Arguably one of the top cities in the United States—at least, according to Travel + Leisure—Charleston has become a hot-spot destination for weekend getaways of all shapes and sizes. Opt for a Charleston bachelorette party and you can expect to be spoiled with charming surroundings, world-class dining, and beautiful beaches just a hop, skip, and a jump away. Whether you decide to explore the city on foot or bicycle your way through the historic downtown, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a storybook with pastel facades and secret gardens around every turn.
Ready to map out your Charleston bachelorette party itinerary? Take a peek at our top girlfriend picks to truly experience this South Carolina gem.
What to do
First and foremost, any visit to the Holy City should begin by wandering through the Historic Charleston Downtown District. For an added history lesson, book a guided walking tour or simply get lost while strolling the cobblestone streets all on your own. Bike rentals are easily accessible and another great way to get around while taking in the beauty.
For the most photo-worthy streets, don’t miss Charleston’s French Quarter District, or popular stops like Broad Street and East Bay Street (“Rainbow Row”) featuring the city’s iconic colorful architecture. Right next to Rainbow Row is Waterfront Park with quaint gardens and fountains to explore alongside pretty harbor views.
Southerners know a thing or two about great shopping, and King Street is where you’ll find some of the very best treasures. Visit the darling antique and vintage shops, fashion boutiques like Hampden or Beckett Boutique, and delicious eateries all set along one single strip.
Beyond the historic downtown, there’s so much to do within a short driving distance. Magnolia Plantations and Gardens, Boone Hall Plantation, and Middleton Place are all fantastic options chock-full of historic interest and tranquil scenery.
Set aside a portion of your Charleston bachelorette party for some fun in the sun at one of the area’s many beaches, with Folly Beach being a top visitor favorite. Once you’ve had your fill of sun and sand, follow up with a trip to a local day spa and indulge in some much-deserved self-care.
Where to eat
Charleston is known for its rising food scene, with more award-winning restaurants than you’d ever be able to cover in just one visit. Butcher & Bee or Five Loaves Cafe make excellent lunch and brunch spots with fresh bites that won’t break the bank. Or, satisfy that sweet tooth at the Instagram-famous Jeni’s Ice Creams and Sugar Bakeshop for the ultimate afternoon treat on your walking tour.
Dinnertime calls for some elevated Southern cuisine that you’ll find at Magnolias, Husk, and FIG, all set within the historic downtown. Another top pick serving up Mediterranean fare is Cannon Green where you can snag a dinner reservation or indulge in their tasty Sunday brunch.
Looking to keep the party rolling post-dinner? Order up some fancy drinks at The Gin Joint and enjoy the cool, 1920’s-inspired setting as you sip on your hand-crafted cocktails. You’ll also find a great time at The Cocktail Club or Prohibition, both known for their chic atmospheres and delicious drinks that will keep you celebrating into the wee hours of the night.
Where to stay
Finding accommodations for your Charleston bachelorette party can easily be a spendy experience, but there’s plenty of options to suit budgets all across the board. The lovely Hyatt House Historic Charleston will put you right in the heart of it all with shopping, restaurants, and bars within easy walking distance. Similarly, the King Charles Inn will deliver close proximity at a relatively affordable price point.
With its pink exterior and old-world charm, staying at The Mills House is an incredible way to experience a bit of Charleston history first-hand. First opened in 1853, the hotel boasts gorgeous guest rooms, on-site dining, and a great downtown location.
If budget allows, the Zero George delivers the ultimate in luxury and Southern style. Your ladies will be properly spoiled with daily breakfast plus evening wine and cheese socials, so it’s really no wonder this property landed on the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List.