There's so much to see and do in the Charleston area -- history, architecture, arts, tours, dining, entertainment, plantations, pristine beaces, attractions and the nation's finest Visitor Center are just a small sampling of what's available. Charleston is truly a feast for the senses.

Dining & Cuisine

A fusion of African, European and Lowcountry influences has produced a unique culinary heritage recognized worldwide as Charleston cuisine. Many local chefs build upon this heritage, blending international influences with the local harvest of farm-fresh heirloom vegetables and seafood caught daily just off-shore. The quality and variety of Charleston's restaurants has made us a top North American dining destination, with local restaurants and chefs recognized by such prestigious organizations as the James Beard Foundation, AAA and the Mobil Travel Guide.

Alongside the highly publicized restaurants are locally known favorites for oysters, tapas, burgers or sushi. Food is a central theme for most Charleston get-togethers, and area restaurants stay busy every night of the week.

2009 Mobil Travel Guide Four-Star and 2009 American Automobile Association (AAA) Four-Diamond restaurants include:
James Beard Foundation Award Winners & Nominees

For a full list of dining options, please visit:
Charleston Dish & Post and Courier Dining Guide


King Street in downtown Charleston is recognized annually by such distinguished publications as Forbes Traveler, the NY Times, Southern Living and Conde' Nast Traveler as one of the “Top Shopping Districts” in the USA. The dining and lodging is world-class, too. From Line Street to Calhoun in the Upper King Design District, find incredibly creative solutions for the home, plus fine dining and boutique fashions.

Speaking of fashion, no one does it better than the King Street Fashion District. Between Calhoun and Market Streets find exquisite, locally-owned boutiques with classic and current ladies’ and men’s clothing, jewelry and shoes that you won’t believe.

Lower King is the Antiques District, Charleston’s newest, yet oldest cultural center. Discover art and antique galleries featuring artists and collections that are like no other place. Plus, there are fine restaurants, beautiful jewelry and some of the most classic fashions for men and women.

The City Market is a "must see." From Meeting Street to East Bay, there is an incredible assortment of wares sold by hundreds of local vendors. Sweetgrass basket weavers can be found in every building, along with local artists, jewelry, tapestry, rice, sauces, candies and much more.

Enjoy The Charleston Farmers Market every Saturday from April to December in beautiful Marion Square, just north of Calhoun between King and Meeting Streets. A “Top Five Farmer’s Market” nestled beneath beautiful trees with room for families to gather and children to play, find fresh local produce, plants, herbs and cut flowers, plus an amazing assortment of juried arts and crafts.

For a list of Historic Downtown Charleston shopping venues visit ShopKingStreetCharleston.

Music Scene

With a number of live music venues, Charleston residents can catch a live show on any given night. The North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center book major concert tours, while other venues feature more intimate shows. The Charleston music scene is greatly influenced by the local college student population, supporting local and regional acts representing a wide range of genres.

Live music is also central to many local festivals, including the Lowcountry Blues Bash, Spoleto Festival USA, the MOJA Festival, and the Lowcountry Cajun Festival

Among the many music venues in the region:

After Hours

Charleston is well known for its sociability, and the local after-hours scene finds friends and colleagues unwinding all about town. Rooftop bars and open-air cafés, both downtown and on the islands, provide beautiful backdrops for drinks and conversation. Many among the young professional crowd frequent the restaurants and clubs in the up-and-coming Charleston Design District.

Some of the more popular gathering spots include:

For more nightlife locations, please visit Charleston's Finest City Guide or Charleston's "10 Best." 




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