Historic Hotels: A Charleston Tradition of Beauty, Preservation and Service

Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy the living history preserved in the culture of Charleston. What better way to fully experience the rich history and traditions of Charleston than to stay in the city's oldest historic hotels and B&B's? Enjoy the stomping grounds of Charleston's legends while staying in the home of Edward Rutledge, youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence, or in the original residence of John Rutledge, a signer of the U.S. Constitution. Enjoy B&B lodgings just steps from Charleston's Battery Park and White Point Gardens at the Battery Carriage House, or enjoy a carriage house all your own at the 21 East Battery Bed and Breakfast. Historic hotels in Charleston often tell the tales of much different beginnings, with some lodgings built as cotton and indigo warehouses, as well as wealthy family residences like Wentworth Mansion.

Unique features such as antique furnishings, private courtyards, and shady porch verandas add the charm and tranquility enjoyed by Charleston hotel guests for centuries. All nestled within downtown Charleston's Historic District, these historic hotels and B & B's are as interesting on the outside as inside, with Charleston-style wrought ironwork facades and elegant marble and luxurious interior decor. Above all, it is the age old tradition of providing special amenities as an inclusive part of the guest experience. As a guest in Charleston's historic hotels, you'll experience the traditional Southern bounty style breakfasts, afternoon wine and cheese receptions, and evening sherry and treats that have become lowcountry hospitality traditions. 


The brightly colored Andrew Pinckney Inn is hard to miss among the carriage companies, shops and restaurants of the Market Street area of downtown Charleston. This historic inn retains its classic Charleston charm while offering guests just 41 modern, updated rooms and suites. Valet parking is available for $20 per day, though you won't need a vehicle to explore downtown Charleston from this centrally-located historic inn. Luckily, the Andrew Pinckney Inn is situated within just a block or two from several carriage and walking tour companies, as well as the Charleston City Market, making it the ideal choice for Charleston visitors set on discovering the best of Charleston sightseeing and shopping. For the ultimate historic luxury accommodations, book the St. Philip Suite, equipped with exposed brink interiors and views of the Charleston market district.

Recommended for Historic Hotels because: Andrew Pinckney Inn offers guests the opportunity to stay in a modernized yet authentic historic property, all within walking distance of shopping and sightseeing areas.

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The Indigo Inn

The Indigo Inn, built in 1850, was first used as a warehouse for indigo, a blue dye plant that served as one of antebellum Charleston's main cash crops. This historic district property offers king, one, and two queen bedded rooms, and is within walking distance of all major restaurants, shops, and sites downtown. Breakfast is served each morning, and hors d'oeurves and beverages in the afternoons. The Indigo Inn is aptly named and easily recognizable with its indigo blue colored exterior. Many Charleston visitors consider the Indigo Inn to be one of Charleston's best value historic hotels, conveniently located quite close to the Charleston city center.

Recommended for Historic Hotels because: Choose the Indigo Inn for a great value among other Charleston historic hotels, alongside a central location within walking distance to shops and sights.

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The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
Photo courtesy of Wyndham Grand Hotels

Now a Wyndham Grand property, the historic Mills House Hotel's pink exterior and black iron balconies make it one of the most recognized hotel fronts on the Charleston peninsula. The property features a business center, outdoor pool, experienced concierge, and in house restaurant, The Barbados Room. The hotel's 214 guestrooms include single and double bed rooms, and 19 suites. Corner rooms on the higher floors of the Mills House offer guests water views and distance from the hustle and bustle of busy Meeting Street. It is the on-site pool, amenities, harbor views, and convenient location of the Mills House that make this an ideal historic hotel choice for traveling families.

Recommended for Historic Hotels because: This charming yet sizable pink historic hotel boasts a large outdoor pool and city-centric location.

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The Vendue
Photo courtesy of The Vendue

Located on Vendue Range near Waterfront Park, The Vendue offers its guests a prime location for exploration, dining, and shopping. This boutique style hotel features The Press coffee shop, The Drawing Room, an upscale restaurant on the lower level, and its own Rooftop, a lively bar serving light fare alongside some of the best views of the city and Charleston harbor. Recently rebranded as Charleston's best hotel for art-lovers, The Vendue features both national and local art pieces throughout. Each evening, guests are invited to a complimentary wine reception hosted by the General Manager, and each room is graced with a complimentary decanter of sherry. Rooms showcase fireplaces and marble whirlpools, all housed within historic warehouse buildings dating back to the 1700s. Due to the historical integrity of the property structure, some interior rooms lack windows.

Recommended for Historic Hotels because: The Vendue's recent renovations make it the stylish choice for any art-lovers visiting Charleston.

