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Immerse Yourself in the South
There’s a reason that Charleston was voted the best city in the U.S. Known for its beauty, visitors are mesmerized by cobblestone streets and historic pastel homes that overlook Charleston Harbor, the site of seminal moments in American history. Charleston is pioneering the modern South by elevating tradition while honoring its complex past. Hotel Bennett embodies this spirit — built by native Charlestonians, the lavish hotel opens upon King Street, the gateway to a prestigious culinary and cultural scene. Explore renowned restaurants, historic landmarks, shopping, arts, theater, outdoor activities, and endless escapes in and around the city.
Discover the festive happenings in the Holy City this holiday season with our guide of Things to do in Charleston for December 2023.
This harborside course is a favorite for local and visiting golfers. Located at the foot of the acclaimed Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, the 18-hole course has remarkable views of the historic city and Charleston Harbor. And it’s five-minutes from downtown making it the most accessible and memorable part of any golf trip to the historic city of Charleston.
Discover the International African American Museum at Gadsden's Wharf, the disembarkation point of up to 40% of all American enslaved persons once stood. IAAM tells the unvarnished stories of the African American experience across generations, the trauma and triumph that gave rise to a resilient people.
Centrally located in the Upper King Street area of Historic Downtown Charleston, the Charleston Music Hall is an outstanding venue for shows of all varieties. This versatile space combines historical elegance with modern functionality. Above all else, the Music Hall is a listening room; an intimate environment in which the audience and the artist can interact on a more personal level. In this space, that boasts the best acoustics in town, there literally is not a bad seat in the house.
Charleston’s most luxurious rooftop pool is right here at Hotel Bennet. Whether you’re looking to sunbathe or cool off with a crisp bottle of rosé, Hotel Bennett’s rooftop pool is the envy of the town. Find private rental cabanas complete with day-beds and televisions. And with a heated pool, it’s the place to be year-round.
Kindly note that our six private cabanas are available for reservation for a fee and are only available for hotel guests. Grand Cabanas host a maximum of six guests while the remaining Standard Cabanas host a maximum of four guests.
Daily 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Food and Beverage Service available from 12 to 5 pm
Cabanas are available daily from 11 am - 4 pm.
- Standard Cabana - 200.00 (Monday - Thursday)
- Standard Cabana - 250.00 (Friday - Sunday)
- Grand Cabana - 250.00 (Monday - Thursday)
- Grand Cabana - 300.00 (Friday - Sunday)
ALL CABANAS INCLUDE:
- TV and refrigerator
- Complimentary sodas and Hotel Bennett bottled water stocked in the refrigerator
- Exclusive take-home SunBum Day Tripper Bag: sunscreen, aloe lotion, and lip balm
- Two (2) reserved lounge chairs*
Cruise the Charleston Harbor with a unique experience aboard a luxury yacht charter, exclusively available to Hotel Bennett guests.
This architectural marvel is a local favorite for walking and running over the Cooper River with stunning water and city views. The bridge spans nearly 2.5 miles connecting downtown Charleston with the picturesque town of Mount Pleasant.
Avondale can be reached from downtown Charleston in just a few minutes by way of a quick but scenic drive and across the Ashley River. Catch sight of some sailboats and maybe a quick glance of passing seagulls, and you’ll be in the area known as West Ashley before you know it. The first borough you’ll reach is Avondale, an area that has much to offer beyond its conveniently close proximity to downtown Charleston.
As Charleston has continued to grow, so has this high-spirited hub known to locals as West Ashley’s downtown. While small in stature, the trendy, village-like community of Avondale is home to quite a few shopping and dining destinations. Fiercely local, eclectic and charming, Avondale is well worth the quick trip off of the peninsula.
Photo Courtesy of Explore Charleston
Charleston’s prominent location is nearby multiple beaches with pristine sands and waters perfect for surfing, swimming and sunbathing. Some towns worth exploring include Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, Kiawah Island and Edisto Beach. Each has its individual flare with restaurants, bars, shops and more for when you need a beach break.
Tucked in the middle of Charleston’s west side sits Cannonborough, a historic district that’s equally laid-back and abuzz with activity. Known for its easy-going residents, trendy shops and off-the-beaten-path restaurants, Cannonborough is a great neighborhood to stay in for those looking to rub elbows with locals while still taking in the best Charleston has to offer. While first settled in 1785, Cannonborough has experienced major revitalization over the past few decades leading to an area that’s dotted with both awe-inspiring historic homes and exciting modern builds, longstanding neighborhood corner stores and hip coffee shops.
Though mostly residential, the borough is flanked on one side by Charleston’s medical district and upper King Street on the other ensuring ever-present energy on the streets. Visitors and locals alike flock to this much-loved area to sample some of the many creative culinary establishments, enjoy the many community gardens and marvel at one of the most architecturally diverse areas in Charleston proper.
