Historical and Beautiful Charleston Architecture: Photo Tour of America’s Prettiest City

Historical and Beautiful Charleston Architecture: Photo Tour of America’s Prettiest City

Historical and Beautiful Charleston Architecture

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Charleston, SC is one of the most historically and architecturally rich cities in the United States. The oldest city in South Carolina, founded in 1670, it’s no wonder there is so much history to explore in its beautiful streets set on the Charleston Harbor.

In my Ultimate Guide to Charleston, the first thing I list in the “things to do” section, is to walk around the city and soak up all the charm. There perhaps may be no better walking city in America than in Charleston, for around every corner there is another architectural find, hidden gem, secret garden, narrow alleyway, unique setting.

Charleston architecture, walking the streets

Secret alleyway in Charleston, SC

The residents of Charleston take care of their homes, streets and businesses with the upmost care and attention to detail – the details are everywhere! The southern charm that you see in the movies – in the homes, in the gardens, in the courtyards – this is all no more evident than in Charleston. Honestly, walking around this gorgeous city makes you want to pick up what you’re doing and move there right there and then.

Charleston architecture, single house

The city is full of antebellum homes, cobblestoned streets, gas-lit lamps, wrought-iron gates and horse-drawn carriages. Charleston boasts several architectural styles, including Colonial, Federal, Regency, Georgian, Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Art Deco, Italianate, Victorian and more. It literally is a feast for the eyes and is like one giant museum waiting to be explored.

Charleston architecture, row houses

All of Charleston is beautiful to walk around, but the section of town known as South of Broad is particularly exquisite, as this is where many of the city’s mansions reside. A wealthy area full of big homes and flower-boxed streets, the charm is everywhere as you walk down to White Point Garden and the Battery, overlooking the Charleston Harbor. Home after home is meticulously manicured, and the surrounding area full of grand oak trees set again the sea in the background…it’s stunning.

Charleston architecture, Battery

Grand mansion in the Battery

Beautiful entryway of antebellum home in Charleston, SC

Beautiful entryway of a stately home in South of Broad

Pink mansion with horse drawn carriage in Charleston

Horse drawn carriage passing by pink mansion in Battery

Charleston homes

Also in South of Broad is Rainbow Row,a group of Georgian-style row houses, all painted in colorful Caribbean colors. Its colors have attracted tourists from far and wide and is probably the most instagrammable spot in Charleston. In 1932 resident Dorothy Legge came up with the idea to beautify her street and painted her house pink. Soon after, her neighbors followed, creating the most talked about block in Charleston.

Charleston architecture, Rainbow Row

Love Rainbow Row with a mini yellow in front!

South of Broad architecture

Wonderful pink door spotted in South of Broad

Charleston homes

wrought iron gates

Just north of Rainbow Row, and above South of Broad is the captivating and funky French Quarter district. Here you will find amazing restaurants, quirky hotels, rooftop bars, trendy shops and all things hip. This is a really great area to walk around, for not only are there historical buildings as well, but the energy is alive and kicking and you can’t help but just get lost in the charm and funk of it all.

Dock Street Theater in Charleston, SC

The historic Dock Street Theatre in the French Quarter

The French Huguenot Church in Charleston, SC

The French Huguenot Church in the French Quarter

Andrew Pickney Inn in Charleston, SC

The quirky Andrew Pickney Inn

Charleston architecture, Husk restaurant

Husk restaurant


These are just some of my photographic finds in Charleston. Of course, if you’d like to see some of the interiors, you may take a house tour at the Nathaniel Russell House (below), the Edmonton-Alston House, and the Aiken-Rhett House, to name a few.

Tour of the Nathaniel Russell House in Charleston, SC

I hope you enjoyed this photo tour, which is just a smidge of what you can discover in Charleston. I highly recommend walking around the city, as that is the best way to see and take in all of the detail. It is such a striking city, if you can find a way to visit, try and do so!





  1. March 9, 2019 / 2:32 am

    I do like the mix of architectural styles this city has to offer. I almost made it there last year but hurricane Florence threw me a curve. Thanks for the photo tour; it makes me want to see the city even more.

    • March 9, 2019 / 12:35 pm

      Thanks so much Rhonda! Nothing like those southern storms to deter you away..I hope you’re able to visit some day, it’s a very special city.

  2. March 21, 2019 / 4:57 am

    So many pretty buildings and doors. I do love a good bit of door porn! And how photogenic is that mini. I’d love to visit Charleston, it’s definitely up there on my never-ending list. #farawayfiles

    • March 23, 2019 / 1:00 pm

      I thought the mini was a great touch ;). Hopefully you’ll make it some day!

  3. Looking at pics of Charleston is like revisiting a window from my youth. We lived in Columbia, SC for 3 years and visited Charleston often. Haven’t been there recently since my littles were little when we were invited to celebrate a childhood friends’ wedding in the pretty city, but ahhh – it is such a lovely place to spend time. Would love to go back and peek in all the old corners. Thanks for sharing – cheers from Copenhagen!

    • March 23, 2019 / 1:02 pm

      I can imagine a wedding there must have been stunning! Perfect backdrop. Sounds like you got to see many other places down South (I know you’ve been to Hilton Head), which must have been a really neat experience.

  4. March 21, 2019 / 6:35 pm

    Gorgeous photos Corey! I need to go here and of course I’ll need to visit the French Quarter so I can compare it to the “other” French Quarter! #farawayfiles

    • March 23, 2019 / 1:04 pm

      Exactly what I was thinking! This one is cool, but not quite as with the vibrancy of Nola’s..but then again can anything match?

    • March 23, 2019 / 12:58 pm

      Thanks – it really is one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

  5. March 23, 2019 / 1:10 pm

    You’re right Charleston really is pretty, and like you say so well kept. I still haven’t visited the Carolinas, I need to rectify that. #farawayfiles

  6. March 25, 2019 / 7:28 am

    It looks like such a photographic city! I haven’t really explored much of this part of the state but it always reminds me of Gone with the Wind. Beautiful article!

    • March 25, 2019 / 10:34 pm

      Thank you so much! I can see how it would make you think that!

    • March 27, 2019 / 1:56 pm

      Yes. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  7. April 22, 2019 / 6:48 am

    Wonderful place! Beautiful pictures of America city.

    • April 24, 2019 / 4:21 pm

      Thanks it’s a stunning city!

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