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By Susan Johnston

Southern charm abounds in Charleston, South Carolina, where travelers enjoy beautifully preserved mansions, lively nightlife and good ol’ fashioned hospitality. Charleston also hosts the annual Spoleto Festival USA May 27 through June 12, when the city comes alive with performances by world-class dance troupes, musicians and theater companies.

Consider three Charleston hotels that call to mind the Old South, giving guests a glimpse of life in a bygone era.

Francis Marion Hotel: Built in 1924 andrenovated top to bottom in 1996, this 233-room hotel was named for a Revolutionary War hero also called “The Swamp Fox.” It sits in the heart of downtown Charleston, where guests enjoy proximity to numerous attractions, including Charleston’s Museum Mile and the Charleston Visitor Center. Opulent furnishings and grand chandeliers give the Francis Marion Hotel its rich historic appeal.

The Planters Inn: This intimate 64-room hotel combines classic luxury with conveniences like high-speed wireless Internet. High ceilings and reproduction four-poster beds give guest rooms an exquisitely regal feel that lets guests escape the hectic pace of modern life. Complimentary tea is served daily in the parlor with complimentary coffee offered in the morning and evening. A piazza overlooks the Courtyard Garden,creating a lush oasis of tranquility.

The Harbour View Inn: An AAA 4 Diamond hotel, The Harbour View Inn boasts scenic views of Charleston harbor and has a relaxed décor that evokes the breezy spirit of the West Indies. Complimentary breakfast is delivered to guest rooms, the rooftop terrace, or served in the atrium lobby. Some of the guest rooms also feature working fireplaces.

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