Summer Guide 2017
❶ Belmond Charleston Place
Treat yourself to a posh downtown stay in Belmond Charleston Place’s newly polished rooms—last year’s 30th anniversary coincided with a $34-million renovation of this grand marketplace hotel. The fourth-floor rooftop saltwater pool boasts a horizon edge and retractable ceiling perfect for summer soaking, and the guests-only Clock Tower Terrace provides bathers with lunch and cocktails. Splurge on a Club Level room on the seventh or eighth floors, where a dedicated staff serves up personal attention, beverages, and delicious bites throughout the day. belmond.com/charleston-place, (843) 722-4900
Cool Tip: Weekdays from June 11 through August, Tricounty residents can use the code “LOCALSONLY” for 25 percent off room rates, spa treatments, and restaurant dining.
❷ The Restoration
With 360-degree views of bustling downtown, the petite rooftop of this high-style, off-King-Street newcomer is big on gathering community. At the hotel’s rooftop kitchen, The Watch, Tuesdays host local musicians, Wednesdays deliver complimentary yoga and curated wine tastings, and Thursdays bring free outdoor movie screenings for guests and visitors alike (reserve your spot on EventBrite.com for Jurassic Park on June 15, Jaws on July 20, or the original Ghostbusters on August 17). Overnighters can chill in the rooftop pool and check out bikes for two-wheeling the city, as well as feast on evening wine and cheese, late-night cookies and port, and a morning breakfast basket with pastries from Butcher & Bee. therestorationhotel.com, (843) 221-7202
Cool tip: Daytime visitors to the hotel spa also gain access to the pool.
❸ The Inn at Middleton Place
With its streamlined glass buildings planted amidst the pastoral grounds of a 200-year-old rice plantation on the Ashley River, this hotel has made for a sophisticated escape from the urban shuffle for three decades. A 10-minute stroll down the walking path and across the iconic, and newly rebuilt, half-moon bridge delivers guests to Middleton Place (admission is included with a hotel stay). Those looking for more adventure can opt for kayak trips and horseback rides, while those seeking relaxation can lounge by the inn’s lush riverside pool. theinnatmiddletonplace.com, (843) 556-0500
Cool tip: The inn does offer local rates, though discounts change seasonally, so be sure to mention if you live in the Tricounty area. Planning to tour the gardens and grounds? Ask about early check-in.
Let us float this idea: Forego dry land for an overnight aboard a well-appointed watercraft. Chuck Rentals has five vessels for rent (expect to pay between $150 and $300 nightly), including a 1947 vintage yacht, a wood-hull trawler, a sport fisher, and a houseboat once featured on Tiny House Hunters. All have been designed with spend-the-night comfort in mind, so you can bunk up in a queen-size stateroom and freshen up in a full-size shower. The boats stay moored in private slips at Seabreeze Marina at the base of the Ravenel Bridge. chuckrentals.com
Cool tip: Access to two bikes means you can cast off your car during your stay.
❺ Goat Island
Though just a quick zip from Isle of Palms Marina, the tiny barrier island feels a world away. This sliver of sand dune and maritime wood, flanked by the Intracoastal Waterway and Gray Bay, can only be accessed by boat, and its roads aren’t paved, which is no matter, since there aren’t any cars. For decades, families have gathered here for fishing, crabbing, shrimp boiling, boat watching, porch sitting, and hammock napping. Squish pluff mud between your toes at a handful of rental cabins, like the charming bungalow at 3825 Buccaneer Boulevard (available through Island Realty), the newly renovated three-bedroom “Goat Island Resort” (goatislandresort.com), or any of a half-dozen listings on AirBNB.com and HomeAway.com.
Cool tip: Boat access is necessary to reach your rental, so if you don’t own a vessel, inquire about getting a lift from your host or rent one through the Isle of Palms Marina.
❻ Happie Camper
Like the idea of camping but need more creature comforts? The Happie Camper packs a snug queen bed, temperature controls, and a kitchen (complete with mini fridge, microwave, two-burner stove, and coffee pot) into 65 square feet of vintage-cool camper space that can be set up on your reserved site at Edisto Beach State Park or on your private property. Though Hurricane Matthew knocked out the park’s ocean-side campsites until September, the property’s Live Oak Campground, just half a mile from the beach, offers shady sites and marsh views. For a flat $30 fee, Happie Camper will also outfit your picnic area with a 10-by-10-foot screen shelter. Campsite reservations: southcarolinaparks.com, (866) 345-7275; Camper rental: airbnb.com, (803) 984-4231
Cool tip: The Happie Chicks (the boiled peanut purveyors who created this funky camper) offer complimentary treats to renters when their Happie Truck rolls through Edisto Beach State Park.
Short-term Rentals: The city of Charleston permits short-term rentals, such as the Charlotte Street Cottage (#7), á la AirBNB, HomeAway, and VRBO in specifically zoned areas, though rebellious listings abound online.
Photographs by (Happie Camper) Caroline Matheny & (houseboat) Libby Williams Photography & courtesy of (5) the businesses