One of the most historic and visually impressive towns in all of South Carolina, Charleston is quite simply a must-visit location for anyone interesting in American history, beautiful buildings, great food, and more. It’s a superb tourist destination and part of what makes the city of Charleston so great is how it can appeal to so many kinds of people. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Overview

Overview
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Whether you’re a history buff or a natural lover, Charleston has something to offer. It’s also a great spot to visit if you’re interested in ecotourism or outdoor activities of all kinds, boasting some of the best kayaking locations and tours in all of South Carolina. Charleston famously has the Atlantic Ocean right next door, offering incredible potential for sea kayaking, while also playing home to some beautiful rivers, lakes, and creeks as well.

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2.Best Kayaking Spots in Charleston

Best Kayaking Spots in Charleston
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There are multiple great kayaking locations to check out all around Charleston and you don’t need to leave the city limits to enjoy some superb kayaking adventures and expeditions. Kayaking can be enjoyed right in the center of the town at any time of year. Many people wrongly assume that sea kayaking is the best option at Charleston, but the city’s creeks actually provide some of the more varied and fun kayaking experiences in South Carolina. With that in mind, here are a couple of Charleston’s top kayaking locations. Things to Do in Charleston

· Folly Creek

With a seemingly endless array of tributaries and areas to explore, Folly Creek is undoubtedly one of the prettiest places in all of Charleston, and with so much water all around, it's clear that the very best way to explore this area is by kayak. Seasoned kayakers will love the twists and turns of the creek as they navigate the tight waterways and discover their new favorite spots. Meanwhile, inexperienced kayakers can simply let themselves float along the wider waterways and appreciate the impressive scenery in either direction.

Folly Creek offers a great range of kayaking routes for you to uncover and several kayaking companies offer guided tours in this area too. Morris Island is a must-visit location along the way, and there are all sorts of wildlife you might happen to spot as you paddle along including turtles, dolphins and many different kinds of birds.

· Shem Creek

The second of Charleston’s super kayaking creeks, Shem Creek is generally classed as the best kayaking spot the city has to offer. It’s not far away from the center of town and is a real congregation spot for locals and tourists alike. With live music and a whole host of restaurants lining the shoreline, there’s nothing better than enjoying an afternoon of kayaking with friends or family before coming ashore for some fine dining.

Shem Creek lets you enjoy both the rural and urban sides of Charleston, offering views of the city’s skyline while also offering some tranquil, natural areas that are rich in flora and fauna too. Crab Bank Island is definitely one of the spots you won’t want to miss out on, and the flat, calm waters of Shem Creek are perfect for newbies.

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3.Kayaking Tours and Rentals in Charleston, SC

Kayaking Tours and Rentals in Charleston, SC
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To help you enjoy your next kayaking session in Charleston, several kayaking companies have been set up around the city and surrounding area. Here are some of the most popular tour and rental companies.

1. Charleston Kayak Company - 4290 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414 (843 628-2879)

Located on the lovely Ashley River, surrounded by trees and wildlife, the Charleston Kayak Company runs an array of guided kayak tours around areas like Middleton Place and Folly Creek, as well as low cost kayak and stand up paddleboard rentals too.

2. Nature Adventures - 1, Shrimp Boat Ln, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464 (843 568-3222)

If you’re looking to get in touch with Charleston’s natural side and wildlife, Nature Adventures is the kayaking company to choose. They run paddleboard and kayak rentals, along with guided kayak tours through locations like Penny Creek, the Edisto River, Folly Creek, Morris Island, Shem Creek, and more. Nature-focused tours are also available for people who want to see and learn about the local flora and fauna.

3. Coastal Expeditions - 2223 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412 (843 406-0640)

Coastal Expeditions offers both rentals and guided tours for kayakers of all ages and abilities. Kayak tours can last anywhere from as short as three to as long as six hours in total and take in various natural landmarks and key locations around Charleston like Folly Creek and Shem Creek.

