Charleston has the Old World charm of Paris, the modern conveniences of any large U.S. city and happens to be the most hospitable town around. It is the perfect place for a getaway with that someone special. Whether you have been together for years or are making your first trip together, you will find many places welcoming you with open arms and helping to make your time together as romantic as possible.
It is impossible to list every place that offers a couple's retreat or romantic getaway package, but here are some favorites to start with.
The Water's Edge Inn on Folly Beach goes all out to set the mood for a weekend of love with your sweetie. The inn's romantic getaway package includes chilled Champagne on arrival, luxe robes, a floral bouquet, couples massage and a sunset sail or eco tour. It's location on the Folly River makes this luxury bed and breakfast a great choice for those who want to savor the Lowcountry vibe.
Downtown, you can try the romance package at one of the city's most historic bed and breakfasts. Plush robes, a bottle of Champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries await your arrival at the John Rutledge House Inn. The package also includes a three-course dinner at Circa 1886 with a rickshaw ride to and from the restaurant.
The Kings Courtyard Inn also offers a romance package with Champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries and a rose in your room, plus a three-course dinner at Circa 1886 and rickshaw ride to get you there and back.
Another downtown gem is the Ansonborough Inn, which mixes its romance with history. Located just off the Market area, the neighborhood was named for Lord Anson, who won the property in a poker game after being sent to Charleston in 1724 to protect the coast from pirates.
Or you could escape up the Ashley River to the Inn at Middleton Place, where a stay in this architecturally renowned hotel includes general admission to the Middleton Place National Historic Landmark, breakfast each morning, an afternoon welcome cheese display and happy hour, and an evening night cap.
Charleston is filled with fabulous restaurants for couples, but here are a few of our favorites for romance.
FIG (Food Is Good) feels like a neighborhood bistro, because that is exactly what it is. The chef specializes in Lowcountry foods, especially seafood, such as a wonderful fish stew with shrimp, squid, mussels, Carolina Gold Rice and rouille. The lighting and ambiance are perfect for a night with that special someone.
The Grocery has one great big open dining room, but somehow it feels very cozy. The lighting and atmosphere along with some of the best servers in town will make you feel like you are the only ones here. You can sample and share small plates or full entrée-sized items. The fried oysters with deviled egg sauce and the charcuterie plate are must haves.
If you need a little inspiration, check out Muse known as the "little secret on Society" street. Several small dining rooms give this place an intimate feel, like you've come to a friend's for dinner. Seafood is the star here, but house-made sausage or duck breast are some landlubber options.
Just across the Cooper River is the Old Village Post House Inn. At this small inn in the historic fishing community of Mount Pleasant, guests can eat in the main dining room or in one of several smaller, more intimate rooms. The chef here specializes in local fare like Marsh Hen Mill grits, oysters, hoppin' John, collards and sweet potato. You might be too full to move, so maybe plan to stay the night as well.
Combine your dinner with a boat ride around the harbor with SpiritLine Cruises. You can get your own private table and enjoy a freshly prepared dinner with local ingredients and specialties such as shrimp and grits, fresh fish and Charleston red rice.
If you just want the water tour without dinner, book a sunset cruise with Carolina Marine Group or a moonlight sail on the Schooner Pride - a three-masted tall ship that recalls Charleston's sailing days gone by.
What could more romantic than a carriage ride for two around the historic city during the day or night. Check out the Old South Carriage Co. for one-hour or 30-minute rides for two.