery, and inspiration and has the potential to transform lives and create a better world. I want everyone to have the travel experiences of their dreams, and that is why I am passionate about helping clients make their vacation dreams come true. Being location independent myself means I can help clients regardless of their location. I also know that most folks are so busy with day to day activities, and sometimes vacation planning takes a back seat. When you consider how many options there are and how many sources of travel information there are, it can be overwhelming to sift through the information and hard to know who to trust. That's where I come in. As a lifelong traveler and as a travel professional, I have expertise and access to exclusive insider information that I love to share with my clients. Whether you are planning a relaxing escape, a girlfriend getaway, a man-cation, a romantic honeymoon or a family reunion, I can create a customized experience for you that will be completely hassle-free and tailored to your wants and needs. What are your travel dreams . . . sailing on the seas, lounging at an all-inclusive resort, trekking on safari, cruising on a river . . . ? Where do you want to go . . . ? Reach out to me today, and starting with our first conversation I will use my years of research and organizational skills to custom design the vacation experience of YOUR dreams. I can take the work out of travel, so you can have all the FUN ! How can I help you? Email me at cfield@dreamvacations.com for help with custom itineraries and travel booking.
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Support Christina Field’s work.
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A Perfect Day in Charleston, SC
America’s friendliest city, Charleston, South Carolina, is full of charm and history. Wander cobblestone streets alongside historic houses. Enjoy views over the harbor and its islands. Roll through public markets that are among the oldest in the United States. Sample Southern food & drinks in restaurants & pubs dating back centuries. Here's how to make the most of one day in this must-see destination.
23 Places • 8 Saves • ago
Free

First things first - Park the Car

Charleston is full of charming historic areas that are also congested, have limited parking, and are not fun to navigate by car.  There's plenty to see and do without having to drive from place to place.  Here's a map and info for where to park.

Charleston also runs a free trolley with routes that will take you all around the Charleston area.  They have several park & ride lots that are also free.

Get fueled up for the morning

Callie's Hot Little Biscuit
@christinafield
Get here at opening time and grab a biscuit sandwich. If you can't snag one of the few seating options, stroll to Waterfront Park to have an al fresco breakfast.
Add to
Details
Toast All Day
@christinafield
Voted by The New York Times Magazine as a must-eat place in Charleston, Toast is a winner all the way.
Add to
Details

Wander the French Quarter

Stretch your legs and walk all the way to The Battery, then make your way back up to the heart of the French Quarter, stopping along the way to soak in the ambiance.

The Battery
@christinafield
The landmark defensive seawall is one of the top tourist attractions in Charleston, offering some of the city’s finest views. Stroll past elegant antebellum houses with river side views.
Add to
Details
Rainbow Row
@christinafield
One of the most iconic landmarks and most photographed places in Charleston.
Add to
Details
Joe Riley Waterfront Park
@christinafield
Named after beloved former mayor Joe Riley, Riley Waterfront Park is one of Charleston’s most popular parks for both tourists and locals with many spots to rest and take in the views of the harbor.
Add to
Details
Charleston City Market
@christinafield
The Historic Charleston City Market is one of the most visited places in Charleston. Visitors and residents flock to the market to buy souvenirs, crafts, woven baskets, jewelry, clothing, sweets, and artwork. Take a stroll through the market to experience Charleston's true Southern charm.
Add to
Details

Leisurely lunch

Cru Cafe
@christinafield
Serious comfort food in an 18th century Charleston single-style home.
Add to
Details
BASIC KITCHEN
@christinafield
Ladies-who-lunch type experience with grain bowls, veggie burgers, grilled salmon, and other light options.
Add to
Details
Millers All Day
@christinafield
Hearty portions at this bistro, bakery, and bar rolled into one.
Add to
Details

Afternoon browsing

Let lunch settle and take a carriage ride to learn a little history and see highlights of Charleston you may have missed.

Palmetto Carriage Works
@christinafield
This is one of those touristy things that is well worth it. Learn some fascinating history about the city and visit both busy classic landmarks and quieter backstreets all from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage.
Add to
Details

Shop Local Along King Street - the choices are almost endless but here are a few ideas . . .

