As you probably already know, Charleston is a fantastic destination for a weekend away for a group of girls looking for some fun. With its historic charm, outstanding restaurants, active bar scene, and fun activities, it's no surprise that Charleston is a popular place to plan a girls' weekend away, a bachelorette weekend, a beach trip, a reunion, or a trip to just celebrate being together. We all need that!
So, let's find a place to stay! Charleston has a variety of neighborhoods which each have their ups and downs. Essentially, the closer you are to the center of downtown, the more expensive the AirBnB's will be. However, this is where the restaurants and bars are, as well as all of the sights and attractions. By staying downtown, you can walk to everything without having to drive into the city. On the other hand, if you're on a tighter budget, staying outside of the city will get you a lower price and perhaps more space, too.
We've outlined the different neighborhoods along with their typical prices and some great AirBnB options. More details below. And at the end of this article, we have some suggestions for activities and restaurants, too.
AirBnB's in Downtown Charleston
Downtown is the heart of the city, as you probably know by now. Here you'll find the historic market, a plethora of restaurants, the King Street shopping district, and rows and rows of historic homes on quaint tree-lined streets. You can find plenty of AirBnB's here for larger groups
South of Broad
The area at the southern end of the peninsula is known as South of Broad (everything to the south of Broad Street), and has some of the best AirBnB's to be found in the city
. In this area you will mostly find historic colonial homes on beautiful tree-lined streets. You'll also find beautiful views along the waterfront on the Battery, hidden gems in small alleyways, and the famous Rainbow Row. Most importantly, you'll be within easy reach on foot of everything in central Charleston. Keep in mind that this is the higher-end neighborhood of Charleston, as it contains the most beautiful homes in the best location. So expect to pay a bit more here for the convenience and atmosphere.
King Street & Meeting Street
Running through the middle of Charleston is King Street, and as it heads north from Broad Street through the middle of downtown, visitors can find rows and rows of boutique shops and restaurants. One block to the east is Meeting Street, another busy area with even more restaurants and bars. The surrounding blocks contain many AirBnB's that are perfectly located
in the heart of Charleston. From here you can be anywhere in the central part of the city in just a few minutes, including many of the bars, activities, and sights around town. (At the end of this article, we have some suggestions for activities and restaurants, too).
The blocks that make up the French Quarter of Charleston lie to eastern side of Meeting Street and over to the river. This prime neighborhood is perfectly situated with easy access to the historic market, the riverfront park, and the nearby streets full of Charleston's sights, bars, and restaurants. Plenty of AirBnB's can be found
in this higher-end and perfectly located
neighborhood. They are a bit more expensive than in other areas, but you definitely get what you pay for!
The central area of town to the west of King Street is known as Harleston Village. While this area is very central to Downtown Charleston, it's also much more affordable. Some amazing values for AirBnB's can be found here
, including entire houses. And yes, many are the traditional "side porch" houses that Charleston is famous for. Check this one out
, for example.
This neighborhood is not nearly as expensive as some of the other historical spots in central Charleston. But it's still so close to all of the bars and shops that you can still walk to everything. Also, some of the houses here include parking, which can help you reduce your overall cost, because if you have to park in a paid lot near downtown, it could cost you around $20 per day.
Keep going north from the central park of Charleston and you'll get to some residential neighborhoods that are still within walking distance of downtown. However, it's a longer walk, and you might want to consider and Uber or Lyft to reach this section of town. On the bright side, you can find some great deals
, more space, and even free parking in a few places. Some even lower prices can be found in the areas just north of Clark Ave. and around Hampton Park itself.
Parking in Downtown Charleston
If you're considering staying in the central areas of Charleston, keep in mind that any place you stay, whether it's a hotel or an AirBnB, you'll have to figure out what to do for parking. Many hotels charge an extra fee for parking, and AirBnB's may or may not include it depending on the neighborhood. Public parking lots and garages can be found in convenient locations around town, but they will often charge $18 per day (or $1 per hour). Metered spaces are also available. They usually charge more, but many are free after 5 p.m.
Our suggestion is to attempt to find a place that includes parking, but be prepared to pay the daily fee to park your car somewhere near your AirBnB.
North Charleston AirBnB's
As you move north up the peninsula that is Downtown Charleston, prices for AirBnB's become more affordable, but they lose their historic and charming atmosphere. You also get more space, though, and often a free place to park.
From these neighborhoods you will either need to drive or Uber into the central areas of Charleston. However, many affordable and large houses and condos can be found around this part of town. Some of the homes are still very historic and have plenty of charm. Others are new and modern.
The Park Circle neighborhood has many great AirBnB options
which are within walking distance to some restaurants and shops, too. This older neighborhood has retained its charm and is on the closer, southern side of North Charleston to downtown.
If you're looking for some food and drinks in this area, check out LoLA for their Cajun seafood cuisine and Junction Kitchen with their delicious breakfast served all day. Firefly Distillery
and Coast Brewing are two local spots worth some time if you're looking for a drink.
Mount Pleasant & Sullivan's Island
To the east of downtown, over the massive Cooper River Bridge, lies the Mount Pleasant neighborhood. Here you'll find a variety of houses and condos. Moving towards the water usually increases the prices, but overall the costs here are significantly less than in the central downtown sections of Charleston. If you're willing to drive into downtown for a few activities, or want to be near the beach, this is a good spot.
Specifically, the Shem Creek area is a nice spot as it contains a number of bars and restaurants along a scenic waterway filled with fishing boats and boardwalks. This is a destination itself as plenty of locals and visitors alike come to this area to have a good time, eat some seafood, and party late into the night at the crowded bar scene.
