The list of reasons travelers rank Charleston as one of the top destinations in the country is quite extensive. Mild year-round weather, Southern hospitality, amazing history, and one of the most dynamic culinary scenes in the country. Just to name a few.
In addition to helping you explore the city’s most popular activities and attractions, our concierge team can arrange one-of-a-kind experiences—ones that guests typically would not find on their own. We asked our team to share a list of their favorite gems that they’ve planned for guests through the years.
1. A private walking tour of Charleston’s exclusive gardens in the historic district, by native author and expert, Louisa Pringle Cameron.
2. A tee time at either the Seabrook Island or Daniel Island Clubs, both which are closed to the public.
3. A private “behind-the-scenes” carriage ride at Middleton Place Plantation (reservations are not normally accepted).
4. A charter of the sailing yacht, The Fate, which is a privately owned 49-foot Beneteau that sleeps up to six people.
5. A private driving tour of “Little Jerusalem” by a member of Temple Beth Elohim, the oldest reform synagogue in the world.
6. An exclusive “behind-the-scenes” tour of the Calhoun Mansion.
7. Private tours of artists’ studios as well as introductions to the artists themselves.
8. A private historic district tour via bicycle with native authority Harlan Green—author of six books on Charleston history.
9. A morning or afternoon of horseback riding along the beach at Seabrook Island.
10. A private flying tour, either by Cessna or helicopter.
11. For a special occasion, a private dinner in a historic home with a famous local chef.
Have you enjoyed any of these hidden gems? What others would you recommend to locals or visitors? We would love to hear your thoughts!
There are few cities in the world that have preserved their past quite like Charleston. History abounds on every street corner with beautifully maintained architecture from houses and churches to historic sites and museums. Tucked away gardens and antebellum plantations dot the city like intricate seashells.
Finding a historic attraction is about as easy as finding a courteous local with a penchant for holding doors open. So put away your map, guide book and iPhone, and strike out for the first street you come to. Let a true sense of adventure light your way.
Based in the center of the historic district, Belmond Charleston Place is the perfect location from which to relive Charleston’s rich history. In our “Walkable History” series, we’ll do just that, sharing our favorite spots to see history come alive in Charleston. All within a short stroll from the doors of the hotel.
Charleston City Market
Located directly across from the hotel’s Meeting Street entrance, you’ll find the Charleston City Market—a historically significant landmark dating back to 1788. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney ceded the land where the Market is built to the City of Charleston under the stipulation that the land would forever be used as a public market.Construction was complete in 1807 and the buildings behind the Daughter’s of the Confederacy building were used to house meat, vegetable and fish markets. Butchers paid $2.00 for booth rental because the space was equipped with a marble slab to keep meat cold. Buzzards were nicknamed the “Charleston Eagle” because they were often found outside of the market begging for scraps.
Several years later the building was burned and not rebuilt until 1841. After the rebuilding, the market was used for Market Commissioner’s meetings, social functions and space rental underneath. Since 1970, the space has been used for arts, crafts and gourmet goods. The City Market saw it’s most recent renovation in 2011, enclosing the building and providing central heating and air.
While strolling the market you will find great shopping in booths such as the Charleston Angler, Gallery Chuma and The Historic Charleston Foundation. Restaurants such as Caviar and Bananas and Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit serve up delicious food and provide comfortable tables for weary shoppers. The Charleston City Market is a “must see” when visiting the city.
To learn more about the unique items you’ll find while strolling the Market, click here.
Photo credit: Charleston Museum Archives