86 Cannon is in the trendsetting residential district of Cannonborough-Elliotborough. It’s in a leafy, residential part of the city, with the main tourist sights around 30 minutes’ walk (or a short taxi ride) away.
Fly into Charleston International airport, 20 minutes by car from the hotel. It has direct flights from 26 cities in the US (including New York, Chicago and Denver), and from April to October British Airways run a nonstop route from London. Airport transfers can be arranged by the hotel for $45 for two people, each way.
North Charleston train station is near the airport, 20 minutes from the hotel. Long-distance Amtrak services run up and down the Atlantic Coast, to cities including Savannah (one hour and 40 minutes), Washington D.C. (nine hours) and New York (13 hours).
You won’t need a car for Charleston’s historic centre, but if you fancy a day trip to a plantation or the beach, it’s handy to have your own set of wheels. You can hire at the airport, and park at the hotel, for $30 a day.
Worth getting out of bed for
Pick a spot on the ‘piazza’ porches, lounge about in the salon, or snuggle up in the library – just make sure you’re at the café for wine and cheese by 5pm. Set out on foot to explore the vibrant neighbourhood of Cannonborough-Elliotborough, or borrow one of the hotel’s baby-blue bikes and ride into Charleston’s historic core.
Hit the shops in your hipster locale: Mac & Murphy prides itself on enviable stationery, Indigo & Cotton clothes Charleston’s coolest, J Stark sells minimalist bags made in its on-site factory, and Candy Shop Vintage specialises in bold and brightly hued rice-bead necklaces. In the Historic District check out the eclectic City Market, snap postcard-ready pastel townhouses at Rainbow Row, and learn the horrifying history of the Old Slave Mart Museum. Out of town, you’ll find miles and miles of golden sand on Sullivan’s Island.
If you’ve a hankering for history, take the ferry from Liberty Square to Fort Sumter – the island fortress in the middle of Charleston Harbor was where the first shots of the American Civil War rang out on 12th April, 1861.
The menu of farm-to-table fare at the tucked-away Chez Nous is handwritten by the chef each morning – the content varies, but you can count on the quality. Xiao Bao Biscuit is a converted 1940s gas station now serving reimagined Asian cuisine – stop by and fill yourself up on dan dan noodles and the celebrated house okonomiyaki. The Ordinary is anything but – a cavernous 1920s bank now dealing solely in seafood. Chubby Fish is the local oyster-shucker of choice, while over at Leon’s, the bivalves are an appetiser to hunks of fried chicken, heaving salads and rosé on-tap. There’s a lot of great meat in these parts, but none better than at Lewis Barbecue; an able alternative is whole-hog specialist Rodney Scott’s BBQ – either way, go hungry. The Sugar Bake Shop is your neighbourhood go-to for first-class cupcakes, cookies and coffee.
Babas on Cannon is one-part café, two-parts cocktail bar – pair your espresso martini with à la minute snacks, saucisson sec and smoked sprats. Go to Caribbean-inspired Dalila’s for Cuban sandwiches alongside creative cocktails, or swap grain for grape at Joséphine Wine Bar.