The NYLON Guide To Charleston, South Carolina

Where to stay, where to eat, where to drink, and where to shop

Photo courtesy of Zero George

Not only is Charleston, South Carolina, the most popular place for destination weddings in the United States, but it is also one of the most popular tourist locations overall. If you’re looking to take a late summer/early fall vacation, then Charleston is definitely worthy of consideration, to say the least. After all, not only did Travel and Leisure named it the number one city in the entire world for 2016, but also the picturesque city is equipped with beautiful beaches, historic architecture, and tons of great places to eat. So why not travel to “The Holy City,” replete with many old churches, historic homes with wrought iron fences, extravagant gardens, horse-drawn carriages, and cobblestone streets?

While you’re walking around shopping or out for lunch, you will probably get hustled into buying a hand-woven palmetto rose on the street, but that’s part of the charm of the city. It’s like a step back in time but in a modern and trendy way. So crank up your appetite for shrimp and grits, buy a new swimsuit, and take a trip to one of the most beloved cities in the whole world.

Photograph courtesy of Zero George.

Where To Stay:

Zero George: For a true Southern experience, look no further than Zero George, a restored collection of homes (some from the early 1800s) that have been turned into the most charming of hotel rooms and an exquisite restaurant (more on that below) and bar (that hosts cheese and wine happy hours daily!) surrounding a picturesque private courtyard (see above). After being greeted with a glass of Champagne at check-in, make your way to the spacious rooms with original architectural elements but stocked with modern indulgences like Malin+Goetz toiletries, Frette sheets, and plush robes. Whether you choose to drink wine on your porch, borrow complimentary (and Instagrammable, thanks to their mint color) bikes that the hotel offers, or take a hands-on cooking class on the property, you will be hard-pressed to find more Charleston knowledgeable staff to assist you in your plans. Plus, minor but very important, the complimentary breakfast serves some addiction-worthy homemade quiches and ham and cheese croissants. —Irina Grechko

The Restoration: These sleeping quarters ain't cheap, that's for sure. But with a location in the prime downtown area, this five-building boutique hotel makes up for the price with its chic downtown New York-esque decor with exposed brick, tall windows and ceilings, and luxe suite rooms. In addition to housing a bar, library lounge (which also can serve as a bar), scenic rooftop, outdoor pool, and coffee bar (that partners with Toby's Estate), the hotel also has a bespoke spa that offers an amethyst massage and a sapphire facial.—IG

The Francis Marion: Located right on Marion Square, the heart of historic Charleston and the center of the downtown area, this hotel is the perfect location for tourists. Right off King Street, travelers are within walking distance to dozens of the best restaurants and shops. The luxurious-looking lobby will make you feel like you stepped into a historic mansion. And this isn’t just a good place to rest your head at night, the hotel also has a full-service day spa, Spa Adagio, and you can get some classic Southern food from the hotel’s Swamp Fox Restaurant & Bar.

The Battery Carriage House Inn: This romantic bed and breakfast is charming and homey. Dating back to 1843, the historic sleeper has nine rooms, and each one has a private entrance and its own unique vintage decor. However, if ghosts aren’t your thing, then this may not be the place for you because it is said to be the regular dwelling place of “The Headless Torso,” “The Gentleman Ghost,” and more.