With its vibrant culture, rich history, exquisite architecture, celebrated dining scene and friendly locals, it’s no wonder Charleston has become one of America’s best loved travel destinations. And there is no better time to visit the Holy City than just before the holidays when temperatures are still mild. Join us for a trip that will showcase Charleston from in insider’s perspective. This trip is sure to hit all of your senses including beautiful historic homes, meticulous private gardens, world-class cuisine, rich history, and holiday cheer at every turn.
Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the schedule.
Fly into Charleston in the morning (or the night before) and make your way to Charleston's art hotel The Vendue This art-filled boutique hotel in the French Quarter is housed in a collection of historic warehouses, some dating from the 1780s. Waterfront Park, East Bay Street and Rainbow Row are all within a 5-minute walk.
Around 6:00pm, we’ll enjoy a Champagne welcome and meet and greet at the hotel's roof top bar.
Then we’ll dine at one of Charleston’s favorites, The Husk Restaurant.
Today, we will start with a private guided tour of Charleston and hear the stories and traditions of Charleston’s rich history and colorful past. The tour will highlight the vibrant neighborhoods, historic sites, architecture, and art including Rainbow Row, The Battery, White Point Garden, and some of Charleston’s most beautiful churches.
After stopping for lunch at the delightful Cru Café, we will take a guided Charleston Strolls Holiday Walking Tour to where carriages and motorcoaches are not allowed and take a fascinating walking tour with stories and traditions. Visit the Four Corners of Law and The Battery while also seeing private neighborhoods dressed in their holiday finery.
We will end our tour at the Charleston City Market, one of the nation’s oldest public markets and cultural heart of the city. Home to more than 300 vibrant entrepreneurs, this is always something to see, do, taste, and take home as a souvenir.
You’ll then have some free time as the day winds down to walk back to the hotel, shop or continue to explore before dinner.
Tonight, we will walk to dinner at the Historic Charleston Supper Club.
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll drive to the Middleton Place, a National Historic Landmark, home to the oldest landscaped gardens in America and an enduring, vibrant, and essential part of the Charleston and American experience. We’ll enjoy lunch at the Middleton Place restaurant, a James Beard award winning restaurant Inspired by the recipes and spirit of former resident chef and renowned southern chef Edna Lewis.
After lunch, we will drive to Wadmalaw Island to experience the Charleston Tea Garden, America’s only farm to table tea growing & production plant. The trolley tour around the tea garden is included, as well as all you can drink tea.
We will then head back to the hotel before heading out for a dinner at the Muse Restaurant. The restaurant is within walking distance of the hotel.
We’ll start the morning with a walking tour designed for the discerning visitor who wishes to experience Old Charleston as a guest, not a tourist. Guided by two knowledgeable and charming local guides whose families have lived in Charleston for generations, we’ll visit “their city”, visiting their friends’ private homes and gardens. We’ll then be treated to a private Charleston Tea Party with a gourmet lunch in their meticulously restored historic home decked out in its holiday best.
After such a wonderful morning and lunch, we’ll visit the nearby Charleston Museum with access to the exquisite antebellum Heyward-Washington House and the Georgian-style Joseph Manigault House. Afterwards, you appreciate some free time to either go back to the hotel, enjoy more time at the museum, or head to King Street for some holiday shopping.
Tonight, you’re in for a treat! Enjoy a special evening at the historic Edmondston-Alston House. Tour the festively decorated house by candlelight and hear the Charleston Caroling Company. Warm up in the courtyard with a glass of wine or hot cider where local storyteller, Fouché Sheppard, will perform Gullah Christmas stories.
Dinner will be at The Fast and the Furious, a casual and fun French bistro.
Today will begin with a walk across the street for a quick visit to the renowned Charleston Farmers’ Market during their annual Holiday Market. During December, the market is filled with many local artisans and crafters alongside local farmers. After, we’ll meet up with one of Charleston’s best chefs for a visit to another neighborhood market to observe how a Chef shops. Using the ingredients, we select at the market; the Chef will create a one-of-a-kind farm-to-table dining experience for us at a local restaurant.
This afternoon we’ll have time to spend as you please. Holiday shop on King Street, a spa treatment at the hotel or discover more of Charleston. The choice is all yours.
On our final evening, we’ll have dinner at the celebrated restaurant Church and Union.
After a hearty breakfast, we’ll say our goodbyes and Happy Holiday wishes, with a promise to stay in touch with our new friends.
The Vendue Hotel Charleston’s art hotel. Reverie at its finest. Stay a while. Bursting with modern energy and an undeniable flair amidst historic bones, The Vendue is like no other place in Charleston.
Robin Leonard, an experienced navigator who loves uncovering the unexpected in every location. After spending years in the corporate world as a consultant, Robin joined the travel industry with a goal of helping other women dream, explore and discover through travel. With a passion for all things Charleston, Robin is excited to share the magic of Charleston at the holidays with you.
The Holy City
Charleston expresses an enchanting blend of opulence and intimacy, history and hospitality, culture and cuisine, and art and architecture.
All ground transportation (excluding airport transfers)
GG2P Welcome Gift
All meals plus wine or beer at dinner
All guides, experts, and entry fees for tours, museums, and plantations on the itinerary
Your stay at the Francis Marion hotel
Roundtrip airfare to Charleston
Additional wine, beer, or spirits beyond what is offered at meals.
All personal souvenir purchases
Travel and Medical Insurance (required)