Step into the very charming – and very walkable – city of Charleston! This steamy Southern U.S. spot offers plenty to see. Visit Charleston in the spring or late fall when the heat is less intense.
New route alert! Beginning March 28, 2024, you’ll be able to fly to Charleston direct from Toronto in less than 4 hours, making this the perfect long weekend getaway.
Visit Charleston: Get Started
Ready to get your steps in? Take a walk in Hampton Park, or in Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, the oldest public gardens in the United States, founded in 1676 and open to the public since the 1870s. Stroll past the colourful homes of the French Quarter’s Rainbow Row and by the Pink House, the city’s oldest house built in 1712.
Those seeking culture can visit Gallery Row on Broad Street or browse the special exhibitions and collections that span four centuries at the Gibbes Museum of Art.
Get a view of the city from the water and book a tour boat to historic Fort Sumter, located in the city’s harbour and site of the battle that began the American Civil War.
At night, a ghost tour of the city is the best way to soak up the spooky ambiance of its historic streets, cemeteries, and jail.
Then, head to the beach! Sullivan’s Island and Folly Beach are both a 20-minute drive from downtown. Or take a day trip to Kiawah Island for beaches and wildlife-spotting like bobcats, otters and turtles.
CHARLESTON TRAVEL GUIDE
WHAT TO EAT
Be sure to try local favourites like peaches and boiled peanuts, but don’t miss the local cuisine. Try FIG for upscale Southern classics, Maison for French favourites or Melfi’s for Italian fare. Craving some seafood? Stop into 167 Raw Oyster Bar, line up at Chubby Fish (they don’t take reservations) or Hank’s if you’re feeling fancy. Visit the charming Post House in Mount Pleasant’s Old Village for seasonal fare and classic cocktails. Healthier options (and beet margaritas!) are available at Basic Kitchen.
WHAT TO BRING BACK
Shop King Street for stylish finds like those from Hampden Clothing or pore over the estate jewels at local institution Croghan’s Jewel Box. Stop into the Charleston City Market for locally made food, art and crafts. Before you head home, browse for a plane read at Buxton Books.
You’ll spot pineapples all over the city, most notably at the Pineapple Fountain in Waterfront Park, because returning ship captains used to hang a pineapple outside their door to signify to neighbours that they were welcome to visit and hear their stories.
For more information on all necessary travel documents, visa, taxes and more, check Air Canada’s Travel Requirements page and the Government of Canada’s Travel and Tourism website.