While fashionable Middle King is home to standard favorites like Michael Kors, Urban Outfitters and J. Crew, why come to Charleston to shop for threads you can find anywhere? At Worthwhile, regular buying trips around the world has led to a highly curated mix of high-end designs from Phoebe English, Rick Owens and Serie Numerica, and fragrances by Laboratory Perfumes, AESOP skincare products and pre-made detox bath concoctions from Pursoma. Year-old boutique Ibu features items expertly crafted by women artisans and designers from developing countries around the world, handpicked by store owner Susan Hull Walker. Walker's mission is to propel women into economic self-sufficiency through their beautiful handmade work, so expect to find unbelievably soft pashminas, intricate bead work and colorful textiles from Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan and Rwanda. To complete your look, pick up a unique piece of estate jewelry from Croghan's Jewel Box, the oldest family owned jewelry store in Charleston.
Charleston is one of the best cities in the south for antique shopping, thanks to its history as a port city welcoming goods from around the world for centuries. George C. Birlant & Co. is one of the oldest and largest antique establishments in the southeast, specializing in 18th and 19th century furniture, silver, china, crystal and brass items for the home. The pieces also range from exorbitant to approachable, allowing the most novice antique hunter to find something they'll love. Nearby, John Pope Antiques offers conversation pieces like harps, elaborate sculptures and ornate chandeliers. Although not an antique shop, Berlin's menswear boutique on lower King is one of Charleston's longest-operating stores, with a bespoke collection of custom suits and designer labels.
Where to Stay
Francis Marion Hotel
It's easy to imagine horse and carriages pulling up to the stately front entrance of the Francis Marion Hotel when it opened its doors in 1924. Located on King Street, directly across from Marion Square Park and the Charleston Farmers Market, the historic property is in the heart of downtown, within walking distance to restaurants, beautiful gardens and colorful antebellum homes. Ask for a southeast-facing room above the 6th floor to enjoy views of Charleston Harbor.
From $209, 387 King Street, Charleston. 843-722-0600, www.francismarionhotel.com/
Fresh from a complete renovation, The Restoration boutique hotel just off King Street, reopened in early March to unveil The Watch Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits restaurant and bar, the crystal-themed Amethyst Spa, The Rise Coffee Shop and a luxury retail space called The Port Mercantile. The 54 sleek and sophisticated guestrooms incorporate design elements of exposed brick and calming shades of indigo blue, and feature oversized bathrooms fitted with exclusive Beekman 1802 amenities. The jewel of the property is the Culture Library, where guests can relax with a drink and explore the property's commissioned photography exhibit and their collection of Assouline luxury books on art, travel and fashion.
From $299, 75 Wentworth Street, Charleston. 843-518-5100, www.therestorationhotel.com/
Getting there: Charleston International Airport is serviced by six major airline carriers, but Delta Airlines is the only airline that offers nonstop flights to and from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
More information: explorecharleston.com