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The Battery Carriage House Inn
Photo courtesy of Battery Carriage House Inn

The Battery Carriage House Inn is one of the most picturesque residence-turned-B & B on the Charleston peninsula. This antebellum Charleston style mansion was built in 1843, with ten rooms and one suite; each having their own unique worldly interior decor. Guests may choose between lower and upper Carriage House rooms, and may enjoy their light continental breakfasts delivered to their room on traditional silver, or under the arbor trellis in the quiet garden courtyard. Free daily paper, afternoon tea and sweets, and an evening wine reception are added luxury touches. The Battery Carriage House is mere feet from Charleston's Battery, affording its guests historic neighborhood surroundings.

Recommended for Historic Hotels because: This charming bed and breakfast is located mere steps from Charleston's Battery and Whitepoint Gardens.

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Located on palm lined Broad Street among art galleries and restaurants, The Governor's House Inn offers its guests a location within walking distance to everything on the peninsula, and centuries of history. Built in 1760 on the site of an orange garden, The Governor's House Inn was the residence of the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence and one time governor of South Carolina, Edward Rutledge. Each room is classically appointed with 4 poster canopy beds, and includes a gourmet breakfast, afternoon tea and sweets, and a sherry reception at night. Free off street parking and free Wifi are also included.

Recommended for Historic Hotels because: The Governor's House Inn allows for guests to travel back in time via a comfortable, cozy guest room in the historic home of Edward Rutledge.

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John Rutledge House Inn
Photo courtesy of John Rutledge House Inn

Once home to John Rutledge, one of the 55 signers of the United States Constitution, the John Rutledge House Historic Inn was built in 1763, and now offers 19 guest rooms the original iron balcony adorned home and 2 carriage houses. A complimentary breakfast is served in room, in the courtyard, or in the ballroom, and free Wifi, paper, afternoon tea, and beverages in the evenings add to the comfortable and hospitable atmosphere. A knowledgeable 24 hour concierge service is available to help plan your daily Charleston explorations, give restaurant recommendations, and share Rutledge history. George Washington is said to have called here in 1791.

Recommended for Historic Hotels because: Request a room with a fireplace, the Deluxe Main House Rooms, Mini Suites and Grand Rooms, during the cooler months!

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Set across the street from the 1841 Green Revival Market Hall, Planters Inn holds sway in a restored building that traces its roots back to a mid-19th-century cotton warehouse. In the 1900s, the warehouse was converted to a dry-goods emporium. Today, the original 1844 building holds guest rooms that are elegantly appointed with soft colors, 10-foot-high ceilings and hand-crafted four-poster beds. More rooms are located in an additional building across the breezy garden courtyard. An oasis of calm on a busy corner of Charleston's historic district, Planters Inn wraps guests in luxury with Baker Historic Charleston Collection reproduction furnishings, Italian bed linens and bathrooms lined in travertine marble. A meal at the inn's Peninsula Grill is as romantic as it is delicious.

Recommended for Historic Hotels because: Planters Inn represents some of Charleston's finest traditions of decorum and hospitality, and is located in the heart of the historic district.

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Built originally as a grand private residence in the post Civil War 1880's, Wentworth Mansion is Charleston's only AAA Five Diamond Property. Located on Wentworth Street, and tucked away in the Harleston Village neighborhood, Wentworth Mansion treats its guests to estate style rooms and suites, champagne and hor'dourves on arrival, and even complimentary port, sherry, and brandy in the every evening. Breakfast is served in the carriage house restaurant, Circa 1886, a AAA Four Diamond and Forbes Four Star restaurant highlighting traditional Southern recipes. To stay in Wentworth Mansion is to experience the rare luxury of wealthy 19th century Charleston families. Off street parking is readily available in this residential area, and pets are welcomed to guests opting for Garden Suites.

Recommended for Historic Hotels because: Wentworth Mansion is a beautiful sight to behold both inside and out of its massive mansion lodgings, as well as its in-house restaurant, Circa 1886.

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Zero George Street
Photo courtesy of Zero George Hotel

The Zero George Hotel, named simply for its unique address at 0 George in downtown Charleston, is one of the city's truly historic hotel properties. Recently opened in 2012, Zero George is comprised of five authentic buildings, two of which are original to the property, and two that were moved from just a few blocks away in the late 20th century. The site and original properties date back to circa 1803, and afford guests only 16 beautifully appointed king, queen and garden suites and guestrooms. The historical dream-like grounds are a mix of the aging brick, painted clapboard, and inviting verandas of classic antebellum homes. Zero George Hotel is a standout among other historic hotels due to its all-inclusive, personalized concierge services, alongside a carefully curated menu at the in-house restaurant. What's more, guests can choose to celebrate their stay by booking a demonstrative cooking classes conducted by Chef Vinson Petrillo.

Recommended for Historic Hotels because: The setting and high level of attention to detail at this quaint boutique hotel are truly unique to the Charleston area.

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Meet Clare Sweeney

A South Carolina native and avid locavore, Clare is always venturing between traveling abroad and her beloved Lowcountry. 

Clare works and plays in downtown Charleston, spending her days...  More About Clare