South Carolina’s largest city, Charleston, is a fantastic travel destination that offers so much more than carriage rides, sweet tea and southern charm.

It has great breweries, excellent museums and an abundance of colourful Victorian architecture.

But Charleston is an expensive city and if you’re not careful you can easily break the bank. Which is exactly why we put together this guide for where to stay in Charleston.

This guide was written for travellers, by travellers. It lists the best neighbourhoods to stay in Charleston organized by your travel needs.

So no matter what you’re looking to do, you’ll be able to find the perfect neighbourhood for your vacation!

Knowing where to stay in Charleston is super important – so let’s jump right into it!

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Charleston

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

FIRST TIME IN CHARLESTON

French Quarter

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.

Places to visit:
  • 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.

Where to Stay in Charleston

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Charleston.

Best Hostel in Charleston: Charlestons NotSo Hostel

The Notso Hostel is set in the historic heart of Charleston. It is built in an enclave of double-porched houses and is brimming with history. This hostel offers dorm and private rooms, four kitchens, and spotless bathrooms. This is our pick for the best hostel in the city.

Best Airbnb in Charleston: Comfortable and Spacious Lodge

This uniquely comfortable and well-appointed studio is ideal for first time visitors to Charleston seeking comfort at the heart of the city. Fitted with a small kitchen, this charming place has everything you need to feel home. Its convenient location means that you’re just a short walk from everything, from the markets to the busy restaurants.

Best Hotel in Charleston: Francis Marion Hotel

Because of its central location, Francis Marion is our pick for the best hotel in Charleston. It is ideally situated in the French Quarter and is close to restaurants, cafes and sightseeing attractions. This hotel offers a range of features, including an in-house spa and free wifi.

Charleston Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN CHARLESTON
French Quarter, Charleston
FIRST TIME IN CHARLESTON

French Quarter

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.

ON A BUDGET
South of Broad, Charleston
ON A BUDGET

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.

NIGHTLIFE
Downtown Charleston, Charleston
NIGHTLIFE

Downtown Charleston

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.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
NoMo, Charleston
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

NoMo

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.

FOR FAMILIES
Mount Pleasant, Charleston
FOR FAMILIES

Mount Pleasant

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.

Charleston covers an area of 330 square kilometres. It is divided into three main counties which are further subdivided into numerous neighbourhood each offering something unique to travellers.

To help you plan your time in Charleston, this guide will break down the “must-sees” in the five best neighbourhoods.

The French Quarter is a sub-neighbourhood of downtown. It is famous for its cobblestone streets, colourful buildings, and its historic atmosphere. Throughout the French Quarter, you’ll find a myriad of heritage landmarks, delicious restaurants, excellent bars and so much more.

Head south from here and you’ll arrive in South of Broad. One of the most famous neighbourhoods in the city, South of Broad has been inspiring authors and creatives for decades because of its history and charm. It is an enchanting neighbourhood to explore and is also noteworthy as the home of the only hostel in the city.

Downtown Charleston is a lively and vibrant neighbourhood. It boasts an abundance of historic charm and culture and is where you’ll find a great selection of bars, clubs and restaurants.

Continue travelling north and you’ll pass through the hip and trendy neighbourhood of NoMo. This is one of the most exciting neighbourhoods in Charleston because of its high concentration of hipster hotspots, cosy cafes and rustic breweries.

And finally, east of the city centre is the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. One of the largest suburbs in the city, Mount Pleasant is home to heritage houses, robust naval bases, and plenty of family-friendly fun.

Still not sure where to stay in Charleston? Don’t worry because in the next section we breakdown each neighbourhood in more detail.

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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!

#1 French Quarter – Where to stay in Charleston first time

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. 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.

French Quarter, Charleston

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.

Best Airbnb in the French Quarter: Comfortable and Spacious Lodge

This uniquely comfortable and well-appointed studio is ideal for first time visitors to Charleston seeking comfort at the heart of the city. Fitted with a small kitchen, this charming place has everything you need to feel home. Its convenient location means that you’re just a short walk from everything, from the markets to the busy restaurants.

Best Hotel in the French Quarter: Days Inn by Wyndham Charleston Historic District

The Day Inn is our top choice for where to stay in the French Quarter because of its superb location. This two-star hotel is centrally situated in Charleston and is close to restaurants, shops and top tourist 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 in the French Quarter and offers easy access to shopping, dining and nightlife options. Rooms are well-equipped with air conditioning, comfortable beds and modern amenities. Guests also have access to 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 accommodations in the city. It is ideally situated for shopping and is close to restaurants, cafes and sightseeing attractions. This hotel offers a range of features, including an in-house spa and free wifi.

