Charleston welcomes you to discover rich American history on the United States’ eastern shoreline, from the grand manors of former plantation owners to horse-drawn carriages trundling down cobblestone streets. The city’s cosmopolitan side comes out within its downtown districts, while the coastal islands and communities offer dune-lined beaches and laid-back living.
With more than 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve discovered the best neighbourhoods and hotels in Charleston for visitors. From the historic sights of Mount Pleasant to the late-night dining in the French Quarter and the white-sand beaches on Seabrook Island, Charleston offers an array of options for a memorable holiday.
Located slightly east of Charleston, Mount Pleasant is a sprawling suburban town that showcases a range of South Carolina’s Civil War history through the Patriots Point military museum and old World War II naval vessels. The town centre of Mount Pleasant is a quaint hub of shopping, dining and entertainment, home to locally-run boutiques, international eateries and a cinema. Mount Pleasant also gives you easy access to Charleston’s beaches and islands and is only a short drive over Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge from Charleston’s city centre.
Must-Do Mount Pleasant Experiences
- Explore the World War II-era USS Yorktown in Patriots Point.
- Take the family to the nautical-themed playground at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park.
- Hire canoes or stand-up paddleboards from Nature Adventures to explore the waterways.
Top Hotels in Mount Pleasant
Located near Cooper River at Patriots Point, The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina is a haven of world-class Southern hospitality with its private beach, tropical-style pools and exclusive marina. You can also partake in on-site games and activities, such as bocce, life-size chess, volleyball, cornhole and crab hunting.
There are 125 waterside rooms to choose from, including traditional and deluxe rooms and one and two-bedroom suites. All of these feature modern furnishings, flat-screen TVs and coffee makers and you can also upgrade to a room with a harbour view and balcony. On-site dining includes the Beach Club Tiki Bar and Charleston Harbor Fish House, while The Estuary Spa offers indulgent treatments.
- Patriots Point (500 metres)
- Vietnam Experience Exhibit (400 metres)
- Hog Island Trail and Observation Deck (850 metres)
Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 216 – USD 446
Guest Rating: 9.4
Address: 28 Patriots Point Rd, Mount Pleasant, Charleston, United States
The highly-rated SpringHill Suites by Marriott Charleston Mount Pleasant boasts contemporary all-suite accommodation. The suites offer configurations of one king-size bed or two queen-size beds and can be upgraded to include views of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. All suites come with a writing desk, mini fridge, coffee maker and an LCD TV.
The hotel offers a complimentary buffet breakfast, along with neighbouring restaurants, including Sticky Fingers Ribhouse and Graze Restaurant. You can work out in the fully-equipped fitness centre or swim in the outdoor pool.
- Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park (1.1 kilometres)
- Northcutt Plaza shopping mall (750 metres)
- Milton’s Ferry Tavern (500 metres)
Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 151 – USD 215
Guest Rating: 9.3
Address: 245 Magrath Darby Boulevard, Mount Pleasant, Charleston, United States
Charleston’s French Quarter is a small, but important slice of the city’s central core, blessed with some of the city’s most stunning mansions and historical sites. This atmospheric neighbourhood features a 200-year-old public market, a museum on the slave trade in Charleston and a handful of galleries and theatres. You’ll find lively restaurants within the French Quarter, many of which are lines out along East Bay Street.
Must-Do French Quarter Experiences
- Browse the food, art and craft vendors within the Historic Charleston City Market.
- Catch one of the community-run dramas, comedies or musicals showing at Footlight Players Theatre.
- Dine at the Parisian-inspired East Bay Meeting House, renowned for its tapas, poetry and late-night music.
Top Hotels in the French Quarter
The Spectator Hotel has a charming allure that transports you back to Charleston’s age of jazz music and Lowcountry culture. Timeless grandeur flows throughout this hotel, from the vintage-style lobby to the laid-back bar adorned in leather lounges and timber finishes. Considered one of the best hotels in the United States, The Spectator Hotel offers handcrafted cocktails in its speakeasy lounge and a prime central location.
The 1920s-era rooms capture the magic of Charleston’s glamorous past with marble bathrooms, soft linens and sun-drenched windows. All guests received a gourmet breakfast delivered to their door each morning. The Premier Balcony Suite is a picture of opulence with its furnished wraparound balcony and built-in armoire.
- Historic Charleston City Market (170 metres)
- Old Slave Mart Museum (350 metres)
- Famous Pineapple Fountain (450 metres)
Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 340 – USD 759
Guest Rating: 9.8
Address: 67 State Street, Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Experience 5-star luxury at Belmond Charleston Place, which features an on-site spa boasting rejuvenating treatments, jazz music and Southern cuisine in Charleston Grill and outdoor courtyard dining at The Palmetto Cafe. The elegant hotel can also help organise plantation tours, shopping trips and golfing.
Rest easy in your opulent room or suite, all of which have king-size beds and vintage-style furnishings. The one-bedroom suites have separate living rooms, dining tables and marble bathrooms, while the Presidential Suite has an additional walk-in closet, dressing area and wet bar. Upgrade to a Club Room or Club Suite for complimentary food and drinks in the two-storey Club Lounge.
