Charleston, South Carolina, is a popular tourist destination which is known for its historic charm, vibrant culture, and beautiful landscapes. However, beyond the well-known attractions of Charleston, there are numerous hidden places waiting to be discovered by adventurous travelers. In this blog, Nowandlive will take you on a journey to explore some lesser-known but equally captivating destinations near Charleston. From scenic nature spots to clubs and restaurants, these underrated places near Charleston offer a unique and authentic experience with Viator that will enrich your visit to the area.
Top underrated places near Charleston
1. Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve
Nestled on Edisto Island, one of the secret spots near Charleston just an hour’s drive from Charleston lies the enchanting Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve. This hidden gem boasts breathtaking landscapes, including pristine beaches, salt marshes, and moss-draped oak trees. You can take leisurely walks along the nature trails, spot wildlife here such as herons and dolphins, or relax on the secluded beach.
2. Middleton Place
Located on the outskirts of Charleston, Middleton Place is a historic plantation that often gets overshadowed by its more famous counterparts. This magnificent estate features beautifully landscaped gardens, centuries-old oak trees, and a stunning plantation house. Take a stroll through the lush gardens of this place, explore the stable yards, and indulge in the rich history and natural beauty of this underrated destination.
3. Folly Beach
While Charleston’s downtown peninsula attracts most beachgoers, Folly Beach offers a laid-back and less crowded alternative. Known for its bohemian atmosphere and amazing sunsets, Folly Beach is a haven for surfers, sunbathers, and nature lovers making it one of the underrated places near Charleston. Explore the quirky shops and restaurants along Center Street, catch a wave, or simply unwind on the sandy shores.
4. Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
Often overshadowed by its more famous counterparts, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is a hidden gem worth exploring. With its lush gardens, scenic pathways, and diverse flora and fauna, here you’ll find a tranquil escape from the bustling city. Embark on a nature walk, take a boat tour through the swamp, or visit the Audubon Swamp Garden for a unique wildlife experience.
A short drive from Charleston brings you to the charming town of Beaufort, a historic gem filled with antebellum architecture, tree-lined streets, and southern hospitality. Explore this historic district which is one of the underrated places near Charleston, take a walk along the waterfront park, or take a guided tour to learn about the town’s rich history and its role in American culture.
6. Bulls Island
For nature enthusiasts seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience, Bulls Island is a hidden treasure. Located within the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, this barrier island is a haven for birdwatching, hiking, and beachcombing. Take a ferry ride from Awendaw and immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of this secluded island. You can book an amazing ferry ride on Viator.
Top 5 hidden gems near Charleston: Clubs and Restaurants
Located on Upper King Street, Prohibition is a hidden gem that captures the essence of a 1920s speakeasy. Step through the unmarked entrance and be transported to an era of jazz, craft cocktails, and refined ambiance. Enjoy live music performances, savor artisanal libations, and indulge in a menu featuring Southern-inspired cuisine with a modern twist.
Xiao Bao Biscuit
Nestled in a nondescript building on Rutledge Avenue, Xiao Bao Biscuit is one of the hidden gems near Charleston specializing in Asian-inspired dishes. The vibrant and eclectic menu features flavors from China, Thailand, Korea, and Vietnam. Experience the fusion of tastes, textures, and spices while dining in a casual and cozy atmosphere.
Tucked away on Upper King Street, The Rarebit is a hidden gem reminiscent of a retro diner with a modern twist. Here you’ll get a menu inspired by classic American comfort food, featuring favorites like fried chicken and waffles, meatloaf, and deviled eggs. Don’t miss their signature Moscow Mules and delectable desserts.
The Royal American
For those seeking a lively music venue and a laid-back atmosphere, The Royal American is the place to be. Located in the Westside neighborhood, this hidden gem hosts live bands and offers a diverse menu of bar bites, sandwiches, and Southern-inspired dishes. Enjoy the outdoor patio and indulge in the vibrant energy of Charleston’s local music scene.
Nestled on Upper King Street, The Ordinary is a seafood-focused restaurant housed in a historic bank building. Viator also provides a secret food tour, you can contact them for this hidden gem features an oyster bar, a raw bar, and a menu showcasing the freshest coastal cuisine. Savor impeccably prepared seafood dishes while enjoying the stylish and sophisticated ambiance of this hidden culinary gem.
Underrated places near Charleston offer an array of underrated destinations waiting to be explored. You can book a bus tour from Viator where you’ll experience the natural splendor of Botany Bay Plantation and Bulls Island to the historic charm of Middleton Place and Beaufort, these hidden gems provide a refreshing escape from the tourist crowds. So, when you visit Charleston, be sure to venture beyond the well-trodden path and discover the underrated places with Viator that showcase the true essence and beauty of this remarkable region. Your exploration will reward you with unforgettable experiences and a deeper appreciation for the hidden treasures that lie just beyond Charleston’s renowned attractions. For more information on underrated places near Charleston, visit Nowandlive.