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Experience true southern cuisine in Charleston, S.C., with Tom Colicchio

Insider Escapes

The beauty and charm of Charleston isn't the only major draw to the city. Charleston caters to food and wine enthusiasts with dozens of historic restaurants, and you can enjoy true Southern hospitality at the locally owned boutique hotels and luxury properties scattered throughout the area. When you're not enjoying a food and wine tasting, explore some of Charleston's natural attractions that are sure to take your breath away.

Here are some tips for putting together a food and wine itinerary for your trip to Charleston, South Carolina:

Where to Stay:

Downtown Charleston is where you'll find several boutique hotels and luxury properties with amenities such as rooftop pools, gourmet dining options, and world-class spas. You'll be within walking distance of several trendy shops and delectable restaurants here.

If you're looking for a more residential ambiance, stay in Charleston's Historic District to enjoy easy access to area historic sites and old-world hospitality. Some hotels in this district are restored mansions and many have gourmet restaurants on site.

What to See:

If you're an outdoor enthusiast or nature lover, go on a guided kayaking expedition to explore the waterways of Folly Beach. You'll catch a glimpse of some osprey, oystercatchers, dolphins, and a variety of marine creatures around this area.

Make a trip to the Charleston Tea Plantation, the only tea garden in North America. You can take a trolley tour to explore the 127-acre plantation and farm. You can also explore the Firefly Distillery nearby, a family-owned distillery that brews up sweet tea vodka.

If you're in the mood for shopping, head to the renovated Historic Charleston City Market, which is home to an assortment of shops and open-air buildings selling Gullah handicrafts, sweetgrass baskets, and benne wafers.

Where to Eat:

McCrady's is one of the most well-known restaurants in Charleston, one of Sean Brock's acclaimed restaurants and a venue that's listed on the National Register of Historic Places and Landmarks. Savor the famed Chef Tasting Menu featuring culinary innovations using local ingredients and enjoy some drinks from the pre-Prohibition cocktail menu.

You won't want to miss the barbeque at Melvin's BBQ , a South Carolina tradition since 1939. The mustard-based barbeque sauce is a must-try for any barbeque enthusiast. The restaurant is famous for its St. Louis-style pork ribs, chicken, and "All Ham" Bar-B-Que in the South.


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