Charleston in South Carolina is easily the most beautiful and romantic place I have been in the US. Seriously, it was love at first sight. However, would I have ever gone there if I was not living so close to it? Probably not. I never really knew much about Charleston, beyond what I had seen on “Southern Charm“. And that is exactly why I want to urge everyone to add it to their US itinerary. Charleston may not be well known to people outside of the US, but it absolutely should be. Here is why.
1. The architecture
During both of my day trips to Charleston, I honestly could not stop smiling. This is largely due to the fact that the architecture is so charming. It is the best I have seen in the US. There is a lot of old money in Charleston, so the huge mansions and quaint, colourful buildings make the city feel magical. The atmosphere is truly intoxicating.
2. The history
South Carolina has a very interesting and, at times, confronting history. Charleston is perhaps the greatest illustration of this, particularly with regards to the Civil War. It is scattered with many historical buildings and points of interest. The Museum Mile has the greatest concentration of these. If this is not really your thing, maybe you would be more interested in being a part of movie history. Many films have been made in Charleston – most notably for me, The Notebook. You can visit several filming locations for Noah and Allie’s love story throughout the city. Just goes to show that Charleston really is the perfect romantic setting!
3. The food
This is one element I would definitely like to experience more! Charleston has a huge food scene. You can tell that just from walking around downtown. There are so many elegant restaurants. In fact, I have heard many people come here for the food alone. And, in case you have not figured it out yet, Charleston is the perfect date city. If you want a girl to fall in love with you, wine and dine her here.
4. The shopping
Shopping in Charleston is a treat. The main shopping street in the downtown area is King Street. It is home to a huge array of big brands, mixed with gorgeous boutiques. The wonderful thing is that they are all housed in historic buildings. So, you can soak up the charm of the city while you shop up a storm! The greater Charleston area also includes some factory outlets. I checked out the Tanger Outlet and found it to be quite good.
5. Go beyond the “East or West Coast” mentality
When trying to plan a trip to the US, people often ask me whether they should visit the East or West Coast (the answer is obviously both!). And when referring to the East Coast, they usually mean the Northeast. But ladies and gentlemen, I beg you to add the South to that discussion. I feel that the South is often unjustly overlooked as a destination for overseas travellers to the US. Heck, I am guilty of this. This is my sixth time to the US, but first time to the South. Having now lived here for a few months, I have come to realise that the charm of the US is truly in the South. And there is no greater example of this than Charleston. Go to Charleston and I guarantee you will want to see more of the South.