Blue Bicycle Books
@christinafield
Intimate and cozy shop offers a mix of new and used books, including literary jewels like rare first editions by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Harper Lee, and William Faulkner. You’ll also find dozens of new books and “just about every new and used Charleston book ever written.”
Add to
Details
Candlefish
@christinafield
Features a 100 Candle Library (offering 100 unique scents). All candles are hand poured in store or at the Charleston, SC facility using 100% soy wax.
Add to
Details
Buxton Books
@christinafield
Add to
Details

George C Birlant & Co
@christinafield
A King Street stalwart since 1922, is a don’t-miss emporium of silver, estate finery, old clocks and antiques of all sorts.
Add to
Details

Time for a pick-me-up

Bitty and Beau’s Coffee
@christinafield
Staffed with a very enthusiastic crew that live with issues like autism and cerebral palsy. Stop in for a cup of joy.
Add to
Details
Kudu Coffee and Craft Beer
@christinafield
Extensive coffee and craft beer program with outdoor patio.
Add to
Details
Off Track Ice Cream
@christinafield
Hip dessert spot serves traditional ice cream, as well as vegan and gluten-free versions. The shop has creative options for milkshakes, sundaes, and cookie sandwiches.
Add to
Details

Find the car and head over the bridge for some military history

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum
@christinafield
Visit and learn about military history. Located on Charleston Harbor, it is home to several historic boats, displays, and monuments, including the USS Yorktown.
Add to
Details

Have dinner by the water

Tavern & Table
@christinafield
Rustic chic decor with great views.
Add to
Details
Saltwater Cowboys
@christinafield
Barbecue, pork rinds, fish tacos, and more.
Add to
Details
Red's Ice House
@christinafield
No frills dive where the locals go.
Add to
Details
Water's Edge
@christinafield
Southern staples with an extensive cocktail and beer selection.
Add to
Details
Page's Okra Grill
@christinafield
Recognized by Southern Living and the Travel Channel for for authentic southern-style staples.
Add to
Details

And that's a wrap - you've just had a perfect day in Charleston, SC !

* * *
CURATED BY
Hi, my name is Christina Field, and I am a life long traveling nomad having grown up in the Air Force and having traveled extensively as an adult on family vacations, trips with my hubby, and work-related travel. My husband and I love travel, exploring new places, and meeting new people so much we left our traditional house-based life and are living life on the road in our RV and on extended international trips. I strongly believe in the power of travel to enrich our lives. Travel provides opportunities for renewal, discovery, and inspiration and has the potential to transform lives and create a better world. I want everyone to have the travel experiences of their dreams, and that is why I am passionate about helping clients make their vacation dreams come true. Being location independent myself means I can help clients regardless of their location. I also know that most folks are so busy with day to day activities, and sometimes vacation planning takes a back seat. When you consider how many options there are and how many sources of travel information there are, it can be overwhelming to sift through the information and hard to know who to trust. That's where I come in. As a lifelong traveler and as a travel professional, I have expertise and access to exclusive insider information that I love to share with my clients. Whether you are planning a relaxing escape, a girlfriend getaway, a man-cation, a romantic honeymoon or a family reunion, I can create a customized experience for you that will be completely hassle-free and tailored to your wants and needs. What are your travel dreams . . . sailing on the seas, lounging at an all-inclusive resort, trekking on safari, cruising on a river . . . ? Where do you want to go . . . ? Reach out to me today, and starting with our first conversation I will use my years of research and organizational skills to custom design the vacation experience of YOUR dreams. I can take the work out of travel, so you can have all the FUN ! How can I help you? Email me at cfield@dreamvacations.com for help with custom itineraries and travel booking.
Send A Tip
Support Christina Field’s work.
Select your tip amount
$5
$10
$20
$50
Or type in other amount
Powered by Thatch
The home for unique & authentic travel
Powered by Thatch: Where great trips are made.
© Christina Field Privacy Terms