Any place that seamlessly blends black’s history, culture, food, and beautiful beaches is well worth a visit – especially if you’re looking for a socially distant getaway that doesn’t break the bank. The historic city of South Carolina has long been hailed as one of the most popular travel destinations in the South by locals and other parts of the United States. It is full of moss-covered oaks, picturesque squares and historical plantation museums that give it its picturesque flair. but exciting atmosphere is known for.
And with world-class restaurants and sandy beaches (hello Folly Beach) on par with neighboring islands of Hilton Head and Kiawah, Charleston is also hip enough to be the setting for your girls’ getaway, bait, or family vacation.
If you’re thinking of adding it to your list of places to visit, here’s a rundown of where to eat, sleep, and, perhaps most importantly, study our Story with your friends and loved ones.
Charleston is lively every day of the week (especially in summer) but if you visit on the weekend the energy can be felt. Once you arrive, you’ll want to drop off your luggage at the hotel before walking into town. It’s not uncommon for you to leave your car in the garage for a full day (maybe even longer) as the Charleston walkability means it doesn’t need to be moved (and you’ll still want to stop every 10 feet for photos). .
Belmond Charleston Place is the best choice for accommodation as it is known for its hospitality and charm. It’s in a prime location just off Meeting Street, within walking distance of all of the shops and many of the city’s most famous restaurants. Staying here and staying at the club level comes with many perks too – like the daily free spirits, snacks, and breakfast, not to mention the admiration for the hospitable staff and convenience.
No matter where you stay, Bourbon N Bubbles is the perfect first night stop to familiarize yourself with the city’s cocktail movement and classic southern tradition. And who doesn’t love bourbon? And still in a black company! It will take you days to sip your way through exclusive spirits and champagne names like Buffalo Trace, Schramsberg, Taittinger and smaller specialty brands.
The problem with dining in Charleston is that there is only to lots of restaurants to try out – but unfortunately that’s a big problem. For your first night on the town, stop by the neighboring restaurant (with the same black owner) Mesu, which is a Mexican and Asian fusion. The restaurant serves Mexican and sushi-inspired dishes, as well as inventive cocktails that accompany a unique list of tequila and sake flavors. This makes it the perfect nightcap after your day of travel in the city.
For your second day in Charleston, you’ll want to get up early and drink coffee and pastries to keep you refreshed Long Day of exploring the city. First of all, you want to see the city from the best of the best, and there is no one better than Alphonso Brown, Gullah Tours owner and operator and author of A Gullah guide to Charleston. The popular tours explore all of downtown Charleston with locations, history, and stories related to Black Charlestonians. Visit Denese Vesey’s home, Emanuel AME Church, Catfish Row, Old Slave Mart and the market. Learn about the Sweetgrass basket makers who sew their baskets, the slave quarters at Aiken Rhett House, the owners of black slaves and the blacksmith Philip Simmons.
You’ll want to take up the story further when you visit Mcleod Plantation. The McLeod Plantation covers more than 36 acres and has a riverside gazebo and avenue of oak trees, including the McLeod Oak, believed to be more than 600 years old. The plantation is open to tours and pays tribute to the enslaved Africans who have lived on the site since the 19th century. Among the many opportunities to learn about the relationships between those who lived and worked on the plantation, guests can tour houses built for enslaved families and view an exhibition of antiques that belong to former slave owners. Trust us, it is absolute Got to Visit.
Next, you’ll want to spruce up your food (and use it as an opportunity to gather your thoughts after visiting McLeod). Head to Rodney Scott’s Barbecue Place (another black-owned place) to enjoy his signature Hemingway whole pork grill, loved by locals and visitors alike. Rodney Scott’s runs an all-wood operation that cooks between eight and ten whole pigs a night to make roast pork, chicken, and turkey.
From there (after waiting in line for at least 30 minutes), board the Schooner Pride and see the Holy City skyline from the water for a harbor tour. Sail past the landmarks of the Civil War, the Barrier Islands, and the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America for this cruise through history and one of the most scenic ports in the country.
Looking for some old school charm over dinner? Hall’s Chophouse received the AAA Four Diamond Award and serves the best cuts in Charleston – from grass-fed filet mignon to dry-aged tomahawk ribeye. Slip into the bar for a Lucid Peach cocktail or take a break if you can’t make it in the evening. Head to the Gospel Sunday Brunch for live music and a steak omelette.
And on the late night tip, with Bull Dog Tours you want to take a look behind the scenes of the old town prison, where gruesome details and very dark ghost stories are told without a filter. And if all you want to do is dip your toe in the haunted pool, here are some haunted spots to explore on your own.
Up and with them! Your last day in Charleston brings you to the Magnolia Plantation. This 17th century estate, acquired by the Drayton family in 1676, offers a history tour that takes you through the history and lives of the enslaved people. While it’s very different from Mcleod, it’s important to consider all of the aspects of black history that shape the city of Charleston.
Your final stop in Charleston will take you to Leon’s Oyster Shop – a restaurant that was housed in a renovated garage. With a good vibe, a relaxed, casual atmosphere, and an exciting menu full of Lowcountry favorites, try the grilled oysters with parsley and parmesan and the fried chicken sandwich before heading to your next destination or home.