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Best Kayaking in Charleston, SC



More Ideas: Andrew Pinckney Inn

The Andrew Pinckney Inn is a classic, stylish Charleston boutique hotel that reflects the city's gracious hospitality and quintessential charm. Offering the creature comforts of home along with a unique Southern ambiance, The Andrew Pinckney Inn features two historic buildings on the corner of Church and Pinckney Streets, both of which reflect the Old World charm of the city with warm façades and pretty window box gardens. The Inn boasts 41 casually elegant guest rooms with contemporary decor and soothing hues, an array of fine amenities, including a beautiful rooftop terrace with spectacular views, and an ideal location within walking distance of Charleston's historic City Market.

The Andrew Pinckney Inn features 41 beautifully appointed guest rooms decorated in an elegant yet casual West Indies style in soothing hues of sage greens, light blues, chocolate browns and rich creams. The guest rooms are divided into 37 beautiful guest rooms, three deluxe townhouse suites and the luxurious St. Philip's Suite. All accommodation feature comfortable queen or king-size beds with luxurious linens, down comforters and down pillows, en-suite bathrooms with showers and/baths, granite -top vanities, plush towels and waffle robes, and Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities. In-room amenities include 32" flat screen HDTVs, iHome docking stations, iron and ironing boards, hairdryers, safe deposit box, and complimentary wireless internet.

Petite Queen Interior Guestrooms are located in the Church Street building and feature plush queen-size beds with luxurious linens, down comforters and down pillows, and Italian Travertine porcelain tiled en-suite bathrooms with showers and/baths, granite -top vanities, plush towels and waffle robes, and Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities. These rooms have lovely views into the three-story atrium.

Queen Guestrooms are located in the Church Street Building and boast lovely views of the magnolia-and-hibiscus lined Church Street. The rooms feature plush queen-size beds with luxurious linens, down comforters and down pillows, and Italian Travertine porcelain tiled en-suite bathrooms with showers and/baths, granite -top vanities, plush towels and waffle robes, and Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities.

Traditional Guestrooms are spacious boutique-style guestrooms with one king bed or two double beds dressed in luxurious linens, down comforters and down pillows, and Italian Travertine porcelain tiled en-suite bathrooms with showers and/baths, granite -top vanities, plush towels and waffle robes, and Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities. These 300-square foot rooms have views over Pinckney and Church Streets.

Located in the atrium of the Church Street Building, Junior Suites are beautifully appointed, spacious suites with king-size beds with luxurious linens, down comforters and down pillows, and Italian Travertine porcelain tiled en-suite bathrooms with showers and/baths, and granite -top vanities. These luxurious suites feature oversized sitting areas with writing desks, chairs and queen-size sleeper sofas for extra guests, and modern amenities include 32" flat screen HDTVs, iHome docking stations, iron and ironing boards, hairdryers, safe deposit box, and complimentary wireless internet.

The Cotesworth Suites feature king-size beds with luxurious linens, down comforters and down pillows, en-suite bathrooms with whirlpool tubs and showers, granite -top vanities, plush towels and waffle robes, and Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities. Spacious sitting areas have gorgeous wood furnishings, separate writing desks, and chairs, large windows that flood the room with natural light and embrace views of historical Pinckney Street.

The St. Philip's Suite is a luxurious abode with arched glass doors and a pretty Juliet balcony with spectacular views of the Market Street area and St. Philip's steeple. Decorated in soothing hues of sage greens and light blues, the Suite features a king-size bed with luxurious linens, down comforters and down pillows, and an enormous en-suite bathroom with soaking tub with spa-shower combination, granite -top vanity, plush towels and waffle robes, and Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities.

The Townhouse Suites are designed to provide a cozy home-away-from-home with spacious living areas downstairs, complete with a comfortable queen-size pullout sleeper sofa, wet bar area with mini-refrigerator and microwave and a guest toilet. The master bedroom is on the upper level and has a king-size bed with luxurious linens, down comforters and down pillows, and an enormous en-suite bathroom with soaking tub with spa-shower combination, granite -top vanity, plush towels and waffle robes, and Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities.

A continental breakfast is served on the rooftop terrace every morning, as well as afternoon refreshments against a backdrop of spectacular city views.

