If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, look no further than Charleston. It is known as one of the most romantic cities in the U.S. and is packed with cobblestone streets, carriage rides, courtyard restaurants, and waterfront diners that make you feel like you’re in a fairytale.
Even if you’re not interested in romance, there’s still plenty to see and do. I recommend you allow at least three to four full days to explore and absorb the real essence of the place.
The port city of Charleston is a good balance of history and nature spots. The cobblestone streets and alleyways will give you a glimpse into what Pre-Civil War America looked like. While hikers can enjoy exploring some of the several nature trails, either along the water or by one of Charleston’s many nature reserves.
Needless to say, there’s a little something for everyone in this quaint South Carolina town.
But all this would be wasted if you can’t find a place to stay that you feel totally at home in. Imagine booking your honeymoon suite and it’s cold and drab. You wouldn’t want that, and I don’t want that for you.
That is why I have prepared this guide to the best vacation rentals in Charleston, so you can worry about putting together your itinerary and leave the hard part to me. Don’t worry, I got you.
Quick Answer: These are the Top 5 Vacation Rentals in Charleston
Eclectic Waterfront Home with a Hot Tub
- > $
- > 6 Guests
- > Private dock with fire pit and hammock
- > 9 minutes to Park Circle
Charming Studio Perfect for a Couple
- > $
- > 2 Guests
- > Timber frame studio home
- > Located in the Historic Plantation District between Summerville & Charleston
Romantic Loft Style Home
- > $$
- > 2 Guests
- > On the second floor
- > Located on East Bay Street in Downtown Charleston
Beautiful 4 BR Home with Open Plan Living
- > $
- > 10 Guests
- > Beach located right across the street
- > Located in Folly Beach
5 BR Luxury Beach House
- > $$
- > 12 Guests
- > Ocean Views, with a private pool and hot tub
- > Located on Isle of Palms
Looking for other types of accommodation? Check out our guide to Where to Stay in Charleston!
Types of Accommodation in Charleston
Before we get into my top 20 recommendations for vacation rentals in Charleston, here’s a quick rundown of the most common types of places you’ll find available to rent. If you’re not sure what type of accommodation you should be looking for to suit your budget and travel style, hopefully this will give you more of an idea.
Apartments in Downtown Charleston
Downtown Charleston is also known as The Peninsula and is where the historic and gorgeous King Street is. At more than 300 years old, King Street is one of the oldest streets in Charleston and is lined with boutique shops, cute cafes, and fine dining options. As such, this area is quite the heart of Charleston and is packed with accommodation options.
Many of these historical buildings have been turned into apartments that are not only beautiful and full of history but located in the heart of Charleston’s action. You can also find plenty of apart-hotels in this area too. If you choose to book an apartment in The Peninsula, you’ll have easy access to many attractions, while also being centrally located.
Beachfront Houses and Cottages
Charleston has some crazy beautiful views with really pretty beaches. If you consider yourself to be a beach bum, you will find plenty of beaches in Charleston that tick all the boxes. Smooth sand, clean water, and good weather for most of the year – sound perfect, right?
What if I told you that you could have a property right on the beach? Now that’s perfect. If you’re travelling with children, a beachfront house will instantly provide your little ones with entertainment without you even needing to try.
The beachfront houses and cottages in Charleston are reasonably priced and great value for money, especially with the views on offer! They are also a better option for families and groups because they come with more beds, more space and are often self-catered.
OTT Luxury Holiday Homes
If you’re celebrating a special occasion (perhaps a special anniversary or Valentine’s Day), or even if you’re simply looking to splurge on a luxury vacation rental in Charleston, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Peppered throughout the Charleston area are over-the-top luxury rentals that should give you some serious bang for your buck. From gigantic mansions to waterfront villas, you’ll find it all in Charleston.
These luxury homes are not specific to any area of Charleston, but you’ll want to choose one that’s close to all the things you want to do in the city.
The Top 20 Vacation Rentals in Charleston
Now that we know the types of vacation rentals you’ll find in Charleston, let’s get into my top picks. Some of these homes will be better suited for families or groups, while some are perfect for solo travelers, couples, or a pair of couples travelling together.
