Find the Best Things to Do in The French Quarter

About The French Quarter

Photo courtesy of Clare Sweeney

Charleston's historic French Quarter is a small neighborhood on the Southeastern corner of the peninsula, with Broad, Meeting, East Bay, and South Market streets acting as perimeters. This quaint borough gets its name from the high concentration of French Huguenots that immigrated to and lived within the area, many coming to escape religious persecution. This neighborhood is filled with historic churches like the French Huguenot and St. Philip's Episcopal churches, and countless art galleries. The French Quarter may be the most romantic of Charleston's districts, and is perfect for leisurely walks, exploring historic sites, and immersing yourself in centuries of city history.

See & Do

Located on the corner of French Quarter Queen and Church streets, The Doc Street Theatre has a rich Charleston history spanning four centuries. On the National Register of Historic Places as the first building in the U.S. designed for theatrical use, The Doc Street Theatre first opened in 1736, and hosted the first opera performance in America with Flora. The original building is said to have burned down in the Great Fire of 1740, and finally succumbed to disrepair following the Civil War. The theatre was rebuilt and reopened in 1937, with another final third reopening after extensive renovations and modernization in March of 2010. The Doc Street Theatre is now owned by the City of Charleston and home to Charleston Stage company, and is easily recognizable for its beautiful brick and ironwork façade.

Eat

Located off of Broad street on quaint Unity Alley, McCrady's has long been known as one of Charleston's favorite fine dining restaurants. The building itself is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its warm brick and wood beam interior goes perfectly with McCrady's New American cuisine. Locally inspired, farm fresh cuisine is artfully prepared by James Beard Award winning chef and local hero Sean Brock. Choose from First, Fish, and Meat courses, or let McCrady's cater to you with their A la Carte Menu. McCrady's is the perfect intimate dinner spot to end a night after exploring the quiet romantic streets of the French Quarter.

Party

Located on the edge of the French Quarter on Broad Street and built in 1803, The Blind Tiger is a safe bet when you're in the mood for good brews with company in a cozy atmosphere. A historic shady brick courtyard is the perfect outdoor drink setting off of busy Broad Street. This Prohibition era pub is a local favorite with live music and a generous lunch and dinner menu.

Stay

The French Quarter Inn enjoys a stellar reputation through its all inclusive service and amenities. The French Quarter Inn is located on Church Street, one block from the Historic Old City Market, and close to several historic churches including the French Hugenot Church and St. Philip's Episcopal Church. Guests are delighted with coffee and tea on each floor, wine and cheese each afternoon, and cookies and milk each evening. Champagne and ladyfingers arrive at your door minutes after you check in, welcoming you to Charleston with surprise touches of Southern hospitality.

Shop

Charleston's historic French Quarter is the art lovers dream. Spend an afternoon strolling through quiet narrow streets like Church, Cumberland, Chalmers, and Queen and add some new art pieces to your collection! Not looking to spend any serious money on artwork? Window shopping and browsing through all of Charleston's French Quarter galleries is perfectly acceptable, and welcomed! Include Gallery Row on Broad in your gallery explorations.