Concierge’s Top Hidden Things to do in Charleston

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Maybe your idea of the perfect vacation is charting the open seas on a 49-foot yacht with friends and family. Or perhaps challenging your culinary skills and spending an evening with a famous local chef is more your forte. Whatever it is that you wish to do during your stay in Charleston, the concierge team at Belmond Charleston Place is here to make it happen for you.

Our concierge are well-versed in all things Charleston and can offer recommendations on where to find the most savory Lowcountry cuisine, provide directions to Charleston’s grandest attractions and open doors to activities not typically offered to Charleston visitors. Here at Belmond Charleston Place, we would like to make your stay with us an unforgettable experience by helping you discover the charming, hidden parts of Charleston that are typically not otherwise open to the public. All you have to do is ask!

Below is a list of excursions we can arrange that guests may not find on their own.

For the gardener: Exclusive private walking tour of Charleston’s private gardens in the historic district, by native author and expert, Louisa Pringle Cameron.

For the golfer: Tee time at either the Seabrook Island or Daniel Island Clubs, both of which are closed to the public.

For the sailor: Charter of the sailing yacht, The Fate, which is a privately owned 49-foot Beneteau that sleeps up to six people.

For the theologist: A private driving tour of “Little Jerusalem” by Fran Bennett, including Temple Beth Elohim, the oldest reform synagogue in the world.

For the architectural enthusiast: An exclusive “behind-the-scenes” tour of the Calhoun Mansion.

For the romantic: A morning or afternoon of horseback riding along the beach at Seabrook Island.

For the adventurer: A private flying tour, either by Cessna or helicopter.

For the historian: Explore African-American history in the Lowcountry and the surrounding sea islands with a private Gullah driving tour.

For the foodie: Enjoy the top culinary destination in the nation with a personalized culinary walking tour of local restaurants and neighborhoods.

For a special occasion: Savor a private dinner in a historic home with a famous local chef.

Whether you’re the type of traveler to follow an adventurous itinerary or if your ideal vacation only requires a few beach chairs and catching up on some R&R, the concierge team at Belmond Charleston Place wants to make your stay in Charleston a journey like no other. Download our Concierge’s Top Hidden things to do in Charleston list here, see our sample itineraries for Charleston here, or call us at 843 722 4900 today to start planning your next unforgettable trip to Charleston!

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Fall Tour of Homes and Gardens

The Preservation Society of Charleston hosts the 36th Annual Fall Tours of Homes and Gardens through October 28th. The tours feature the opportunity to see beautifully appointed gardens and architecturally significant homes, churches and public buildings. Highlighting the best of American architecture, each tour highlights a unique neighborhood that represents Charleston’s flourishing culture from the Colonial era to the present. Most of the properties on tour are privately owned and are open to the public exclusively for this event.

Charleston BatteryEach tour is unique and offers the opportunity to explore different areas of the historic district. Guests can take in the panoramic views of the Charleston Harbor from the homes on East Battery, then continue to Lower Tradd Street to explore some of the city’s oldest architecture.  The Colonial and Georgian period dwellings located on Church Street and in the heart of the historic district are not to be missed. Take a stroll down Charlotte Street to view architectural influences from the Federal to the Greek Revival periods illustrated in the grand homes of the Mazyck-Wraggborough neighborhood.

Concierge Tip: Be sure to wear comfortable shoes since tours often cover six to eight blocks. Also, high heeled shoes are not permitted since they can damage wood floors.

East Battery of CharlestonThe tours take place each Thursday evening from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm All tours are self-paced walking tours held on the peninsula of Charleston within the city’s various historic neighborhoods. Trained volunteer guides will interpret the history, architecture and decorative arts of each property. Tickets are $45 per person, per tour and may be purchased through the Preservation Society of Charleston and by calling (843) 722-4630. Weekend passes are available.

Concierge Tip: Get your tickets early! Tours will sell out quickly.

Historic CharlestonThe Preservation Society of Charleston is the oldest community-based membership historic preservation organization in the United States. Founded in the 1920’s, the Society celebrates over 90 years of preserving and protecting the heritage and architecture of South Carolina’s oldest city. Proceeds from these tours further work in preservation, education, advocacy and planning to secure the future of Charleston’s unique and diverse heritage.

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Must-See Places In Charleston

We are frequently asked what are the “must see” places in Charleston, so Hidden Charleston recently asked our friend and travel writer, Amanda Keene, to tell us her favorite experiences from a recent stay at Charleston Place.


Rainbow RowDiscovering the city by horse-drawn carriage is one way to explore Charleston. The other way is on foot. I opted for the latter, and got up at dawn to view the city waking up.

How marvelous to be staying at Charleston Place Hotel, right in the center, with everything I wanted to see just steps away. Even better, I was staying on the exclusive Club Floor, where they’ve thought of everything.

So, as the first rays of light were filtering over the sky, I was filling my coffee cup and setting off to Waterfront Park. My route led past luxury stables where horses were being primped with treatments to rival those of the Charleston Place rooftop spa. On I walked, to a swing seat on a wooden jetty where I swayed to and fro sipping coffee as the sun came shimmering up over the Cooper River.

A couple of joggers sped by and a man cleared up fallen leaves from the giant magnolia trees, leaving pristine lawns beneath. But otherwise, I had the grand residences of The Battery and Rainbow Row to myself as I strolled on through the grid of streets. What an absolute pleasure to wander up and down, gazing into gorgeous gardens and at grand Georgian-style homes.

With less than a day to explore, I could do little more than scratch the surface of Charleston. Nathaniel Russel House But if you’re reading this and have similarly limited time, here are my highlights: two houses to visit and two tours to take.

1. Nathaniel-Russell House, 51 Meeting Street
Elegance, simplicity and a soaring staircase that spirals up through three floors with no visible means of support. The refined, classical style extends to its pretty garden. Image left, courtesy of Historic Charleston Foundation. Photographer: Rick Rhodes

2. Calhoun Mansion, 16 Meeting Street
Exuberant decor and a fascinating collection of art and artifacts cover every surface. A sense of history and extraordinary anecdotes add luster to this very lived-in home and theatrical garden.

3. Charleston Culinary Tour
A knowledgeable guide leads you through the streets surrounding Charleston Place, and introduces the city’s history through your palate. Includes stops at cafes and shops to sample grits, collard greens, pralines and other local foodie treats. Delicious, informative and huge fun.
Charleston Private Garden
4. A private garden tour 
A local expert escorts you through gardens, overgrown graveyards and leafy streets, pointing out plants and architectural features you’d otherwise overlook. You’ll dip into so many nooks and crannies you’ll almost feel like a Charleston resident by the end.


This Fall, Charleston Place has made it easy to discover the best of Charleston with the Holy City Adventure Package. Stay two nights and choose one of several specialty tours of Charleston, including a behind the scenes tour of the Calhoun Mansion or a Charleston Culinary Tour. No matter which tour you choose, all will offer a unique glimpse at Charleston’s historic past and vibrant culture.

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