If you have money to burn or no money at all (well, maybe you’ll need some money), we’ve got some recommendations for everyone. So when you’re ready, let’s take a look at my top 20 vacation rentals in Charleston!
Best Overall Vacation Rental in Charleston | 2BR Waterfront Home
This two-bedroom holiday home is filled with eclectic décor, making it a super charming base for your Charleston trip. It is located in the quiet neighborhood of Hanahan, which is more residential and comes with parking.
This location is predominately cheaper than staying in the center, which is why it’s our overall best pick for vacation rentals in Charleston.
You have exclusive access to a private deck with your own hot tub overlooking the water. There is also a fire pit, a hammock, and an outdoor grill for your use. The house has a full kitchen as well as laundry facilities.
In the two bedrooms, you’ll find a king-size bed in the first bedroom and two single beds in the second. This would make the ideal vacation rental for groups visiting Charleston (this property is only for adults).
Best Pet Friendly Vacation Rental in Charleston | 3BR Duplex
This duplex is the ideal space for groups or families traveling with a dog as it can comfortably sleep six in its three bedrooms with a mix of queen and king beds.
The apartment also has a big, shared outdoor space downstairs for your dog to stretch its legs and do its business.
The house is dotted with charming touches and has all the modern necessities needed for a comfortable stay. There’s a full chef’s kitchen with quartz countertops and gleaming appliances. Being close to King Street, you’re only minutes away from some fantastic bars and restaurants, or even a spot of shopping.
Best Vacation Rental in Charleston for a Weekend | 4 BR Guesthouse
Step into this four-bedroom home in downtown Charleston and be immediately blown away by the modern and stylish interiors of the place. With white painted walls and tall windows, there’s plenty of natural light to soothe the senses.
Located in downtown and close to most attractions, you’re only a short walk away from King Street and Charleston City Market. For those visiting for a weekend, this is the perfect vacation rental in Charleston to base yourself in because of its top location.
The four bedrooms are a mix of queen and king beds. There are also four full bathrooms in the house, which means that there’s more than enough space for everyone. The kitchen is well-stocked if you intend to cook.
Vacation Rental in Charleston for a Couple on a Budget | Cute Bunkhouse
While this stunningly renovated studio can actually sleep five people, with two double beds and one single, the space might get a little cramped with so many guests. Instead, if shared by a couple, this vacation rental is a seriously romantic place. And you’re in Charleston, which is all about romance!
With a comfortable swing in the loft, a fully-equipped and spacious kitchen to cook in, and a roomy bathroom with all included essentials – you’ll be hard-pressed to find any fault with this property.
Located just out of the center, this rental is far from noisy traffic and huge crowds. If you’re on the lookout for some much-needed peace and quiet, I’d seriously recommend checking out this listing.
Best Holiday Rental in Charleston for Families | 3BR Cottage
This vacation rental in Charleston is all kinds of cozy and charming. With cute retro touches throughout the interiors, this place is great for a family on vacation who love something a bit more eclectic.
It’s also close to some fantastic restaurants, beer gardens, and bars, so you have everything you need within a short walking distance.
The house itself has only one single bathroom though, so this might mean more sharing and less elbow room. However, the value for money that this rental offers kinda makes up for this. There’s a full kitchen with modern appliances, and the back patio is the perfect place to sit and relax after a day of exploring Charleston’s sights.
Best Designer Holiday Rental in Charleston | 4 BR Condo
Located in the heart of Charleston’s French Quarter neighborhood, this four-bedroom apartment can easily accommodate a large group of friends.
It is within walking distance from attractions like Charleston’s City Market, the Battery and Rainbow Row, as well as cute parks and some great fine dining restaurants.
The apartment itself is built over three levels and is a massive 2,650 square feet luxury home. All the bedrooms have luxury linen, including Egyptian Cotton towels, and Beckham “Hotel Collection” gel pillows. There is a full kitchen but if you aren’t in the mood to cook, private room service is just a click on an app.
Most Modern Apartment Rental in Charleston | 2 BR Apartment
This is a private two-bedroom apartment suite in a shared building, located above a Spanish tapas restaurant. This vacation rental in Charleston is sparkling clean and decorated in a modern chic décor style with all the amenities you might need.
