Food

Charleston is unquestionably a foodie city, with a burgeoning restaurant scene and a whole lot of seafood, barbecue and Southern fried goodness at every turn.

Xiao Bao Biscuit Exotic treats are a specialty in this quaint residential enclave. Think Japanese cabbage pancakes and Caribbean-style tacos.

167 Raw A lobster roll for the history books and some of the tastiest raw oysters in town.

FIG Fresh, local fare from the sea and local farms and mills, done up in inventive ways.

Workshop For adventurous eaters, this experimental food court give chefs a place to try out new ideas.

Food & Wine Festival Charleston's largest celebration of all things culinary.

History

In Charleston, a concerted effort is made to keep the past in the present. In other words, everywhere you look, there is a home, or a fort or even an entire neighborhood that calls a previous century to mind.

Aiken-Rhett House 'Preserved as found,' this 1820 town house showcases the lifestyle of a wealthy merchant's family and the people they enslaved.

McLeod Plantation An old Sea Island cotton plantation whose story encapsulates a larger one about slavery and emancipation in the South.

Fort Sumter National Monument See where the Civil War began, and take selfies with some old cannons.

Old Slave Mart Museum This small museum offers an important (and highly disturbing) explanation of how Charleston's prominence and wealth came from slave labor.

Middleton Place This plantation's vast gardens are the oldest in the US.

Bulldog Tours History and ghost walks, including stops at the Old City Jail and Provost Dungeon, and the city's oldest graveyard.

Charleston Museum The country's first museum is well organized, digestible and full of interesting artifacts and information.

Water

With islands to the north and south, Charleston is a prime destination for beachgoers, boaters and basically anyone who likes to look out over the water.

Folly Beach County Park A pretty and easily accessible beach that's great for swimming and is home to a pelican rookery.

Adventure Harbor Tours Cruises on the harbor, including at sunset, along with fun trips to uninhabited Morris Island (great for shelling).

Kiawah Beachwater Park Named one of America's top 10 beaches, this is one relaxing stretch of warm, soft sand.

Battery & White Point Garden At the downtown peninsula's tip, this is the place to look out over Charleston Harbor and think about pirates.

Windjammer A long-standing Isle of Palms beach bar with good live music.

Red's Ice House The patio at this easygoing joint is the place to party on Shem Creek, Mt Pleasant.

Booze

Charleston may be a genteel city, but its residents are not above throwing a few back and having a good ole time.

Holy City Brewing One of the city's most popular breweries, with 25 taps spouting a variety of offerings.

Deep Water Vineyard Muscadine wine, anyone? These malty-tasting grapes are all South Carolina's got, and somehow this winery makes them bearable.

Edmund's Oast A fancy brewpub with 64 taps and impressive food like salt chicken skins, hanger steaks and hot-and-sour tilefish.

Firefly Distillery The home of America's first sweet tea vodka, and also lots of other outrageously delicious and intoxicating liquors.

High Wire Distilling In downtown Charleston, get your tastes of small-batch gin, whiskey, vodka and Amaro, right in a row.

Charleston Brews Cruise Let somebody else do the driving (and explaining) if you're gonna hit four breweries one after the next.

Revelry Brewery A hip brewery on the north end of the peninsula, with high-quality craft beer and a sweet, fire-pit-heated rooftop.

Prohibition A speakeasy-style craft cocktail bar where you can also take swing-dancing lessons.