all charleston travel guides will recommend a walk on the battery

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There’s a ton of information available about Charleston and the Lowcountry.

It lately seems like everyone and their mom is trying to visit the area or has been recently. But finding-out what you need to plan your trip can sometimes be overwhelming!

Luckily, there are plenty of high-quality Charleston travel guides available online. Besides the current guide to hipster Charleston, there are plenty of sources for every sort of niche traveler. These extensive guides make recommendations on everything from the best time to visit Charleston to what plugs to bring.

One of the reasons this Charleston hipster blog came into being was realizing how many sites offered recommendations written by people who aren’t from here. Read more of our history and about the Best of Hipster Charleston here.

How to Use This Charleston Travel Guide

First things first:

  1. Read this list of the top 20 best Charleston travel tips, as written by a local
  2. Decide on the best time to visit Charleston for you
  3. Check out our list of the best things to do in Charleston, SC, and the Lowcountry
  4. Explore the best places to stay in Charleston, be it a hotel, bed and breakfast, or vacation rental
  5. Make sure you scope-out what Charleston restaurants you want to experience before you arrive, as some fill-up reservations months in advance
  6. And don’t confine yourself to the peninsula while you’re here! Check out our guide to weekend or day road trips from Charleston, SC
  7. And if you’ve visited so many times you’re thinking about moving to Charleston, be sure to read our list of things no one tells you before you move here

Even more Charleston travel guides

Want to get some other opinions?

Read on to see a few of our favorites among Charleston guide books:

2. South of Broad

This is not a guidebook, per se, but it’s a great introduction to Charleston. I remember reading this book in the airport, on my way to visit Charleston for the first time.

The writer, Pat Conroy, is from the South Carolina Lowcountry. And South of Broad, while celebrating lifelong friendships, is truly a love letter to Charleston, South Carolina.

3. The Invention of Wings

Again, not a guidebook. But this second novel by Sue Monk Kidd is based in Charleston, and incorporates some famous personas from the mid-1800s, like Denmark Vesey.

Reading The Invention of Wings, you can tell the writer doesn’t know Charleston as intimately as Pat Conroy. I remember reading a paragraph where they ride their carriage up a street to a famous spot in town… That isn’t on that street. And the earthquakes haven’t moved churches that far, as far as I’m aware.

But it’s still a pleasant read, and a unique perspective in terms of better understanding the African American experience here.

4. Southern Living

The Crown Jewel of the South requires a decent write-up by Southern Living Magazine, and this literary staple of the South has done just that. Be sure to visit the guide for where to eat, drink, shop, stay, and play in Charleston.

5. Travel + Leisure

Another world-renowned source for travel planning, the Charleston visitor’s guide by Travel and Leisure is also worth checking-out.

6. Charleston Visitor’s Bureau

Get lots of free information, even a free visitor’s guide, straight from the horse’s mouth of the Charleston Visitor’s Bureau website. Well, the Visitor’s Bureau, which is paid for by the Charleston taxpayers, which is akin to the horse’s mouth.

7. The New York Times

Get a decidedly outsider’s view of Charleston by reading recent and not-so-recent articles about or mentioning Charleston in The New York Times, including a cruise from Baltimore to Charleston and reviews of new hotels in Charleston, SC.

8. TripAdvisor

The largest travel site in the world of course has plenty of information about Charleston and the surrounding area. Take what you read with a grain of salt, however, as lots of people visit TripAdvisor with an axe to grind.

9. USA Today 10 Best

Another nationally-known source of news has its own ideas of what the top 10 best things to do in Charleston, SC, are, as well as the best places to stay, eat, and explore. See recent articles written about Charleston on the USA Today website.

10. Fodor’s

This publication has a reputation for attracting higher-end travelers when they’re looking for recommendations, but Fodor’s is also worth checking-out for advice on Charleston.

11. Traveler of Charleston

Traveler of Charleston‘s goal is to provide high-quality resource informing visitors and locals on all that Charleston has to offer.

12. A Beautiful Mess

Get a quick feel for Charleston from two sisters from the Midwest during their long weekend stay in the Lowcountry. It’s just a quick run-down of their favorite places they visited as well as their own (brightly-colored) photography, but worth a quick sim.

*If you make a purchase after clicking on one of our links, we may receive a commission.*