The French Quarter and downtown areas are a great area to walk around and see the cities colorful houses, green and luscious alleys and courtyards, restaurants, and historical buildings. Some of the streets are even still made out of stone. It’s a beautiful area to walk around for a few hours.
Waterfront Park & Pineapple Fountain
The Waterfront Park is located on the northern side of Charleston right along the water. You can see cruise ships docked nearby, and watch boats come in and go out to the ocean. The park is beautifully landscaped with park benches and trees laid out in a very aesthetically pleasing manor. My favorite part was the pineapple fountain. Pineapples are the symbol of welcome, and they can be found throughout Charleston. Many of the souvenirs have pineapples on them as well.
White Point Garden
When I visited Charleston in 2019 for a bachelorette party, we had a private yoga lesson in the White Point Garden, which is the southern most point in Charleston. The park is filled with beautiful trees, and the yoga class was so peaceful.
Rainbow Row is a street downtown Charleston where the houses are painted as a Caribbean theme. There are several other theories on why the houses were painted these colors. I thought that they were beautiful. The first time I visited Charleston, my dog of 15 years died while I was there, and I stumbled across rainbow row on the same day. If you’ve lost a pet before, chances are you’ve heard of the Rainbow Bridge. This bridge is a mythical overpass said to connect heaven and Earth. Someone told this to me the day I visited there, and I thought it was a great coincidence. This row of houses will always be special to me.
Washington Square is a beautiful green garden in the middle of the French Quarter located right behind the city hall. There is a large statue of George Washington in the middle. The statue is made of Carolina gray granite, and it is a miniature version of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.
Charleston’s Historic Houses
John Rutledge House: The John Rutledge House is a very beautiful plantation.
McLeod Plantation: I did not get a chance to visit this house because it was a little ways outside of town, but it is a beautiful plantation where many weddings occur It was the headquarters of the Confederates during the Civil War for the battle of Charleston, and also served as a hospital.
Mongolia Plantation: Another beautiful plantation in Charleston that is quite a ways outside of the downtown. Magnolia was selected as one of “America’s Most Beautiful Gardens” (Travel + Leisure Magazine), and is the only garden honored with this distinction in the State of South Carolina.
St. Michaels Church: the oldest surviving religious structure, and it is located right across from Washington Square in the French Quarter. It was built in the 1750s, and it is a National Historic Landmark.
French Huguenot Church: very cute pink Protestant Church located on Church Street in the French Quarter. It was built in 1844, and it is also a National Historic Landmark. The church still holds regular services.
St. Philip’s Church: This church is also located on Church Street in the French quarter, and it was built in 1836. It is also a National Historic Landmark.
Restaurants and Bars
Magnolias: Magnolias restaurant is named after the Magnolia plantation. Everything we ordered from the menus was absolutely delicious, and the wait staff was very friendly and corky as well. It was a nice experience.
Pawpaw: Pawpaw is a new restaurant in the French Quarter. I visited during restaurant week, and I received a lovely 3 course meal for $35 where I what to select what I wanted for each course. I chose delicious butternut squash soup, mushroom pasta, and ice cream Sunday.
Butcher & Bee: For my friends bachelorette party, we went to the Butcher & Bee for brunch, and it was a really interesting brunch experience. The restaurant has a Mediterranean twist, so it was fun to see different types of brunch offerings.
Prohibition is a fun speakeasy type of bar that offers a Rustic-chic Modern atmosphere with creative cocktails & a Jazz Age theme.
The Vendue was the first art hotel in Charleston, and they have a really nice rooftop patio to visit during the summer.
Charleston Harbor Tour
We went on the Charleston Harbor boat tour, and we visited many of the famous and historical landmarks in the harbor.
Fort Sumter: One of Charleston’s most popular landmarks, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired
USS Yorktown: the famous World War II “Fighting Lady”
Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge: A state of the art span that accommodates the largest ships in the world. It is the third largest cable bridge in the Western Hemisphere.
For my friends bachelorette party, we stayed in a mansion called the Duvall House right downtown. This Victorian house has 5 bedrooms, and the architectural design represents the details common to the Charleston historic houses. It was funny because in all of the mansions around us, they were all filled with bachelorette parties.
The airport is located in North Charleston, and when we stayed there, we ate at a restaurant called Basico. It was a very cute modern restaurant that focuses on local grown foods. Everything we ordered was delicious. We wanted to try something that was not your typical chain. If you are staying near the airport, check this place out.
The first time I visited in 2017, I stayed at the Marriott North Charleston, and it was a very nicely renovated hotel. The rooms were very clean, modern, and comfortable. I would recommend staying at this hotel.
For my friends bachelorette party in 2019, we visited Charleston and stayed in Mount Pleasant for a night. The town is just north of Charleston, and it is the perfect beach location. The beaches are HUGE, and the houses that line the beach are beautiful.