Expert Advice

Here’s What I Recommend To Do In Charleston, South Carolina

From Angel Oak Tree to King Street shopping

Sheryl B

I jumped at the opportunity to book a Studio at Liberty Place Charleston, a Hilton Club during winter break when an opening appeared on the HGV Max portal. This resort is located in Charleston, South Carolina. In the summer of 2020, I stayed in Charleston for one night before driving to Ocean 22, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club in Myrtle Beach. I had looked forward to visiting Charleston during a different season.

Here’s how I spent my trip.

Courtyard of Liberty Place Charleston, a Hilton Club in South Carolina 

Liberty Place Charleston, A Hilton Club

I arrived at Liberty Place before 6 p.m. The front desk clerk was professional and reminded me that housekeeping would service the room during my stay. Remember, this is a Hilton Club property. 

The property is well-maintained, and everything looks and smells new. I like the different hues of gray, large picture windows and high ceilings. The lighting in the bathroom was perfect for a selfie. After I inspected my room, I walked to East Bay Deli for a pastrami and corned beef sandwich, perfect for a late-night meal.

A Hilton Grand Vacations Owner at Liberty Place Charleston, a Hilton Club in South Carolina 

There is an outdoor seating area on the second floor. I took advantage of the nice weather and posed for a picture. If you are traveling with family or friends, this is a great area to hang out for the evening before turning in for the night. If you prefer to hang out indoors, there is seating available in the lobby. However, the bar and cafe were temporarily closed due to the New Year. I didn’t use the laundry facility or fitness center. Valet parking is available, but I used rideshare to and from the airport.

Things To Do

Stop By The Visitor Center

Head out for a 10-minute walk to the Charleston Visitor Center, and be prepared to spend time in the Camden Room. If you need coupons for carriage rides or plantation tours, check the display. You can also find coupons in the official visitors guide. Even though I ordered the visitors guide before my trip, it arrived three days after I returned home, so request one far in advance.

White stucco exterior of Emanuel AME Church, one of the oldest Black churches in the United States, located in Charleston, South Carolina 

Take A Bus Tour

Condé Nast Traveler named the Angel Oak Tree as one of Charleston’s spectacular spots. A rideshare roundtrip would have cost about $100, but I only paid $40 for a two-and-a-half-hour bus tour of Charleston with Sights & Insights Tours. Learn about the Gullah Geechee people, folk opera “Porgy and Bess,” Hurricane Hugo and the story behind the civil rights song “We Shall Overcome.” If you’re lucky, Al the tour guide will sing for your group.

I left the bus for a picture of the Instagram-worthy Angel Tree even though it was raining. The tour will also take you past Emanuel AME Church, one of the oldest Black churches in the United States. Al's insight into the history of Charleston touched my heart.

Shop At King Street

Expect to spend two to three hours exploring King Street. As you walk down this stretch of trendy restaurants and hotels, there are plenty of small businesses to support. I stopped by Sèchey and purchased nonalcoholic beverages. If you like vinyl, make sure to visit Record Stop. I bought my souvenir ornament at A Christmas to Remember.

Insider tip: Bring comfortable shoes. I walked 5.73 miles on just my second day in Charleston. 

A charcuterie board from a restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina 

Where To Eat

I wanted to end my walk with a meal at Virginia's on King, but the restaurant was closed for remodeling. Instead I dined at Hyman's. I tried the recommended whole-fried flounder with okra and ate everything on my plate. I also picked up breakfast and lunch items at Harris Teeter on my way back to Liberty Place Charleston.

On my last night in Charleston, I headed to Uncork for a charcuterie board. I was greeted immediately with a smile and warm hello. I didn’t take a wine card because I was participating in Dry January. The bartender created a mocktail (non-alcoholic cocktail). Everything on my charcuterie board was delicious, including the locally sourced bread, sunflower seeds, blueberries, peppers and glazed nuts. The mocktail was well-crafted. The bartender and hostess invited me back in February to try the wines, even though I was headed back to Chicago the next day.

Charleston is beautiful. Three days was not enough time to experience the Holy City. As a solo traveler, I felt safe exploring Charleston even at night. If you want to visit this walkable city, do not hesitate to book Liberty Place Charleston.

Read “4 Seasons Of Southern Charm: 13 Things To Do In Charleston” for more ways to explore year-round.

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Sheryl B, a Hilton Grand Vacations Owner, poses for a selfie

Sheryl B

Sheryl has been an Owner for nine years and has shared several memorable vacations with her friends and family. Her favorite destination is Sunrise Lodge, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club, in Park City, Utah, where she celebrated her 60th birthday. You can find Sheryl vacationing year-round, relaxing by the pool, throwing snowballs with her family or sipping mimosas while playing board games.

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