- Historic Charleston City Market (75 metres)
- Gibbes Museum of Art (280 metres)
- Hyman’s Seafood (70 metres)
Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 304 – USD 722
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: 205 Meeting Street, Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Want to stay on the beach, but still be close to the city? The Isle of Palms is about 20 kilometres from Charleston’s city centre, yet still offers a tranquil coastal retreat with swaying palm trees, white-sand beaches, a golf course and marina. Nightlife centres around The Windjammer, a popular live music venue that also provides beach volleyball during the day. Tee off at the Wild Dunes Links Golf Course, explore the waterways around Pine Island using a kayak or canoe and discover the area’s inviting waterfront restaurants.
Must-Do Isle of Palms Experiences
- Catch a live gig on a Friday or Saturday night at The Windjammer.
- Kayak through the Intracoastal waterways or the marshland.
- Sunbathe and swim at the dog-friendly Isle of Palms Beach.
Top Hotels on the Isle of Palms
One of the main communities on the Isle of Palms, the 4-star Wild Dunes Resort By Destination Hotels is a truly unique holiday destination combining cosmopolitan dining and entertainment with coastal serenity and unbridled luxury. The resort offers eco activities and water sports, along with craft workshops, outdoor movies, kids’ events and championship-quality golfing.
The resort has different accommodation areas, such as The Boardwalk Inn, which offers modern rooms and suites with balconies and access to an adults-only pool and poolside cabanas. Stay at The Village at Wild Dunes for luxe rooms, three-bedroom suites and penthouse suites or rent a vacation home or condo on the beach.
- Morgan Creek Grill (1.4 kilometres)
- The Citadel Beach Club (300 metres)
- A Charleston Harpist live music venue (450 metres)
Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 227 – USD 609
Guest Rating: 8.3
Address: 5757 Palm Boulevard, Isle of Palms, South Carolina, United States
The Palms Oceanfront Hotel offers budget-friendly Isle of Palms accommodation near the area’s lively shopping, dining and entertainment area. You can save money on an interior-facing Traditional Guestroom or enjoy spectacular ocean vistas in an Oceanfront Balcony room. All the rooms feature king-size beds, timber finishes and large windows.
Along with a saline pool and sundeck, The Palms Oceanfront Hotel offers outdoor showers for beachgoers and a complimentary continental breakfast in the lobby breakfast bar. Located on Ocean Boulevard, the hotel is next to a pizzeria, ice-cream shop and late-night bar.
- The Windjammer bar and live music venue (150 metres)
- Isle of Palms County Park (270 metres)
- The Dinghy bar and restaurant (220 metres)
Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 206 – USD 367
Guest Rating: 7.1
Address: 1126 Ocean Blvd, Isle of Palms, South Carolina, United States
North Charleston provides more of a suburban feel with its wide streets, charming neighbourhoods and contemporary shopping and dining. This relaxed area also offers access to some of Charleston’s oldest plantations, a naval shipyard and peaceful waterside gardens. Looking for some retail therapy? Head to North Charleston’s outlet malls. Don’t forget to check out the Park Circle neighbourhood to explore the public square and grab a drink at one of the pubs or cocktail bars.
Must-Do North Charleston Experiences
- Admire historic artefacts and sculptures at the Greater Charleston Naval Base Memorial.
- Tour the Striped Pig Distillery and taste locally-made rum.
- Wander through the historic house and grounds at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.
Top Hotels in North Charleston
Conveniently located next to Charleston International Airport, the 4-star Crowne Plaza Charleston is blessed with inviting on-site facilities, including an outdoor swimming pool, fully-equipped fitness centre and a poolside patio with a fireplace. The on-site Sweetgrass Restaurant and Porch is perfect for a relaxed meal of tapas and wine.
All of the rooms and suites at Crowne Plaza Charleston feature modern decor, complimentary Wi-Fi and HDTVs. The 1 King Bed Leisure room has a king-size bed and work desk, while the 1 King Bed Executive Suite comes with the added luxury of a deep-soaking bath and a TV in the bathroom.
Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 117 – USD 159
Guest Rating: 8.5
Address: 4831 Tanger Outlet Boulevard, North Charleston, Charleston, United States
Budget-friendly luxury awaits at Holiday Inn Express Charleston North, which is close to the Charleston Southern University and various restaurants along University Boulevard. It’s the little things that matter here, such as complimentary breakfast, a pillow menu and high-speed Wi-Fi. You also have access to an outdoor pool, 24-hour fitness centre and gift shop.
The stylish and comfortable rooms boast blackout shades, hanging closets, bathtubs, mini fridges, flat-screen TVs and work desks. Business travellers will appreciate the on-site meeting room and business centre with a printer, copier and office supplies.
