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Female traveling alone to Charleston

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Philadelphia...
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Female traveling alone to Charleston

I am going to Charleston for two nights beginning of November. I'll be staying at Not so Hostel, good location? I'm a 33 yr old female traveling alone to Charleston for the first time. I want to soak in as much as I can in the short amount of time I am there. I'm looking for must see places, must eat places (preferably non touristy). I just want to enjoy as much of the city as I can in the short time.

Thank you in advance for your help!!

Greensboro, North...
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1. Re: Female traveling alone to Charleston

Actually, the places tourists go in Charleston are the ones you'll want to see. If you don't want an organized tour, get a good guide book so you'll understand the history.

The Not So Hostel is a bit of a walk from the places you want to visit. I'd probably take a pedicab back after dark.

There are tons of restaurants. If you give a budget, and your preferences, we can help you narrow it down.

Kiawah Island...
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2. Re: Female traveling alone to Charleston

Read through the Top Questions to get an idea of what there is to see and do in Charleston, as Shankle stated, most of that will be the same things other visitors like to see, as well.

The places we recommend for visitors are the same places we enjoy, as locals. Please, do tell us more about your likes and your budget.

The pedicab is perfect for after dark, it's a bit of a hike to the Not So Hostel from the main area of interest in the Historic District.

Charleston, South...
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3. Re: Female traveling alone to Charleston

Great restaurants for solo travelers are SNOB, Hank's, and Fast&French (Gaulart & Maliclet). They have counter seating/ shared tables. See their websites for menus & etc.

Beginning of November is a georgeous time to be in Charleston. Look at CharlestonCityPaper.com for a range of things to do after you've walked around the lower peninsula, visited City Hall Art Gallery and interior of St. Michael's Church (both free), and relaxed at Waterfront Park.

Indianapolis
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4. Re: Female traveling alone to Charleston

Just got back from Charleston, I'd highly recommend one of the walking tours. I spent the majority of my trip alone as well as my friends worked during the day so I explored the city on my own.

Columbia, South...
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5. Re: Female traveling alone to Charleston

I would say Hominy Grill is the main must eat. It is delicious southern food. The chef is a James Beard award winner. It is pretty recognized and is a mix of locals, students and tourists.

Virginia, USA
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6. Re: Female traveling alone to Charleston

Charleston has so many things to see and do! If money isn't an issue, there are many guided tours of the historic district, and many homes offer tours. But, to be altogether honest, Charleston is a gem just because there is so much to see that doesn't cost a thing. I have had the most fun just getting out by myself and walking around. The beautiful homes and gardens, churches and cemeteries, the harbour, the battery, and the beautiful parks are all free. If staying for only 2 days, I wouldn't worry about the plantations or beaches. You will have full days without ever leaving the historic district! Get a good walking map! As far as places to eat, don't worry about eating at non-touristy places. Charleston is famous for great food, and I'm sure you'll find many places you would like to try! Have a great trip!

Huntington Beach...
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7. Re: Female traveling alone to Charleston

Shana -- I'm not an expert on Charleston but I visited there and have a Northerner's perspective on the comments made above.

Will you have a car?

The hotel employees and locals my friend and I spoke to all tried to keep us confined to the "historic district" of Charleston. While we did take in the advertised tourist sights and took a horse drawn carriage tour, we were able go further and appreciated the opportunity. My friend's late husband was a graduate of the Citidel and she wanted to see the campus. Not only did the locals discourage us from going there, when we insisted on going, they directed us to a long route around town and back. It turned out they didn't want us driving through the mostly African American neighborhood that surrounds the campus. Checking our map we drove through the residential neighborhood, which was charming and safe and we found the Citidel campus to be very interesting worth the visit.

The BEST part of our visit was our drive through the Carolina pine forests to visit towns 50 and 100 miles away, to visit relatives. The forests are really gorgeous and the smaller towns have tremendous character. East of Charleston are towns where old Victorian mansions are being renovated and restored. Those towns have interesting histories.

Bottom line is the historic district of Charleston, to us, was like a visit to

Disneyland -- An overdressed theme park trying to put on its best face.

If you want to see what the region is really like and about -- leave the guided tour path and venture out into the surrounding area.

Just my opinion and perspective

Boothwyn...
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8. Re: Female traveling alone to Charleston

I have been to Disney World almost as many times as I have been to Charleston over the past 20+ years, and I have never noticed any resemblance between the two. Historic Charleston is probably one of the best examples of historic preservation that we have in this country and remains home to some of the friendliest people we have met on our travels. Charleston is a fine example of living history.

Charleston, South...
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9. Re: Female traveling alone to Charleston

LSCats, I enjoyed your post and I wonder who the locals were that tried to keep you from The Citadel. Our mayor is a graduate, as are many other fine South Carolinians. A large contingent of the student body is from the north, as I'm sure you found on your visit. As you probably also found, the neighborhoods immediately adjacent to The Citadel are just about evenly mixed between black and white residents. If you went at it along Hagood Avenue, you would have passed a public housing project. The Housing Authority of the City of Charleston manages several such complexes, and we who live here are proud of the way they operate.

I always suggest to questioners that the Lowcountry outside Charleston is incredible and varied. The publicly-owned forests, marshes, and beaches should not be missed. I am less likely to recommend visiting a tiny town where they know nobody, and I don't think traveling east of Charleston is a good idea. That way lies the Atlantic Ocean.

To the Original Poster: Charleston is a world-class historic site, with architecture and gardens more than enough to fill three days without a car.

Edited: 04 September 2012, 01:42
Huntington Beach...
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10. Re: Female traveling alone to Charleston

Mike -- GOOD catch. Sorry. Obviously I meant west of Charleston. I must have been distracted. Anyway, I did find the area west (INLAND) of Charleston to be extraordinarily beautiful. I do not mean to put down the historic center. It is just that having seen the beauty around the city, I am so glad that we didn't miss it. Recently, someone I know from work was planning a trip there and was trying to decide whether or not to rent a car, having been told it wasn't necessary. I told him that since he and his wife had time and would not be traveling there again soon, to definitely get the car and enjoy the scenery.

As for the locals trying to keep us from the Citidel, it was mostly the hotel employees as the Doubletree Suites (very nice hotel BTW) and a tour guide we met in town.