Top things to do

Top Choice Historic Building in Charleston

Middleton Place

Designed in 1741, this plantation's vast gardens are the oldest in the US. One hundred slaves spent a decade terracing the land and digging the precise geometric canals for the owner, wealthy South Carolina politici…
Top Choice Southern US in Charleston

FIG

FIG has been a long-time foodie favorite, and it's easy to see why. Welcoming staff, efficient but unrushed service, and top-notch nouvelle Southern fare from James Beard Award winner Mike Lata. The six nightly dish…
Historic Site in Charleston

Fort Sumter

The first shots of the Civil War rang out at Fort Sumter, on a pentagon-shaped island in the harbor. A Confederate stronghold, the fort was shelled to bits by Union forces from 1863 to 1865. A few original guns and …
Seafood in Charleston

Fleet Landing

Come here for the perfect Charleston lunch: a river view, a cup of she-crab soup with a splash of sherry, and a big bowl of shrimp and grits. Housed in an old naval building on a pier, Fleet Landing is a convenient …
Museum in Charleston

Old Slave Mart Museum

Ryan's Mart was an open air market that auctioned African men, women and children in the mid 1800s. It's now a museum about South Carolina's shameful past. Text-heavy exhibits illuminate the slave experience; the fe…
Museum in Charleston

Charleston Museum

Founded in 1773, this claims to be the country's oldest museum. It's helpful and informative if you're looking for historic background before strolling through the Historic District. Exhibits spotlight various perio…
House in Charleston

Magnolia Plantation

Up for a spooky stroll? Then follow the boardwalk through the trees and bog on the Swamp Garden tour - it's a unique experience. The 500-acre plantation, which has been owned by the Drayton family since 1676, is a v…
Historic Building in Charleston

Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon

Kids love the creepy dungeon, used as a prison for pirates and for American patriots held by the British during the Revolutionary War. The cramped space sits beneath a stately Georgian Palladian customs house compl…
Asian in Charleston

Xiao Bao Biscuit

Exposed brick walls, concrete floor and housed in a former gas station – this casual but stylish eatery hits the hipster high marks. But the food? Now we're talking. The short but palate-kicking menu spotlights simp…
Historic Building in Charleston

Aiken-Rhett House

The only surviving urban plantation, this house gives a fascinating glimpse into antebellum life. The role of slaves is also presented, and you can wander into their dorm-style quarters behind the main house. The Hi…