Travel Guide of Charleston, South Carolina for: SpringHill Suites Charleston Downtown/Riverview Rating: 3.0 Pearls
West Ashley, Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston Summary

Pros

  • Beautiful sights and smells in the Historic District, with cobblestone streets and jasmine-scented parks
  • Steeped in tradition and history, like Fort Sumter -- the site of the opening battle of the Civil War
  • Casual and relaxing beaches like Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms
  • Mild winters, with highs in the low 60s
  • Trendy, urban places for younger crowds in Upper King -- home of the College of Charleston campus
  • Flat landscape, easy to travel by foot or bike
  • Array of festivals in the area, like the Charleston Boat Show, Charleston Fashion Week, and Chazz Fest -- Charleston Jazz and Heritage Festival
  • Beautiful, historical mansions and churches dotting the streets
  • No shortage of the elegant, historic inns that the South is known for
  • Center for "New Southern" cuisine -- classic comfort foods with unique twists, like grits with foie gras

Cons

  • Busy, busy peak season -- summers packed with tourists
  • Traffic (like any other city)
  • Hot, sticky summers

What It's Like

It's no wonder why some of the most popular romance novels -- Dear John, The Notebook, The Last Song -- have been set in or near Charleston. Between the horse-drawn carriages, the colorful gardens, and the constant ocean breeze, Charleston exudes old-world romance.

The city's height restriction ordinance has kept the downtown skyline relatively low, giving Charleston a small-town feel. Its streets are ideal for walking, and usually have a quiet, relaxed pace -- though they can get pretty hectic during the summer months when tourists flock to this coastal city.

Many visitors head to Charleston in hopes of exploring the numerous historical attractions. The Citadel, a historic military college, offers full dress parades that are free and open to the public every Friday afternoon. Various Civil War sites can be seen throughout the city and in surrounding areas.

And, of course -- the beach. There are many different beach towns within a short drive from downtown, all considered part of the Charleston area.

Where To Stay

Visitors who prefer not to rent or bring a car should consider Charleston's downtown peninsula -- but expect to pay a pretty penny for the hotels in this area. Families with children in tow may want to opt for an oceanfront stay on the area's southern tip, near the East Bay Playground and White Point Gardens. Business travelers may prefer North Charleston, about a 10-mile drive from downtown, near the airport.  

Map of Hotels -- West Ashley, Charleston

Map of West Ashley, Charleston Expand Map »

Facts

Languages:

English

Airports:

Charleston International Airport

Peak:

April - July; Sept.- Nov.

Vaccines:

No

Currency:

U.S. Dollar

Electricity:

120 V, 60 Hz

Tipping:

15-20% at restaurants

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