There’s a reason why Charleston tops many travelers’ favorite destinations list. The coastal South Carolina town has an air of Dixie refinement and charm that blends in wonderfully with the smell of fresh shrimp and grits or she-crab soup. If you’re hungry to get the most of your next trip to the city, get a whiff of these helpful tips.
What to pack for a trip to Charleston
You’ll want to walk the darling streets of Charleston to get a closer look at the gorgeous architecture. The homes on the Battery, in particular, are sure to draw you in for a long gaze, so driving simply won’t do. Slip into a pair of comfortable walking shoes — perhaps boat shoes, to fit in with the natives of this seaside town — and hit the pavement (and cobblestone).
Like many cities in the Southeast, Charleston is not just hot but ultra-humid in the spring and summer. Sticky weather calls for light and breezy clothes, which is why you’ll see so many local ladies wearing sundresses. A muted sundress will take you from day to dinner and drinks at night. Guys, bring your khaki shorts.
One of the most wonderful things about Charleston is that it’s so close to the sand. Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island and Kiawah are each just 20 minutes or so away from the city, so you should definitely bring a swimsuit and pay a visit to the ocean.
What the weather is like in Charleston
Charleston has a subtropical climate, so expect summers to be pretty hot and winters to be fairly mild. Because of these conditions, spring is the calendar’s sweet spot. Not only are the forecasts cooperating with your outdoor plans, but the summertime crowds are still a few months off. Yet the event calendar is pretty robust (Spoleto, Charleston Fashion Week, North Charleston Arts Fest).
What the public transportation is like in Charleston
Because it’s a city of 134,000 full-time residents, Charleston doesn’t have the daily need for a widespread transit system. Especially since Charleston is a walkable city on a grid system. But whatever it lacks in terms of trains, the city makes up for with Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA), a public bus service with routes around the city. If you’re visiting and just need to get around to major attractions in the city center, hop on one of CARTA’s free Dash trolleys.
Another option is to rely on Lyft or Uber, both of which operate in the city.