South Carolina’s largest city, Charleston is a fantastic travel destination that offers everything from carriage rides and sweet tea to breweries and museums.
Charleston is undoubtedly an expensive city to stay in, and if you’re not careful you can easily break the bank.
That’s why we put together this guide for where to stay in Charleston. It lists the best neighbourhoods to stay in Charleston organized by travel style snd to suit any budget.
Let’s get into it!
- Where to Stay in Charleston
- Charleston Neighborhood Guide
- Charleston’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
- #1 French Quarter – Where to stay in Charleston first time
- #2 South of Broad – Where to stay in Charleston on a budget
- #3 Downtown Charleston – Best area to stay in Charleston for nightlife
- #4 NoMo – Coolest place to stay in Charleston
- #5 Mount Pleasant – Best Neighbourhood in Charleston for Families
- FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Charleston
- Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Charleston
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Charleston.
Best Hotel in Charleston: Francis Marion Hotel
Because of its central location, Francis Marion is our pick for the best hotel in Charleston. It’s ideally situated in the French Quarter and is close to restaurants, cafes and some of Charleston’s top places to see. This hotel offers a range of features, including an in-house spa and free wifi.
Best Airbnb in Charleston: Stylish Loft Condo
This stylish Airbnb in Charleston’s Historic Downtown area is directly next door to a number of the district’s top bars and restaurants. The loft is ideal for two people, however the host will provide a spare mattress and linens for an extra guest. It’s been newly renovated and includes a full kitchen, bathroom, laundry facilities and Wifi.
Best Hostel in Charleston: Charlestons NotSo Hostel
The NotSo Hostel is set in an enclave of double-porched houses and is brimming with history. This hostel offers dorm and private rooms, four kitchens and spotless bathrooms. It’s located in the historic center of Charleston, so top attractions are within an easy walk.
Take a look at our Airbnbs in South Carolina post for more Charleston accommodation inspo.
The French Quarter is our pick for where to stay in Charleston if you’re visiting for the first time. It has an excellent central location and because of this, you can move throughout the city with relative ease.
South of Broad
The South of Broad neighbourhood is perhaps one of the most famous areas in Charleston. For decades, it has been inspiring authors and creatives with its rich history and southern charm.
Downtown Charleston is a neighbourhood bursting with history and charm. The neighbourhood is home to some of the city’s most well-known landmarks and attractions, including the iconic Arthur Ravenel Jr. bridge and Waterfront Park.
NoMo – short for North Morrison – is a small neighbourhood located north of downtown Charleston. It is an up-and-coming area in the neck of the Charleston Peninsula that is home to hip restaurants and trendy bars.
Mount Pleasant is a large suburban town located in Charleston. It is situated east of the city centre and lies across the Cooper River. Once known as North Point, Mount Pleasant boasts a rich naval and maritime history.
Charleston is the largest and oldest city in South Carolina, USA. It was founded in 1670 and is distinguished by its rich history, vibrant culture and southern hospitality.
It is quickly becoming one of the most popular travel destinations in the United States thanks to its colourful architecture, delectable food scene, and incredible natural surrounding.
The French Quarter is a sub-neighbourhood of Downtown, and is famous for its cobblestone streets and colourful buildings. Throughout the French Quarter, you’ll find a myriad of heritage landmarks, delicious restaurants, and excellent bars. This makes it our top pick for first-timers visiting Charleston.
South of Broad sits in the south of the city. It’s one of the most famous neighbourhoods and has been inspiring authors and creatives for decade. It’s an enchanting neighbourhood and is also the home of the only hostel in the city, making it our top pick for budget travelers.
Downtown Charleston is lively and vibrant. It boasts an abundance of historic charm and culture and is where you’ll find a great selection of bars, clubs and restaurants. It’s the best place to go for nightlife in Charleston.
Hip and trendy NoMo is one of the most exciting neighbourhoods in Charleston. Its high concentration of hipster hotspots, cosy cafes and rustic breweries make it the coolest place in the city.
Finally, Mount Pleasant is one of the largest suburbs in the city. Home to heritage houses, robust naval bases and plenty of family-friendly fun, this is our top pick for families visiting the area.
Still not sure where to stay in Charleston? In the next section we breakdown each neighbourhood in more detail.
Charleston’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Now, let’s explore some of the best neighbourhoods in Charleston so you can plan the trip of a lifetime!