Photo Credit: Franziannika Photography
Upon the footsteps of the hotel’s entrance in Marion Square find a vibrant, thriving Farmers Market every Saturday morning. Shop among 100+ local vendors. In addition to farmers & growers, visitors can explore various food vendors and artisans showcasing art, clothing, jewelry and more.
The Gaillard Municipal Auditorium and Exhibition Hall opened in July of 1968. The Gaillard became home to the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in the early 1980s, and with the founding of Spoleto Festival USA in 1977, it helped propel Charleston onto the world stage.Construction of the new Charleston Gaillard Center began in August of 2012 and was finished in October of 2015. The new Gaillard Center features the 1,800-seat Martha and John M. Rivers Performance Hall, a 15,000-square foot Exhibition Hall, and three floors of City offices.
Said to be the oldest museum in America, the Charleston Museum is a comprehensive, moving curation of the Antebellum period in South Carolina. Learn about the acclaimed Low Country through various 18th century homes, exhibitions and historic artifacts from apparel and furniture to the natural sciences.
1500 Old Towne RD, Charleston, SC 29407
HOURS AND ADMISSION
- Admission : $10/adult; $6.50/S.C. Senior; $6/youth age 6-15; Free for children 5 and younger.
- Days and Hours of Operation: 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., daily
Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site sits on a marshy point, located off of the Ashley River, where a group of English settlers landed in 1670 and established what would become the birthplace of the Carolina colony. Charles Towne Landing introduces visitors to the earliest colonial history of Charleston. Interact with hands-on exhibits in the Visitor Center, talk to knowledgeable staff members, and take an audio tour on the self-guided history trail.
Spend the afternoon exploring nature and walking trails, biking, bird watching or geocaching. Bikes are available for rent. Strollers and wheelchairs are available free of charge.
Perfect for parents looking to entertain and educate their youngest family members, this museum teaches kids about the Lowcountry. Located on two blocks from the hotel, it offers hands-on exhibits for children under 10 in addition to programs, camps and classes like yoga and dance.
History and the arts collide to create an unforgettable experience at America’s first theater. Dock Street Theater is one of Charleston’s finest cultural institutions with Shakespeare to Broadway performances. The original building opened in 1736 — after a grand restoration in 2010, today it features state-of-the-art lighting and sound, enthralling theatergoers near and far.
History buffs can’t get enough of the island seaforts that played an integral role in our country's past. Located in the middle of Charleston Harbor, it’s only accessible by boat, making an ideal day of adventure. Learn about Fort Moultrie’s role in defeating the Royal Navy in 1776; and about the confederacy fired the Civil War’s first shots at Fort Sumter.
This is one of Charleston’s most visited attractions with entrepreneurs and vendors selling goods throughout open-air buildings. Started in the 1790s, it remains a central hub for shopping today. Browse art, spices, apparel, and the Lowcountry’s famous hand-woven baskets. Shoppers explore the market daily from 9:30 am-5:30 pm; on the weekends it stays open well into the evening along with live music.
Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway just 12 miles from historic Charleston, the Isle of Palms features a beautiful beach, championship golf & tennis, a marina, and endless recreational opportunities both on and off the water.
The sun rising over the Atlantic, teeing off on a Tom Fazio designed golf course, a refreshing swim in the ocean, and a bike ride along the beach. This and more defines the “island lifestyle” found at the Isle of Palms.
Photo Courtesy of Explore Charleston
Charleston welcomes families of all ages. Kids love to explore South Carolina Aquarium, a walking tour of downtown, and Patriot’s Point which is home to USS Yorktown, a full sized aircraft carrier converted into a war memorial. Continue to learn about the south’s complex past at various plantations (e.g. Drayton Hall, Middleton Place and Magnolia Plantation and Gardens) or take it easy at the beach. No matter what you’re looking for, Hotel Bennett’s concierge can help find the right activity for your family.
Whether you’re into antiquing, book shops, clothing or art galleries, get inspired by King Street shopping. This famous street is a hub for shopping and dining with miles of options — so be sure to plan your outgoing accordingly. It has three unique sections: Upper King is the art and design district; while the Middle King is all about fashion and Lower King is antique paradise.
Listed among Travel + Leisure’s “America’s Most Beautiful Gardens,” Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is the oldest public Garden in America. Founded in 1676, Magnolia has evolved alongside America through the Revolution, Civil War and modern renaissance. Immerse yourself in informative tours amongst acres of stunning intricate gardens or roam free as you please.
Marion Square has been the heartbeat of the city for over 150 years. Hotel Bennett sits the location of the Charleston County Library — a storied history that’s represented in the hotels’ design and decor. Today, the famous square is home to weekly Saturday Farmers Markets, SEWE, among other signature events.
