Charleston is renowned for its historic beauty, world-class dining, stellar shopping, arts and entertainment, luxury hotels and more. It is also a well-known fact that a visit to the Holy City can set you back a pretty penny (or two, three, four …) While dining on a budget and enjoying low-cost activities can easily be accomplished without a lot of footwork, finding accommodations that fit a modest budget can seem like an effort in futility.
Don’t let travel sites scare you away with their lists of top-tier hotel tariffs; a great place to lay your head can be had in the area without canceling the kids’ ballet lessons. Experience a Charleston getaway that is both memorable and affordable by checking out these fabulous finds and following tips for getting the best lodging deals for your dollar.
For out-of-the-ordinary stays that won’t rattle your budget-conscious sensibilities, consider these cool options, all within close proximity to the city:
Beachside Boutique Inn, Folly Beach
Named by Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the 40 Best Affordable Beach Resorts in the World, this operation is full of surprises, not the least of which are the low rates. Just a few minutes’ drive from the heart of Charleston, you’ll find the fun and laid-back town of Folly Beach as well as good deals at this “anything goes” clutch of cool digs. First, choose from beachside or riverside accommodations. Then, narrow your choices down to “stand-alone” cottages, “quirky” cottage rooms or “wooden castle” rooms. Beachside accommodations consist of four buildings: a main house and three cottages. Riverside lodging is offered in restored old-school beach houses and an inn with views of the Folly River. Every option will delight with whimsical decor and plenty of creature comforts. Bonus: No matter which you choose, you’re just a short walk from the beach, eclectic cafes, and best of all—a mere 20 minutes by car to Charleston.
NotSo Hostel, Cannonborough/Elliotborough Neighborhood
Charleston is home to a vibrant hostel offering private rooms, dorms and suites geared specifically for travelers. Capturing the spirit of European hosteling, these accommodations—whether private or dorm style—are comfortably outfitted and creatively themed. Who wouldn’t want to stay in a room named for Monet? A main house and annex give lodgers a host of options and everything needed to feel at home. There are rooms for everyone here, many of them touting bright colors, comfy beds, shared and private sparkling bathrooms, wood floors, kitchen privileges and more, all for a ridiculously affordable price. Bonus: Guests can snag a 10 percent discount from a dozen or so nearby Charleston restaurants and businesses.
Plantation Oaks Inn, Mt. Pleasant
You’ll fall under the spell of this bed and breakfast inn surrounded by 300-year-old live oaks. Once owned by Charles Pinckney, politician and signer of the U.S. Constitution, this historic, beautifully restored log home is warm, welcoming and brimming with all kinds of small touches that elevate a good stay to greatness. The grounds are just as pleasing with postcard-worthy scenes of mossy oaks and the ethereal Boone Hall tidal creek that borders the property. Guests will love the elegance and spaciousness of their accommodations, private baths and the home-cooked breakfast. After a full day of Charleston sightseeing, you’ll be happy to retire to the comforts of this inn. Use the money you’ll save for more Lowcountry fun. Bonus: Don’t miss the chance to take a shady snooze on the Pawleys Island hammock out back or on the upstairs porch overlooking the tidal creek.