The French Quarter is the best place to stay in Charleston if you’re visiting for the first time. It has an excellent central location, meaning you can move throughout the city with relative ease. If you don’t choose to stay here, a visit to the French Quarter is an essential stop on any Charleston itinerary.
Located within the original “walled” city, the French Quarter is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Charleston. Here you’ll find many important historic buildings and landmarks, including St Michael’s Church and the Charleston City Market.
The French Quarter is also a great place to stay if you’re keen to indulge in Charleston’s cultural offerings. Dotted throughout this downtown neighbourhood are a good selection of wonderful art galleries, world-class restaurants and exquisite wine bars.
Best Airbnb in French Quarter: Stylish Loft Condo
This stylish Airbnb in the Charleston’s Historic Downtown area is directly next door to a number of the district’s top bars and restaurants. The loft is ideal for two people, however the host will provide a spare mattress and linens for an extra guest. It’s been newly renovated and includes a full kitchen, bathroom, laundry facilities and Wifi.
Best Hotel in the French Quarter: Days Inn by Wyndham Charleston Historic District
The Day Inn is one of the best hotels in the French Quarter because of its superb location. This two-star hotel is centrally situated in Charleston and is close to bars, shops and top attractions. It boasts an outdoor swimming pool, comfortable rooms and an in-house restaurant.
Best Hotel in French Quarter: The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
This excellent four-star hotel is one of our favourites in the city. It is ideally situated giving easy access to shopping, dining and nightlife options. Rooms are well-equipped with air conditioning, comfortable beds and modern amenities. Additionally, there’s a swimming pool and fitness centre.
Best Hotel in the French Quarter: Francis Marion Hotel
Because of its central location, Francis Marion is one of our top picks for accommodation in the city. It is close to restaurants, shops, cafes and cultural attractions. This hotel offers a range of features, including an in-house spa and free wifi.
Things to See and Do in French Quarter
- Browse the shops and restaurants of the Historic Charleston City Market.
- Catch a performance at the Dock Street Theatre.
- Dine on fresh and delicious seafood dishes at Fleet Landing.
- Dive deep into history at the Old Slave Mart Museum.
- Enjoy sweeping views from The Rooftop at The Vendue.
- Go for a stroll through Waterfront Park.
- Indulge in southern-style BBQ at Husk.
- Learn about pirates, patriots and presidents at the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon.
- See the French Huguenot church.
- Visit St Michael’s Church, the oldest church in Charleston.
The South of Broad neighbourhood is perhaps one of the most famous areas in Charleston. For decades, it has been inspiring authors and creatives with its rich history and southern charm. With its brick-paved alleys, secret gardens and palatial Victorian homes, it’s easy to lose yourself in daydreams while exploring South of Broad.
South of Broad also holds the distinction of being the home to the only hostel in Charleston. So, if you’re looking to sightsee and enjoy the very best of Charleston without breaking the bank, South of Broad is the neighbourhood for you!
Best Private Room in South of Broad: Private Room near the Battery
Guests staying in this private room will get to experience the authentic local lifestyle. This Airbnb is for two guests and sits in one of the oldest homes in Charleston. You’ll have access to the whole house, which is located a short walk away from the harbor. It’s within walking distance of Charleston’s attractions, but the hosts offer access to their golf cart to make exploring more adventurous.
Best Airbnb in South of Broad: Carriage House Guest Suite
Split between four guests, this private suite is set in a charming carriage house. It’s close to the historic district and various bars and restaurants. There’s a full kitchen and bathroom, as well as laundry facilities and Wifi so you can stay comfortably.
Best Hostel in South of Broad: Charlestons NotSo Hostel
The NotSo Hostel is set in the historic heart of Charleston, and is our top pick for accommodation in South of Broad. It is built in an enclave of double-porched houses and offers dorm and private rooms, four kitchens, and spotless bathrooms.
Things to See and Do in South of Broad
- Eat a fantastic sandwich at Brown Dog Deli.
- Explore the scenic and picturesque Philadelphia Alley.
- Go for a stroll through Battery & White Point Gardens.
- Indulge in tasty treats at Normandy Farms.
- Learn about daily life in one of Charleston’s most luxurious settings at Nathanial Russel House.
- Snap a pic of the colourful and iconic Rainbow Row.
- Take a walk along the Charleston promenade.
- Tour Heyward-Washington Home.