The Old Village sits right on the Charleston harbor and is known for its beautiful historic homes, moss-draped live oak trees and small-town feel. Perched right on the Charleston Harbor and surrounded by water, Old Village claims some of the best waterfront views of the Charleston area. The Old Village is as coastal as it gets, and its breezy location is what prompted some of Charleston’s earliest residents to establish summer homes in the area in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, the Old Village retains that historic charm while still leaving room for mom-and-pop shops, restaurants and gathering spaces.
Picturesque, delightfully quaint and home to some of Charleston’s most friendly residents, exploring this little coastal community feels like discovering one of Charleston’s best-kept secrets. Even better is the fact that this special little district is just a hop, skip and a jump away from some of Charleston’s must-see sites. Staying in and around the Old Village area is great for leisure and business travelers alike looking for old village-style charm, sea salt air and a home away from home that’s just minutes from the beach and downtown Charleston.
Less than ten miles north of downtown, Park Circle is a lively community with unique character. A top local destination with a distinct neighborhood vibe, Park Circle is a planned community that dates back to the early 1900s. As its name suggests, Park Circle is anchored by a central circular park which is echoed by several other nearby green spaces—including the city’s own disc golf course, which is free to the public.
Known today as North Charleston’s old “Main Street,” Park Circle’s East Montague Ave. is lined with quite a few storefronts and eateries. Grab a cup of coffee, pop into some local shops and snag a bite to eat, all without needing to wander too far in this very walkable area.
Photo Courtesy of Explore Charleston
One of Charleston's most popular destinations for children, Patriot’s Point is a naval and maritime history museum in the heart of Charleston Harbor. The USS Yorktown, a WWII aircraft, is the centerpiece of several exhibits that preserve military history and tell stories of bravery. Other sites and exhibits include the USS Laffey, USS Clamagore Vietnam Experience, Medal of Honor Museum. Enjoy it self-guided or a privately guided tour.
One of Charleston’s most notable sites, this idyllic waterfront park and street will transport you to another time. Thought to be the must-see Charleston experience, plan to stroll along an elevated walkway on the bay while gazing at southern mansions until you reach the park which is full of cannons, oak trees, palmettos, statues, a gazebo, and incredible views.
Rainbow Row is the quintessential Charleston vista. This iconic row of pastel-colored historic homes are located along East Bay just steps from the famed Battery overlooking Charleston Harbor. The thirteen Georgia-style row houses in bold hues that date to the 18th century can be found north of Tradd St. and south of Elliott St.
Explore gardens, fountains and walking paths at this waterfront park conveniently located in historic downtown overlooking Charleston Harbor. Children cool off in the splash foundation during Lowcountry summers. Located off Concord Street, this is one of the peninsula's most visited parks.
The park is open daily.
For the perfect low key excursion, venture through Mount Pleasant to Shem Creek, a parkside area nestled into the historic creek and wetlands. Explore the walking trails and boardwalks, go fishing — stop for a creek-side lunch or stay for make an evening out of dinner and drinks.
The South Carolina Aquarium is a favorite among kids and parents. From the first moment, visitors are in awe of the Great Ocean Tank spanning the first to third floors with hundreds of different types of fish. The Touch Tank is not to be missed as youngsters touch live horseshoe crabs and other marine animals. The prime location is a 15 minute walk from Hotel Bennett.
The Spa at Hotel Bennett creates an urban oasis for guests with treatments that incorporate the area’s maritime surroundings. It’s the city’s finest spa experience with unique offerings, as well as radiance and fortitude treatments focusing on heart health. The spa will even provide a true King Street shopping experience for those browsing the exclusive retail offerings.
Join thousands of fans and cheer on the Riverdogs, Charleston’s Minor League baseball team. The family-friendly stadium overlooks the Ashley River and is a short 10 minute drive across downtown.
Every one of Charleston’s five beaches has its own unique character. Nestled at the mouth of the Charleston Harbor and neighbor to the Isle of Palms, Sullivan's Island is an idyllic beach town that offers a little something for everyone. While just over 3 miles in size, the island is home to an inviting mix of wide beaches and watersports, history and folklore, shops and restaurants—all wrapped up in one beloved barrier island. Come whenever you’d like. With temperate weather and so much to explore, there’s truly no off-season for this magical little year-round beach town.
History buffs and literature lovers alike can pay a visit to Fort Moultrie, one of the oldest remaining forts on the Eastern Seaboard, that once housed a young Edgar Allen Poe. Water lovers can take advantage of paddleboarding, kayaking, kiteboarding and sailing. Photographers can enjoy capturing photos of the striking Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse which stands at 140 feet tall and, to this day, guides ships to safety along the Charleston harbor. And those looking to get away from it all can enjoy long walks on the beach, peaceful bike rides along the marsh and serene shorelines with views that cannot be beat.
Photo Courtesy of Explore Charleston