Travel Planning
Charleston
Travel Planning
Charleston

Charleston at a Glance

"The Holy City" gets its name from the numerous church steeples that rise from its historic central district, but don't be surprised if you come away from Charleston with some serious reverence for the place. It consistently earns accolades as one of the most charming, beautiful and romantic cities in the United States, and the more you get to know it, the better you'll understand why folks just can't stop fawning over Charleston.

History runs deep and strong here, from the Colonial era mansions that remain in the historic district, to notorious Fort Sumter, where the opening shots of the Civil War were fired. Nearby, plantations still stand with genteel elegance, but a deeper look reveals their fraught past.

The city's unique setting on the Atlantic gives it even more enticing attractions, chief among them the beaches and barrier islands that line the coast. Kick back at waterfront resorts, tee up for world-class golf and bring your appetite for exceptional lowcountry cooking - you'll find it all here.

What to Expect
High Season
April - September
Low Season
October - March
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      Getting There
      Major Airports
      • Major Airport Charleston International Airport

      Passport / Visa Requirements

      All travelers to the United States are required to hold a valid passport; the passport should be valid for six months beyond your departure from the U.S. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of 37 participating countries to travel within the United States without a visa for 90 days; travelers must have valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel, return travel tickets and a passport with a photo and an electronic chip. Visitors not eligible for VWP must apply for a non-immigrant visa. For more information, visit the U.S. State Department's travel website.

      Considering Driving?
      Distance from Unknown Location
      5,634 miles
      Estimated Drive Time
      102 hour(s)
      Need to Know

      Severe Weather Hurricane season runs from June through November. Strong thunderstorms and tornadoes also occur, and can lead to flooding and extensive damage.

      Safety Concerns Crime rates are relatively low, and in general, violent crime is rare. Taking normal safety precautions, particularly at night, is wise, e.g. avoiding dimly lit streets and areas not frequented by travelers.

      Health Concerns Drinking water is safe throughout the United States, and Charleston is no exception. Sharks have been spotted off the coast, but attacks on humans are exceedingly rare.