But if it were my first time in Charleston I would stay at the Holiday Inn off of Route 17 on my way to town. This hotel has lovely views from every room and you can see the Marina with boats traveling up and down the river. Just lovely at a fair price.
Then have breakfast or lunch in the penthouse restaurant or go to the Briar Patch, a little nook, on the road to Folly Beach.
Drive through town going past the marina, and unto the Battery. Park, relax, enjoy the view. Turn around and look at the houses.
Look for the widow's walks or galley on top of houses where wives would pace back and forth as they waited for their sea faring husbands. Walk the battery.
Some ideas at the Battery:
Look across the harbor and see if you can find the water plant on Harbor View Road. Count the sailboats. Snap pictures of the seagulls. Let the breeze ruffle your feathers.
Walk by the old houses, spot the one with the two piggies or pigs. Just call them what they are. This house is owned by the proprietor of Piggly Wiggly. Cute. Be sure to walk the Battery Park before you leave and read the historical inscriptions. A lot of history took place here. If you look for Ft. Sumter at the head of the Battery you might see it.
Enjoy Charleston's beautiful architecture, welcoming impeccable gardens, black shutters, colorful flags, cobblestone streets, and history.
Have an impromptu most beautiful house and garden contest.
If it's March enjoy the azaleas every where!
If in season walk through the gardens. Drive to the aquarium; get your feet wet.
Snap pictures of rainbow row, a line of colorful houses, one right after another.
Eat seafood at one of the many delicious restaurants after you have visited the shops at the Market or on the way to or from Folly Beach stop at Melvin's BarBeque. Sorry closed on Sundays, but you can get their sauce in Publix.
Drive through the Citadel and stop if you can at their shop and buy a SC decal. Perhaps if it is time for the Parade, pull out a chair from your car, find some shade, and experience it. Great bagpipe music and definitely patriotic.
Drive across the new Cooper River Bridge, which is a highway in the sky. Check out the sea grass baskets in Mt. Pleasant and talk to the ladies that make them. They might speak Gullah, that colorful dialect of the low country sea islands.
Later drive to Folly Beach, be surprised by the amount of houses and activity there. There's a pier with much to do. If you like, find a free beach access, park, then walk the beach. If possible try to see the Lighthouse.
Find a road to Johns Island off of May bank Highway and enjoy the tree lined canopy.
Listen to an Old Negro Spiritual sung with a lot of faith and fervor on Wadmalaw Island.
Listen to someone tell you a story in Gullah.
On your way out of town, drive Route 26 to Columbia, watch for B-52's landing in North Charleston.
Watch for the sign that reads this "ain't no racetrack!"
These are a few ideas. Enjoy. I can feel South Carolina, calling. Hello? Hello!