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A perennial powerhouse among top travel destinations in the United States, Charleston is one of the oldest cities in the country.
Southern charm abounds as you stroll the streets. And a stay in the historic district exudes a touch of the old world, inviting travelers to take a step into the past.
Of course, modern accommodations and unique eateries will bring you right back to the present.
But everywhere you turn in the historic district of Charleston is a chance to make memories to last a lifetime.
Charleston may be old, but its accommodations are anything but.
One stand-out property exceeding guest expectations is The Loutrel, which was recently named as a top United States hotel in Travel + Leisure’s 2023 World's Best Awards.
A 50-room luxury hotel, The Loutrel oozes with Southern elegance the moment you arrive. You know you’re in the South when you find a giant couch swing in the lobby. The Southern hospitality is strong here too, as noted by the many complimentary offerings for guests.
First, the rooms will of course have the necessity for so many guests – coffee. However, The Loutrel steps up beyond the ordinary. Our room came complete with complimentary still and sparkling water, sodas, chips and cookies in the room.
Second, the Finest Hour is held every night from 5-6 p.m. in the Private Clubroom. It’s a complimentary happy hour for guests with hors d'oeuvres and seasonally inspired cocktails. And don't skip out on the free breakfast – it included fresh fruit, grits, bread, muffins, cinnamon rolls and more,
Speaking of cocktails, guests can grab one from The Veranda Lounge (we recommend the espresso martini) and then head up to the hotel’s rooftop for a gorgeous view of the Holy City’s French Quarter.
The Loutrel does have a fitness studio too, but perhaps you’ll want to get your exercise in by exploring the history around you.
No matter where you stay, strolling through the historic district is an absolute must for anyone visiting Charleston. No doubt you’ve likely heard of the pineapple fountain or perhaps Rainbow Row, the pastel-colored historic homes on East Bay Street. Both are a must for first-time visitors to the city.
Browse through the vendors on Market Street and bring back home a souvenir. Or perhaps you’ll be tempted to jump on a horse carriage ride as you see them promenading by on the cobblestone streets.
Another option is to join a walking tour around town.
The Loutrel offers multiple private walking history tours. A new one recently debuted is by certified walking tour guide Dana Levine, where guests can “explore the history and legacy of the enslaved, ‘free people of color’, and African Americans of Charleston.”
The food options surrounding the historic district of Charleston are seemingly endless.
When in Charleston though, one must eat the seafood. And since you’re by the water, eating with a view is a must.
Enter Fleet Landing. What was once a 1940s naval building, the space is now home to some of the best food in the city that features the classic and contemporary Southern seafood fare.
Fleet Landing’s award-winning she-crab soup should be ordered at every table.
Other delicious eateries in the area include Slightly North of Broad, High Cotton Charleston, and Church and Union for a tasty take on American dining, which is yes, in a former church building.
Oh, and if you get a hankering for donuts in the morning like so many of us with a sweet tooth so often do, get your exercise in early for a little longer walk (around 15 minutes) and check out Hero Doughnuts and Buns.
Eric Bowman is the Executive Editor of TravelPulse. A graduate of The University of Georgia, Eric has been working in online...
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