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 Dec. 11 and return from South Carolina on Dec. 15. JetBlue currently has tickets for $175, roundtrip.
There are also deals to be had in January. If you fly out of New Orleans on Jan. 9 and return from Charleston on Jan. 13, jetBlue can get you there and back for $227 roundtrip.
Top Charleston hotels
To plan your stay, here are some of Charleston's top-rated hotels that we selected from Skyscanner's listings, based on price and customer satisfaction.
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel (115 Meeting St.)
For an all-around top recommendation, consider The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel. The hotel has a 4.6-star rating on Skyscanner, and rooms are currently available for $123/night.
This hotel is close to attractions such as the Gibbes Museum of Art, the Charleston County Courthouse and all that Meeting and King streets have to offer.
The Market Pavilion Hotel (225 E. Bay St.)
A pricer alternative is The Market Pavilion Hotel, which has rooms for $199/night.
Set in the heart of Charleston, this hotel is located right beside the open-air market, close to the Waterfront Park, bars, restaurants and shops.
Belmond Charleston Place (205 Meeting St.)
A third option is Belmond Charleston Place, which has a 4.6-star rating on Skyscanner and rooms going 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.
Top picks for dining and drinking
Don't miss out Charleston's food scene, which has loads of noteworthy spots to get your fill of the local cuisine. Here are a few of the top-rated eateries from Skyscanner's listings.
FIG (232 Meeting St.)
If you're looking for a local favorite, head to FIG, which has an average of 4.9 stars out of 40 reviews on Skyscanner.
FIG works with local farmers, growers and purveyors to source products with integrity, flavor and soul, and incorporates these seasonal offerings into its menus nightly.
"FIG is a great place to eat, if you can get a reservation ahead of time," wrote visitor Wythe. "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.
With an experienced team from the kitchen to the dining room, Halls Chophouse offers dishes, service and an atmosphere that will entice guests to stay, enjoy and come back time and time again.
"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.
Nationally acclaimed and locally beloved, Hominy Grill is a Charleston institution that serves classic Southern specialties, all prepared from scratch with fresh, locally raised ingredients.
"Very popular for brunch," wrote Lois. "Their grits and shrimp are fantastic. They also have excellent bloody marys."
Featured local 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 is an experience not soon forgotten by the thousands of tourists who visit each year. Its main feature is the historic row homes, many of which have been renovated and restored to their original Revolutionary War appearances. Additionally, visitors can spend time in Fort Sumter, a Revolutionary War fort that participated in many battles during both the Revolutionary and Civil War eras.
"Downtown offers many options. ... Take a carriage tour, or just walk the Battery and market," wrote visitor Sarah. "Either way, you will love downtown Charleston."
The Battery (Charleston)
The Battery is another popular destination.
This iconic landmark was originally built as a defensive seawall and promenade.
"This is a waterfront park, consisting of park benches under the oaks," wrote visitor Tracy. "As a tourist, the draw is walking [through] the beautiful South of Broad homes."
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. Here, guests can view the calming dance of the water fountains while enjoying a picnic in the park, or watch the ships return to the harbor.
"Going to the park doesn't cost a thing," wrote visitor Tracy. "You can watch tugboats bring the carriers in and out and see dolphins, when you are lucky."
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.