From a cutting-edge culinary scene to many refi ned shopping options—and all the history in between—discover why Charleston, S.C., just gets better with age.
Check into The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina (weekend rates from $427 per night, 20 Patriots Point Road, Mount Pleasant, 843.856.0028, charlestonharborresort.com), the new luxury 92-room boutique hotel on the waterfront. Take in the view of historic downtown on your private balcony or attend a class on how to host the perfect Southern party with Suzanne Pollak, dean of the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits, who has partnered with the hotel for a variety of lessons. Afterward, drive to Sullivan’s Island for a sunset walk on the beach and dinner at The Obstinate Daughter (2063 Middle St., Sullivan’s Island, 843.416.5020, theobstinatedaughter.com). Try the William Moultrie (gin, cucumber water, Key lime and grapefruit juices, and basil) and then dive into one of the chef’s homemade pastas.
Start your morning in the historic district with coff ee and pastries at Black Tap Coff ee (70.5 Beaufain St., 843.793.4402, blacktapcoffee.com). For a glimpse of how the merchant elite lived in America’s earliest days, tour neoclassical masterpiece Nathaniel Russell House Museum (51 Meeting St., 843.724.8481, historiccharleston.org). Founded in 1748, the Charleston Library Society (164 King St., 843.723.9912), one of the oldest subscription libraries in the country, has been in its home since 1914. Don’t miss the Gibbes Museum of Art (135 Meeting St., 843.722.2706, gibbesmuseum.org), whose current exhibits include a stunning look at the still-vibrant 18th-century watercolors of American wildlife by Mark Catesby, through Sept. 24.
Refuel after your history lessons with lunch and drinks at Charleston’s newest luxury hotel, Th e De wberr y (334 Meeting St., 888.550.1450, thedewberrycharleston.com). Austinites will feel at home when they see the President Lyndon B. Johnson plaque on the wall of the 1960s former federal building. Henrietta’s, the hotel’s brasserie, off ers divine gougeres with chicken liver mousse and Parisian gnocchi.
Among the retail delights along King Street, you’ll find Ibu Movement (183 King St., 843.327.8304, ibumovement.com), a design studio and showroom featuring luxurious garments by female artisans from 30 countries, as well as a collection designed by actress Ali MacGraw. Craving a souvenir? Just off King, stock up on Charleston rice bead necklaces at Candy Shop Vintage (9 Cannon St., 843.737.4289, candyshopvintage.com).
End your visit at one of this culinary capital’s best-regarded restaurants, FIG (232 Meeting St., 843.805.5900, eatatfig.com), helmed by James Beard Awardwinning chef Jason Stanhope. Although reservations are recommended a month out, show up at 5pm for a seat at the bar, and you might get lucky.