Solo Travel Destinations · south carolina

Solo Travel: Charleston, SC

Sometimes you just gotta go solo! I’ll be honest, I always prefer to travel with my husband. We really like each other, and he’s the best travel buddy! But when work makes him go on a business trip, I take the opportunity to have my own business trip—solo! Earlier this spring, he had a trip pop up at the last minute, so I searched Skyscanner (one of my secret weapons in finding flight deals) and found a killer deal to Charleston, one of the best places for a girl to go solo!

Why Charleston?

Charleston is the place for you if you’re in to history, Southern food, architecture, museums, art, or the great outdoors! You can kayak, take a history tour, see 350 years of architectural styles, and eat the best shrimp and grits of your life all in the same day. The people are friendly and helpful, the sun is usually shining, and you will never have a chance to get hungry. Speaking of hungry, if you’re just not sure about going out to eat by yourself, check out my Guide to Dining Out Solo!

Don’t forget your obligatory Pineapple Fountain selfie at Waterfront Park!

Is it Safe?

Yes! As a small woman traveling alone, I felt completely safe walking around Charleston. I went running each morning before the sun came up, and I was in good company; loads of locals also like to walk or run early, and they all say hello and wave back! I Ubered between the airport and downtown, then Ubered back to the airport, and both drivers were super friendly and helpful in giving me suggestions on what to do and see. The manager at 27 State Street Bed and Breakfast took time to make me feel welcome and answered all my questions. To be honest, the greatest danger I faced was running on cobblestone streets!

Charm comes with hazards… cobblestones!

How Can I Get There?

I flew non-stop from Washington, DC, to Charleston International Airport for $137, then took a $25 Uber directly to my accommodation. You can also drive there if you prefer! 

Pineapple Fountain, Waterfront Park, Charleston

Where Should I Stay?

If you’ve read much from me about accommodations, you know I always advise travelers to stay downtown, or walking distance to where you want to be. You’ll save time and money on transportation, and sometimes it’s really nice to pop into your room to rest in the middle of the day! I stayed at the 27 State Street B&B, right in the historic French Quarter, and I can happily recommend it to you as well. 

The canopied bed of my dreams at the 27 State Street B&B!

How to Stay Occupied?

You will not grow bored in or around Charleston, no matter how long you plan to stay. You can tour historic homes; go on walking tours (like the Gateway Walk), carriage tours, or bike tours; take a 1/2 day trip to any of the surrounding plantations; go dolphin watching; and so much more! Did I mention fabulous local shopping at the historic City Market? Oh, and there are several art galleries and museums. With so much to do, you’ll be wishing you’d stayed longer!

Made a new friend on my horse-drawn carriage tour! Meet Trevor!

How to Save Money

Charleston is one of the more expensive cities for tourists, there’s no doubt about it! But if you can pick-and-choose what you really want to do, then fill in with some free activities, you can definitely do Charleston on a budget! 

All the FREE Things

Check out my post on FREE Things to Do in Charleston! And make sure to stop by the Visitor Center to see what free seasonal events might be going on during your stay!

Don’t forget to visit Charlestons numerous churches—they’re all FREE!
Transportation from the Airport

If you’re looking for the best way to save money on transportation from the airport, here’s the breakdown of your options:

  • Taxi: $35 
  • Uber: $25 from the airport, $21 to the airport (price varies by availability and time of day)
  • Shuttle: $3.50
Historic House Tours

House tours are $12 each, but you can pair some of them together and see more at a discount. The Aiken-Rhett House and Nathaniel Russell House can be combined for $18; the Joseph Manigault House, Charleston Museum, and Heyward-Washignton House can also be combined with two for $18 or all three for $28.

Don’t forget you can visit historic Rainbow Row for FREE!
Ticket Packages

Visiting in January? Check out the Charleston Museum Mile. January 2019 tickets were $25 for 13 sites in and around Charleston, which is an incredible savings! Be sure to check out the deal for next January!

Staying 2, 3, or 7 days? Check out the Heritage Passport packages to see if one will work for you!

Dining

This one can be tricky. I had a hard time finding dinner menus with any remotely reasonable prices (most entrees alone were $30 and up even at casual restaurants!), but you will find some reasonable rates at the restaurants alongside the Charleston City Market.

Also, I like to enjoy a hearty breakfast that will last me until 2 or so (even better if breakfast is already included with your accommodation!), enjoy a late lunch, and either only get dessert for dinner or grab a sandwich to go for dinner, if I’m hungry at all! You will save a pretty penny if you’re willing to eat your main meal at lunch instead of supper!

Lunchtime shrimp and grits from Poogan’s Porch literally lasted me until breakfast the next morning!

Want more? Stay tuned for What to Eat in Charleston, and take a look at What to Know Before You Visit Charleston!

Are you ready to put Charleston on your solo travel list? Tell me below!

Want more? Check out 21 Destinations for Solo Female Travel and my Solo Travel Page!

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