72 Hours and 72 Holes in Charleston

Charleston South Carolina (Image: Charleston CVB)

A historic pillar of the Old South, Charleston is rich in antebellum architecture. (Image: Charleston CVB)

Rich in Southern culture and charm, Charleston is home to a roster of courses that includes standout Lowcountry designs by Tom Fazio, Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus and Rees Jones.

(Last updated November 2023.)

Historic Charleston (where the first shots of the Civil War were fired in 1861) is home to 19 golf courses, including designs by Tom Fazio, Pete Dye, Rees Jones and Jack Nicklaus. Also drawing tourists to Charleston is the city’s lovely antebellum architecture and its red-hot restaurant scene. Here, a recommended itinerary for a three-day, three-round visit to the South Carolina jewel readers of Condé Nast Traveler voted their favourite small U.S. city for eight consecutive years.

Patriots Point Links Charleston SC (Image: Patriots Point Links)

Willard Byrd-designed Patriots Point Links sits at the edge of Charleston Harbor. (Image: Patriots Point Links)

Day 1

Visit several of Charleston’s tourist highlights during a leisurely morning stroll, with stops at White Point Garden, the Battery, the string of colourful historic houses known as Rainbow Row, and Waterfront Park. Be sure to stop for brunch at Virginia’s on King, famous for its shrimp and grits Benedict with Creole hollandaise.

In the afternoon, make the quick trip across the Arthur J. Ravenel Bridge to Patriots Point Links. Nestled on the edge of Charleston Harbor, this outstanding Willard Byrd design offers sweeping views of Fort Sumter and the Charleston skyline.

Come evening, take a pedicab to The Vendue, a lovingly renovated inn with a popular rooftop lounge. Then head downstairs to Revival Restaurant, where specialties include a starter of fois gras with brandied fruit and the fresh catch of the day.

Wild Dunes Resort Golf Course Charleston South Carolina

Wild Dunes Resort offers two acclaimed Tom Fazio designs and sweeping views of the Intracoastal Waterway. (Image: Wild Dunes Resort)

Day 2

Start your day with a horse-drawn tour of Middleton Place, reputedly the oldest landscaped garden in the United States. This National Historic Landmark, which brings to life the sights and sounds of a working Lowcountry rice plantation, has operated under the same family’s stewardship for more than 320 years.

Today’s round of golf takes the visitor to Wild Dunes Resort, a nearby 1,600-acre barrier island retreat featuring two acclaimed Tom Fazio designs. Massive dunes, marshes and views of the Intracoastal Waterway are the hallmarks of these outstanding designs.

There’s no need to leave the property for dinner. The resort’s Sea Island Grill, at the Boardwalk Inn, features creatively prepared regional dishes such as pickled crawfish, and pork tenderloin wrapped with bacon and collard greens.

Ocean Course, Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Kiawah Island Golf Resort hosted the 2012 and 2021 PGA Championships, and the 1991 Ryder Cup. (Image: KiawahIsland.com)

Day 3

Spend your last morning in Charleston shopping in the stylish boutiques along downtown’s King Street before moving on to the Old City Market. Open seven days a week, the market is home to scores of talented local artisans.

Less than an hour’s drive from Charleston, Kiawah Island Golf Resort is impossible to resist for the final round of your visit. The world-famous resort features five outstanding layouts, including the Pete Dye-designed Ocean Course, the site of both the 2012 and 2021 PGA Championships, and the 1991 Ryder Cup. (For more about Kiawah Island Golf Resort, see our feature story Kiawah Basks in PGA Championship Glow.)

And be sure to end your visit by taking in the spectacular floor-to-ceiling views of the Ocean Course from the Ryder Cup Bar and Restaurant, where the crab cakes are a slice of downhome heaven.