There are two bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, which means more space for everyone! The apartment gets heaps of natural light, especially in the living area which is spacious and airy. There is a full kitchen if you feel like cooking. If you don’t, there are some amazing restaurants within walking distance.
Best Beachfront Holiday Rental in Charleston | 3BR, Folly Beach
Are you looking for an oceanfront holiday home with panoramic views as far as the eyes can see? Ding ding ding! You just hit the jackpot with this home, especially if you are traveling with kids. Affectionately named The Folly Wobble, this three-bedroom home can easily sleep six guests.
There’s a full-length oceanfront porch, as well as direct access to the beach. After your swim, you can use the outdoor shower to rinse off and relax in the hammock whilst you watch the sun set. Sounds like the ideal vacation to me!
Holiday Rental in Charleston for a Big Group | 5BR Home, Downtown
Before we get into the specifics, please note that this rental has two separate suites in the same house. Suite A has two bedrooms, and one bath with a full chef’s kitchen and dining area. Suite B has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a separate full kitchen and dining area that can cater to six people. There is a shared porch.
If you are traveling in a big group, this rental is perfect since both suites can be booked together, with enough space for everyone. The house is super close to famous restaurants and dining experiences at The Darling, the Grocery, and Ordinary, amongst many others.
Best Vacation Rental in Charleston for a Budget Family | 4 BR Home
Located in one of the quieter spots along Folly Beach, this huge family-style home can easily sleep 10 guests. The beach is just across the street, and the house also includes a kayak for guests to use. Once you’ve finished frolicking in the ocean, rinse off in the private tiki-style outdoor shower.
There’s also a 10 feet wide open deck wrapped around the house, giving this vacation rental in Charleston an airy and spacious feel. Indoors, the high ceilings give an impression of the house being huge and expansive.
There’s a full kitchen that will please any chef! The house includes modern amenities like a washer/dryer, free Wi-Fi, Roku, satellite TV, and surround sound. This is definitely one of the best places to stay in Charleston for its amenities.
Centrally Located Vacation Rental in Charleston | 4 BR Downtown Home
This cozy and very charming four-bedroom home is located in the heart of Downtown Charleston, making it super convenient for you to walk to most attractions. You will also be close to famous restaurants and bars like Xiao Bao, Fuel, Goulette, R Kitchen, The Warehouse, and Brown’s Court.
If you’re in the mood to cook, the house has a fully-stocked kitchen with modern appliances. The living area has a smart TV as do the four bedrooms. With three bedrooms, there is enough space for up to 10 guests to sprawl out and be comfortable.
Best Vacation Rental in Charleston for a Large Family | 3BR Apartment
If you would like your vacation rental in Charleston to be in the centre of the buzz, this apartment is a winner! With large windows and plenty of natural light, this space will feel bright and airy. The apartment can comfortably sleep nine guests in its three bedrooms plus a sofa bed in the living room.
The apartment is decorated in a very modern style with a splash of colour here and there. There is a fully-equipped kitchen, and if you aren’t the type to cook on vacation (no judgments here!), there are some seriously good restaurants within walking distance.
Vacation Rental in Charleston with a Pool | 5 BR Home
Sitting on a quiet street in a historical and ethnically diverse neighborhood, this vacation rental in Charleston is elegant and spacious, with beautifully designed interiors.
The house is on a single level with steps leading up to the entrance, and down to the pool. It is pet-friendly if you want to bring your dog. However, this is at an extra fee.
The house is modern with wooden floors throughout. The kitchen is spacious, as are the bedrooms and bathrooms. The porch is lovely for chilling out on during relaxed evenings. There is an outdoor grill area that overlooks the landscaped tropical backyard.
Most Beautiful Holiday Rental in Charleston | Historic 4 BR Mansion
Ever wanted to pretend like you were the Lord/Lady of an estate? Well, this is your chance! This historic manor close to the heart of Charleston will sure make you feel like royalty.
Built over three floors, to say that this four-bedroom authentic Charleston ‘single-house’ is spacious would be a complete understatement. Honestly, this house needs to be seen to be believed.
