One of the best ways to explore a city is through its food, and when it comes to food-centric destinations, there are few places that compare to Charleston, South Carolina.
The Holy City, as Charleston is affectionately known, is full of culinary delights and historic sites sure to please any traveler’s thirst for adventure.
Getting to Charleston with travel rewards
Charleston International Airport is serviced by a number of major airlines, including British Airways, Alaska, Allegiant, JetBlue, Southwest, American, United, Delta and Frontier.
Frontier mileage program members not only gain access to Frontier’s family pooling program, whereby you can combine your miles with friends and family, but also earn 1 elite-qualifying mile with every $1 spent on qualifying purchases.
» Learn more: How to save money when you travel solo
Charleston’s Upper King Street is not only home to a thriving design district but is also an affordable alternative to downtown when it comes to finding accommodations.
Upper King’s Hyatt House Charleston/Historic District and Hyatt Place Charleston/Historic District are both participating in Hyatt’s Double Your Points promotion, whereby you’ll earn double World of Hyatt points for your stay at an eligible Hyatt hotel.
Shrimp, grits and she-crab, oh my!
Charleston is a veritable food paradise, with a seemingly endless array of Southern culinary delights coupled with the warm, gracious service for which the city is known.
Indulge in seafood gumbo and she-crab soup at Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar, located in a retired naval building boasting views of the Charleston Harbor. At local favorite Hominy Grill, diners are treated to Charleston classics including shrimp & grits, a “Charleston nasty biscuit” and fried green tomatoes. Leon’s Oyster Shop dishes up fresh oysters and fried chicken served out of a converted garage.
» Learn more: Eat out without biting into your budget
Don’t let the line at Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit scare you off — their award-winning biscuits are worth the wait. For upscale dining, book a table at The Ordinary, Husk or FIG. Don’t forget to save room for dessert, too; enjoy a slice of Peninsula Grill’s famous 12-layer ultimate coconut cake.
If you prefer a bit of entertainment with your dining experience, you’ll want to check out the Sunday Gospel Brunch at Hall’s Chophouse. And for a more in-depth look at the city’s food scene, sign up for one of Bulldog Tours’ Charleston Food Tours.
A side of history
All that eating might have you feeling in need of some exercise, so you’ll be pleased to learn that Charleston is best explored on foot, particularly when it comes to seeing the many sights of the town’s historic district.
After ogling the painted houses of East Bay Street’s Rainbow Row, take a walk along the Charleston Battery and check out the homes and the views of Fort Sumter (which can be reached via a 30-minute ferry ride if you’d like to visit the spot where the American Civil War began). Make your way to the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon for a glimpse at Charleston’s history, including the basement “dungeon” where British forces held prisoners of war during the American Revolution. At the Old Slave Mart Museum, take a moment to reflect on the past as you visit the site believed to be the last surviving slave auction gallery in South Carolina.
» Learn more: Cheap and free things to do in any city
The Charleston City Market is a shopper’s paradise, with more than 300 vendors selling a variety of products, including handcrafted sweetgrass baskets, which are a treasured Gullah tradition. The upscale shops of King Street are also sure to tempt your wallet.
If you’d like a little help getting your bearings, or if you’re just too full to walk after indulging in Charleston’s culinary delights, hop aboard one of Palmetto Carriage Works’ horse-drawn carriages for a tour of Charleston’s historic district.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Booking the best airfare is a matter of timing
NerdWallet’s top travel credit cards
How to earn travel rewards you’ll actually use