Family-Friendly Resort with Harbor Views
There's a statue of a leaping marlin atop the water fountain in front of Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. It's a tribute to an 881-pound blue marlin caught in the resort's private marina—the largest fish of its kind ever snagged in South Carolina.
The marina is the center of the action here. You can sit on the harbor and look out to Fort Sumter and the Charleston skyline as sailboats, schooners, and yachts come in. The marina also features its own concierge service, a floating dock, and access to a manmade beach.
A solid-teak bar made from the wood of an old sunken ship is on display at The Reel Bar, which serves casual bar fare amid old-fashioned tackle gear. A companion restaurant, Charleston Harbor Fish House, serves seafood with a Southern twist. Guests can purchase souvenirs in the marina store, located in the 2,100-square-foot Blue Marlin Fish House. All guest rooms are decorated with bright colors and a nautical motif, and each has a TV.
One of Charleston’s biggest draws is golf. The resort is located right next to the William Byrd–designed Patriots Point Links, which offers spectacular views of the harbor and the city. Test your golfing prowess at the par 3, 150-yard 17th hole, which features an island green and is considered one of the best par 3s in the area.
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina: Shallow Saltwater Bays and Naval History near Charleston
Situated near downtown Charleston, Mount Pleasant is lined with shallow bays and creeks. A half mile from the hotel, you can find the Patriots Point maritime and naval museum, which houses the antisubmarine aircraft carrier USS Yorktown. Visitors can explore the flight deck, engine room, and wardroom of this 888-foot centerpiece, or check out any of 25 eclectic aircraft.
Just across the harbor is Charleston, which you can easily access via the New Cooper River Bridge. Charleston was recently named one of the country’s best historic destinations by U.S. News & World Report. Georgian mansions line the waterfront, the spires of colonial-era churches punctuate the skyline, and horse-drawn carriages frequently clop along the city's cobblestone streets. You can get an added sense of the Charleston's past by visiting a number of preserved period buildings and national historic landmarks such as the Battery & White Point Gardens, a living Civil War museum with Confederate cannons and views of Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, and a double-parked Camry.
More recently, Charleston has merged its Old South identity with a strong arts-and-culture scene. The streets, once overrun with aristocrats, are now lined with top-tier art galleries and antique stores, and you can catch live jazz performances at night. Step out onto King Street to browse third-generation clothiers that have set up shop in historic landmark buildings. The city's reputation as a major culinary destination has been reaffirmed by the James Beard Foundation, which has named a different Charleston chef the best in the southeast three out of the past four years.