Traveling Solo in Charleston, South Carolina
With its colorful houses, beautiful beaches and southern charm, I’ve heard people rave about Charleston, South Carolina for years. And because spring in Seattle is not so charming thanks to relentless rain, I decided to fly south and embark on a road trip through one of the most beautiful regions in the country, with a 4-day stop in Charleston on the route.
I flew into Chattanooga, Tennessee and began my road trip southeast through Georgia and eventually, South Carolina. If you’re in a position to drive instead of fly, I highly recommend it - the southern scenery is stunning and getting to drive through little towns and lush areas along the way really gave me a better feel of the region as a whole.
Where I Stayed
Zero George Street: Zero George is the perfect combination of modern luxury and old southern charm. This boutique hotel features spacious piazzas on every floor, complimentary bicycles, and its Zero Restaurant earned it a spot on Condé Nast’s list of top foodie hotels in the world.
86 Cannon: If you’re looking for something unique, the architectural style of 86 Cannon is spectacular. Each room is different, and while I can only speak for one, I think the Loft King is a must because of the shower: a glass, marble, and exposed brick feature centered in the very middle of the bathroom. It’s hands-down one of the coolest I’ve ever seen.
The Best Things I Did in Charleston
Hop on a trolley tour at the Charleston Tea Plantation: Owned by the Bigelow family, the Charleston Tea Plantation is a 40-minute drive outside of the city and features both factory and trolley tours showing how the tea is grown and made. I learned SO much, and I loved that it was a relatively low-cost activity for an afternoon of fun - the factory tour is free and the trolley tour is $14. If you hit the gift shop, definitely pick up a tube of their Glycerin Hand Therapy. I’m wishing I bought more!
Marvel at the size of the Angel Oak Tree: Estimated to be 400-500 years old, the Angel Oak Tree is a massive, sprawling oak that shades over 17,000 square feet . Entrance is free and there isn’t much else to do here other than look at the tree and snap some photos, so don’t plan an entire afternoon around it. However, it is near the Charleston Tea Plantation, so be sure to hit both in the same trip if you’re going that way.
Stroll Rainbow Row, The Battery, and Downtown: If you’re visiting Charleston, you’re probably already planning on spending some time downtown. Be sure to check out Rainbow Row, a series of multi-colored pastel homes, as well as the waterfront park. King St. is the place for big name shopping, but if you’re interested in local goods check out the historic Charleston City Market.
Watch the surfers at Folly Beach: Featuring the second longest pier on the east coast, Folly Beach is the spot to be if you’re looking for a day in the sand. You’ll see surfers in the water, fisherman on the pier, and loads of people spread out along the coast. And between surf shops, beach volleyball, and countless cafes, there’s lots of ways to spend an afternoon.
Sullivan’s Island: If you’re looking for a quieter beach scene, drive out to the Sullivan’s Island. With beautiful homes, a lighthouse, and small restaurants, it feels much more residential. Check out Poe’s Tavern while you’re there - it’s an Edgar Allen Poe themed restaurant!
I really enjoyed my time in Charleston - I think it’s the perfect spot for any trip: solo, honeymoon, or girls getaway. There’s lots to do and the city feels energetic while maintaining a laid-back southern vibe.
Have you been to Charleston? What was your favorite thing about it?
If you’re looking for a great photographer in the area, check out Belisia Rodriguez.