The coastal city of Charleston is one of the best-preserved cities in the South. You’ll find the heritage, culture, and architecture found here is unmatched. At first glance, the city resembles a 19th-century painting that has come to life, with horse-drawn carriages, cobblestone streets, flickering street lanterns, and magnolia-filled gardens.
Charleston is a city with a long and storied history. Whether it’s related to the Civil War, the American Revolution, or the Civil Rights Movement, on nearly every corner of the city you’ll find important landmarks and historic buildings.
You will also find that the city is buzzing with amazing restaurants and bars, modern art galleries, and refined shops. And if that wasn’t already enough of a draw, Charleston is also home to beautiful stretches of coastline like nearby Folly Beach.
Another one of our favorite things about Charleston is all of the tastefully renovated Southern homes and quaint cottages that have been converted into unique vacation rentals. In fact, there are so many beautiful Airbnbs in Charleston that you may find yourself overwhelmed with choices!
To help you pick, we have narrowed it down to 12 of the best Airbnbs in the greater Charleston area. So read on to find the perfect place to stay in Charleston and makes the most of your southern getaway.
- Top 10 things to do in Charleston
- Why Stay at an Airbnb in Charleston
- Best Charleston Airbnbs for Couples and Solo Travelers
- Best Charleston Airbnbs for Small Groups and Families
- Best Charleston Airbnbs for a Large Groups and Events
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Top 10 things to do in Charleston
Want to learn about Charleston’s history, sample some amazing local food, and discover the area’s best beaches? Here are our top 10 picks!
- Visit historic Fort Sumter, a national monument and museum. This is where the first shots were fired that started the Civil War.
- Stroll along Waterfront Park, a green space with spectacular views of Charleston Harbor, Cooper River, and picturesque piers. See Charleston’s famous Pineapple Fountain lit up at night.
- Learn about the history of Charleston on a horse-drawn carriage tour, which is a fantastic way to get acquainted with the city.
- Explore landscaped gardens of Middleton Place – a National Historic Landmark and one of America’s oldest plantations.
- Catch a glimpse of the Old South at Charleston City Market. Check out the basket weavers that use local materials, such as sweetgrass, to weave impressive baskets from traditional methods. It’s the perfect place to people watch and grab a Charleston souvenir.
- Go shopping on King Street where you’ll find an outstanding selection of bars, tasty restaurants, and unique specialty shops.
- Walk the Charleston Museum Mile along Meeting Street. You’ll pass by historic sites, well-preserved homes, beautiful parks, and six different Charleston museums.
- Relax at Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, or the Isle of Palms – all found near Charleston. Spend the day swimming and sunbathing before exploring the unique shops and restaurants that dot the South Carolina coastline
- Step aboard the Carolina Belle, a 1920’s replica yacht, to see Charleston from the water on a historic harbor cruise.
- Discovery the history of the Magnolia Plantation, dating back to 1676, on a historic city tour.
Why Stay at an Airbnb in Charleston
There are plenty of cool boutique hotels in Charleston, but there are also a few advantages to staying in an Airbnb. For starters, you can choose the exact location you want to be near in Charleston, whether it be closer to the beach or downtown. Airbnbs give you the opportunity to experience a local neighborhood and have a much more authentic Charleston experience.
In Charleston, you’ll have a vast array of unique rentals from which to choose – a 100-year-old Southern home, a trendy apartment, a funky restored Airstream trailer or even a luxurious houseboat.
Most Charleston vacation rentals are way more spacious than your average hotel room. And you will find lots of fun extra amenities – from private pools and hot tubs to free bicycles and even farm-fresh eggs.
The value of staying in an Airbnb can’t be beaten either. If you are traveling as a large group, it’s much more cost-effective to split the price of a single vacation rental among everyone. If you opt for a hotel, you’ll find yourself paying a premium for multiple rooms, especially in the historic hotels found in downtown Charleston.
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The 12 Best Airbnbs in Charleston
Best Charleston Airbnbs for Couples and Solo Travelers
One of our favorite Airbnbs in Charleston is this 1-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment nestled on a beautiful property in a great part of town.
