Historic downtown Charleston, home to one of America’s first theaters, is a don’t-miss destination for theater lovers with musicals, comedies, dramas, improv, mysteries, magic and more. An abundance of hotels and restaurants downtown offer a walkable weekend of dining, shows and relaxation. Take a short stroll from your hotel to a pre-show dinner and an entertaining evening at one of these fun venues:
34 West Theater Company
200 Meeting St., Suite 100 (843) 901-9343
Enjoy a cocktail and a savory snack as the 34 West Theater Company presents a lively musical or comedy in this bistro-style venue. Dinner and show packages are available here, or try the Peninsula Grill, (843) 723-0700, a AAA Four Diamond restaurant offering regional American fare in a casual, elegant setting at the Planters Inn, 112 N. Market St., (843) 722-2345. This AAA Four Diamond lodging is within easy walking distance of 34 West. If you’re craving something sweet, drop in to Kaminsky’s, 78 N. Market St., (843) 853-8270, a AAA One Diamond Rated café serving desserts and specialty coffee drinks.
The Black Fedora Comedy Mystery Theatre
164 Church St. (843) 937-6453
Be a part of the show at The Black Fedora, which stages interactive comedy mysteries. Desserts, appetizers and beverages are available at the venue. For dinner, Tommy Condon’s Irish Pub, 160 Church St., (843) 577-3818, is a casual, AAA Two Diamond restaurant that dishes up pub-style and Low Country fare. The French Quarter Inn, 166 Church St., (843) 722-1900, and the Spectator Hotel, 67 State St., (843) 724-4326, both AAA Four Diamond properties, offer exceptional lodgings.
Dock Street Theatre
135 Church St. (843) 577-7183 or (843) 577-5967
The Dock Street Theatre is a must-see for theater and history buffs. The original , built in 1736, was the first in America constructed solely for theatrical performances. Though it was destroyed and later replaced by the Planter’s Hotel—of Planter’s Punch fame—the hotel was ultimately restored as a theater that is now home to the Charleston Stage Company. Nearby Blossom, 171 E. Bay St., (843) 722-9200, is a AAA Three Diamond restaurant where you’ll find regionally inspired dishes featuring fresh local seafood. The Elliott House Inn, 78 Queen St., (843) 518-6500, a AAA Three Diamond hotel, has a secluded courtyard for a peaceful place to unwind.
Palmetto Crescent Parlour
49 Archdale St. (855) 285-6463
Enjoy an evening of magic and mind-reading with illusionist Kellar O’Neil, “Master of the Mind.” A non-alcoholic drink and a sweet treat are included with the show. New American cuisine created with locally sourced produce and seafood will delight at the Charleston Grill, 224 King St., (843) 577-4522, a AAA Four Diamond restaurant. A short walk will take you to the Meeting Street Inn, 173 Meeting St., (843) 723-1882, a AAA Three Diamond bed-and-breakfast-style inn where every room opens onto a garden courtyard.
280 Meeting St. (843) 853-6687
In the mood for improv? Head to Theater 99 where the belly laughs won’t cost you big bucks . Just a block away, Jestine’s Kitchen, 251 Meeting St., a AAA Two Diamond restaurant, is a popular spot for Southern comfort food. The King Charles Inn, 237 Meeting St., (843) 723-7451, a AAA Three Diamond hotel, features a lovely pool and terrace where you can relax after exploring the historic district.
Woolfe Street Playhouse
34 Woolfe St. (843) 856-1579
The Village Repertory Company performs dramas, comedies and musicals in a former meatpacking warehouse that now houses two theaters, a wine bar, a full-service theater bar and classrooms where the company holds children’s theater programs. The Grocery, 4 Cannon St., (843) 302-8825, serves up a seasonal menu featuring fresh, local ingredients. AAA members save 10 percent at the nearby Hyatt Place, (843) 414-4900 and the Hyatt House, (843) 207-2299. These AAA Three Diamond properties, both at 560 King St., offer spacious rooms, a fitness center, an indoor pool and an outdoor patio with fire pits. Suites with full kitchens are available at the Hyatt House.