3-Day Food, Wine, and Shopping Escape in Charleston for Couples

Charleston, South Carolina

3 days

Eerie trees at the Boone Hall plantation
Broad Street with St. Michael's church
Pineapple fountain
College of Charleston main building
Colorful buildings at the Rainbow Row

About Charleston, South Carolina

Experience the charm of the South in Charleston, South Carolina. This historic city is a treasure trove of American history, with well-preserved antebellum mansions, cobblestone streets, and iconic landmarks like Fort Sumter. Explore the vibrant downtown area, indulge in Southern cuisine, and enjoy the lively arts scene. Take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque Battery Park or visit the bustling City Market for local crafts. Don't miss the stunning plantations and gardens, particularly the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, known for its beautiful blooms. Charleston's coastal location also offers beautiful beaches and water activities. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and southern hospitality, Charleston provides a unique and unforgettable travel experience.

3-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring the Historic and Art Districts

Morning

Start your day with a leisurely stroll around the Historic District, where you'll find a plethora of charming boutiques and antique shops. This area is known for its beautifully preserved architecture, so take your time to admire the stunning buildings.

Lunch

Enjoy a lunch at a local café, where you can sample some of the city's famous southern cuisine. Try a classic dish like shrimp and grits or fried green tomatoes.

Afternoon

After lunch, head to one of the city's many art galleries. Here, you can appreciate the works of local artists and perhaps even pick up a piece to remember your trip by.

Dinner

For dinner, indulge in a fine dining experience at a restaurant specializing in farm-to-table cuisine. Enjoy a glass of local wine as you savor the flavors of the Lowcountry.

Evening

End your day with a romantic walk along the Waterfront Park, taking in the beautiful views of the harbor and the city's iconic Pineapple Fountain.

Morning

Begin your second day with a visit to a local farmers market. Here, you can sample fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, and homemade baked goods.

Lunch

For lunch, head to a seafood restaurant for some fresh, local catch. Charleston is known for its seafood, so this is a must-do for food lovers.

Afternoon

Spend your afternoon exploring one of the city's historic plantations. Take a guided tour to learn about the history of the plantation and its role in the city's past.

Dinner

Dine at a rooftop restaurant in the city center, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city while savoring a delicious meal.

Evening

After dinner, take a ghost tour of the city. Learn about Charleston's haunted history as you explore its most eerie locations.

Morning

On your final day, visit a local winery. Take a tour of the vineyard, learn about the winemaking process, and of course, sample some of their finest wines.

Lunch

Enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the city's beautiful parks. Pick up some sandwiches and salads from a local deli and relax in the great outdoors.

Afternoon

Spend your afternoon shopping at one of the city's upscale shopping districts. Here, you'll find a range of high-end boutiques and designer stores.

Dinner

For your final meal, dine at a restaurant offering a fusion of Southern and international cuisines. Pair your meal with a cocktail made from local spirits.

Evening

End your trip with a visit to a jazz club. Enjoy the smooth sounds of live jazz as you reflect on your wonderful trip to Charleston.

Attractions in Itinerary (2)

Historic District

1
Historic District

A walkable area filled with historic buildings, churches, and homes.

Attractions
Cultural Experiences
Architecture
Neighborhoods
Waterfront Park

2
Waterfront Park

A beautiful park with fountains, a pier, and stunning views of the Charleston Harbor.

Parks
Attractions

Local Food and Drinks (12)

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits

A classic Southern dish, Shrimp and Grits is a must-try in Charleston. It consists of shrimp sautéed with bacon, garlic, and green onions, served over creamy grits.

She-Crab Soup

She-Crab Soup

A rich and creamy soup that's a Charleston specialty. It's made with blue crab meat, crab roe, and a blend of seasonings, offering a true taste of the South Carolina coast.

Lowcountry Boil

Lowcountry Boil

Also known as Frogmore Stew, this one-pot dish includes shrimp, corn on the cob, sausage, and potatoes. It's a communal meal that's a staple at Charleston gatherings.

Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese

Often referred to as the 'caviar of the South', Pimento Cheese is a spread made with cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, and pimentos. It's a popular appetizer in Charleston.

Chicken Bog

Chicken Bog

A traditional South Carolina dish, Chicken Bog is a hearty meal made with chicken, rice, and sausage. It's a staple in Charleston and throughout the Lowcountry.

Sweet Tea

Sweet Tea

Sweet Tea is a quintessential Southern drink. It's black tea sweetened with sugar and served over ice. In Charleston, it's often enjoyed on a hot day or with a meal.

