A local’s guide to Charleston, SC

Photo by @jonpuckett

The best part about being a Charlestonian is knowing the ins and outs of the 843. With National Tourism Day last weekend — on May 7, to be exact — we thought it apt to rack your brain about the best things a tourist should do in the Holy City. 

From neighborhood bars like Share House to the Gibbes Museum of Art that you really shouldn’t skip, here are 16 recommendations for tourists to do according to, well, you

Eat + drink 

Vicious Biscuit, 409 W. Coleman Blvd., Mt. Pleasant

Check out this local restaurant suggested by Reader Mary V. that also landed a spot on our list of brunch eateries around town. We’d recommend The Fat Boy. 

Stars Rooftop Bar, 495 King St. 

Shoutout to Reader Mary V. for this submission as well. Enjoy panoramic views of the peninsula while sipping on a frozen negroni or mimosa

Firefly Distillery, 4201 Spruill Ave., North Charleston

DYK the co-owner of this local distillery is one of two masterminds behind the worlds first handcrafted Sweet Tea Vodka? Enjoy live music + other events, plus more than 25 spirits at this Park Circle establishment. 

Hero Doughnuts & Buns, 145 Calhoun St.

Grab a dozen donuts from this hidden gem offering breakfast, buns, and baked goods. Thanks, @thingstodoincharleston. 

The Citrus Club at The Dewberry, 334 Meeting St.

Check out the view from the highest rooftop in Charleston while indulging in light bites + cocktails. We’ll take an order of oysters on the half shell, please. 

Burwell’s Stone Fire Grill, 14 N. Market St.

Be sure to make a reservation + check out the menu for this awardwinning, casual steakhouse, suggested by @the_twinmike. 

Share House + Bodega, 23 Ann St. 

We can confirm: This recently-opened duo on Ann Street suggested by @noonan_15 is the place to be. Order a Larceny Mule from Share House and head back the next morning for a breakfast sandwich from Bodega


Holy City History Tours, 164 Market St., Ste. 227

Get tickets to explore our city during a daytime walking tour or evening ghost tour, if you dare. Shoutout to @lindseyy__m for the suggestion.

Happy Dog Charters 

Choose a fishing charter, sunset cruise, beach walk, or custom charter to experience the Holy City waterways, suggested by @the.hangry.captain.

Must see 

Sullivan’s Island Beach

There’s nothing better than a beach day in the Lowcountry. Grab a beach chair + some friends and soak up the sun along this two and a half-mile long barrier island. Thanks, @thecharlestonsuites. 

Waterfront Park Pineapple Fountain, Vendue Range, Concord St.

Reader Mary V. hit the nail on the head for a must-do during a classic Charleston day. Be sure to snap a photo of the picturesque landmark.

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, 3550 Ashley River Rd.

This local venue was recognized as one of “America’s Most Beautiful Gardens” by Travel + Leisure Magazine. Embark on a historic garden walk and explore the venue for an event or wedding

The Center for Birds of Prey, 4719 N. Hwy. 17, Awendaw

Check out weekly tours + flight demonstrations at this local nonprofit dedicated to conservation through education

The Woodlands Nature Reserve, 4279 Ashley River Rd.

Swing by this 6,000-acre nature reserve to explore 11 lakes, a blackwater swamp, and wildlife just outside of Charleston, by the suggestion of @thingstodoincharleston. 


Gibbes Museum of Art, 135 Meeting St. 

Suggested by local restaurant Bull & Finch, this museum offers programs + events, exhibitions, and a membership, working to connect our city’s history to contemporary art.