One of the best ways to experience a new-to-you destination is to chat with the locals and discover all the secret spots you might find off the beaten path. If you look closely enough, you’ll find an array of hidden gems in the Charleston, SC, area. From quiet nature parks and ancient trees to charming eateries and dive bars, the Holy City has it all. Read on for some of our local insight. Then, be sure to check out our Destination Guide for even more great suggestions to include in your itinerary.
Top 10 Hidden Gems Around Charleston, SC
Sights & Attractions
1. Cypress Gardens
Walking trails, boat adventures, a butterfly house, and even a recently redeveloped aquarium/reptile exhibit await you at Cypress Gardens! Cypress knees, oak trees draped in Spanish moss, and lush green forests paint a picturesque scene for visitors to enjoy.
2. Hampton Park
Hampton Park is full of beautiful floral displays, manicured landscapes, and quiet gazebo. Play a game of frisbee, ride bikes along the path, or simply stroll around the picturesque ponds. This park serves as a quiet oasis, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city streets.
3. The Gateway Walk
While walking the streets of Charleston, you might quietly stumble upon the Gateway Walk. Wrought-iron gates open up to what feels like a secret space. Overgrown, green foliage takes over old gravestones of this Unitarian churchyard.
4. Mepkin Abbey
Would you believe that the Charleston area is home to a Trappist monastery? Well, a quick trip from the peninsula to Mepkin Abbey enlightens visitors. A sense of serenity overwhelms you as you stroll through the magnificent, well-kept gardens.
5. Botany Bay on Edisto Island
If you’re up for an hour-long drive from the peninsula, a trip to Edisto is well worth the trip. The island’s Botany Bay is truly something special. There, you will encounter old brick house ruins, quiet, shell-studded beaches, and majestic, dead trees lining the shores of the ocean.
6. The Angel Oak Tree
The Angel Oak Tree is an absolute must-see for locals and visitors alike. Venture to John’s Island and get lost in the natural topography of the Lowcountry. Then, see for yourself what is thought to be one of the oldest living things in the country.
7. The Pickled Palate
The Pickled Palate is one of the best restaurants in Mt. Pleasant for a light and refreshing bite to eat. Escape in their magical, vintage garden, enjoy a glass of wine, and pair it with delicious sandwich prepared on freshly baked bread.
8. Dellz Uptown
Vibrant, lively, and full of energy, Dellz Uptown serves up a creative menu full of vegan and vegetarian soul food options. The restaurant is small, but the food is mighty and flavorful. You can even play a game of chess or flip through an astrology book while you wait for your meal!
9. Xiao Bao Biscuit
Set in a 40s-era gas station, this Asian-inspired restaurant gets the locals talking. Xiao Bao Biscuit is a unique establishment serving delicious, modern takes on Asian fusion. From India and Thailand to Vietnam, the inspiration for their food makes for such tasty concoctions!
10. The Tattooed Moose
The Tattooed Moose is a local watering hole where you can eat delicious food, drink craft beer, and maybe even catch a local band playing at night. This establishment is known for its duck-fat fries and Mike’s Famous Duck Club, which was featured on Diners Drive-Ins & Dives.
Stay in the Heart of Downtown Charleston
Whether you’re seeking out secret alleyways, delicious food, or other hidden gems in Charleston, make the most out of your visit when you stay at Hotel Bella Grace. Our property blends historical features with modern design while offering stylish suites in which you can reside. Take advantage of our top-notch amenities and take in the views of the Holy City. Looking out from your window, you’ll see steeples towering over rooftops, which is where the nickname comes from. We go above and beyond to make you feel right at home. What are you waiting for?