By the mid-19th century, Charleston was one of the wealthiest cities in the U.S. Today, you can visit the many historic homes, restaurants and attractions that pay homage to the city’s rich history. Pun intended. These 9 Charleston luxury hotspots will make you feel like you’re one of the 1 percent for the day.
Charleston is known for its luxury hotels — and there’s plenty to choose from. We wouldn’t ever say no to a night at the Dewberry hotel or the Wentworth Mansion.
But what we love about the Planters Inn is that you’ll enjoy some Charleston history in addition to high-end amenities. The rooms are decorated with four-poster beds and linens reminiscent of the ones found in Charleston in the 19th century.
If you don’t have the cash to spend the night here, just make a stop in the bar or lobby instead. The Planters Inn is famous for having invented Planters punch, a rum-based cocktail that dates to the 1800s.
No matter your social standing, you’ll feel like an A-lister at this rooftop bar and restaurant. Situated on top of a luxury hotel, this bar offers stunning views of Downtown Charleston and the harbor.
Nosh on lowcountry eats while you sip classic southern cocktails. Menu items include shrimp cocktails, grilled salmon, crab bruschetta and pulled pork nachos.
This spot is so classic high-end Charleston that you might even run into a few local celebrities here. We know it probably goes without saying, but head here for sunset if you want to get one of the most romantic views in the city.
Southerners flock to Charleston in droves just for the shopping alone. And why wouldn’t they? Charlestonians are known for knowing how to dress. If you’ve ever wondered how to actually make seersucker work for your wardrobe, the Holy City will help you out.
There are dozens of shopping districts in Downtown Charleston alone, but if you’re looking for high-end fashion, you’ll want to head to King Street and Meeting Street — specifically to the Shops at Belmond Charleston Place.
In addition to high fashion, you’ll also find this area a mecca for other fancy activities. Belmond Charleston Place is just one other luxury hotel, and the building is also home to the Charleston Grill, one of the most iconic high-end restaurants in the city.
High Cotton pays homage to Charleston’s culinary history while embracing the future of lowcountry food. The dining room is located on the first floor of an old mansion and is decorated appropriately. Enjoy the sights of crisp, white linen tablecloths, crystal chandeliers and low-hanging porch fans as you dine.
You’ll find live music here practically every evening. Listen to old standards as you nosh on grits, eggs Benedict, lobster and refreshing salads.
You don’t need to head out to plantation country to visit one of South Carolina’s most elite historic homes. In fact, you might want to stay closer to the city to do so. If you’re trying to pretend you’re one of the elite, it’s hard to do so in some of the plantations that don’t boast any furniture.
The Nathaniel Russell House offers a glimpse into Charleston’s elite society homes of the 1800s. While you can’t sit on any of the period furniture or play dress-up in the bedrooms, you can still imagine what it was like to live as the other half did in the 19th century.
It doesn’t seem right to exclude water experiences on a fancy pants list. And this boat makes you feel like you’re a Kennedy. Or a Ravenel.
Charleston Sailing Charters’ boat, Fate, is actually a luxury yacht. The company offers reasonable rates to those of us who may not have bridges named after our families. Included in your price is a staff in full uniform and use of the luxury facilities (sitting room, bedroom and head).
You can bring your own vino and fancy finger foods, or Charleston Sailing Charters can arrange for a catering company to help you out.
Nothing screams wealth and luxury like a day at the spa. And nearly every high-end hotel in the city offers treatments that will pamper the seersucker pants off you.
Yet, the Heart of Charleston offers some of the most luxurious treatments you’ll find here. With services ranging from massage to skincare to tanning, their extensive menu will make you feel like royalty.
One of the most scenic golf resorts in the country, Kiawah Resort is a favorite of many pro golfers. Its five courses have won some of the most prestigious awards in the golfing world. Golf Digest named it one of the best golf resorts in America and the world. Golf Magazine named Kiawah a Platinum Resort.
The Ocean Course is a clear favorite among golf enthusiasts, and we can’t argue with them. There’s a view of the ocean at every hole.
OK, so Charleston’s elite might not be lining up for carriage rides every weekend these days. But traveling by horse and carriage was all the fashion back in the day. You can travel back in time to when the upper classes would enjoy the candlelit city from up high.
Learn a little about the history of the city’s elite while resting your feet. On chilly nights, you can cozy up underneath a blanket with your special someone.
Family owned and operated from the beginning, Walks of Charleston is passionate about the history, architecture and culture of Charleston and is dedicated to sharing it with you for a memorable experience on every tour.
“Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time”
– Steven Wright