You don’t necessarily have to go far, far away to have a memorable vacation: There are plenty of U.S. cities worth exploring. One option is Charleston, a top travel destination in the American South. The oldest and largest city in South Carolina, Charleston is known for its history, architecture, food, culture and hospitality. The city sits on a harbor at the nexus of three rivers, and it boasts a vibrant music and arts scene, along with numerous museums and family-friendly attractions.
It’s more doable than you think. According to travel site Skyscanner, there are plenty of flights from New Orleans to Charleston in the next few months, and the prices aren't too shabby.
So if you're looking for a change of scenery, here are some deals to put on your to-do list. (Prices and availability are current as of publication and subject to change.)
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Cheapest Charleston flights
The cheapest flights between New Orleans and Charleston are if you leave on Sept. 6 and return from South Carolina on Sept. 10. American Airlines currently has roundtrip, nonstop tickets for $227.
There are also deals to be had in August. If you fly out of New Orleans on Aug. 29 and return from Charleston on Sept. 2, Delta can get you there and back for $239 roundtrip.
Top Charleston hotels
To plan your stay, here are some of Charleston’s top-rated hotels, according to Skyscanner, that we selected based on price, proximity to things to do and customer satisfaction.
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel (115 Meeting St.)
If you're looking for an inexpensive place to stay, consider The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel. The hotel has a 4.6-star rating on Skyscanner, and rooms are currently available for $123.
This reconstruction of an 1853 hotel is close to Gibbes Museum of Art and Charleston County Courthouse and all that Meeting and King streets have to offer. Dining options include a restaurant and a bar/lounge flanked by an outdoor courtyard with patio tables.
The Market Pavilion Hotel (225 E. Bay St.)
If you're looking to splurge on top quality, try The Market Pavilion Hotel. Rooms are currently set at $199/night.
Set in the heart of Charleston, this hotel is located right beside the open-air market, close to Waterfront Park, bars, restaurants and shops.
Belmond Charleston Place (205 Meeting St.)
A pricer alternative is Belmond Charleston Place. The 4.6-star hotel has rooms for $249/night.
"The staff was friendly and the rooms clean and comfortable. The seventh and eighth floors are club level and you can upgrade for a nightly fee," wrote visitor Joleen.
Featured Charleston restaurants
If you're looking for a popular spot to grab a bite, Charleston has plenty of excellent eateries to choose from. Here are a few from Skyscanner's listings to help you get started.
The FIG (232 Meeting St.)
If you're looking for a local favorite, head to The FIG, which has an average of 4.9 stars out of 40 reviews on Skyscanner. The restaurant works with local farmers, growers and purveyors to source products and incorporate seasonal offerings into the menus nightly.
"Fig is a great place to eat if you can get a reservation ahead of time," wrote visitor Wythe. "It is not a place to just walk in to get a quick bite. Menu changes daily, which makes it interesting."
Halls Chophouse (434 King St.)
Another popular dining destination is Halls Chophouse, with 4.9 stars from 31 reviews.
"Absolutely delicious," wrote reviewer Maria. "Everything tasted fresh. Staff was so friendly. They truly made it an unforgettable experience."
Hominy Grill (207 Rutledge Ave.)
Also worth considering is Hominy Grill.
Hominy Grill serves classic Southern specialties all prepared from scratch with locally raised ingredients.
"Very popular for brunch and known for their Southern cuisine," wrote Lois. "Their grits and shrimp are fantastic. They also have excellent Bloody Marys. Recommend for breakfast or brunch."
Top Charleston attractions
Not sure what to do in Charleston, besides eat and drink? Here are a few recommendations, provided by Skyscanner.
Downtown Charleston (King Street)
First up is Downtown Charleston.
The historic area of Downtown Charleston is an experience not soon forgotten by the thousands of tourists who visit there each year. The main feature is the historic row homes, many of which have been renovated and restored to their original Revolutionary War appearances.
"Downtown offers many options: shopping, great eating, sightseeing, etc.," wrote visitor Sarah. "Take a carriage tour or just walk the Battery and market."
The Battery is another popular destination.
This landmark was built as a defensive seawall and promenade.
"This is a waterfront park consisting of park benches under the oaks," wrote visitor Tracy. "Great for locals walking their dogs and for the walkers and joggers."
Charleston Waterfront Park (1 Vendue Range)
Finally, spend some time at Charleston Waterfront Park.
Stroll along the pier of Charleston Waterfront Park and behold the beauty of the Charleston Harbor.
"Great place to take a stroll, relax on the swings and admire the fabulous Charleston Harbor and Ravenel Bridge and let the kids run around," wrote Ellen.
This story was created automatically using flight, hotel, and local attractions data, then reviewed by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.