In true historical Charleston style, the Andrew Pinckney Inn offers first-class amenities and guest services to ensure the highest standards are met from a complimentary continental breakfast and afternoon refreshments served on the rooftop terrace to concierge services stand for arranging dining reservations, excursions, and tickets to local attractions. Other amenities include a fully equipped business center for working travelers, access to the Eco Fitness Club, valet parking, umbrellas if required, and free high-speed wireless Internet.

Located in the historic district of downtown Charleston, the Andrew Pinckney Inn provides a charming venue for weddings, receptions and other special occasions, as well as business meetings, functions, and other corporate events. Best known for its rich history, welcoming hospitality, and unprecedented charm, Charleston is a city with much to offer in the way of things to see and do. Located within a short walking distance of the center of the bustling downtown area, the hotel is ideally placed for exploring the city and taking in its best attractions, such as the historic 200-year old Charleston City Market, home to over 100 vendors selling everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to antiques and home decor.

Back to: Romantic Getaways in Charleston

40 Pinckney Street, Charleston, SC 29401, Phone: 843-937-8800

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More Ideas: Elliott House Inn

Set in Charleston's Historic District, the Elliott House Inn is an elegant boutique inn with original hardwood floors, a tranquil cobblestoned courtyard, and airy piazzas. Set in a beautifully preserved three-story building dating back to 1861, the Elliott House Inn seamlessly blends the intimacy of bed and breakfast with the gracious hospitality and personalized of a quaint boutique hotel. The once-private residence features 26 individually decorated guest rooms and suites that capture Charleston’s luxurious residential style with delicately detailed wallpapers, rich oriental carpets, antique furnishings, and modern amenities. Guests can enjoy luxury amenities such as complimentary gourmet breakfasts every morning, cheese and wine receptions each in the evenings, a variety of concierge services and history tours. Ideally located on Queen Street in the heart of Charleston, the Elliott House Inn is a short walk from the beach and the Gibbs Museum of Art, the Dock Street Theatre, the College of Charleston, and a variety of local art galleries and restaurants.

Guest Accommodations

The Elliott House Inn features 26 individually decorated guest rooms and suites with elegant, residential style décor and antique, country-style furnishings, delicately detailed wallpapers, plush oriental carpets, and modern amenities.

Traditional Guest Rooms are individually decorated and feature hardwood floors and original artworks, queen or king-size beds dressed in luxury linens, goose-down comforters, and hypoallergenic pillows, and en-suite bathrooms with shower/bath combinations, fresh towels, and deluxe bath amenities.

Surrounding the lush and tranquil interior courtyard and designed to capture cool sea breezes, Courtyard Guest Rooms are individually decorated and furnished with hardwood floors and original artworks. These rooms offer queen or king-size beds dressed in luxury linens, goose-down comforters, and hypoallergenic pillows, and en-suite bathrooms with shower/bath combinations, fresh towels, and deluxe bath amenities.

Dining

A complimentary gourmet breakfast is served in the pretty courtyard or delivered to the guest rooms every morning and includes freshly brewed coffee and tea, fresh fruit juices and fruit, baked bread, bagels, yogurt, homemade granola, and more.

Amenities and Recreation

The Elliott House Inn offers an array of amenities, including a complimentary gourmet breakfast served every morning, cheese and wine receptions each in the evenings, room service and in-room dining from the neighboring restaurant, a 24-hour front desk, and range of concierge services. Additional services include valet laundry services, bicycles to use for exploring, and organized history tours.

Established in 1670, Charleston was once the crown jewel of the Carolina Colonies and the wealthiest British city in North America. Today, the city still highlights that rich history in the cobbled streets and beautifully preserved buildings, and is full of attractions and activities to enjoy from the historic Fort Sumter, dubbed the ‘birthplace of the Civil War,’ the Magnolia Plantations and Gardens, and the Charleston City Market to the Waterfront Park, Drayton Hall and Boone Hall.

