Charleston should be on everyone’s bucket list. So maybe you have already checked off the traditional first timer’s guide to Charleston and wonder what else does Charleston offer me? Well the answer is a lot! Our own Southern Bell Travelocity’s Gnational Gnomad Ava Roxanne Stritt of Spa Travel Gal takes us on a tour and shows us what’s new and what’s on your next Charleston getaway!

Charleston is one of America’s most beloved cities and a destination visited by those coming from around the world. This Southern Jewel is rich with history and exploration, but what if you have already done all the items that one would check off the traditional Charleston Bucket List? What else is there to do one may ask – well A LOT!

While Charleston is known as a very historic city and sometimes called the Holy City, that does not mean it is a town that rides on it’s history.  Just the opposite. Charleston always has many new activities, hotels and restaurants opening up almost weekly. Take a look at Charleston’s New Bucket List and start planning your visit to Charleston today!

Here are a few of the NEW Charleston Bucket List Items you must explore.

Meet New Icons

Hotel Bennett is destined to be an icon in the Charleston landscape. This hotel is definitely the south’s grandest new luxury hotel and at not yet a year old – it already has become an icon.  We all know I am a luxury gal and this has to be my home away from home when visiting the Holy City. I know luxury and this hotel delivers – from their club lounge to their new urban luxury spa.  More on that later. Ready to make a toast? See below their champagne bar!

Pop Bubbles

Champagne bars are popping up everywhere. This city is where you can taste some of the finest bubbles around. One of the most instagrammable spots in Charleston is the champagne bar Camellia’s inside Hotel Bennett.  The stunning pink hue reflects the history of the building. The pink marble that once clad the library where Hotel Bennett stands was reclaimed and restored. You can now see it setting the tone in an egg-shaped room. When you visit you feel like you are inside a Faberge jewel box surrounded by Camellia flowers and cascading crystal chandeliers.

Some of the best champagne flights can be found in the “art deco” Bourbon N’ Bubbles on King Street.  Yes you can find a bucket list trio of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, Dom Perrignon and a new favorite of mine Herbert “Bouzy” Beaufort, but you can also find some great food too. When dining there take your crew and hang out for a while.  This is a top place to relax with pals and enjoy food, friends and bubble watching. I found myself relaxing to the sight of all the refined bubbles in my flutes.

Find Your Style

These gals found their style at Gwynn’s of Mount Pleasant. Check out the styles on Diana, Ava and Mac.

Style – you either have it or you don’t, but what if I could tell you where to find it! Yes Charleston offers a ton of shopping, but your bucket list shopping experience is Gwynn’s of Mount Pleasant. Time tells the story. This family owned department store was established back in 1967 and is still the top legendary location for everyone in Charleston to find their style – whether they are attending a gala or a low country boil.

Gwynn’s fashion buyers travel to New York multiple times a year to bring the latest trends and timeless styles to fit into a low country lifestyle for their customers. You can also shop online at their website. Use code spatravelgal10 for 10% off your total purchase. I found my style in my Gwynn’s  – see this video to possibly find yours too!

Travel for Good  

The remodeled SC Aquariumhas now become a must-do when in Charleston. It is conveniently located right downtown and beckons all ages.  Recently someone ask me if they should go with kids or without. I answered both. If you go on a more adult trip, arrive at opening and you can be done quickly before one has to dodge any strollers. See more about this Travel for Good adventure in Charleston here at this link.

Pop-Up Fitness


Going to Charleston on a vacation definitely doesn’t mean you have to miss your regular fitness class and get off your wellness journey. Boutique fitness is the rage in Charleston and I can see why. With multiple unique pop-up classes like the Rooftop Sunset Purre Barre Charlestonclass I attended at The Restoration– one gets to sample of what is in store at the fitness studios before even walking in the door.  These classes are usually free and in conjunction with various other businesses and hotels. My experience with the class at The Restoration made my trip.

I also stopped by the new Barre3 Charleston and found it very near to my hotel. If you are not one who likes to spend time in the sometimes dreary hotel gyms, get out and try a local fitness class.  You can find a class and sign up easily for Barre3 and other types of classes on the app Mind Body.

Urban Oasis 

Rooftop Pools are everywhere in Charleston! One does not usually expect a pool when they are on an urban getaway, but Charleston has changed that mindset. Charleston’s hotels know that guests love to lounge by the pool, so they responded by raising the bar on this amenity.  My top pick is the rooftop pool at Hotel Bennet. While there if you can’t decide if you want to have a pool day, lounge at a cocktail bar or get a quality bite to eat – their rooftop pool areas delivers all.

The Restoration has also given their guests a sweet rooftop spot to relax by the pool, grab a bite and take in the city with a bird’s eye view. This urban rustic and refined hotel made me feel at home. Their hospitality was over the top.  This is also a perfect place for the solo traveler. It was easy to make pals during the daily wine and cheese social and at the rooftop fitness events. Be sure to check their event calendar before you leave for events on the rooftop and by the pool!

Zen Out

As you can see from my spa travel instagram feed I know luxury spas.  Charlestonis full of them! They all offer a unique setting perfect for some low country relaxation.

The newest place to Zen out in Charleston is Hotel Bennet’s Spa. This luxury wellness retreat can be easily accessed right from their King’s Street storefront. Spa gals will feel exhilarated as they are whisked up the private elevator to this luxury urban oasis. Their services feature world-renowned skincare products, which will renew your face and body allowing you to enjoy the rest of your Charleston bucket list refreshed.

Nearby you will find the dreamiest boutique hotel in Charleston – The Restoration. Their Amethyst Spa offers peace calmness and positive energy – all of which I found during my time there. My massage was one of the best of my year so far! My Travelocity Gnational Gnomad tip is to get the 90 minute Restoration Massage then continue your downtime by relaxing in the hotel’s Culture Library with a Lavender Latte from the inhouse coffee bar – The Rise.

Looking for a true low country tranquil setting for peace and relaxation? One of Charleston’s ultimate day spas is The Woodhouse Day Spa. They believe that health, wellness and beauty are intricately linked. From the moment you place their luxurious robe onto your body, you can feel the tension leaving your shoulders. From beginning to end this place exudes southern hospitality. They offer over 70 rejuvenating treatments on their spa menu.  Currently they are offering seasonal spa treatments from Farmhouse Fresh – a deliciously fresh grown skincare brand.

Now get started on checking off your New Charleston’s Bucket List!

You can also find this article on GPS My City!