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5 Days in Charleston, SC: Day 2


We were up bright and early to start our second day in Charleston, SC. Our lodging was located in the heart of the historic district which means we were able to walk to a local cafe called The Harken Cafe for coffee and a light breakfast. We loved this place so much we went back the next day too! If you visit, we highly recommend ordering a "Green Thing" - probably the best avocado toast I have ever eaten. The coffee was great as were the pastries. We easily found a seat in the really cute restaurant.


If you are interested in a more substantial breakfast, we recommend either Miller's All Day or Poogan's Porch. If just a cup of coffee is your thing, try Bitty and Beau's near the City Market.


After breakfast we took an Old South Carriage Historic Horse & Carriage Tour. We cannot recommend this tour enough! It was fabulous. Our guide was witty, friendly, and knowledgable. The tour route included all of the must see spots throughout the historic district. There were loads of interesting stories and folklore shared throughout the tour - it was the perfect part cheesy and fascinating. Finally, there are lots of photo ops throughout the tour so keep your camera ready! This company also has a Haunted History Horse & Carriage Tour in the evening. I suspect if you like ghosts and history this might be your favorite.


Description from Old South Carriage:

Experience more than 300 years of history on this guided carriage tour of Charleston. See the many mansions, churches, and gardens as your horse-drawn carriage tour covers more than 2.5 miles and 30 blocks of historic Charleston. Belgian and Percheron draft horses will you lead you through the streets while you learn about this “Holy City” and its role in the Civil War.

  • Narrated horse-drawn carriage tour of Charleston

  • Follow a scenic route through 30 blocks of the historic district

  • See grand antebellum homes and hear about their former owners

  • Great photo ops of gardens with beautiful wrought iron gates

  • Belgian and Percheron draft horses lead your carriage through the streets


The tour begins and ends in at the Old South Building located at 14 Anson St. near the City Market. We found metered parking across the street. The tour company sells water but you are also able to carry on your own water or non-alcoholic beverage. Restrooms are available as well.


After our tour, we went in search of lunch! From the tour end, we walked towards King Street stopping to check out the menus of various restaurants along the way. King Street is known for high-end shopping so be aware it can be very busy with "cruise tourists" shopping. Depending on your interests and time, several options to try might include Port of Call Food & Brew Hall, Basic Kitchen, or Leon's.


After lunch we spent time visiting with friends. If we had been on our own, we would have taken a boat tour to Fort Sumter. We have been on this tour in the past and really enjoyed it. This tour would be great for individuals, couples, as well as families. When we took the tour, we were able to see dolphins playing in the waves from our boat. Dolphins are always amazing so it was a treat for all!


Description from the ticket company:

Visit historic Fort Sumter in Charleston, the site of the battle which signified the start of the American Civil War. This tour is provided by the only operator within the city that includes both round trip ferry service in addition to entry into Fort Sumter. Enjoy a scenic 30-minute cruise each way along Charleston Harbor from two convenient departure locations, Liberty Square and Patriots Point. On the way, view top Charleston sites such as Rainbow Row and the Battery from your ferry. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by National Park Rangers who will relay stories of America's deadliest war before your 1-hour self-guided tour of Fort Sumter National Monument. Make sure to leave time for a stop at the museum and souvenir shop before making your way back to Charleston or Mt. Pleasant.

  • Fort Sumter National Monument Admission Ticket with Round Trip Ferry Service

  • Ferry departure from two convenient locations, Liberty Square and Patriots Point

  • 30-minute scenic ferry ride each way along Charleston Harbor

  • 1-Hour Self Guided Tour of Fort Sumter and its ruins

  • Hear stories of the American Civil War from Fort Sumter's National Park Rangers

  • Access to the Museum, Bookstore, and Souvenir Shop

For dinner we enjoyed traditional Irish pub food at Tommy Condon's Irish Pub & Restaurant. The food was great, the beer was Guinness, and we enjoyed the live music from our table on the outdoor patio. Before returning to our hotel, we stopped for gelato at Belgian Gelato and watched the water (and people) from the swings on the pier.



Know Before You Go:

  • Book the tours online using my links (Carriage Tour, Haunted Carriage Tour, Fort Sumter) for easy and fast registration.

  • Dinner reservations during high tourist times are a must.

  • There are so many fun places to stop for live music, cocktails, dessert surrounding the City Market. We were able to walk into the rooftop bar and find seating and a waitress!

  • Wear comfortable shoes! Historic Charleston is all about walking and the streets are uneven.

  • Take full advantage of my love of travel and planning skills, connect with me here to book your travel and/or free quote for my planning services.

When to Go:

In our opinion the best time to visit Charleston is March to May or September to November. The temperatures are lovely - typically 60-80 degrees – without the humidity and heat of the summer months.

Is Charleston Safe?

Yes! Charleston is considered safe for visitors. However, Charleston is a city, so we recommend taking the typical city precautions – don’t walk alone at night, park your vehicle in well-lit locations, ensure valuables are stored out of sight, be aware of your surroundings.


Getting Around:

We recommend using a rental car. For our adventures in Charleston, we loved having a jeep wrangler. It was a treat! Parking isn’t a problem if you know where to look. A full list of parking options can be found at Parking Information. This link includes parking locations, costs, as well as amenities like security or restrooms. We found both the Waze app and Google maps to be easy to use to navigate from one destination to another.




















Know Before You Go:

  • Dinner reservations during high tourist times are a must.

  • There are so many fun places to stop for live music, cocktails, dessert surrounding the City Market. We were able to walk into the rooftop bar and find seating and a waitress!

  • Wear comfortable shoes! Historic Charleston is all about walking and the streets are uneven.

  • Take full advantage of my love of travel and planning skills, connect with me here to book your travel and/or free quote for my planning services.

When to Go:

In our opinion the best time to visit Charleston is March to May or September to November. The temperatures are lovely - typically 60-80 degrees – without the humidity and heat of the summer months.


Is Charleston Safe?

Yes! Charleston is considered safe for visitors. However, Charleston is a city, so we recommend taking the typical city precautions – don’t walk alone at night, park your vehicle in well-lit locations, ensure valuables are stored out of sight, be aware of your surroundings.


Getting Around:

We recommend using a rental car. For our adventures in Charleston, we loved having a jeep wrangler. It was a treat! Parking isn’t a problem if you know where to look. A full list of parking options can be found at Parking Information. This link includes parking locations, costs, as well as amenities like security or restrooms. We found both the Waze app and Google maps to be easy to use to navigate from one destination to another.

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