There’s no better way to enjoy the true charm of the South than visiting the low country of Charleston, South Carolina. But to really get the most out of your trip to the tip of the United States, step outside of the typical hotels and let yourself indulge in some luxury — and some history. These gorgeous bed and breakfasts, all located in historic downtown Charleston — will make you feel like you traveled a few hundred years back in time, at least for a weekend, anyway.
1. 21 East Battery Bed and Breakfast
What makes it special: Nestled near the end of the infamous and historic East Battery Road, 21 East Battery Bed and Breakfast is a gorgeous treasure of a home. It offers different sections within the large, 1800s home, giving you an option for whatever trip you’re taking — from a honeymoon to a girls’ weekend. The Carriage House gives you a home all to yourselves (complete with a full kitchen, living area and more), while the Quarters is ideal for larger parties who just need a kitchenette to get by.
The history: This home is privately owned and was one of the first dwellings built along the High Battery facing Charleston’s Harbor.
Know before you book: The innkeeper is Julie and many travelers describe her as friendly, kind, knowledgeable, and best of all: a talented baker! The kitchen is pre-stocked with homemade quiche, granola, yogurt, and other traditional breakfast items, while Julie bakes sweet treats as well. For an additional price, you can enjoy other made-to-order breakfast items.
Rates start at $195.
2. King George IV Inn
What makes it special: With three levels of porches, you’ll definitely feel like you’re stepping back into the beauty of the deep South when you stay at the King George IV Inn. All guest rooms have fireplaces with 11-foot ceilings and seven-foot windows — so expect a lot of gorgeous early morning light. Breakfast is served all day in the breakfast room, and you’ll be able to enjoy a true Southern experience — from eggs and sausage to grits and waffles. If you want to get in some shopping while you’re there, it’s easy enough: King Street shops are only a one-minute walk away.
The history: This 200-year old home was built in 1790, and is named The Peter Freneau House after the journalist and co-owner of the Charleston City Gazette. It’s a four-story Federal-style home.
Rates start at $135.
3. Jasmine House Inn
What makes it special: If you’re looking for romance, Jasmine House Inn might be the place to go — and splurge! While the main home features six large rooms furnished with antique reproductions (some with Italian marble bathrooms) — the star of this bed and breakfast is the Carriage House. Tucked behind the home, it has four English-country rooms that are styled from Mandarin to Chrysanthemum. Some have fireplaces, but all are pretty ideal for a lovey-dovey getaway.
The history: This 19-century home was built in 1843 in the Greek Revival style with strong details and dramatic art work. It’s in the Ansonborough area of downtown Charleston.
Know before you book: The website doesn’t offer too much information, so check out online reviews before you click "reserve."
Rates start at $225.
4. 1837 Bed and Breakfast
What makes it special: When you think of old Southern charm, this is likely the vision you see. With spiraling staircases, rocking chairs on the porches, canopies over all the beds, clawfoot tubs, and a central location, you’ll feel like you’re at the heart of Charleston when you stay at the 1837 Bed and Breakfast. With complementary wine to enjoy in the outside piazzas, what’s not to enjoy?
The history: This sprawling mansion was built in the early 1800s is a three-story Federal-style single home that has a two-story carriage/kitchen house attached.
Know before you book: You won’t leave hungry! Many guests note that the breakfast is so good, it’ll leave you full all day. The property will they’ll accommodate dietary restrictions — just give them 48 hours notice before your arrival so they can come up with something decadent.
Rates start at $191.
5. Cannonboro Inn
What makes it special: The 160-year old home Cannonboro Inn is known for its striking architecture. It has two curved piazzas that feature 22 massive columns. These piazzas overlook the walking garden, pond, and fountain, and you can enjoy your complimentary breakfast while sitting outside. And that breakfast is something you’ll be talking about when you return from vacation. Think: orange-glazed croissant French toast and southern sausage patties and crepes. Our mouths are already watering!
The history: Built in 1853 by William Lucas, this single house is considered Victoria style. Lucas was a wealthy rice planter who married local Charlotte Hune and together they had 10 children.
Know before you book: If you’re looking for city center, this might not be the pick for you. It’s a little off from the main strip of restaurants and shopping, but definitely an easy five- or 10-minute walk away. (Psst: You’ll see many gorgeous homes along the way!)
Rates start at $196.
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