This first-floor unit features beautifully restored hardwood floors, a customized kitchen, a refurbished clawfoot tub, and 2 separate porches for your enjoyment. Set back from the street, the apartment is surrounded by other historic homes that dot the neighborhood.
You are bound to have an exceptional time in Charleston with this Airbnb as your base. It is within walking distance to King Street’s most popular restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. The apartment is equipped with a comfy king-sized bed, and a daybed if needed.
To top it all off, it comes with a complete kitchen with everything you would need to prepare a meal. The modern design of the apartment makes it seem as though you are staying in a boutique hotel, for a fraction of the price.
It is chock full of Charleston charm, complete with luxurious linens, toiletries, and a washer and dryer. The porch is a lovely place to have your morning coffee and the books about the history of Charleston will help inspire your day trips. This vacation rental is the perfect place to return each evening, where you can completely unwind after a day of exploring.
For one of the coolest Airbnbs in Charleston, consider renting this renovated Airstream! It contains all the comforts of home, including a comfy full-size bed, a functioning clawfoot tub/shower inside the bathroom area, heat and air-conditioning, and a small kitchenette.
Designed in bright colors, this fun and cheery space will make your trip to Charleston all the more memorable. The dining area is easily converted into extra living space thanks to the custom-built wooden dining table. The kitchenette includes a small refrigerator, induction burner, coffee station, utensils, and pots and pans.
This unique Airbnb is outfitted with wifi and a Bluetooth speaker system so you can listen to your favorite tunes, and there’s even a small desk area if you need to do a bit of work or trip planning. The outside features include a small charcoal grill and a table and chairs.
Emma the Airstream is tucked away in a quiet neighborhood in Riverland Terrace. Just minutes from everything, the location is perfect. Live music, farmer’s markets, antique shops, and delicious restaurants are all within walking distance.
Check out this totally private and secluded tiny house with the perfect amount of space for a couple’s getaway. The Cedar House Rules is ideal for 2 people but can sleep 3 comfortably between the queen-sized bed loft and sofa bed downstairs.
The interior is well-planned, intentional, tidy, and clutter-free. Every inch of space in this cozy Charleston Airbnb is utilized perfectly.
The kitchen is stocked with everything you’ll need to make a meal including an oven, 4-burner gas stove, mini-fridge, coffee maker, french press, electric kettle, quality coffee and teas, and even a dishwasher.
Outside, you’ll find a hammock, couch, and two cruiser bicycles for guests. The host includes thoughtful touches like beach chairs, towels, cooler, and a bag for exploring the area. The inside is fitted with both a Bluetooth speaker system and white-noise machine so you’ll sleep soundly at night.
It’s a 15-minute bike ride to James Island Park which has lots of fun bike trails. The McLeod Plantation can be reached by a 5-minute car ride or 15-minute walk. Several local restaurants are nearby, and Charleston’s popular tourist spots are also just a short car ride away.
A pirate’s life for me! This cozy Charleston houseboat is large enough for 3 guests but really perfect for 2. You’ll find a queen-sized bed in the Captain’s quarters and a daybed in the living room area. The full-sized shower includes dual-showerheads and a 12-gallon water heater for a luxurious 20-minute shower.
The kitchen has reclaimed hardwood countertops, a full sink, a microwave, and everything you’d need to reheat a meal. A lovely reading nook area, with a comfortable couch, and television are perfect for relaxing and socializing.
Two bikes are left at the dock and are available on a first come first serve basis. It’s located on a private marina in downtown Charleston, which is easily accessible by bike or a quick ride-share from an app like Uber.
If you are lucky, you might get visited by the resident dolphins who tend to appear during sunrise and sunset. One of the most unique Airbnbs in Charleston, a stay on this houseboat is guaranteed to make your trip an unforgettable experience!
This stylish tiny home feels anything but tiny with its tall wooden ceiling, ample natural light, and clean, spacious design. Located directly between Folly Beach and downtown Charleston – both just a short 7-minute drive away – the location is perfect for exploring.
