From the historic cobble stoned streets and antebellum architecture to the picturesque beaches and scenic parks, beautiful Charleston, South Carolina, promises its visitors a wholly fulfilling experience steeped in southern charm. I’ve lived here for the last 12 years and have found that this hidden gem of a city offers elegant, modern hotels, farm-to-table restaurants and cafes, chic boutiques, and endless outdoor activities for every type of wellness traveler.
Here are 10 wellness things to do in my home city of Charleston:
1. Take a walking tour
Skip the traditional Charleston carriage ride and opt instead to see the city on foot! Whether you prefer to walk with a group, or meander through beautiful and historic Charleston on a self-guided tour, you’ll end your day with an appreciation for the landmarks and legends that make this coastal town unique. There are walking tours for a wide range of interests including Charleston Culinary Tours for an exclusive look into the gourmet kitchens of some of Charleston’s best restaurants, and Old Charleston Ghost Tours or for a history-packed walk with a spooky twist!
2. Eat Local
Make time to grab lunch or dinner at one of Charleston’s many farm-to-table restaurants. Sustainability is quickly becoming the standard in the Holy City, and it shows in the growing number of menu options available that have been made from locally sourced ingredients. For brunch, head over to Upper King Street and try Shrimp & Grits made using local Geechie Boy Stone-Ground Grits and Carolina Heritage Farms bacon at Stars Grill Room and Rooftop. The views from the rooftop offers the best of Lowcountry living…easy and relaxed and surrounded by sea grass planters filled with fresh herbs.
3. Visit the Farmers Market
If you’re in Charleston between April 9 and November 26th, be sure to plan a trip to the Charleston Farmer’s Market. Held every Saturday, from 8am-2pm, the farmer’s market features in-season produce from local growers, and uniquely crafted items from local artists and artisans.
4. Go with the Yoga Flow
Venture off the peninsula for yoga on Folly Beach with Serenity Tree Yoga. Offering private lessons and donation-based group classes, Serenity Tree aims to guide you to “calm amongst the chaos” in one of the most beautiful settings in the Charleston area. Yogis looking for an added challenge should try a stand up paddleboard yoga lesson on Charleston’s waterways and tidal flats with Charleston SUP Safaris. Each 1.5-hour class focuses on balance through movement in the striking natural scenery of the Lowcountry.
5. Pressed for Time?
Get your fresh juice fix at one of Charleston’s favorite purveyors of high quality natural juices. Visit Beech on historic King Street, and find a selection of pressed juices and smoothies as well as freshly made wraps, acai bowls and locally brewed kombucha. Blend Juice Bar in Mt. Pleasant Blend also offers fresh pressed juice, and elixir shots made using ingredients sourced locally whenever possible.
6. Try a little Retail Therapy
Shopping may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you consider your daily workout routine, but Charleston’s historic King Street features over a mile of walk- able designer shops, boutiques, big name brands and art galleries with unique items for every taste. Begin by joining the Ibu Movement on lower King Street, where you’ll find luxury handmade garments created by women artisans from around the world who are working toward economic self-sufficiency by sharing their art.
7. Take a walk in the park
Charleston’s mostly mild weather means you’ll have ample opportunity to spend time outdoors. Rent a paddleboat or bicycle at Palmetto Islands County Park in Mount Pleasant, explore the rivers and sandy trails or scale the huge outdoor climbing wall at James Island County Park on James Island. All of Charleston’s county parks feature beautiful, sweeping views of the area’s marshes and wildlife.
8. Visit a spa
Unwind and relax in your own secret sanctuary with a visit to one of the many hotel spas and boutique wellness centers. Designed to be an oasis of calm amid the hustle and bustle of historic downtown Charleston, the Spa at Belmond at Charleston Place is the perfect setting to indulge in a deep tissue massage, body scrub or restorative facial.
9. Put pedal to the metal
Slightly faster than walking, but not so fast that you’ll miss any of the iconic cobblestones or renowned historic architecture along your path. Bike Share is coming to the area soon! Be sure to cross the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge before calling it a day. Spanning the Charleston Harbor, it’s the largest cable stay bridge in the U.S. This makes it a challenge to crest, but we know you’ll agree that the stunning panoramic views from the top are well worth the work it takes to get there.
10. Find Your Zen
Join the Meditation in Charleston group to learn the basics of meditation, or deepen and expand your practice in one of the oldest and most beautiful historic churches in the Charleston area. Founded in 1681, the Circular Congregational Church is known for its superior acoustics, making it the perfect setting to clear your mind and open your heart. For more info on Charleston
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A resident of Charleston for the last 12 years, Sandra Jamali, is the founder of Live Well Charleston, a wellness lifestyle brand and the annual Live Well Fest. Inspired after 12 years of living in Charleston and travelling the world to find a healthy balanced lifestyle for self and family. Yoga/meditation, holistic healing, nutrition and travel make Charleston the perfect wellness destination. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.