This weekend, schedule a romantic getaway in Charleston, SC. A quick 3-hour drive from Charlotte, this is the perfect spot for couples.
If you're looking for a lovely romantic getaway within driving distance of Charlotte, don't miss Charleston, SC.
Just a short 3-hour drive from the Queen City, Charleston has all the old world charm a romantic weekend deserves. Lush garden nooks, the famous pineapple fountain, horse & carriage rides, and an amazing restaurant scene all make for a couple's weekend right out of a fairytale.
My husband and I had the chance to do a quick weekend away without the kids near our anniversary and had so much fun exploring the "Holy City," named for the number of churches that dot the old roads.
As you plan your own couple's retreat, here are our favorite can't-miss spots for you to add to your itinerary.
5 romantic spots in Charleston you can't miss during your weekend away:
Charleston, SC is right on the ocean but is not a beach getaway. If you're expecting sandy shores and swimsuits, you need to go just a little bit farther to Folly Beach or one of the other islands nearby.
Our favorite romantic spots in the city are all within walking distance from one another and definitely fall into the urban category.
Where to stay for a romantic getaway in Charleston:
First up, you'll need a place to stay for your romantic couple's weekend. We reserved our spot at The Elliott House Inn on Queen Street in downtown Charleston.
Romantic Spot #1: A review of The Elliott House Inn
The Elliott House Inn was originally built as a private home but then converted to a 26-room bed and breakfast in the heart of the historic district of Charleston.
The cozy rooms surround an open-air courtyard filled with palm trees, a small swimming pool, and little bistro tables for lounging. The hotel is welcoming, quaint, and oh so pretty.
We weren't able to check in as early as we had arrived, but the concierge on duty finished all the paperwork so all we had to do upon returning was grab our key. When we got into the room just before dinner, we discovered a gorgeous four-poster bed and a small but richly furnished space. Every single thing in the private room served it's purpose well so that it made up in comfort and luxury what it may lack in size.
As sweet and charming as the inn is, the single greatest benefit to staying here is the location! I didn't realize what a gem it was when we made our reservation but we couldn't believe our luck when it came to actually touring by foot.
The Elliott House Inn is located right smack dab in the middle of several amazing restaurants and even features room service from one of our favorites--82 Queen.
After a fantastic dinner (and perhaps a little too much wine) we were able to simply get up from our dinner table, walk down the stairs of the restaurant, round the corner and walk right into our hotel room. I LOVED not having to deal with a taxi or long walk and we felt comfortable enough to linger over our coffee and dessert knowing we'd be "home" in no time at all.
Queen Street is just full of personality. Within just a few minutes of The Elliott House Inn, you pass by dozens of adorable buildings overflowing with flowering window boxes.
In one direction you end up at the waterfront, in the other direction is King Street and all the shops and restaurants you could possibly need.
The Elliott House Inn also has bikes available for guests to use to tour the city. We were too nervous to try it since we weren't sure where we were going, but next time I'd hop on one in a heartbeat.
The icing on this cake is that we were encouraged to fill out our breakfast card and the complimentary tray of morning treats was served to us in bed! Our room had a private patio in the back where we could enjoy our coffee and muffins before heading out for the day.
If you're interested in checking out The Elliott House Inn, you can make reservations here.
As you plan your visit, know that there is no on-site parking at The Elliott House Inn. The best place to put your car is in the parking ramp directly across the street. The rate during our visit was $20 for 24 hours.
Romantic restaurant ideas for dinner in Charleston:
With a place to lay your head secured, next up is the spot to fill your bellies. Charleston has built a solid reputation as a foodie city and the options for restaurants are absolutely amazing.
Romantic Spot #2: Poogan's Porch, a fantastic romantic restaurant in Charleston
Poogan's Porch may possibly be my favorite restaurant in Charleston. The adorable white front porch welcomes you to another charming southern home-turned-restaurant.
The menu features fresh spins on southern classics like chicken and waffles, fried green tomatoes, and shrimp and grits. They also feature more modern southern-inspired dishes like pan-seared scallops and sweet tea glazed salmon.
Reservations for most restaurants in Charleston are highly recommended. At Poogan's Porch it is especially important due to the unique nature of the dining spaces they offer.
You can call ahead or make your reservation by visiting Poogan's Porch's web site here.
Romantic Spot #3: 82 Queen restaurant review
Since 82 Queen was just mere steps away from our hotel room at The Elliott House Inn, it was an obvious choice for us to check it out for dinner. Our meal was so fantastic, it would absolutely be worth a trip even if you're not sleeping right next door for the night!
My husband devoured the bourbon brown sugar-glazed pork chop and I feasted on the fresh carolina crab cakes. During our visit, homemade from-scratch green bean casserole in an adorable mason jar was one of the side dish options. I swear to you it was the most delicious veggie I've ever had and would make you look twice at your Thanksgiving menu!
The service was just as phenomenal as the food and 82 Queen would be the perfect spot for a special occasion or anniversary dinner.
You can call ahead or make your reservation by visiting 82 Queen's web site here.
Romantic Spot #4: Horse and carriage rides from Palmetto Carriage Works
It has been a relationship-long running joke with my husband that he has never taken me on a horse & buggy ride. We finally broke the streak in Charleston and I finally got my ride!
We booked seats on a group tour by Palmetto Carriage Works. A 1-hour tour of the city by horse-drawn carriage runs $30 per seat. You won't know specifically which of 3 tour routes you will get until your carriage is on the road but they all pass near similarly beautiful views.
You can view more details and book your ride at the Palmetto Carriage Works web site here.
Romantic Spot #5: The classic pineapple fountain
You can't possibly visit Charleston without taking a walk past the infamous pineapple fountain in Waterfront Park. Equally beautiful during the daytime and the evening, this is a wonderful stroll to take with your sweetie.
There are several shady garden benches throughout the park or you can take a walk down the pier to look at the ocean views.
Map out your visit and get more details at the Charleston web site here.
Want to have a romantic getaway but can't find anyone to watch the kids? We've done several family trips to Charleston and still found it to be a very romantic destination, even with the kids along. You can learn all my tips for how to have a romantic vacation even when you need to bring your kids.