Shopping in Charleston, South Carolina
As I walked along Charleston’s King Street in the historic district, I felt like time stood still. The many historic homes here from the 19th century create a dignified cityscape that comes alive thanks to the many great restaurants, bars and shops. This unique mix of traditional and modern is the essence of Charleston’s unique atmosphere.
A Visit to the Charleston City Market
I began my shopping excursion at the Charleston City Market, a couple of buildings from the 20th century that extend over four blocks. In the different halls of the market, you can find many local products, like hand-woven sweetgrass baskets, soaps, oils, jewelry, toys, clothing and much more. I noticed some nice espresso bars and food stands as well, making for a wonderful afternoon of shopping and relaxing. I stayed here for a while, enjoying a snack and the lively atmosphere, while old carriages pass by.
World-Class Shopping on King Street
No shopping tour of Charleston is complete without a full day (or more) exploring King Street. This historic shopping, dining and design district is defined by three distinct areas: the Upper King Street Design and Dining District, the Middle King Street Fashion District and the Lower King Street Antiques District. Many of the retailers are housed in historically significant buildings, yet another convergence of old and new.
I saw many familiar brands such as Anthropologie, Apple, Banana Republic and Gap. But I also visited many local establishments that offer a little piece of Charleston to take home with you. Blue Bicycle Books was a great find, offering new and used books and supporting local authors. You could easily spend a few hours in here, hunting for rare and old books.
I also stopped at Kaminsky’s, at truly unique Charleston experience. This tiny specialty dessert shop had a tempting array of sweets, from pies and cakes, to milkshakes and flavored blended coffee drinks. But, it also had a full bar. I saw several patrons enjoying delicious after-dinner dessert drinks.
In the antiques district, there is the notable George C. Birlant & Co., which has been selling upscale antiques from around the world since 1922 – an absolutely beautiful store for true antiques aficionados.
The Elliot House Inn, a Bed and Breakfast Favorite
A superb bed and breakfast, The Elliott House Inn, is located in the beautiful downtown district of Charleston. This historic building dates back to 1861 and has an incredible history, from surviving a destructive earthquake in 1886 to being flooded by a hurricane in 1989. It underwent a massive two-year renovation in 2009. What I found most charming about this establishment was the continental breakfast delivered to your room on a silver tray and the quaint and welcoming courtyard in the center.
I wish I could have stayed in Charleston. This rich and welcoming Southern city is full of history and charm!