Hoppin' John

Hoppin' John

A traditional New Year's dish in Charleston, Hoppin' John is made with black-eyed peas, rice, and pork. It's said to bring good luck for the coming year.

Benne Wafers

These thin, crispy cookies are a Charleston tradition. Made with sesame seeds (benne), they have a unique flavor and are often enjoyed as a sweet treat after a meal.

Boiled Peanuts

Boiled Peanuts

A popular snack in Charleston, Boiled Peanuts are raw peanuts boiled in a salty brine. They have a unique, soft texture and are often enjoyed at sporting events or festivals.

Collard Greens

Collard Greens

A staple side dish in Charleston, Collard Greens are slow-cooked with ham hocks and spices until tender. They're often served with cornbread to soak up the flavorful cooking liquid.

Oyster Roast

Oyster Roast

A traditional Charleston event more than a dish, an Oyster Roast involves steaming oysters over an open fire. It's a communal meal that's a staple at Charleston gatherings.

Champagne of the South

Also known as Blenheim Ginger Ale, this spicy, sweet drink is a South Carolina original. It's often enjoyed as a mixer or on its own for a refreshing treat.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Charleston, South Carolina as a tourist is during the spring season, from March to June. During this time, the weather is warm but not too hot, making it perfect for exploring the city's historic sites, beautiful gardens, and beaches. The city also hosts several popular events during these months, including the Charleston Wine + Food Festival in March and the Spoleto Festival USA in May and June. However, it's worth noting that spring is also the peak tourist season in Charleston, so you may encounter crowds at popular attractions and higher hotel rates. If you prefer a quieter and more affordable visit, consider traveling in the fall, from September to November. The weather is still pleasant, and the city is less crowded.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1

Mon

New Year's Day

January 15

Mon

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

February 19

Mon

Presidents' Day

May 27

Mon

Memorial Day

June 19

Wed

Juneteenth

July 4

Thu

Independence Day

September 2

Mon

Labor Day

October 14

Mon

Columbus Day

November 11

Mon

Veterans Day

November 28

Thu

Thanksgiving Day

December 25

Wed

Christmas Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Charleston is a very walkable city, especially the downtown area. It's a great way to take in the beautiful architecture and historic sites.

There are several bike rental companies in Charleston. The city is bike-friendly with plenty of bike lanes and paths.

Renting a car is a good option if you plan to visit areas outside of downtown Charleston. However, parking can be difficult in the city center.

Uber and Lyft operate in Charleston. This can be a convenient way to get around, especially if you're traveling in a group or have a lot of luggage.

Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) operates buses throughout the city. There's also a free downtown shuttle called the DASH.

Taxis are available, but may be more expensive than rideshares. They can be hailed on the street or booked in advance.

For a unique and historic way to see the city, consider a horse-drawn carriage tour. These tours often provide a narrated history of Charleston.

The Charleston Water Taxi operates between downtown and Mount Pleasant. It's a fun way to see the city from the water and visit attractions like the USS Yorktown.

A fun group activity, pedal pubs are a unique way to tour the city. You pedal a multi-person bike while enjoying drinks and music.

Electric scooters are available for rent throughout the city. They're a fun and fast way to get around, but be aware of traffic and pedestrian rules.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency$ USD

Time zoneUTC-5

Driving sideRight

Emergency phone911

Drinking waterYes

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type B

Voltage120 V

Things to know about Charleston, South Carolina as a first time visitor

1

Charleston is known for its hot, humid summers and mild winters. The average high temperature in the summer is around 90°F (32°C), while in winter it averages around 60°F (15°C).

2

Charleston is a very walkable city, so comfortable shoes are a must. Many of the city's attractions are within walking distance of each other.

3

The city is known for its Southern hospitality. Locals are generally very friendly and welcoming to tourists.

4

Charleston is a foodie's paradise. Be sure to try local specialties like shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, and Lowcountry boil.

5

Charleston is a coastal city, so be prepared for occasional hurricanes and tropical storms, especially during hurricane season from June to November.

6

The city is rich in history, so consider taking a guided tour to learn more about its past. There are many walking, carriage, and ghost tours available.

7

Charleston's beaches are a big draw. Don't forget to pack your swimsuit, sunscreen, and beach towel.

8

The city has a vibrant arts scene. Check out the local galleries, theaters, and music venues.

9

Charleston is a great city for shopping, with many unique boutiques and antique shops.

10

The city has a relaxed, laid-back vibe. Take your time to soak it all in.

11

Charleston is known for its beautiful gardens. Visit during the spring to see them in full bloom.

