Bed and Breakfast Hot Spots!

History abounds in this majestic Carolina town.

Charleston, in South Carolina's picturesque Low Country, has long been recognized as one of the nation's top cities. Conde Nast Traveler readers have rated Charleston not only as a top U.S. city, but as one of the world's best. With its multitude of attractions from historic sites to golf, as well as fine restaurants and outstanding inns, it's little wonder why it's a top vacation spot.

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Note: In addition to regular public transportation, the downtown area is served by the Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH), a fleet of trolley car-like trams. A one-day pass is $2 and a three-day pass is $5. Maps are available through the visitors bureau and at many inns and hotels.

Recommended Restaurants

39 Rue de Jean
(843) 722-8881
A French cafe and bar with indoor/outdoor patio seating.

82 Queen
(843) 723-7591
Authentic Low Country cuisine in the elegant French Quarter.  A local favorite for over 24 years.

(843) 577-0551
Comment: Located in the old city market, specializes in fresh, local seafood.

Hank's Seafood
(843) 723-3474
Classic Charleston fish house with an old fashioned saloon-style bar and exibition raw bar.

Hominy Grill
(843) 937-0930
Local favorite that uses fresh ingredients for southern recipes from scratch.

Magnolia's-Uptown/Down South
(843) 577-7771
Comment: Good Low Country food.

(843) 723-3474
Contemporary French-American cuisine. Has an exceptional wine list.

Peninsula Grill
(843) 723-0700
Comment: This is the restaurant at the four-diamond rated Planters Inn.

Sunfire Grill & Bistro
(843) 766-0223
Culturally eclectic cuisine. Wonderful vegitarian fare.

African-American National Heritage Museum
Four different sites comprise this museum.

The Old Slave Mart Museum, (843) 958-6467, on Chalmers Street. Slave auctions were held here, and the museum will serve to recognize the contribution and struggle of African Americans from the time of their arrival in 1670 to the Civil Rights Movement.

McLeod Plantation, (843) 723-1623, on James Island offers a glimpse of life on a plantation. More than 70 slaves worked here, producing one of the South's largest cotton crops.

The Aiken-Rhett House, (843) 723-1159, was the governor's residence as the first Civil War shots were fired at Fort Sumter.

Avery Research Center, (843) 953-7609, was established more than a decade ago out of what was the Avery Normal Institute, a school established just after the Civil War ended to educate young African Americans.

The Citadel (843) 225-3294
Military academy established in 1842. For a glimpse of Charleston's military history, visitors can attend The Citadel's Friday dress parade. Held most Friday afternoons on campus at 3:45pm (during the academic year).

Fort Sumter (843) 722-1691
Visit the spot where the Civil War began back in 1861. The fort is located on a manmade island at the entrance to Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter Tours offers trips aboard sightseeing yachts to the fort from the City Marina and Patriots Point. The 2-hour and 15-minute trip includes a tour of the fort and harbor.

Tickets are $10.50 for adults and $5.50 for children under 12. Children 5 and younger tour for free.

The South is known for its beautiful gardens and Charleston is no exception. For half a century, the annual Festival of Houses and Gardens has drawn visitors during the spring. Other options include the Cypress Gardens, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, and Middleton Place.

Cypress Gardens: Visitors here can enjoy what once was part of an important rice plantation. Explore the swamp by boat or roam the colorful gardens. Admission rates are subject to change, for more information, call (843) 553-0515.

Magnolia Plantation: The plantation, built in the 17th century, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was occupied by the original family for 10 generations. There is an herb garden, Biblical garden, horticultural maze and a topiary garden. A newer addition is the Audubon Swamp Garden. For more information, call (843) 571-1266.

Middleton Place: Enjoy America's oldest landscaped gardens, dating back more than 250 years. The gardens are located on an 18th-century plantation. For more information, call (843) 556-6020.

The Ghosts of Charleston
(843) 723-1670 or (800) 854-1670
Visitors can take a unique tour of haunted Charleston, led by local supernatural researchers. Among the ghostly sites are several haunted bed & breakfasts. The cost is $14 for adults, $8 for children, and tours are available at 5 p.m., 7:30 p.m. or, as the brochure states, at 9:30 p.m. 'under the veil of darkness, (insert evil laugh here).'

The tour may not be appropriate for children under 10.

Charleston was the site of the first U.S. golf course, established in 1786. Two centuries later, there are many, many courses. Several of which are ranked as top golfing picks by the likes of Golf magazine and Golf Digest.

For a guide to Low Country golfing, call Charleston Golf, Inc. at (800) 774-4444.

Historic Homes
There are dozens of historic city homes, buildings and plantations in Charleston. For sites in historic Charleston, call the Historic Charleston Foundation at (843) 723-1623. Also check out the Charleston inns listed in, as many of the inns have fascinating histories. The Charleston Trident Convention and Visitors Bureau, (843) 853-8000, also has information about historic homes and Low Country plantations. One also can receive a hefty visitors packet from this bureau.

For more things to do in Charleston check out the visitor information provided by The Charleston Post and Courier at