ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Weekend in Charleston

Updated on October 29, 2014

Heading downtown

Stepping back in history for a weekend in Charleston, South Carolina means that you can enjoy a slower pace with all the Southern style. I recommend planning a long weekend in order to have plenty of time to explore this charming city and appreciate some of the nearby activities.

The city of Charleston is surrounded by a combination of islands (James, John's, Daniel) so if you are driving, be prepared to cross the many bridges in the area. The center of Charleston or the downtown area serves as a good starting point. The first impression of the downtown area is that it is dotted with churches and parks. Marion Square is featured on the map below and you will find it at the intersection of King Street and Calhoun. Parallel to King Street is Meeting Street with several house museums that were built in the early 1800's as well as the Charleston Area Visitor Center. Grab your morning coffee and head out for the sites.

King Street is a great place for a walking tour of the old historic homes plus the many antique shops and restaurants that offer a variety of tastes. You will find a free trolley service serving the downtown area if the walking distance is not manageable.

Places to explore

Hotel History

My recent visit included a stay at the historic Francis Marion Hotel. Named after the famous Revolutionary War General also known as the “Swamp Fox”, who later served as a senator for South Carolina. The hotel was opened in 1924 and still stands as a grand hotel carrying the elegance of its time. The hotel is 12 stories high and offers some terrific views of the harbor and parks nearby. The hotel faces Marion Square which is the center of activity for many downtown events such as the farmers market.

Foods and local flavors

The Southern cuisine could fill up more than just a weekend by exploring such restaurants as Cru Cafe' and the Charleston Grill. If you are short on time and want to combine a tasty meal with some food souvenirs, then try an afternoon at Southern Season. This culinary store is located at 730 Coleman Blvd. in Mount Pleasant, a short 10 minute drive from downtown Charleston.

Southern Seasons is a great stop for gourmet food gifts, cooking classes and a full selection of coffee, teas and beer and wine. In addition to the shopping list, stop and have lunch at Southerly Restaurant and head for the patio seating. There is a full menu of southern favorites offered by Chef Chad Billings plus the relaxing garden setting will help you recoup from all that site seeing.

This "culinary mega" originated in 1975 with its first store in Chapel Hill, NC and fortunately has expanded to Charleston. Future store expansions will include the cities of Charlotte, NC and Raleigh, NC. The store and restaurant will give you a sweet break along with an opportunity to select some gifts to bring home such as a local favorite Benne Wafers (crisp cookie wafers).

Farmers Market

During the months of April through November there is a Saturday Market held at Marion Square from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Food vendors and artisans fill the sidewalks surrounding the park and there is live music and a play area for children. Fresh produce, bakery goods, scented soaps are just a few of the homemade treats. There is something for everyone, including treats for the family dog. Admission is free and there is plenty of food to sample while you shop.

Kiawah Island

If you have a rental car and want to extend your exploration, there are several beach locations to explore such as Folly Beach and Kiawah Island. This will be about a 25-30 minute drive from the downtown area and is a golfers mega. Check the link above for events and other activities, there are plenty of shops and restaurants in the area after you enjoy the beach time.

Next time

Since this first visit was just a weekend trip, many of the local sites that we missed will have to fit into the future. For example, there should be a visit to Fort Sumter and The Citadel for history buffs as well as a tour of The Charleston Tea Plantation.

View from the hotel

view from the Francis Marion Hotel
view from the Francis Marion Hotel | Source

Charleston downtown


Have you visited Charleston?

See results

Planning your trip

must do list
for the weekend
for the week
Morgan Creek Grill
Kiwah Island
Cooking class
Saturday Market


Farmers Market at Marion Square
Farmers Market at Marion Square | Source

Kiawah Island

beach time on Kiawah
beach time on Kiawah | Source

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)