My mom and sister are in town for a girls' weekend/Mom's birthday present/Mother's Day/My mom rocks because she is a breast cancer survivor...so we went to Charleston, South Carolina for the weekend. Although my loyalty is to Savannah, Charleston is a truly beautiful city, and although it's called Savannah's "Sister City," it really is the crisper, fresher, and seemingly wealthier version of Savannah (although much less historical visually and with less character and intriguing flaws and pockets).
Charleston trolleys/horse carriages have developed a unique number system that correlates to the four-part grid that Charleston has been divided in to. You hop on the vehicle with no idea which quadrant you will go in--it's a lottery partially designed to help the flow of traffic with their hidden agenda obviously being to get you to take multiple rides in hopes to see different parts of the city. A neat, organized concept, but if you have your heart set on seeing a certain part of the city, don't take your chances with this system. We pulled number 3 (I think) which lead us to a beautiful residential area that puts any other street I have ever been on to shame.
The food is also top quality. Check out Cru Cafe--a perfect lunch spot that is an old house converted into a restaurant. There are tons of restaurants to choose from, and one very cool aspect of Charleston is that there are a lot of rooftop restaurants and bar/restaurants like at the Vendue Inn or Pavilion Bar & Grille. For a cheap and informative stop, hit the Daughters of the Confederacy museum with tons of artifacts crammed into one little room. Immediately below this museum is the famous Open Air Market where you can browse artwork and craft made by local artists.
Whatever you do, make sure you check out Battery Park with a view of the ocean and the two nearby forts across the water. It's like a little Central Park on the coast with people hanging out by the fountains (and sometimes running through to cool off!), playing with their dogs, and picnicking or studying. If you enjoy this local scene, make sure to hang out on East Bay also as these are the restaurants and bars that the locals love. Of course, shoppers should enjoy King's Street as well with some high quality (and price) stores on the strip.
Have fun and slow down--you are in the South now.