Where to Stay in Charleston SC – Neighborhoods & Area Guide

The largest and the oldest in South Carolina, Charleston is a beautiful seaport city set on the west bank of Ashley River. Founded in 1670 and formerly known as Charles Town, the metropolitan is characterized by its rich history, culture and magnificently-preserved architecture.

Dubbed as the “Holy City,” Charleston’s present downtown skyline is governed by church staples and the magical Arthur Ravenel cable-stay bridge. Rewarded by Travel + Leisure in 2016 with the title of the “World’s Best City,” the harbor city has some of the most welcoming people in the country.

Let us now explore some of the fascinating areas in the city so you can plan where to stay in Charleston SC during your visit.

Downtown Charleston

Downtown Charleston

Source: f11photo / shutterstock

Downtown Charleston

When most people talk about Charleston’s historic charm and cultural affluence, they are referring to the downtown neighborhood, also known as the Peninsula. Characterized by the iconic Arthur Ravenel Jr. bridge, this area is only a few feet above sea level. Attracting visitors from all around the nation and the globe, Downtown Charleston is home to Waterfront Park, an eight-acre park set along the banks of Cooper River and founded in 1990. Rainbow Row, one of the streets in the neighborhood is noted for its picturesque series of thirteen vibrant and historic Georgian row houses that are the longest cluster of this kind in the United States of America.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Patriots Point, Old Slave Mart, Boone Hall, South Carolina Aquarium, and Charleston Museum.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • French Quarter Inn – A couple of minutes’ walk from Charleston City Market, French Quarter Inn offers vintage-inspired guestrooms with extra-large double beds, safety deposit box, free Wi-Fi, cable TV, and ensuite bathroom with free toiletries. Additional facilities include a 24-hour front desk, private yoga class, massage (on request) and free bike rentals. A complimentary continental gourmet breakfast is served daily. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Hyatt Place Charleston – Historic District – Just a short walk from Marion Square, this luxurious hotel boasts an indoor pool, a fine-dining restaurant, a fully-equipped fitness center, and a range of well-appointed guestrooms with premier facilities such as mini bar, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and a dining area. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Suitable for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 5 members.
  • Francis Marion Hotel – Neighbored by the famous Kings Street Shopping Street, Francis Marion Hotel is a historic property that features fully-furnished guestrooms with latest amenities, a state-of-the-art fitness center, an on-site restaurant with classic Southern delicacies. Guests can enjoy cocktails and live jazz music at the in-house bar. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.

Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant, SC

Source: elvisvaughn / shutterstock

Mount Pleasant

The largest town in South Carolina, Mount Pleasant is a big suburb located in the eastern section of Charleston Harbor. Once known as “North Point,” the neighborhood was once famous as the fastest growing district, literally doubling its population between 1990 and 2000. Connected to the main city through Arthur Ravenel bridge, Mount Pleasant’s oldest neighborhood is the “Old Village” which is also home to the districts oldest house – constructed in 1755. Patriots Point, a renowned naval and maritime museum, is home to several retired warships, including WWII aircraft carrier USS Yorktown. Mount Pleasant Towne Center and Belle Hall Shopping Center host a number of retail stores and boutiques, in case you wanted to shop.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Cold War Submarine Memorial, Fort Sumter, City Market, South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston Harbor, and Fort Moultrie.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Best Western Patriots Point – A short drive from South Carolina Aquarium and Charleston City Centre, this splendid hotel features a refreshing outdoor pool, a 24-hour reception, and a brilliant business center. All guestrooms are fitted with free Wi-Fi, cable TV, ironing facilities, and private bathroom with free toiletries. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Wyndham Garden Charleston Mount Pleasant – Featuring an indoor pool, a fitness center, a shared lounge and on-site restaurant, this upscale hotel features luxurious guestrooms with facilities such as an extra-large double bed, flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and ensuite bathroom. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Charleston/Mt. Pleasant-Isle Of Palms – Nestled in the heart of Mount Pleasant, this elegant hotel features comfortable guestrooms with cozy double beds, air-conditioning, flat-screen TV with cable channels, free Wi-Fi, and private bathroom. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Perfect for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 5 members.

West Ashley

West Ashley

Formally known as West of the Ashley, this neighborhood is among the six distinct areas of Charleston city proper. Named literally in context to the Ashley River (and the fact that the landmass is on the west of the river), the neighborhood flaunts a panoramic waterfront area with gorgeous views, marshland, and moss-draped oak trees. Middleton Place, the oldest landscaped gardens in America, is one of the most significant attractions in the area. Charles Towne Landing, a 663-hectare space by the banks of Ashley River, is home to the only zoo in Charleston.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Ashley Hall Plantation, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Ashley Landing, Citadel Mall, and Old St Andrews Parish Church (the oldest surviving church in the city that dates back to 1706).

