10 Things a Visitor Must Do or See in Charleston


“Charleston is widely regarded as the most beautiful city in the United States and I see no reason to disagree. The variety of its architecture is astonishing—Colonial, Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, Victorian—and yet all the styles cohere into a harmonious whole. Charleston was the first city in the country to pass a historical preservation ordinance and, like Savannah, it was spared the ravages of the Civil War. On a sunny spring day, there are few more pleasant ways to spend an hour than in wandering along Battery Promenade before pausing at White Point Gardens to gaze across the harbor to Fort Sumter.” –Mr. Harper

  • See the city’s historic district from a horse-drawn carriage. “Charleston’s carriage tours are extraordinarily informative and popular among Charlestonians and visitors alike,” says Bradley Dickerson, manager of the Planters Inn. Private carriage tours also are available.

  • Spend time in the Gibbes Museum of Art, which opened in 1905.

  • Stroll through Charleston’s Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. See the impressive avenue of oaks with moss-draped branches leading to Boone Hall.

  • See the impressive avenue of oaks with moss-draped branches leading to Boone Hall.

  • Go antiquing on King Street.

  • Visit the Charleston Museum, the oldest municipal museum in the country, Dickerson notes.

  • Tour the unfurnished Drayton Hall, which “architecturally is second to none,” Dickerson says.

  • Head west of the Ashley River, where you will find “some extraordinary historic sites that are well worth your time,” suggests Dickerson.

  • Visit the gardens at Middleton and Magnolia, two impeccably preserved plantations. “Middleton is an outstanding example of traditional English gardening, while Magnolia embodies a more whimsical approach to its design,” Dickerson says.

  • Admire Charleston’s historic architecture, “long a point of interest to Charlestonians,” says Dickerson.

5 Historic Homes to Visit in Charleston

By Hideaway Report Staff