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One night and One day in Charleston this weekend

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Clearwater, Florida
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One night and One day in Charleston this weekend

Hi everyone!

I am looking for a little advice on things to do in the short amount of time I have to visit, it will be my first time in town.

I am on a limited budget and am looking for cheap/free ideas for food and activities.

So far planning on taking a free walking tour of the historic district in the morning.

Recommendations for best cheap place for lunch? Preferably BBQ or Southern cooking.

Then in the afternoon maybe visit a plantation? But I'm wondering if I will have enough time for this or I should spend my time doing something else instead?

I enjoy photography and will be taking my DSLR. Any particularly beautiful places to photograph that I should visit?

Thanks everyone!

Charleston, South...
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for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
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1. Re: One night and One day in Charleston this weekend

I don't think you have time for a plantation and the admission prices are not inexpensive. Stick with the downtown historic district. Walk to The Battery (waterfront) and see the grand old homes there, walk any of the neighborhoods in that area to see gorgeous homes and gardens ~ many have elaborate iron gates. If you have not already done so, look to the right of this for Top Questions about Charleston. (on a computer, not a phone) This will give you lots of suggestions and ideas. There is even a sample one day itinerary.

Charleston, South...
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2. Re: One night and One day in Charleston this weekend

If you're here Saturday afternoon 11am-3pm, Dave's Carryout is 2 blocks off Upper King on Morris Street and is really delicious and super-affordable fresh local Southern food. It's a complete hole-in-the-wall that I've never seen a tourist in, but it's one of the best - and cheapest - places downtown that is a total local secret.

For photos, there's also Marion Square Park (they have a farmer's market on Saturday mornings) and Waterfront Park, but I particularly like the Gateway Walk (a self-guided stroll through some of the oldest cemeteries downtown) which can be a little difficult to navigate, but is worth the trouble. There's a map online you can print out ahead of time to help you make your way through.

The plantations can be pretty expensive - I only go when they have off-season specials - I would recommend going to the main branch of the public library (on Calhoun Street between East Bay and Meeting) and looking at their exhibits and see if they have some kind of event planned this weekend.

If you don't have a place to stay, there are 2 downtown locations of the Not-so-Hostel - it's expensive for a hostel, but cheaper than anything else. The Charleston City Paper is a free local paper that will have a list of goings-ons and prices - good luck!

Clearwater, Florida
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3. Re: One night and One day in Charleston this weekend

Thanks for the advice, I agree the plantations are pretty pricey and out of the way, it seems like there is enough to keep me busy within the downtown historic district for the day.

Thanks for the tip about Dave's Carryout, I try to blend in with the locals as much as possible when I visit a city, coming from a tourist destination myself the typical tourists drive me crazy. haha. The thing that always give me away though is the camera! ;) Any other similar atmosphere recommendations for food? I am not big on seafood (surprisingly, even though I'm from the gulf coast of Florida). I'd like a chicken or pork option too.

The Gateway walk sounds very interesting and up my alley. I wasn't able to track down the map online though... I tried St Johns website, it doesn't seem to exist anymore. Is there a starting point that I can just wander from?

I ended up picking a hotel outside of Savannah Highway, Creekside Lands Inn. The reviews I saw for notso hostel were mixed so I decided I could deal with a little drive into the historic district. Any tips on the best place to park there? Is there a parking garage with a flat rate for the day?

Thanks for all the help!

Edited: 28 August 2013, 21:16
Kiawah Island...
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4. Re: One night and One day in Charleston this weekend

Make sure you've had dinner and taken care of anything you need before you go to Creekside, nothing near there, very busy commercial highway.

Clearwater, Florida
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5. Re: One night and One day in Charleston this weekend

Thank for the tip, I will probably be arriving Friday evening around rush hour :( How is the traffic on a Friday evening on Savannah Hwy US 17? Would it be tough to head straight into the historical district for dinner? Or should I check into my hotel first and wait for the traffic to ease up and then head in for a couple hours Friday evening.

Charleston, South...
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6. Re: One night and One day in Charleston this weekend

Dave's has a pretty good pork sandwich and fried chicken. As far as other stuff, Dellz Deli on Upper King offers really big sandwiches but isn't very southern, and there are lots of food trucks in the area - there's usually one at the True Value hardware store next to Harris Teeter on East Bay on nice days at lunch time.

Most good sandwich/unique places (like Ted's Butcherblock on East Bay) are going to run you $7-$8 for a sandwich and side.

Any of the churches on the walk can offer a nice starting point - once you find the church, scout around for the entrance to the graveyard - they usually take up a block or two, so sometimes the entrance isn't immediately apparent. As soon as you find one, you can usually find the others if you keep an eye out, since they're all in a straightish line.

As far as parking goes, there are several garages but I don't know if they offer a daytime flat rate. However, the strip mall on East Bay between Calhoun and Charlotte Streets has several open parking spaces - if it doesn't have a private parking sign, you can park there for free as long as you like. The strip mall has East Bay cleaners and Rising High bakery in it, and I know there are 4 or 5 free spaces in front of the green house in the parking lot.

Good luck!

Kiawah Island...
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7. Re: One night and One day in Charleston this weekend

I'd head straight for the HD for dinner, check in later after rush hour is over.

Charleston, South...
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8. Re: One night and One day in Charleston this weekend

Be sure that they know to hold your reservation for a late arrival. The view from the parking lot over the creek is so pretty but there really is nothing out that way for eating.

Charleston, South...
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9. Re: One night and One day in Charleston this weekend

The plantations are far from town and expensive to visit. I like to go to Magnolia Cemetery, just 3 miles from downtown. 1830s landscape with great trees, lagoons, etc. Civil War burial section. Fabulous gravestones. Photogenic? You bet. Free? Of course.

I wouldn't stay at the Creekside, it's grim and it's miles from Charleston. Surely for $25 more you can do better. If the reviews for notso hostel are mixed, it's because their guests are the kind of people who visit Tripadvisor. The Creekside Inn is more geared to out-of-town highway and utility contractors. Perfectly decent folk, but they aren't reviewing on Tripadvisor.

10. Re: One night and One day in Charleston this weekend

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