How to Best Explore the Holy City of Charleston SC?

How to Best Explore the Holy City of Charleston SC The Enterprise World

There is a reason several tourist websites like Travel and Leisure have included Charleston SC in their top cities list. Located on the Atlantic coast, the beauty of the “Holy City” captivates you instantly with its rich history, culture, and southern heritage.

Now, we understand, all that piece of information may not be enough when traveling to Charleston, especially for first-time visitors. You’ll want to know all the best spots to eat, places to visit, and more, to truly seal the deal. 

Drum Rolls: We are here to help you do exactly that—ensure you have the best time in Charleston SC.

How to Navigate the City?

How to Best Explore the Holy City of Charleston SC? | The Enterprise World

Let’s be honest: Charleston’s Public transport is not something to write home about. While Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority (CARTA) is a good option in the metro area, it isn’t perfect either and you could face service issues.

Services you can obtain:

  • The DASH Trolley: Free downtown service that stops at major tourist attractions.
  • CARTA Fare Service:  Reach CHS Airport, Amtrak station, and Greyhound Terminals
  • Taxi or Cab Services: Downtown in Charleston SC has several walkable tourist spots. While Uber, Lyft, and other traditional taxi services are available in the entire city, you can also opt for services such as Bike Taxi, Rickshaws, or Pedicabs.
  • Bikes: Despite the availability of bike rentals like Afordbike and Holy Spokes, the area isn’t ideal for bikes. Reason? The construction, traffic (vehicles + pedestrians). 

Beyond that, why we wouldn’t recommend biking here because it’s a tourist area. Many tourist drivers and pedestrians are first-time visitors who are unfamiliar with the routes and might move in an unpredictable manner, causing chaos.

How is the climate?

The city is generally associated with humidity and sub-tropical climate—hot summers and mild or cool winters. The city was built on a former marshland. Unfortunately, that also makes it prone to floods. We recommend this flood-prone map that would help you avoid roads during heavy or sudden rains, especially in downtown in Charleston SC.

In extremely hot temperatures, we recommend carrying a bug spray to tackle mosquitos and other flying creatures of that sort. The area can also be vulnerable to Hurricanes and tropical storms—make sure you check the forecast in advance.

Best Season to visit Charleston

While you can visit the city at any time of the year, here are the specifics to help you pick the perfect moment


Hotel prices surge significantly during spring. One of the primary reasons for this price increase is the Spring Wedding Season and the heavy festival season. If festivals are your thing, you’re in for a treat—you can visit the Wine and Food Festival, Fashion Week, South Eastern Wildlife Expo, Piccolo Spoleto, and more.

The weekend of the Cooper River Bridge run is one of the busiest times. Moreover, there is also a flower-town festival in Summerville on the same weekend and other events like Cajun.


Naturally, beaches are the popular choice during the summer. You can set up basecamps as others or make trips across Charleston. Want to know the best beaches to visit? Let us tell you.

Best Beaches in Charleston SC

1. Kiawah Island

Whether with family or as a couple, you can have a relaxing time on this island on beaches spread across 10 miles. Kiawah also incorporates a world-class resort and a shopping village.

You can also explore:

  • Fishing
  • Nature Tours
  • Health & Wellness
  • Golf
  • Bicycle Rentals
  • Boating & Water Sports
  • Tennis

2. Folly Beach

How to Best Explore the Holy City of Charleston SC? | The Enterprise World

This is the closest beach to downtown. A perfect destination for a laid-back indulgence, this is a heaven for surfers and fishermen alike. Beyond that, there are also numerous restaurants, bars, and live music to enjoy.

You can also explore:

  • Kayaking
  • Sailing
  • Photography
  • Paddle-boarding

3. Sullivans Island

One of the best spots for seafood lovers, the island is located in the heart of the Harbor and next to the Isle of Palms. At Sullivans, you’ll be greeted with widespread beaches and watersports, history and folklore, and local restaurants and shops.

You can also explore:

  •  Kayaking 
  •  Sailing 
  •  Photography 
  •  Fishing
  •  Kiteboarding
  •  Paddleboarding

4. Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms, also known as IOP, usually caters to families and can be considered a toned-down version of the Folly. The beach offers abundant amenities. 

You can also explore:

  •  Golf 
  •  Kayaking
  •  Sailing
  •  Charter a Boat
  •  Photography
  •  Tennis
  •  Fishing
  •  Surfing
  •  Paddleboarding
  • Fall Hotel prices jump back up, as Charleston experiences a second Wedding season.
  • Winter: This is the off-peak season when the hotel and rental prices are reasonable or offered at a discount.

Unskippable Food Places

How to Best Explore the Holy City of Charleston SC? | The Enterprise World

While researching the food in the city, we came across this list by the Reddit user u/rjohnson182, which aptly sums up the food scene.

Fine Dining:

  • Splurge-worthy: Edmunds Oast, FIG, Chez Nous, Maison, Vern’s, R Kitchen


  • Highly Rated: 167 Raw, The Ordinary, Chubby Fish, Bowen’s Island, CodFather.


  • Casual: Little Jack’s Tavern, Paddock & Whisky, Felix, JL’s Southwest Brisket Burgers, Bar at Husk


  • High-End: Hall’s Chophouse, Oak Steakhouse


  • Sit-Down: EVO Pizzeria, Renzo
  • Take-Out: Park Pizza


  • Popular Spots: Lewis Barbecue, HomeTeam, King BBQ

Soul Food:

  • Classic Southern: Bertha’s, Nigel’s Good Food

Ethnic Cuisine:

  • Italian: Melfi’s, Indaco
  • Asian/Sushi: Jackrabbit Filly, Kanpai, Sushi Wa Izakaya, Xiao Bao Biscuit
  • Spanish Tapas: Malagon, Estadio


  • Quick Bites: Marina Variety Store, Waffle House
  • Sit-Down: The Daily, Millers All-Day


  • Trendy: Pink Cactus, Park & Grove


  • Breweries: Holy City Brewing, Coast, Commonhouse, Edmunds Oast Brewery, Westbrook, The Brew Cellar (beer bar)
  • Cocktails: Stems & Skins, Gin Joint, Proof
  • Wine: Stems & Skins, Bin 152, Bar Rollins
  • Coffee Shops: Orangespot, Kudu

Summing Up

From the religious tolerance that gave it the name “Holy City” to delicious cuisine and turquoise beaches, Charleston has something alluring for everyone’s taste—making it a must-visit tourist destination.

Also Read: Lakshadweep: A Hundred Thousand Islands

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