- Visit Sword Gate House, one of the oldest and most expensive mansions in the city.
- Walk through Stoll’s Alley.
Downtown Charleston is bursting with history and charm. The neighbourhood is home to some of the city’s most well-known landmarks and attractions, including the iconic Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge and Waterfront Park. Here you can enjoy great architecture, colourful design and plenty of southern charm as you wander the streets and alleys of Downtown Charleston.
This centrally located neighbourhood is also where you’ll find the best nightlife in the city. Dotted along King Street are a great variety of bars, cocktail lounges, speakeasies and rooftop patios that offer everything from tasty drinks to trusty pints. So whether you want a chill night out or to burn up the dancefloor, Downtown Charleston has what you’re looking for. Of course, this area get’s particularly lively if you are in Charleston at the weekend.
Best Airbnb in Downtown Charleston: Two Bedroom Apartment near King Street
This two-bed apartment in Downtown sleeps four guests, and has a fully equipped kitchen and bathroom. Wifi and free-off street parking are included, but note that towels are provided for an additional fee. The popular area of King Street is right on your doorstep, so you can easily explore the best bars, restaurants and nightlife on offer in Downtown Charleston.
Best Hotel in Downtown Charleston: Comfort Inn Downtown Charleston
The Comfort Inn is your best bet for good-value accommodation in Downtown Charleston. It provides comfortable and clean rooms with cosy beds and private bathrooms. This hotel is centrally located in the district and is within walking distance of popular tourist attractions, restaurants and bars.
Best Hotel in Downtown Charleston: Hampton Inn Charleston-Historic District
The Hampton Inn is our pick for where to stay in Downtown Charleston because of its central location and close proximity to dining, nightlife and sightseeing options. This three-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a variety of amenities. There is also an outdoor swimming pool and an on-site restaurant.
Best Hotel in Downtown: Indigo Inn
All rooms in the Indigo Inn come with internet access, a flat-screen TV and private bathroom. Breakfast is available at the inn, however the inn is located just 300m from Downtown’s restaurants and shops. It’s the best place to stay if you want to be close to historical attractions and the water, and not have too far to walk home after a night on the town.
Things to See and Do in Downtown Charleston
- Dine on fresh seafood at Coast Bar & Grill.
- Eat delicious local dishes at The Grocery.
- Enjoy speciality drinks and late night bites at The Belmont.
- Grab a few pints and watch the game at the King Street Public House.
- Hit up The Cocktail Club for great drinks and a fantastic atmosphere.
- Indulge in delicious chicken wings, tacos and more at Smoke BBQ.
- Listen to live music at Silver Dollar.
- Sip sophisticated and urbane cocktails at the King Street Dispensary.
- Spend a night enjoy cheap and delicious drinks and games at Mynt.
NoMo – short for North Morrison – is a small neighbourhood located north of downtown Charleston. It is an up-and-coming area in the neck of the Charleston Peninsula, that is home to hip restaurants and trendy Charleston bars. You’ll also find a great selection of craft beer haunts in NoMo, which is why it gets our vote for the coolest neighbourhood in Charleston.
Once home to hollow buildings, NoMo has undergone a transformation in recent years. Today, this neighbourhood is one of the most exciting and creative areas of Charleston. Tucked throughout NoMo you’ll find housing developments and Charleston’s tech industry, as well as shops, boutiques, cafes and eateries.
Best Studio in NoMo: Taste Charleston Lite-Cozy-Studio
This Airbnb in NoMo is conveniently located within walking distance of the best places to visit in Charleston. The studio sleeps up to three guests, and comes complete with modern amenities including Wifi, a smart TV, and a refurbished kitchenette. There’s also a nice porch for enjoying meals in the sunshine.
Best Vacation Rental in NoMo: Stylish Mid-Century Getaway
This flat is ideal for families or groups of friends wanting to stay in Charleston’s coolest district. The apartment sleeps four people in two bedrooms, and is fully equipped with a kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities. There are plenty of breweries nearby, and Downtown is a ten-minute drive away.
Best Bungalow in NoMo: Hip Downtown 2BR Bungalow
This bungalow is bright, contemporary and spacious. Sleeping up to four guests comfortably, the bungalow is kitted out with a full kitchen, bathroom and internet access. Pets are also considered, but this is decided by the host on an individual basis. Top attractions, restaurants and shops are all just 5 minutes away by car.