Weddings & Events

Boasting luxurious lodgings, deluxe amenities and lush gardens within walking distance of Charleston’s historic district, The Elliott House Inn offers a beautiful venue for intimate weddings, small group gatherings, and family reunions. The gardens or suites can be used for special functions, as well as the entire house, which exudes a quintessential Charleston style and 150 years of history. The Inn caters for intimate ceremonies, lavish receptions, and romantic gatherings.

78 Queen Street, Charleston, SC 29401, Phone: 843-518-6500

More Things to Do in Charleston, Romantic getaways in Charleston SC

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More Ideas: The Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon

The old public building in Charleston is a must-see, because of its history as a revolutionary heritage. It was publicly used as a slave trade site, a revolutionary war prison, and was the place the Declaration of Independence was read to the town’s citizens.

History

In 1771, the wealthy citizens and business owners in Charles Town argued that the large import/export business had grown overwhelmingly, and the town needed a new exchange building. A massive structure was erected at the end of Broad street and finished in 1772. The purpose of the exchange was always a public building for people to conduct business. The Portland Stone façade was a marvelous feature on the new America’s east coast that brought in traders and business alike.

During the time of heavy importing and exporting, pirating became a problem in the Charles Town Port. The infamous Blackbeard, an American pirate, had drawn the attention of the town when he kidnapped several important citizens and seized over nine ships and held them all for ransom. The Governor, Robert Johnson, assigned Colonel William Rhett to defeat the pirates who ransacked the ships of the town so often. A famous military hero of Queen Anne’s War, Stede Bonnet, had turned pirate, and was under the command of Blackbeard. Major Bonnet was captured, along with his men, and brought back to Charles Town to be tried and executed. Major Bonnet and his men were kept in the Guard House in the Half-Moon Battery, which is the site of the Old Exchange, until the public execution took place December 10th, 1718.

Many Political events were also held at The Old Exchange such as the elections of delegates to the first continental congress in 1774, a reception ball for George Washington and many other revolutionary war related events. In 1913, The Exchange was transferred to the Daughters of the American Revolution for preservation however, a commission, funds and comprehensive plan for restoration was not completed until 1976. The building was open to the publicly in 1981, restored to its original glory as a living museum.

Touring The Old Exchange

The Old Exchange is open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm. Admission includes a public, self-guided tour of the three floors of The Old Exchange with exhibits and furnishings from the Colonial and Revolutionary Eras in Charleston. All three floors of The Old Exchange are handicap accessible with elevator access provided.

Educational Opportunities

The Old Exchange is an exciting place for students and educators. Group tours and field trips should be requested three weeks in advance with registration forms and fee information available on the Old Exchange website. Programs are based on age appropriate content and learning materials and range from 1-2 hours in length. Students can learn about Colonial times, pirating, go on a scanveger hunt, or simply tour the museum with their educators and group leaders. All educational programs include a tour of the Provost Dungeon.

Renting the Facilities

Private rentals of The Old Exchange can be accommodated in the evenings outside of the museum business hours. The downtown location of the facility, hardwood floors, and authentic elegant design make this location a prime venue for wedding receptions, business meetings, fundraising events, and more.

There are three different rooms available for rent. The Great Hall is the largest and can seat 250 guests. This room is most often used for banquets and weddings. This room also has elevator access for guests, vendors, and a commercial kitchen that is available for use by caterers. Adjoining the Great Hall is the Isaac Hayne room which can be used for spill over seating, staging areas, or dressing rooms. The SCDAR room is elegant and sophisticated with historical significance and artifacts on display here. This room has a policy of no food or beverage in this space, there is also no dancing allowed. This is a great space for meetings, lectures, press releases, or speeches.

The Gift Shop

The Old Exchange Gift Shop offers a quaint selection of educational gift items and souvenirs that tell the fascinating history of the Old Exchange, Provost Dungeon, and Charleston. Much of the gift shop wares related to historical events that happened in or around Charleston or at the Old Exchange with many souvenirs available for all ages.

Discounts to the Gift Shop are available through being a Friend of the OXB. This annual membership also includes free admission to the building and member only invitations to special events and workshops at the Old Exchange Building.

122 East Bay Street, Charleston, South Carolina, 29401, Phone: 843-727-2165

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