Hungry for some culture in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina? Check out these inns and hotels – bookable on Culture Trip – all within a hop of this thriving creative hub.
With its horse-drawn carriages, cobbled streets and colorful neoclassical homes, Charleston is one of the most photogenic locations in North America. At the city’s heart is the Charleston City Market, a four-block creative hotchpotch in historic downtown populated by over 300 artists and entrepreneurs. Around this area, a wealth of luxury boutique hotels serve a traveler’s every whim and notion. Check in and soak yourself in those creative juices.
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.
Emeline is a hotel that wears its – impeccably well-tailored – heart on its sleeve. Every room has vintage design flourishes twinned with homey amenities for the discerning modern traveler. Think: your own Crosley turntable and custom ceramic vanity accessories by local Charleston artist, Susan Gregory. Don’t spend all day in the room, though – its twinkling, private courtyard houses a wood-fired oven serving Italian staples, where there’s an aged white negroni with your name on it.
Smack bang in the heart of Charleston’s historic district, Planters Inn is a 30-second stroll from the Greek revival-style front door of the Charleston City Market. Part of the Relais & Châteaux group collection of independent, high-end boutique hotels, its outdoor Peninsula Grill is a local treasure. Copper carriage lanterns are lit by hand each day at dusk as well-heeled guests sip champagne cocktails. Don’t leave without trying the 12-layer coconut cake – if you can handle it.
The Church Street Inn is around a minute’s walk from the Charleston City Market and other attractions, like the Robert Lange Studios art gallery and gothic revival-style Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. Most suites come equipped with a kitchenette including a microwave and, while there’s no hotel restaurant, you’ll never be more than 30 seconds from a hipster joint serving melt-in-the-mouth steaks or seafood. If you’re looking for foodie thrills without stuffiness, try Rudy Royale – it’s a five-minute walk away.
The Indigo Inn was once a central hub for the local textile industry as a warehouse for dye. In 1979 it was repurposed as a luxury hotel and fired the starting gun for historic Charleston’s new identity as a boutique travel destination. Expect plush beds with powerful frames and headboards, some of which overlook a European atrium complete with twinkling fountain. Visitors are a five-minute stroll from Charleston City Market with its array of creative treats, art and homespun crafts.
With lofty ceilings, carefully selected antiques and 19th-century Charleston furnishings, every room in the Jasmine House is a unique and bespoke portal to another time. All have four-poster beds, and the commitment to luxury continues the second you step outside your door. Expect wine-and-cheese evening receptions, and easy afternoons whiling away the hottest hours in its shaded courtyard.
The Ryder substitutes the classic Charleston hotel courtyard for a pool – open from 7am to 10pm. Its accompanying bar, Little Palm, serves cocktails and craft lagers like Edmund Oast’s Something Cold, which brews a couple of miles across town. Airy rooms are decorated in seaside hues of pale blue and white, but complete with contemporary finishings. The hotel has a partnership with Pivotal Fitness, the only full-service health club in downtown Charleston, so hotel guests can keep active on their travels.
The Restoration has the kind of amenities that ensure guests never leave. The Watch rooftop kitchen and bar opens morning-to-night, offering carafes of margaritas to get the party started alongside some huevos rancheros eggs. An on-site coffee bar serves single estate brews from their neighbors Springbok Coffee Roasters – perfect for twinning with an art journal from the well-stocked library. Over-caffeinated? Calm down with an in-room couples massage or wind down in the guests-only rooftop pool, paired with panoramic Charleston vistas.
The Pavilion Bar is one of the city’s liveliest post-dinner spots – though perhaps try arriving for a sunset cocktail while overlooking the twinkling harbor waters. Under the roof you’ll find grandly designed bedrooms that mostly forego modern furnishings for classic heavy drapes and Italian marble baths – the Hermes toiletries make a nice 21st-century touch, though. Feeling peckish? Grill 225 serves 42- to 50-day-aged steaks, to go with a roving wine list that joins the dots between the old world and new.
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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.
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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.