Welcome to Cvent's Meeting and Event Planning Guide to Charleston - a city guide for meeting professionals. Charleston is known for its beautiful architecture and long waterfront that runs along the Ashley and Cooper rivers and around Charleston Harbor to the Atlantic Ocean. Charleston event venues are known for good food, and the city's cultural activities include the Spoleto Festival, a festival that welcomes world-famous performing artists each year.
Charleston International Airport (CHS), the busiest in South Carolina, serves more than two million persons a year and is well connected to most other U.S. cities. It is 12 miles northwest of downtown Charleston.
Chief among meeting spaces in Charleston is the Charleston Area Convention Center, which has approximately 150,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 77,000-square-foot exhibit hall; it is connected to the 255-room Embassy Suites Charleston Airport/Convention Center and adjacent to both the 13,000-seat North Charleston Coliseum, (which has two meeting rooms, too) and the 2,300-seat North Charleston Performing Arts Center.
Hotel venues in Charleston include many near the convention center, such as the 289-room Inn Place hotel, which has 10,000 square feet of meeting space; and the 166-room Crowne Plaza Hotel Charleston Airport/Convention Center, with 6,000 square feet of meeting space. Choices in the downtown area include the very ornate 442-room Charleston Place Hotel, with 45,000 square feet of meeting space; the equally grand 234-room Francis Marion Hotel, with 20,000 square feet of meeting space; and the 341-room Charleston Marriott, with a little more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space.
This unique city has some unique meeting sites for group use. Among these are the 1880s' William Aiken House, a National Historic Landmark, right in the middle of downtown, which has both indoor and outdoor space hosting up to 500 persons; Lowndes Grove, also with a white wrap-around balcony, historic-landmark status and the same management company, on the Ashley River and with space able to cater to 600 persons, and the Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, which is home to the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and has a 2,734-seat theater and a 15,000-square-foot exhibit hall. Two other choices include the South Carolina Aquarium, with the Grand Hall, with a terrace, and Executive Room, with its own terrace, for groups, as well as the possibility of dining beside huge tanks of aquatic life, and the very Southern Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, which has opulent grounds, superb gardens, oodles of rich history and space for groups in its Conservatory, Veranda and Carriage House spaces, as well as on its lawns.
South Carolina is famous for its barbecue and lowcountry fare. Delicious restaurants with group space here include McCrady's, which has an inventive American menu, huge, wooden bar specializing in pre-Prohibition cocktails and space for groups in salubrious surroundings; and French-inspired 39 Rue de Jean, which can host groups in a space called Upstairs. More formal selections include Queen Anne's Revenge, specializing in surf n' turf and on the other side of the Cooper River on Daniel Island, which has a private room for 30 persons; Hominy Grill, which features a James Beard Award-winning chef cooking lowcountry fare to huge acclaim, and Fig, specializing in local and sustainable menus in a space that owners call part-retro, part-bistro.