In North Charleston, the Charleston International Airport
is the state's busiest. American Eagle, Delta, United and US Airways operate over 100 flights a day all over the East Coast. If you want to fly further afield, you'll probably need to connect through Charlotte, Atlanta, Miami or New York. With just one main terminal and two concourses, it's a relatively easy airport to navigate.
train stops in Charleston at the North Charleston station. The train runs between Miami and New York with stops in Orlando, Raleigh, DC and Philadelphia, among others. It's got a bar car and sleeping accommodations.
Charleston's small, dumpy Greyhound
station, in industrial North Charleston, has buses heading all over America. Raleigh, North Carolina is an eight hour journey north, and New York will take nearly a day to reach. Like oh so many bus stations, this is not a place you want to spend much time if you have a choice. If you're arriving late at night, there are plenty of budget motels in the vicinity.
Charleston's CARTA city bus system has stops all over the peninsula, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant and West Ashley. Route 10 connects North Charleston with downtown. DASH buses ply the historic district on regular loops. Since driving in Charleston can be a hassle, many visitors rely on this option. Regular and DASH fares are $1.50.
Plenty of taxis ply downtown Charleston, though they can be tricky to find at night after the bars close. Taxis are metered—standard rates are $2.15 per mile, per person. A taxi for two from the airport to downtown Charleston will run you about $25. If you don't want to hail a taxi on the street, hotel concierges and restaurant hosts will be happy to call one for you.
Driving around Charleston's historic district is certainly possible, but the narrow, often one-way streets can make it tricky. Most people prefer to park at their hotel and walk or take the DASH shuttle to see the sights. Be aware that you'll often have to share the road with slow-moving horse carriage tours. Driving over the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. bridge, a shining span of metal stretching over the Copper River between Mount Pleasant and Charleston peninsula, is always fun.