In this old-world South Carolina city, it’s tempting to stop all the clocks. But this fresh stay reveals new reasons to kick back at neighborhood restaurants and rooftop bars.
With its carefully conserved historic districts and horse-drawn carriages clopping past antebellum mansions, Charleston is a city with a strong sense of its past. A sultry tropical climate and palm-lined streets give the South Carolina city an almost Caribbean feel, while its famously warm Lowcountry hospitality comes with a side-serving of southern charm. It’s there in spades at the Emeline Hotel, set within a century-old grocery store, now spruced up with timeless interiors and luxury details in every nook, all primed for exploring Holy City’s highlights.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
From its extensive vinyl collection to its note-perfect vintage touches, it’s clear a lot has gone into the making of this swish hotel. Its illustrious 181 Church Street address used to house the largest grocery store in the south and its ample space has been put to excellent use. Centered around the wood-fired oven, its indoor-outdoor restaurant, Frannie & The Fox, is now one of the neighborhood’s finest. A cozy, buzzy cafe, Clerks Coffee Company, serves up warm pastries, gourmet coffee and a breakfast menu of egg-white frittatas and crispy grits with kale. Like everything at this hotel, it’s a menu that millennials will love that also chimes with traditionalists, too.
Set in a turn-of-the-century warehouse overlooking the Charleston City Market, restaurants don’t get much more grand and legendary than Hank’s. It’s been a mainstay in the city’s dining scene for a couple of decades now, and its plump leather booths and wood-paneled walls perfectly recreate a classic Charleston fish house. Slurp up fresh oysters from the raw bar, or for something special, treat yourself to Hank’s Seafood Tower – a selection of iced shellfish from all over the world.
Among numerous bars and restaurants lining busy King Street, Halls Chophouse stands out for its Sunday Gospel Brunch. You’ll find the usual items on the menu, but with lovely Lowcountry twists, like crabcake eggs Benedict with Creole hollandaise and sweet Southern potato pancakes, all to be enjoyed to the strains of Gospel music. Dinner also offers soul-food classics like lobster mac ‘n’ cheese and creamed corn, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better quality steak in South Carolina.
Occupying a handsome beaux-arts building complete with a stately columned facade and Tiffany-style cupola, this museum is a work of art in itself. It also boasts a collection of over 10,000 artworks spanning four centuries, mostly by American artists and many with a connection to the city. If you want to learn more about the works, visit during “docent hours” and you’ll find experts stationed throughout the museum ready and waiting to answer any questions.
Built as a passenger station of the South Carolina Railroad in the mid-19th century, this eye-catching piece of gothic revivalist architecture was reborn after 60 derelict years as the city’s top live music venue. With just under a thousand seats, the space can feel intimate but still attracts some of the bigger names – David Byrne and Joan Baez among them. Catch local legends, the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, who play regularly here. It’s a popular stop on the comedy circuit, too.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.