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Five Reasons to Visit Charleston

Charleston has just been voted the friendliest city in America for the fourth year in a row and has seen its popularity flourish as a result.

I partnered with Expedia to showcase the following five reasons you must visit the Southern city that embodies Southern hospitality at every turn. Whether you’re visiting for a weekend in Charleston or spending longer, you’ll love your time in this incredible city.

The Historic Downtown

Charleston’s Historic Downtown is strewn with candy-coloured antebellum mansions, each edged with palm fronds and immaculately manicured gardens. I recommend taking a horse and carriage tour along streets often referred to as the most romantic in America before touring some of the area’s historic merchant mansions and plantations.

I also recommend Boone Hall Plantation, one of America’s oldest working plantations. The Georgian style main house sits at the top of a spectacular entrance driveway, and you can explore eight original slave cabins for an insight into the lives of those who worked the plantation in the antebellum era.

The Food

Charleston has developed a booming restaurant scene, and you could spend a whole week in the city and still not enjoy everything it has to offer its foodie fans. If you’re looking for an authentic slice of America’s Deep South dining, I recommend grabbing a bowl of She Crab soup, Charleston’s signature dish.

Alternatively, head to one of the city’s many bistros for the most incredible lowcountry cuisine. Shrimp and grits, seafood brought in fresh each day by the Charleston fleet, juicy chops, and baked mac-n-cheese appear in various irresistible interpretations throughout the city.

The Shopping

The best shopping in Charleston’s is in the Historic District, and Old City Market is one of America’s oldest markets. Established in 1804 and leased under the condition that it must never serve as anything other than a market, the historic complex is at the heart of the city.

King Street is regularly named one of America’s best shopping streets, and this quaint shopping mecca provides everything from independent fashion boutiques and vintage treasure troves to delectable patisseries and antique dealers. You can shop here for the world’s biggest fashion designers, though the best way to spend an hour is to watch the world go by while enjoying some local coffee and cake.

The Scenery

The best way to take in Charleston’s stunning scenery and sunny disposition is with a harbour cruise. The Schooner Pride is the most authentic of them all, modelled on the 18th century coastal trading schooners that used to populate Charleston’s harbour. You can choose either afternoon or sunset sailing or even see the city lights during a moonlit cruise.

I love watching dolphins race alongside the bow of the ship as it passes the pastel mansions of Charleston’s historic Battery. It’s great to follow up with a visit to Fort Sumter, a monument commemorating the first shots of the American Civil War. You can also sail beneath the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge – one of the longest cable bridges in the Western Hemisphere.

The Location

Charleston serves as the perfect starting point for a Caribbean cruise and is one of the most popular ports of call on Caribbean itineraries. An overnight stay in the Charleston gives visitors the opportunity to experience this vibrant city when it comes alive at night.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: pspechtenhauserRon CogswellRon Cogswell

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