It’s the spot Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds chose to get married in and is said to be experiencing something of a tourist boom – one look at Charleston, in South Carolina, and it’s easy to see why. Its world-famous charm is now being joined by boutique hotels, cool bars, must-visit restaurants and much more. Here’s some of the best places you can visit when in the city.
What to see in Charleston
Step back in time with a visit to Drayton Hall, one of the oldest plantation houses in the US, or meander along The Battery, marvelling at the stately antebellum mansions as you go. Sunseekers can rent vintage bicycles and pedal to Sullivan’s Island to stretch out on one of the wild little beaches. And when the light starts to dwindle, head to the pier to soak in the fantastic sunset vistas.
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Where to stay in Charleston
Seriously elegant with envy-inducing interiors, Zero George is one of Charleston’s most sought-after stays. Only a few streets away from the harbour and a stone’s throw from the shops, eateries and bars of King Street, this thoughtfully restored gem is home to a cracking restaurant, while the bedrooms, with their double-height ceilings, silky-soft linens and heartpine floors, are a breath of fresh air. After enjoying all the city has to offer, mooch back to the hotel for an expertly mixed G&T on the lantern-lit veranda.
What to eat in Charleston
Perch in the garden at 167 Raw to devour the butteriest lobster rolls in the city, try achingly chic Juliet for superbly executed Italian classics – imagine braised short rib agnolotti and Genovese pesto pizza – and sup a high-octane cold-brew coffee at the health-conscious Harbinger Cafe. For sinfully good treats, stop at Sugar Bakeshop for cupcakes and cookies.
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Where to shop in Charleston
Charleston’s cobblestone lanes are lined with all manner of independent boutiques. With its shelves of notecards and journals, Mac & Murphy on Cannon St is a stationery geek’s dream and Hampden Clothing on King Street is the spot to pick up breezy dresses from the likes of Isabel Marant, as well as beach- ready Lack of Color boaters.