The surrounding area is full of houses, some of which are on the waterfront or near the bar and restaurant area. Here you can find a good mix of affordable condos and houses for rent
at a variety of prices depending on the level of luxury and size that you need. Check out the "old village" area of Shem Creek for some of the nicer places. For less than $100 per night, it's possible to find an apartment or even a small house here. Or, for a few hundred per night, an entire multi-bedroom home near the water. Many of these houses are historic and have plenty of atmosphere.
The Beach at Sullivan's Island
The small town of Sullivan's Island lies on the beach, and so the prices here are a bit higher than if you stay a little further inland. But it's hard to beat the location when you can not only walk to the beach but also drive into downtown Charleston in just 15 minutes or so.
Prices for AirBnB's here vary dramatically. Luxurious and huge houses are available for hundreds per night, while much more affordable places can be found for under $200. Generally, if you're a larger group and need more space, then you can find it here and have the level of luxury and comfort that you would want if you spend slightly more for it. We've picked out some of the best houses by the beach here
This suburban area to the west of downtown has quick access to everything in central Charleston by car in just a matter of minutes. You can save a lot of money by staying in this area, although it doesn't have as much of the historical charm of downtown. However, many of the homes on AirBnB do have plenty of charm
, and for significantly less money you can have a lot more space for your group.
Some good restaurants and a few bars can be found in this neighborhood, but again, they don't have all of the charm as downtown. It's quite easy to drive or Uber into town in just a few minutes, though.
James Island & Folly Beach
As you drive southwest from downtown, the residential area of James Island contains a number of charming southern homes. Many of these have plenty of space, nice outdoor patios, and easy access to downtown.
Keep heading south and you'll eventually get to Folly Beach. Much like Sullivan's Island (mentioned above), this beach town has a great mix of beach access, restaurants, and of course the close proximity to central Charleston.
Prices for vacation houses in James Island
are significantly more affordable than in central Charleston, and come with more space, more amenities, and usually free parking, too. This spot is a good compromise between the city and the beach, as you could easily spend a weekend in a great house with a day for downtown and a day for the beach, with evenings at the best restaurants and bars around Charleston.
While Folly Beach is a further drive from downtown than Sullivan's Island (mentioned above), it's still a fantastic destination for a weekend getaway. As Charleston is still within an hour's drive, you can have the best of both worlds here with days on the beach and plenty of time to explore downtown, too.
Being at the beach means that you'll pay a little more for a house here than in James Island, but it's also less expensive than Sullivan's Island. An entire house here for a group of 4, 6, or more people can run anywhere from $150 to $600 per night on AirBnB
. If you compare prices to Sullivan's Island, you'll see that it's generally more affordable, but the trade off is the proximity to downtown. We've picked out some of the best houses for larger groups on AirBnB here
If you're on a tight budget, Johns Island might be for you. This area to the south of the city has plenty of countryside charm with a few nearby golf courses, parks, a vineyard
, and the famous Angel Oak
Many of the houses listed on AirBnB in this area
are quite nice, luxuriously appointed, and relatively affordable compared to the rest of Charleston. They tend to be modern suburban homes instead of the historical or colonial houses found closer to Charleston, though. Other homes might be a little older, but come at a lower price, too. Keep in mind the driving distances if you want to stay this far out, but if you're on a tight budget, it might be worth it.
Kiawah & Seabrook
This is the premier beach destination of the central S.C. coast. The resort islands of Kiawah (AirBnB's
) and Seabrook (AirBnB's
) offer charming and luxurious beach houses in a quiet, relaxing, and natural environment. Located about one hour south of Charleston, these two islands consist mostly of larger private homes tucked into the palm forests or beachfront, all with nearby beach access. Also located on these islands are golf courses, tennis courts, bike trails, horse stables, and the Kiawah Resort
which has fine dining, a pool with waterslides, kids activities, and more. These two islands are a bit of a drive from central Charleston, but nearby is a shopping area with a grocery store and a few casual restaurants.
If you're looking for a larger private house near the beach, you really can't go wrong here as this is a premier and fantastic location. The prices are higher than in other beach areas nearby, though, but you absolutely get plenty of luxury and relaxation for your money.
We've picked out a few of the best options for larger groups on AirBnB here
Activities and Things to do In Charleston
Your girls weekend away needs something to do, right? Here are a few of the best things to do if you're spending some time between the beach and the restaurants and bars.
The Harbor Cruise
is nice, as it provides good views of the city from the water, along with a nice historical overview.
Food Tours are highly recommended
as Charleston is really just one huge southern seafood restaurant where people also happen to live. Having a guide to take you to the best spots in town is always a good idea instead of just trying to figure it out on your own.
The Shem Creek Bar Tour
is also plenty of fun, especially if you're staying in the Mount Pleasant or Sullivan's Island area (mentioned above).
A Ghost and Graveyard Tour
might also be good activity for your group. They take place in the evening, and this can be a good way to see Charleston before your bar crawl.
Restaurants in Charleston
Charleston is full of amazing restaurants, so here are a few of the best in the heart of Downtown Charleston.
Looking for some brunch? Don't miss Poogan's Porch
on Queen St. near Meeting St. Make a reservation or get there early, or you'll have to wait, as this is one of Charleston's hottest meals in town. You'll want to go back again the next day, it's that good.
For seafood around town, Magnolia's and High Cotton are two fantastic seafood restaurants, both located on E. Bay St. Nearby, check out Pearlz Oyster Bar, too. Revival is another great option, as is Hyman's Seafood.
If you're looking for a very nice place to go for a special occasion, check out the Peninsula Grill, The Establishment, or Charleston Grill.