With multiple porch/deck areas, as well as outdoor piazzas complete with sculptured fountains, this vacation rental in Charleston is in a league of its own.
Most Luxurious Holiday Rental in Charleston | 6 BR Home
Travelling in a large group and want to splurge on a vacation rental in Charleston? May I suggest this stunning mansion, built on a private estate? Ok, I suggested it.
This rental is also licensed to host events on the property. With some drop dead gorgeous views of the marsh and open water, this place would be perfect for a celebration or special event.
The house has a large saltwater pool, as well as a deep dock area if you are inclined to hire a boat. Folly Beach is a short distance away. There’s also heaps of seating arrangements outside and an outdoor bar that would be great for an evening of cocktails or wine!
Best Holiday Rental in Charleston with a View | 4BR Beach Home
Honestly, ocean views don’t get better than this! This house is all coastal chic, with huge, oversized bedrooms, and an open floor plan with a fully-equipped modern kitchen, dining room and living room. There’s space for everyone here, even if you’re travelling with a large group of friends or family.
Three of the four bedrooms are on the first floor and are absolutely lovely for a relaxing snooze or to watch the sunset. There is a wraparound deck on both levels that can be accessed via huge French Doors. The best part of this property though, is that it is located right on the beach. You can’t get better than that.
Most Unique Vacation Rental in Charleston | 5 BR Chapel
Ever stayed in a chapel that has been converted into a stunning, historic home? This is probably one of the most unique vacation rentals in Charleston. If you are travelling in a big group, this rental will make perfect sense without costing you an exorbitant amount.
The rental also has two separate, additional four-bedroom suites in the back carriage house of the property that can sleep 32 people.
In this five-bedroom “home”, think 20-foot ceilings and a beautiful heart pine floating stairwell, in addition to all modern amenities you could think of! Honestly, this rental needs to be seen to be believed, its intricate architectural details are on another level.
Affordable Luxury Vacation Rental in Charleston | 5 BR Beach Home
Luxury doesn’t always have to cost you an arm and a leg, and this luxurious beach house proves my point with its incredible value for money. Stay a minimum of four nights and you can get $250 in credit towards some beach gear rental too. Now that’s what you’d call a steal!
With a designer heated pool and spa offering stunning views of the Atlantic, a private elevator, a full chef’s kitchen, massive living and dining spaces, and spacious bedrooms and bathrooms, there’s nothing to not like about this vacation rental in Charleston.
Most Accessible Vacation Rental in Charleston | 6 BR Home
Wheelchair users will find this beautiful home easy to navigate, especially as the house has an elevator and step-free entrance to each of the rooms. This is a family-style home and will suit you perfectly if you are travelling with kids, especially if you need a stroller. There are also a bunch of toys and games stocked.
The backyard is beautifully set up with multiple comfortable seating arrangements. The pool can be heated for an extra fee. Inside, the full kitchen has everything you need to whip up a storm.
The bedrooms have a mix of queen and king beds and luxe linen provided. Oh, and did I mention the private home theatre, in case the urge to have a movie night!
Most Romantic Vacation Rental in Charleston | 1BR Loft Home
If you are travelling with your partner and are looking for a small, cute house for two, this might just be the one! This one-bedroom loft is spacious and has gorgeous hardwood floors throughout.
The kitchen has been kitted out with stainless steel appliances and beautiful granite countertops. The loft has a comfortable king bed and a full bathroom. Owing to its central location, this vacation rental in Charleston is the perfect base for exploring all that the city has to offer.
With the number of things to see, do, and experience in Charleston, I’m pretty sure there won’t be a single dull moment!
Whether you choose to stay in the historic center of downtown or by the coast on Folly Beach, I’m sure you’ll find a vacation rental that will be perfect for you.
If I had to choose a favorite, it would be the cute loft-style home in Downtown because it looks so romantic and chic, I could imagine spending cozy nights in there after a nice dinner out in a courtyard restaurant. Do you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments.
However, remember that tropical storms and hurricanes are common during the months of August to October. So you’ll want to check the weather forecast in Charleston and plan ahead.
And don’t forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.
If there’s one insurance company I trust, it’s World Nomads. To find out why I use World Nomads, check out my World Nomads Insurance review.
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