12

The city has a strong preservation ethic, so many of its historic buildings and sites are well-preserved.

13

Charleston is a popular destination for weddings and other special events. Be aware that some attractions may be closed for private events.

14

The city has a diverse nightlife scene, with many bars, clubs, and live music venues.

15

Charleston is home to many festivals and events throughout the year. Check the local calendar for any that might coincide with your visit.

16

Public transportation is available, but many tourists find it more convenient to rent a car or use a ride-sharing service.

17

Charleston has a subtropical climate, so pack lightweight, breathable clothing.

18

The city is a popular destination for golfers, with many top-rated golf courses in the area.

19

Charleston is a great city for outdoor activities, with many parks, trails, and water sports available.

20

The city is known for its beautiful architecture. Don't forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning buildings and streetscapes.

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Sleepwear

  • Swimsuit

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Flip flops

  • Sunglasses

  • Hat for sun protection

  • Light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings

  • Toiletries

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Sunscreen

  • Lip balm with SPF

  • Makeup and makeup remover

  • Hairbrush or comb

  • Prescription medications

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Valid ID or driver's license

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash

  • Health insurance card

  • Hotel and car rental reservations

  • Emergency contact information

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone and charger

  • Headphones

  • Camera and charger

  • Portable power bank

  • Travel adapter (if needed)

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Snacks for the journey

  • Water bottle

  • Travel guidebook for Charleston

  • Umbrella or rain jacket

  • Reusable shopping bag

  • Travel pillow and blanket

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Face masks

Weather Conditions

Charleston, South Carolina is known for its warm, humid climate. The city experiences hot summers and mild winters, making it a popular destination for tourists year-round. During the summer months, from June to August, temperatures can reach highs of around 90°F (32°C). It's also the city's rainiest season, so it's recommended to pack light, breathable clothing, a hat, sunscreen, and an umbrella or raincoat. Remember to stay hydrated as the humidity can be quite high. In the fall, from September to November, the weather becomes more comfortable with temperatures ranging from 70°F to 80°F (21°C to 27°C). This is a great time to visit as the city is less crowded and the weather is perfect for outdoor activities. Winter, from December to February, is mild with temperatures usually ranging between 40°F and 60°F (4°C to 15°C). It's the driest season, but occasional rain showers can occur, so it's advisable to pack a light jacket and an umbrella. Spring, from March to May, is a beautiful time to visit Charleston. The temperatures are comfortable, ranging from 60°F to 80°F (15°C to 27°C), and the city is in full bloom. However, spring can also be quite rainy, so don't forget your umbrella. Regardless of when you visit, always check the local weather forecast before your trip to ensure you're prepared for any unexpected weather changes. Enjoy your visit to Charleston!

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview

January

18° / 4°

January is the coldest month in Charleston, but it's still relatively mild with an average high of 18°C. It's a great time to visit if you prefer cooler temperatures.

February

20° / 6°

February sees a slight increase in temperature, with highs reaching up to 20°C. It's a good time to visit for those who enjoy mild winter weather.

March

24° / 10°

March marks the beginning of spring in Charleston, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 24°C. The weather is pleasant, making it a good time for outdoor activities.

April

28° / 14°

April is a beautiful month in Charleston with temperatures averaging between 14°C and 28°C. The city is in full bloom, making it a perfect time for sightseeing.

May

32° / 18°

May is warm with temperatures reaching up to 32°C. It's an ideal time to visit the beaches and enjoy water activities.

June

36° / 22°

June is the start of summer in Charleston with high temperatures averaging 36°C. It's a great time to enjoy the city's outdoor festivals and events.

July

38° / 24°

July is the hottest month in Charleston, with temperatures reaching up to 38°C. It's a perfect time for beach visits and enjoying the city's vibrant nightlife.

August

38° / 24°

August continues the summer heat with temperatures similar to July. It's a great time to explore the city's historical sites and enjoy outdoor dining.

September

34° / 20°

September marks the end of summer with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 34°C. It's a good time to visit for those who prefer less crowded tourist spots.

October

28° / 14°

October brings cooler temperatures, ranging from 14°C to 28°C. It's a perfect time to enjoy the city's fall foliage and outdoor festivals.

November

24° / 10°

November is a mild month with temperatures averaging between 10°C and 24°C. It's a great time to explore the city's historical sites and enjoy the fall colors.

December

20° / 6°

December is a cool month in Charleston with temperatures ranging from 6°C to 20°C. It's a good time to enjoy the city's holiday festivities and mild winter weather.

Did you know?

Did you know that Charleston, South Carolina is the oldest city in the state, founded in 1670?

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