Best Airbnb in NoMo: Cute, Cozy, Rustic Place
This Airbnb in NoMo is close to Folly Beach, the Isle of Palms and shops and restaurants. Market Street is also close by, where you can check out locally-made merchandise. The flat is bright and modern, and has everything you need for a comfortable stay. Downtown is a short drive away, and the flat is close to the interstate facilitating travel further afield.
Things to See and Do in NoMo
- Dine on tasty dishes at Workshop.
- Don’t miss the food and drinks at The Tattooed Moose.
- Eat flavourful American fare at Edmund’s Oast.
- Enjoy southern cooking at its finest at Martha Lou’s Kitchen.
- Feast on delicious Mexican dishes at Santi’s.
- Grab a sandwich at Butcher & Bee.
- Indulge in tasty barbecue Lewis Barbecue.
- Listen to live music at The Royal American.
- Relax on the rooftop patio at Revelry Brewing.
- Sample a variety of beers at the Cooper River Brewing Company.
- Sip local brews at Tradesman Brewing Company.
- Try Belgian style beers at Munkle Brewing Company.
Once known as North Point, Mount Pleasant boasts a rich naval and maritime history. Here you’ll find several retired warships, a cold war submarine and Patriots Point as well as a myriad of other one-of-a-kind attractions.
Mount Pleasant is also where you’ll find fun and interesting attractions, shopping malls, delicious restaurants and lots of tasty treats. With so much to see and do, Mount Pleasant is our top location for families visiting Charleston.
Best Airbnb in Mount Pleasant: Charming Town House in Mount Pleasant
Only 7 miles away from Downtown Charleston and 2.5 miles away from the beach, this quiet and peaceful Airbnb in Charleston can accommodate up to 6 guests, making it perfect for a family visiting the area. The perks, though, are the popcorn and ice-cream machines in the kitchen!
Best Hotel in Mount Pleasant: Clarion Inn – Mount Pleasant Charleston
This charming three-star hotel is ideally located in Mount Pleasant. It’s close to landmarks and attractions, and it is a short drive from downtown Charleston. This hotel provides modern rooms with comfortable beds and private bathrooms. A breakfast buffet is also offered each morning.
Best Hotel in Mount Pleasant: Harborside at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina
In addition to its great location, this hotel offers a variety of family-friendly features like a swimming pool and a playground. This four-star hotel is conveniently situated in Mount Pleasant, a short car ride away from Patriots Point and is close to downtown. It has large rooms with modern amenities.
Best Hotel in Mount Pleasant: Comfort Suites at Isle of Palms Connector
This excellent three-star hotel is close to parks, beaches, attractions and restaurants. This hotel has 59 rooms with modern amenities, and there’s also a swimming pool, BBQ, gym and free wifi. Sullivan’s island is close by, and museums are a short walk away.
Things to See and Do in Mount Pleasant
- Dine on delicious seafood and steak at Old Village Post House.
- Don’t miss the burgers and fries at Coleman Public House.
- Eat tasty local cuisine at Crave Kitchen & Cocktails.
- Enjoy good food and an unbeatable view at Water’s Edge.
- Explore the grounds of the Boone Hall Plantation – founded in 1681.
- Get back to nature on Dewees Island.
- Relax and play at Isle of Palms Beach.
- See the retired warships at the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum.
- Tour the Fort Sumpter National Monument.
- Visit the Cold War Submarine Memorial at Patriots Point.
FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Charleston
Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Charleston and where to stay.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Charleston
Charleston is an excellent destination because it has so much to offer travellers. From delicious cuisine and local craft beers to a rich history, vibrant culture and plenty of southern charm, Charleston is a city that will excite every type of traveler. It’s also pretty close to other insane beach-side locations, such as Kiawah Island.
In this guide, we’ve looked at the five best neighbourhoods to stay in Charleston. Although there aren’t many hostels in the city, we’ve tried our best to include guesthouses and vacation rentals, alongside traditional-style hotels.
If you’re still not sure where to stay in Charleston, you can’t go wrong with Charlestons NotSo Hostel. Its convenient location and budget-friendly price tag means you’ll have more money to spend at the surrounding bars, shops and attractions.
Our pick for the best hotel is the Francis Marion Hotel because of its great location in the French Quarter. If you have a bit more to spend and want to make the most of your trip, you can’t go wrong!
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.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
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