Climb the ladder to the loft upstairs to find a supremely comfortable memory foam bed. Downstairs, there’s a fold-down sofa bed, along with a TV, and a bathroom with toiletries including soap, shampoo, and conditioner.
In the kitchen, a hot plate and toaster oven make it possible to prepare snacks and small meals. Bicycles are available to explore the quiet neighborhood, which includes many restaurants if you prefer not to cook (you are on vacation after all).
Outside, you’ll find a lovely little space with yoga mats, patio chairs, a small deck, and access to a firepit. In the morning, the host will provide you with fresh eggs from the chickens as an extra little bonus to your Charleston getaway.
Best Charleston Airbnbs for Small Groups and Families
Beachy-vibes await you at the Cozy Island Cottage – located in between Folly Beach and downtown Charleston. This 2-bedroom Airbnb accommodates four guests making it perfect for small families or groups of friends.
The spacious cottage has 17-foot cathedral ceilings, wifi, 2 flatscreen smart TVs, a laundry room, a luxurious rain shower head in the bathroom, and a private outdoor shower area for rinsing off after a day at the beach.
There is a queen-sized bed in the ground floor bedroom. And if you climb the spiral staircase to reach the comfy loft area you’ll find a second queen-sized bed.
Guests love the location of this Charleston Airbnb – in a quiet residential area just 5 miles from Folly Beach. There are several restaurants, bars, shops, and convenience stores within a half-mile.
For beach days, the host provides beach chairs, an umbrella, a cooler, and a portable speaker. You’ll also have access to a spacious deck and a grill if you prefer to cook outside.
Inside, there’s a fully-stocked kitchen with everything you need to entertain friends or family. This beautiful vacation rental in Charleston will be a highlight of your trip!
The first thing you’ll see when you arrive at this Instagram-worthy Charleston Airbnb is a giant tropical leaf wall mural – painted by a local artist.
The Southern Shangri-La is a top-floor apartment that offers an abundance of natural light and a cozy bohemian vibe. It’s conveniently located just 2 blocks from King Street and is perfect for a group of friends looking for a unique stay in the city of Charleston.
The bamboo furniture, macramé, exposed wood beams, and multiple plants are blended together seamlessly. Earthy tones and a mix of textiles create a warm and inviting space that will have you reaching for your camera. Both bedrooms have comfy queen-sized beds.
In the kitchen, you’ll find amenities and extras like a wine fridge, full-size appliances, a wide selection of teas, a washer and dryer, and complimentary coffee made locally.
With new furniture, an updated kitchen and bathroom, and a large living area, this Charleston Airbnb is as comfy as it is photogenic. And since it’s so close to King Street, the location is ideal if you want to park your car for the weekend and check out the city on foot.
Best Charleston Airbnbs for a Large Groups and Events
If you want to pamper yourself during your trip to Charleston, look no further than this delightful second-story apartment!
The Dewees has 3 bedrooms and 4 spa-like bathrooms so there’s room for everyone. Plus you’ll have access to a heated swimming pool, which is shared by the six units in the complex.
Meet with friends on the private porch, grab a cocktail on the pool deck, and enjoy the luxurious restorations of this historic Charleston Airbnb.
Two of the guest rooms each have memory foam king-sized beds. The third bedroom has a queen-sized bed. In the living room, you’ll find a memory foam queen sleeper sofa if you need an additional bed.
This vacation rental is located in the heart of downtown Charleston and walkable to all the city’s major attractions. As an added bonus, it’s also pet-friendly and comes with 2 private parking spots.
With lots of space, comfy furnishings, a heated pool, and an ideal location, the Dewees is definitely one of the best Airbnbs in Charleston!
One block off King Street, this historic Charleston home has it all! Built in 1849, this house has been lovingly renovated and is furnished in a mixture of antique pieces, modern design, and a large collection of original artwork.
Six can comfortably fit without stepping on any toes so it’s perfect for large families or groups traveling together. It includes two balconies, a ground floor patio with a pool, a hot tub, and a rooftop deck with spectacular views of the city.