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Town & Country Inn and Suites – Featuring fully-equipped luxurious guestrooms and a 24-hour front desk, Town & Country Inn Suites is located in the beautiful neighborhood of West Ashley. Guests here can relax at the outdoor pool in the morning and enjoy delicious meals at the on-site restaurant. Travelers with vehicles can use the free parking facility. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Best Western Charleston Inn – This newly renovated classy hotel features all the top-in-line amenities that guests can expect out of a luxury property, including the largest pool deck in Charleston. Bessinger’s, located adjacent to the hotel, is a great place for barbecues. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • La Quinta Inn & Suites Charleston Riverview – A short drive from Hampton Park, La Quinta Inn & Suites Charleston Riverview offers comfortable guestrooms with amenities such as cozy double beds, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, flat-screen TV with cable channels, refrigerator, and ensuite bathroom with free toiletries. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.

North Charleston

North Charleston

Source: Brooke Becker / shutterstock

North Charleston

North Charleston, the third-largest city in South Carolina, is a neighborhood in the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville district and is located in the coastal plain near the Atlantic. One of the only three locations in the world accredited with manufacturing and assembly of wide-body, long-range commercial aircraft, North Charleston has something for everyone including shopaholics, music enthusiasts and beer buffs. Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark and Frankie’s Fun Park are two must-visits if you are traveling with children. North Charleston Coliseum, a state-of-the-art space, features the largest, most happening events in the area.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Middleton Place, Drayton Hall, Charleston Harbor, Audubon Swamp Garden, North Charleston Wannamaker County Park, and Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • DoubleTree by Hilton North Charleston – Convention Center – A few hundred meters from Tanger Outlet Mall, this wonderfully-decorated hotel features well-appointed guestrooms with flat-screen TV with cable channels and video games, air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, safety deposit box, and ensuite bathroom with free toiletries. On-site facilities include a 24-hour fitness center, an on-site restaurant, a revitalizing pool, and hot tub. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Embassy Suites North Charleston Airport Hotel Convention – Featuring an indoor pool, a full-service gym with cardio equipment, a business center, and an amazing on-site restaurant serving steaks and seafood, this lavish hotel offers fully-equipped suites with all modern facilities such as air-conditioning, private bathroom, flat-screen TV with pay-per-view channels, and seating area. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Charleston North/Ashley Phosphate – A pleasant 15 minutes’ drive from the historic Middleton Place and Frankie’s Fun Park, this opulent hotel features comfortable guestrooms with latest facilities such as extra-large double beds, air-conditioning, flat-screen TV with cable, microwave, and private bathroom. A complimentary breakfast including eggs, waffles, meat, fruits, and pastries is served every morning. Great for solo travelers and couples.

French Quarter

French Quarter, Charleston

Source: Sean Pavone / shutterstock

French Quarter

A sub-neighborhood of downtown, the French Quarter is neighbored by the Cooper River and Market Street. Located within the original “walled” city, the neighborhood was named after the high concentration of French merchants that once inhabited the area. French Quarter is home to many important historic buildings, including the Oak Slave (1859) and the Pink House Tavern (1712). It’s also noted for its wonderful art galleries and the many wining and dining options set along the striking Charleston Waterfront Park.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: French Huguenot, St. Philip’s Episcopal churches, Waterfront Park, Old Slave Mart Museum, Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, Gibbes Museum of Art, and St Michael’s Church.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • The Vendue – This artistic hotel set in the heart of the French Quarter includes two different properties, each dating back to 1780 and boasting rotating art displays and related tours. 5 minutes’ away from Waterfront Park, The Vendue features beautifully designed guestrooms along with other amenities such as a rooftop cocktail bar where guests can enjoy a cocktail and the lovely view. The on-site restaurant specializes in locally sourced, fresh American delights. A daily art reception with canapés and wine is organized as well. Great for luxury travelers.
  • Market Pavilion Hotel – A gentle stroll from the beach, Market Pavilion Hotel is a 4-star property with a rooftop pool, multiple dining options, free Wi-Fi throughout the property, and an extensive wine list. Guestrooms are fitted with extra-large double beds, safety deposit box, executive lounge access (in selected rooms), and private bathrooms. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Harbourview Inn – Overlooking Waterfront Park and the prominent Charleston Harbor, this opulent boutique hotel provides classy guestrooms with avant-garde facilities such as 4-post bed, cable TV, iPod dock, safety deposit box, and heating. Guests can cherish the cheese reception and complimentary afternoon wine at the rooftop skyline tour. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.
Where to stay: Best Hotels in Charleston, South Carolina (SC)
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List of Image Sources

Where to Stay in Charleston SC – Neighborhoods & Area Guide:

Downtown Charleston

  • Downtown Charleston: f11photo / shutterstock
  • Mount Pleasant: elvisvaughn / shutterstock
  • West Ashley: Toddbarwick / Wikimedia
  • North Charleston: Brooke Becker / shutterstock
  • French Quarter: Sean Pavone / shutterstock