HISTORIC CHARM AS PRETTY AS THE SEASON
Charleston, South Carolina
Step back in time in “The Holy City,” where the first shots of the Civil War were fired and 18th-century cemeteries, cannons, and horse-drawn carriages are a regular sighting. Perfect for spring, charming Charleston is filled with pastel-colored buildings that match the hues of the season. And as laid-back as it is, life in the Low Country is rich with culture: A steeple-rich skyline, store-lined cobblestone streets, secret gardens, pre-Civil War plantations, James Beard Award-winning restaurants, elegant mansions, yachting & water activities (Charleston is on the coast, after all), rooftop bars, and magnolias blooming everywhere you turn.
It’s a very pedestrian-friendly city, too, so do yourself a favor and explore it on foot. Spend your days shopping on King Street; seeing historic sites like Charleston City Market, The Battery, and Fort Sumter; and eating all the Southern-comfort food that’s made Charleston a hugely popular destination. For the good stuff, get pancakes at Early Bird Diner, fried green tomatoes at Poogan’s Porch, oysters at The Ordinary, upscale Southern cuisine at the award-winning FIG, and drinks at the Art Deco-inspired Élevé. During spring, don’t miss one of Charleston’s most popular annual events, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival (May 24 to June 9). An ode to the city’s thriving arts community, the festival offers over two weeks of classical music, jazz, dance, and theater performances; art exhibits; poetry readings; film screenings; craft shows; and more.
Where to stay: Sleep just steps from King Street at the Charleston Marriott, with weekend rooms starting around $270 a night. Since hotels in Charleston can go for a premium price, don’t forget to check Airbnb, too.