The master suite comes with a king-sized bed and a master bath with a massive soaking tub and frameless glass shower. The second and third bedrooms each have queen-sized beds and share a roomy bathroom.
If you feel up to cooking, the fully-equipped kitchen has everything you would need. The dining table is huge and can easily fit up to 10 guests.
Found in the Cannonborough Elliotborough neighborhood, you can easily reach top attractions within walking distance of this Charleston Airbnb. Or hop on the Free Trolley, which has stops just around the corner. As an added bonus, off-street parking for 4 vehicles is provided, which is hard to come by in downtown Charleston.
One of the most beautiful Airbnbs in Charleston, The Ruby Bell is an absolute hidden gem. With its Antebellum architecture interiors, this upper-level apartment has a quintessential Charleston feel.
The apartment has a very unique decor of local antiques and artifacts that really add to the charm. Mid-century furnishings and modern amenities like a dishwasher were added for convenience.
With 3 spacious bedrooms and a total of 5 beds, the Ruby Bell has plenty of room for everyone. Deciding who gets which of the beautifully decorated bedrooms, however, might lead to a serious debate.
The master bedroom has a king-sized bed, an indoor fireplace, a vintage dressing table, and lots of comfy furnishings. In the master bedroom is a 1920’s clawfoot bathtub with tealights for a relaxing soak in the comfort of your room. An apothecary cabinet holds a supply of cotton towels, sea salts, and bubble bath for your enjoyment.
The second bedroom has 2 queen-sized beds and the third bedroom has two single beds. Both bedrooms have indoor fireplaces. In between the two bedrooms, you will find a bathroom with a clawfoot bathtub and a marble top vanity with old-world charm.
A stylish sitting area is found outside on the balcony for relaxing. This unique Charleston Airbnb is found in an ideal location in the historic district, in the center of downtown.
Charleston has a ton of exclusive vacation homes to choose from, but this incredible 6-bedroom house is one of the most charming. With a warm and welcoming aesthetic, this light-filled home has style and substance.
The Mint Julep House is a spacious 2-story vacation rental that sleeps up to 12 guests. There are also 5 bathrooms with rain shower fixtures so you’ll have enough restrooms for everyone. It’s a bit more on the pricey side, but if you are traveling with a large group and are splitting the bill it’s actually really affordable!
It’s in a prime location and only a 10-minute walk to King Street with its many restaurants, bars, and shops. Come home to a TV and Netflix found in every bedroom! Each room also includes either a plush king-sized or queen-sized bed with a pillow-top mattress.
The fully-equipped kitchen even comes with an espresso machine so you don’t have to do coffee runs. Overall, the house is modern and feels more like a 5-star boutique hotel than an Airbnb rental. There is also a classic Southern-style porch with plenty of seating to enjoy at night when it cools down.
If you are visiting Charleston with your family, this adorable colorful home will suit all your needs. Situated in the popular Elliotborough Cannonborough neighborhood, this colorfully decorated house includes 4 bedrooms, a living and dining room, a large kitchen, and a great outdoor space for entertaining friends.
The space has a beachy vibe, with pastels and prints scattered throughout the historic home. The open concept layout in the living areas and dining room merges the historic elements of the home with the luxuries of contemporary living.
The 2 master bedrooms come with king-sized beds. One of the bedrooms has its own clawfoot bathtub and another has a gorgeous french door patio. The downstairs bedroom has a queen-sized bed and the bunk bed in the other room is perfect for the younger members of your family.
Families with children will feel particularly well taken care of at this vacation rental. There is a travel crib, a high chair, and a safety gate for the stairs for guests with little ones. There’s also a queen-sized airbed with bedding in the off-chance you run out of beds.
Every room is beautifully decorated and is equipped with brand new furnishings. It’s found in an up-and-coming neighborhood with new and exciting businesses opening up on every corner, so it’ll be a breeze to explore on foot from this memorable Charleston vacation rental.
That’s it – 12 of the best Airbnbs in Charleston! Do you have a favorite vacation rental in Charleston? Let us know in the comments below.
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