There is no place like downtown Charleston, SC. Often referred to as “the peninsula,” its well-preserved architecture, beautiful churches, cobblestone roads and wrought iron gates are some of downtown Charleston’s most known features. Though the entire peninsula is less than 10 square miles, each street and neighborhood has its own charming charictaristics so plan to walk, bike or hail a rickshaw (also known as a pedicab or bike taxi) and go exploring!
The “French Quarter” is famous for its art galleries and restaurants, as well as the French Huguenot Church. (Insider tip: The name “French Quarter” was given to this area in recent history but many Charlestonians will argue there is no such thing.) The French Quarter Inn is a gorgeous property within walking distance of Waterfront Park and the rooftop bar at Market Pavilion has amazing views and a pool!
King Street can be broken into three districts; lower, middle and upper king. Remember this from our Charleston Insider shopping guide? (Insider tip: anything above the intersection of King and Calhoun Street is considered Upper King.) Built in the 1920’s the Francis Marion Hotel is one of the oldest in the city and its location is hard to beat. Walk across Marion Square Park to the mid-century modern inspired Dewberry Hotel and have cocktails in The Living Room, which is rumored to have the best old-fashioned in Charleston. End to end King Street is lined with fabulous shops, restaurants and bars for whatever you may be craving.
South Carolina’s only Hostel is located in downtown Charleston. The NotSo Hostel is super charming. It is walking distance to King Street and a great way to meet international travelers and experience Charleston in a budget-friendly way. Private rooms are available.
(Insider tip: Be sure to check out our Dining Guide to find the best award winning restaurants as well as our Insider tips on where to eat while in town.)