#2 South of Broad – Where to stay in Charleston on a budget

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. Here you’ll find comfortable and affordable accommodations right at the heart of the city. 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!

South of Broad, Charleston

Things to See and Do in South of Broad

– Eat a fantastic sandwich at Brown Dog Deli.

– Explore 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 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.

Best Hostel in South of Broad: Charlestons NotSo Hostel

The Notso Hostel is set in the historic heart of Charleston. It is built in an enclave of double-porched houses and is brimming with history. This hostel offers dorm and private rooms, four kitchens, and spotless bathrooms. This is our pick for where to stay in South of Broad.

Best Bed & Breakfast in South of Broad: Battery Carriage House Inn Charleston

This three-star property is one of our favourite places in the city because of its great location and comfortable rooms. This hotel is set in central Charleston. It is close to top tourist attractions, great parks and delicious restaurants. This hotel has seven rooms and lots of amenities.

Best Bed & Breakfast in South of Broad: Palmer Home Bed & Breakfast

The Palmer Home B&B is a great place to stay if you’re looking to explore historic Charleston. It is located in the South of Broad neighbourhood and is in close proximity to sightseeing, nightlife and dining options. This B&B has five cosy rooms, a relaxing garden and a stunning terrace.

#3 Downtown Charleston – Best area to stay in Charleston for nightlife

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. 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.

Downtown Charleston, Charleston

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.

Best Airbnb in Downtown Charleston: Stylish and Newly Renovated Cottage

Located in a fast-growing neighbourhood in Downtown Charleston, this quaint cottage is a short walk from popular restaurants, shops, bars and more. It comes with A/C, a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom with a bath tub. All the basic amenities are provided, including a large TV with Netflix and Amazon.

Best Hotel in Downtown Charleston: Comfort Inn Downtown Charleston

The Comfort Inn is your best bet for good-value accommodations in the city. 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 Charleston: Blue Green Vacations King Street Resort

This hotel is in a fantastic location for walking to the best bars, clubs and restaurants in Charleston. It is comprised of 50 rooms with comfortable beds and modern features. Guests of this hotel can also enjoy free wifi, luggage storage and elegant décor.

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#4 NoMo – Coolest place to stay in Charleston

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.

NoMo, Charleston

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.

Best Airbnb in NoMo: 1930’s Cottage Close to Great Nightlife

With everything you need for your stay in Charleston, this charming restored cottage is a close walk away from great food and bars in Historic Charleston. You will have your own private room and will be sharing the bathroom and kitchen with the host. The house comes with a large backyard.

Best Vacation Rental in NoMo: Boutique Bungalow

This charming vacation rental is ideally located in Charleston. It is close to the trendy bars and restaurants of NoMo. And, it is within walking distance of the tourist attractions and landmarks of downtown Charleston. This property provides comfortable beds with a variety of amenities.

Best Vacation Rental in NoMo: Hip Hideaway

This is our pick for where to stay in NoMo because of its great location. This property is well-connected throughout the city. It is a short walk to downtown and is surrounded by excellent options for dining, drinking and nightlife. This property has two bedrooms and two bathrooms and has free wifi for guests.

Best Vacation Rental in NoMo: Downtown Convenience

The name says it all – this property provides a convenient base at the heart of Charleston. This property is within walking distance of top tourist attractions and landmarks. It is also ideally situated for walking to the hippest bars and trendiest restaurants. You’ll enjoy a comfortable room with a variety of amenities.

#5 Mount Pleasant – Best neighbourhood in Charleston for families

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. 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, do and experience in Mount Pleasant, it’s no wonder it’s our pick for where to stay in Charleston for families.

Mount Pleasant, Charleston

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.

– 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.

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 two story town house can accommodate up to 6 guests, which makes it perfect for a family visiting Charleston. The perks, though, are the popcorn and ice-cream machine 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 is 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. It is a short car ride to 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 our choice for where to stay in Mount Pleasant. It is ideally located in the neighbourhood and is close to parks, beaches, attractions and restaurants. This hotel has 59 rooms with modern amenities. There’s also a swimming pool, BBQ, gym and free wifi.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Charleston

Charleston is an excellent travel 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 and entertain travellers of all ages and interests.

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, here is a quick recap of our favourite places.

Charlestons NotSo Hostel is our favourite hostel. It is conveniently located in the historic heart of the city and offers easy access to restaurants, bars, shops and tourist attractions.

Our pick for the best hotel is the Francis Marion Hotel because of its great location in the French Quarter. This hotel offers a range of features and boasts an in-house spa and free wifi.

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