- North Charleston Wannamaker County Park (1.4 kilometres)
- Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark (1.2 kilometres)
- Cypress Hall (1.7 kilometres)
Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 128 – USD 153
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 8975 Elms Center Road, North Charleston, Charleston, United States
Downtown Charleston is where to find the city’s top shopping, dining and entertainment. The intersection of Market and Meeting streets is a great starting point for exploring international and local shops, Lowcountry restaurants and centuries-old buildings. Venture down towards the mouth of the Ashley River to discover the waterfront White Point Garden, Rainbow Row and the famous Calhoun Mansion. Don’t forget to indulge in Charleston’s exquisite seafood at restaurants along Hayne Street.
Must-Do Downtown Charleston Experiences
- Take a horse-drawn carriage tour past Charleston’s iconic manors, including the Edward McCrady House, Heyward-Washington House and Rainbow Row.
- Tour the neoclassical Nathaniel Russell House to see a wealth of vintage treasures.
- Dine on freshly-caught fish and crustaceans at Hyman’s Seafood, housed in a circa-1890 building.
Top Hotels in Downtown Charleston
French Quarter Inn is a charming boutique retreat in the heart of Charleston’s historic centre. The award-winning hotel welcomes you with champagne and warm cookies and milk, before treating you to evening wine and cheese receptions, a music and DVD library, all-day flavoured iced tea and complimentary bicycle rentals.
Immerse yourself in old-world luxury in the hotel’s unique suites, such as the Sleigh Bell Suite with Christmas decorations and a fireplace or the Grand Market View Terrace Full Suite with a fireplace, private terrace and deep-soaking bath. You can also opt for a Traditional Queen or Traditional King room with European linens and spa amenities.
- Historic Charleston City Market (55 metres)
- Edward McCrady House (350 metres)
- Rainbow Row (750 metres)
Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 241 – USD 651
Guest Rating: 9.9
Address: 166 Church Street, Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Hyatt Place Charleston – Historic District offers a modern twist to Charleston’s history-laden cityscape. The spacious rooms feature a configuration of one king-size bed or two queen-size beds. All of these contemporary holiday abodes come with separate living areas, work desks, sleeper sofas, flat-screen HDTVs and wet bars.
Don’t miss a meal at the on-site breakfast restaurant, which serves fresh fruit, bacon, eggs and Greek yoghurt. Stop by the 24/7 Gallery Market for salads, sandwiches and snacks to go before you go sightseeing. The hotel also has a cocktail bar, sprawling indoor pool and fitness centre.
- Historic Walking Tour (240 metres)
- Music Farm live music venue (550 metres)
- The Charleston Museum (700 metres)
Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 184 – USD 272
Guest Rating: 9
Address: 560 King Street, Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Looking for spectacular water views? Seabrook Island is an exclusive coastal haven with peaceful beaches, naturally resplendent marshland and a range of waterfront accommodations. Keen golfers can tee off on 36 championship-quality golf courses, while foodies will love the variety of gourmet restaurants. You’ll also find a range of family activities, including horse riding, communal swimming pools and tennis courts.
Must-Do Seabrook Island Experiences
- Swim, sunbathe and picnic at Kiawah Beachwalker Park.
- Pair Atlantic Ocean views with local seafood at The Palmetto Room.
- Shop for unique fashion, jewellery and art at Freshfields Village.
Top Hotels on Seabrook Island
Perfect for a golf or family holiday near the historic city of Charleston, the 5-star Kiawah Island Golf Resort prides itself on being a one-stop shop for dining, entertainment and luxury. Along with 90 championship-calibre holes of golf across five courses, the resort offers an on-site day spa, tennis courts, multiple pools, walking and fishing tours and more than 10 dining outlets.
The Sanctuary Hotel offers 255 comfortable rooms and suites, from the spacious Sanctuary Guestroom with a king-size bed, furnished balcony and marble bathroom to the extravagant Presidential Suite with sweeping Atlantic Ocean views, antique library and Jacuzzi. You can also stay in a variety of unique self-contained villas or splurge on a private residence.
- Night Heron Park (1 kilometre)
- Town Center Market (210 metres)
- Roy Barth Tennis Center (1 kilometre)
Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 154 – USD 653
Guest Rating: 8.7
Address: 12 Kiawah Beach Drive, Seabrook Island, South Carolina, United States
The stylish Andell Inn offers boutique Seabrook Island accommodation with villa-style studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites. These contemporary abodes feature fully-equipped kitchens, spacious living rooms and, in some, views of a tranquil lake. For the highest level of luxury, book the Presidential Suite.
All guests receive a complimentary American breakfast, while the Porch Bar & Restaurant serves Southern cuisine and signature cocktails. Work out in the on-site fitness centre or swim in the saltwater resort-style pool.
- Freshfields Village (350 metres)
- Bohicket Marina & Market (1.2 kilometres)
- King Street Grille (150 metres)
Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 283 – USD 392
Guest Rating: 9.6
Address: 300 Farm Lake View Road, Seabrook Island, South Carolina, United States
Charleston is truly blessed with its collection of inviting neighbourhoods and surrounding townships. These highlighted areas all offer a unique view of South Carolina, from the beautiful beaches and manicured golf courses to the centuries-old manors and outlet malls. The most popular Charleston hotels and resorts typically feature on-site dining, luxurious rooms and suites and prime locations for sightseeing.
Where do you want to stay in Charleston? Let us know in the comments.