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Destination Guide: Charleston, S.C.

Charleston, South Carolina
Allianz - Charleston, South Carolina

In 350 years, Charleston has witnessed the most momentous events in American history: the birth of religious freedom, the battles of the American Revolution, and the beginning of the Civil War. “Wandering through its streets can be dreamlike and otherworldly, its alleyways and shortcuts both fragrant and mysterious, yet as haunted as time turned in on itself,” wrote author Pat Conroy.

Today, Charleston is a favorite destination for visitors who love food, history, architecture and culture. But if you only have a few days to spend there, what should you do? Try our five-minute guide to the best of the Holy City.

3 Reasons to Buy Travel Insurance for Charleston

  1. Insurance can save your vacation if a hurricane hits. Charleston, a coastal city, has long been vulnerable to big storms.1 Trip cancellation and interruption benefits can reimburse you for your prepaid, non-refundable trip costs if you must cancel or cut short the trip because of a major hurricane (that was not a named storm when you purchased your plan) or another covered reason.
  2. Travel insurance takes the sting out of travel delays. In 2018, more than 20 percent of domestic flights were canceled or delayed.2 Travel delay benefits can reimburse you for eligible meals, accommodation and transportation expenses during a covered delay. Or, with plans that include SmartBenefitsSM, you can choose a fixed payment option of $100 per insured person, per day, for covered travel delays and baggage delays. No receipts required — just proof of delay.
  3. Travel insurance can protect your rental car, too. If you’re renting a car to get around Charleston, don’t buy overpriced rental car insurance. Instead, protect your rental car against covered collision, loss and damage with the affordable Rental Car Damage Protector (available for residents of most states.)

What’s the best domestic travel insurance plan? One affordable option is the OneTrip Basic Plan, which includes up to $10,000 in trip cancellation benefits. If you travel more than three times a year, AllTrips Prime offers great protection for 365 days of trips. To find your best-fit plan, get a quote!

3 of the Best Things to Do in Charleston

  1. Stroll the Battery. Charleston’s famous for the grand antebellum mansions that line the Battery, the city’s old defensive seawall. Admire Rainbow Row, take in the harbor views, and learn about Charleston’s colorful pirate past.
  2. Tour Charleston’s alleys. Lowcountry Walking Tours offers a guided exploration of the city’s hidden passageways and historic alleys, giving you an intimate perspective on its history. If you’d rather relax, consider a harbor cruise tour or horse-drawn carriage tour.
  3. Get good vibes on Folly Beach. Just outside of Charleston is the low-key town of Folly Beach, a favorite destination for surfing, fishing, and just hanging out. Grab a bite at Taco Boy and a drink at Surf Bar, then watch the sun set from the Folly Beach pier.

3 Boutique Hotels in Charleston

In a city as delightfully different as Charleston, why stay at a big-brand hotel? The Governor’s House Inn offers elegant accommodations in a 1760 Georgian mansion. Enjoy your own private porch, four-poster beds, and complimentary parking.

Fast-forward to the Jazz Age at the Spectator Hotel, in Charleston’s historic French Quarter. From the free cocktail served when you arrive to the personal butler who brings you a continental breakfast each morning, the Spectator spoils every guest. Valet parking and free cruiser bikes make it easy to get around.

If you like hotels with a sleek, modern feel, then check into The Dewberry. One of the best boutique hotels in Charleston, the Dewberry welcomes guests with sophisticated furnishings, Irish linens, seasonally inspired mini-bar selections and stunning city views. In the evenings, settle into the midcentury Living Room bar or head to the rooftop Citrus Club cocktail lounge.

3 of the Best Restaurants in Charleston

Trying to pick the best restaurants in Charleston, a city internationally renowned for its Gullah and Lowcountry cuisine, is pretty much impossible. But we’ll suggest a few favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

First thing in the morning, head over to Virginia’s on King to load up on classic dishes like shrimp and grits, fried chicken and biscuits, and country ham. The weekend brunch offers even more savory options, including deviled eggs, fried green tomatoes, and fried-oyster salad.

Once you’ve walked off your breakfast, it’s time to experience Bertha’s Kitchen. This soul-food spot, honored with a James Beard Award in 2017, is deeply beloved for its family-style food: barbecue chicken, baked macaroni and cheese, collard greens, lima bean soup and cornbread.

And for dinner? FIG has long been acclaimed as one of the best restaurants in Charleston, serving creative yet approachable takes on Lowcountry classics. On the ever-changing menu, you can expect to find the best seasonal bounty of South Carolina: soft-shell crab, triggerfish, okra and Carolina Gold rice.

Ready to experience Charleston? Protect your vacation with travel insurance from Allianz Global Assistance. See your options here.

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