United States, South Carolina, Charleston
4 nights / 5 days
With a rich history dating back to 1670, the waterfront city of Charleston, South Carolina offers a blend of culture, shopping, adventure and culinary treasures.
Below is just a sample of the immersive itineraries our Destination Specialists can create. Our Destination Specialists are happy to book our hotel highlighted in the itinerary below, or let them know if you would like something customized. And, feel free to offer our non-hyperlinked suggestions to your clients to further explore the destination.
Day 1 Your Hometown / Charleston, South Carolina
Arrive in Charleston, South Carolina after your scenic drive, or after a short flight from your hometown, picking up your Hertz rental car with unlimited miles and pre-registration. Settle into your Atrium view guestroom at the Grand Bohemian Charleston, Autograph Collection, located in the Charleston Historic District, for four nights of relaxation and exploration of this welcoming city.
Peruse the hotel's art gallery featuring original pieces before walking to nearby Fig restaurant. Featuring local ingredients, you will enjoy the utmost in service as you dine on roasted sea trout with butter bean caponata and Sicilian pine nuts, Bradford collard greens and bittersweet chocolate blackout cake.
Dady 2 City Market Shopping
After breakfast, head to the Charleston City Market, one of the nation's oldest public markets. This historic market was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and was also designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975. Begin your shopping at Market Hall, built in 1941, with its brownstone stucco, red sandstone and green ironwork. Indulge in buttery biscuits, or visit the hat shop or Christmas Collectible shop as you browse the endless offerings.
While at the City Market, be sure to enjoy the collection of sweetgrass baskets, showcasing the crafts of more than 50 resident Gullah artisans. This 300-year-old craft, passed on throughout the generations, uses locally harvested bulrush for an authentic souvenir.
After a morning of strolling the popular market, savor some of the best culinary creations of the city. The Peninsula Grill's famous 12-layer Ultimate Coconut Cake is a must-try. Then, enjoy a leisurely horse-drawn carriage ride.
As the sun sets, indulge in dinner at The Charleston Harbor Fish House, located at Patriots Point, featuring views of the Charleston skyline, the USS Yorktown, and the marina. Enjoy a cocktail at the rooftop Bridge Bar offering the best sunset views. Then, savor skillet cornbread with whipped honey butter, local she crab soup and Charleston shrimp and grits before heading back to your hotel.
Day 3 Aquarium Exploration
Grab a quick bite and coffee at Maison Cafe before visiting the South Carolina Aquarium, home to more than 5,000 animals from land to sea. Touch and feel sea urchins, hermit crabs and more at the touch tank. View the daily dive show in the two-story, 385,000-gallon Great Ocean Tank, showcasing sharks and the 220-pound loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta. View the stingrays in their 6,000-gallon tank, and explore the Kids Coast area offering hands-on learning. For a truly unique experience, visit the Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery, featuring the rehabilitation of sick and injured sea turtles.
Return to the hotel to enjoy an interactive wine blending class, learning the art of blending and bottling your own wine, perfect for an evening drink and for an authentic, one-of-a-kind souvenir.
Day 4 Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
Today, explore the Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, with ownership staying within the same family throughout the centuries. The gardens first opened to the public in the 1870s and work with the natural habitat to feature their amazing nature panoramas. Flowers range from camellias and daffodils to azaleas and numerous others blooming year round.
Board the Rice Field Boat Tour as you glide along the Ashley River, exploring the intimate canals, where alligators, fish and frogs can be found. Your naturalist will lead the way as you view wood ducks and grackles. Then, stroll to the Children's Garden brimming with fairy villages, houses, gnomes, elves, and woodland creatures. The Children's Garden also features a village complete with small-scale houses, a schoolhouse with slide and chalkboards to draw on. Plus, kids will enjoy the sensory garden, tasting berries, viewing the unique colors of flowers, and smelling various plants including the lemon plant.
Enjoy a sandwich at Peacock Cafe before boarding the Nature Tram, exploring the plantation's wetlands, lakes, forests and marshes. Your naturalist guide will help you view alligators, turtles, egrets and herons and will share the rich history of the plantation and gardens. The tram offers the perfect way to view the more than 600 acres of wildlife habitats and gardens.
End your day back in the comfort of your hotel as you dine at Eleve Rooftop Restaurant & Lounge. Indulge in European cuisine as you overlook downtown Charleston and listen to the live band, your Hot Southern Belle cocktail in hand, complete with Honey Habanero Belle Isle, lime peach nectar, sugar and sparkling wine.
Day 5 Charleston, South Carolina / Your Hometown
Head to Maison Cafe for grab 'n' go bites to bring with you as you spend your final morning strolling the pathways of Riley Waterfront Park, offering stunning views of the Charleston harbor. Lounge on an old-fashioned park bench or feel like a kid again on the family-sized swings. Enjoy a picnic brunch with your grab 'n' go treats as you marvel at the park's fountains and waterfront.
Begin your drive or board your flight back home as you start to plan your next vacation exploring the wonders of the United States.
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