How to Spend a Weekend in Charleston
If you’re planning a weekend in Charleston, you’ll find an array of fun things to do, such as historic sites, delicious dining, and spirited nightlife. Take a look at this suggested itinerary and ideas for spending 2 or 3 days in Charleston to find inspiration for how to enjoy a weekend in the city.
Friday evening begins your 72 hours in Charleston. You can start your night at Baker and Brewer, a beloved pizza restaurant and brewery with gourmet pies, salads, appetizers, and small plates, or Bourbon and Bubbles, a luxury restaurant and bar in a cozy space with small plates, gourmet entrees, and an excellent selection of cocktails and champagne.
To get a feel for the atmosphere of Charleston on your first night, you have to visit Pier 101 Restaurant & Bar. Located on the beachfront of the Folly Beach Pier, the restaurant boasts fresh seafood dishes, delicious cocktails, and live music overlooking sweeping ocean views. You could also take a SpiritLine Dinner Cruise, an indulgent multi-course dinner cruise with drinks and sunset views over the water.
The Husk Restaurant is another great option. The traditional Southern restaurant offers dishes using only ingredients from Southern farmers, as well as a progressive wine list, a large selection of Southern beers, and specialty cocktails. This is a great way to take in the local culture and heritage.
On Saturday morning, you’ll have 48 hours to explore the sights of Charleston. Start with breakfast at the Junction Kitchen & Provisions. It offers a full breakfast menu with classic dishes and unique twists on favorites, such as a doughnut sandwich with coffee-rubbed bacon and coffee dip.
The early morning or afternoon is a great time to visit some of the historic sites in the city, such as the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens or Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens. You’ll also like Waterfront Park, a popular green expanse with fountains and trails. For a little local history, visit the Fort Sumter National Monument, a sea fort that played a pivotal role in the Civil War.
When it’s time for lunch, you must try Grace and Grit. The classic Southern restaurant has a full menu of grits options, ranging from savory to sweet. If it’s your first time having grits, a Southern staple, you can try a sampler showcasing their most popular flavors.
Saturday Afternoon and Evening
After lunch, head to the Historic Charleston City Market, a landmark market that spans blocks with an array of stalls offering artisan goods. You’re sure to find a unique gift to take home with you.
For an artful dinner, visit Maison, an innovative French-style bistro with popular French dishes like foie gras, delicious desserts, such as crème caramel, and a wide selection of wines. If you prefer something more casual, Martin’s Bar-B-Cue Joint has an excellent selection of barbecue and some specialty dishes, such as the Brisket Burger and the Southern ‘Paddy’ Melt.
Saturday night in Charleston is when things really heat up. Start your night at the Rooftop Bar at the Vendue that draws in both locals and visitors with delicious food and specialty drinks with scenic views of the cityscape and coast. You may also enjoy dinner at Wild Common, a unique culinary experience with custom tasting, a la carte menus, and a wide range of cocktail options.
On Sunday morning in Charleston, you’ll have 24 hours left to take in the sights of the city. Grab breakfast or brunch at The Park Café, a classic breakfast spot with gourmet coffee options and delicious, hearty breakfast foods. You could also try Hannibal’s Soul Kitchen, a budget-friendly option with unique seafood breakfast dishes, such as salmon or shrimp and grits.
This is a good time to see some of the city’s notable museums and attractions. You can explore the Charleston Museum, which holds a huge collection of artifacts related to regional history, or Patriots Point, a military museum with Navy maritime relics.
In between sightseeing, grab a cozy Southern lunch at the Glass Onion. You can enjoy traditional Southern and seasonal specials in a laid-back environment, such as green tomato po’boys and shrimp stew with butterbeans. There’s also The CODfather, Proper Fish & Chips, a delicious traditional English restaurant that specializes in the beloved meal.
Sunday Afternoon and Evening
After lunch, you can work off your meal with a stroll through Rainbow Row, an iconic area with gorgeous pastel Georgian rowhouses. You should also visit the South Carolina Aquarium, a celebrated attraction with an array of colorful aquatic species.
On Sunday night in Charleston, you’ll have numerous options for how to spend the evening. Workshop is a popular upscale food court that offers a wide range of up-and-coming restaurants in a rotating schedule. There’s also Stella’s, a Greek restaurant with small plates of traditional fare and a cocktail program to get your night started.
After dinner, you can wind down your weekend by paddleboarding in the moonlight on a guided tour, taking a sunset cruise to watch for dolphins, or seeing a live show featuring high-profile music acts at the Music Farm. You’ll also like Shaggin’ on the Cooper which offers live music and local bands for a night of dancing on the Mount Pleasant Pier.
Ready for the perfect weekend getaway?
In just a few days, you can take in the historic charm, unique culinary culture, and welcoming atmosphere of Charleston. If you’re planning a weekend trip to this charming and vivacious Southern town, visit Expedia to check out Charleston vacations for ideas and options to help you organize your fun-filled getaway to this historic city!