Hotels in Charleston, Illinois

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Best hotels in Charleston

Charleston Hotels

Charleston is a small, rustic city based in eastern Illinois. Charleston is centered around Eastern Illinois University - a leafy academic haven of striking architecture - but its quaint city center boasts an old-fashioned, local charm, with historic store fronts and traditional diner-style eateries. Charleston also has strong ties to US presidential history, with Lincoln’s father having lived nearby. As such, there’s plenty of captivating heritage sites spread throughout the surrounding deep green Illinois countryside.

Things to see

For lovers of American history, the wealth of Lincoln-orientated historic sites in and around Charleston are sure to intrigue and inspire. Begin at the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, 8 miles from the center. This site, surrounded by soft pasture and rich woodland, was the 1840s home of Abraham Lincoln’s parents. Today, it’s a period museum, and gives an insightful glimpse into Illinois’ historic rural beginnings. After, why not stop by the Lincoln/Douglas Debate Museum, where interactive exhibits, hands-on displays, and film shows tell of the infamous senatorial debates. As the afternoon rolls on, visit the Eastern Illinois University campus. Established over 100 years ago, the campus buildings display remarkable Gothic Revival architecture of stone turrets and looming towers. After, head back to Downtown Charleston, and wander through its central square, checking out the artisan boutiques and cool cafés.

Hotels in Charleston

The budget hotels in Charleston can cater to those looking for easy, stress-free, and inexpensive accommodation. Relax in the air-conditioned rooms, burn off excess energy at the in-house fitness centers, and keep connected with the free WiFi. Some of these cheap Charleston hotels also offer outdoor swimming pools, a perfect way to cool off in summer. For something slightly more stylish, stay in a 3-star Charleston hotel, and immerse yourself in the homely, understated decor. You’ll also be treated to free hot breakfasts and spacious, airy guest-rooms complete with kitchenettes.

Where to stay

Charleston is small, friendly, and welcoming, so wherever you stay in the city you’ll feel right at home, and never too far away from the center. Most of the city’s old-school eateries, cafés, and shops can be found near Jackson Avenue in the historic city center, which surrounds the striking Romanesque Coles County Courthouse. Here you’ll also find the heart of Charleston’s bar scene, which buzzes with students and locals alike. The Eastern Illinois University campus rests south of the center, and its relaxed, tree-studded grounds make for a peaceful hangout spot.

How to get to Charleston

If you’re traveling to Charleston from overseas, fly in to Chicago O’Hare International Airport, which serves flights from top destinations across Europe and Asia, as well as plenty of domestic destinations. From the airport, you can either hire a car and head out on a 3 hour drive through Illinois’ lush countryside to Charleston, or take an Amtrak train or Greyhound bus to Mattoon, 10 miles west of the city. From Mattoon, you can take an inexpensive cab to central Charleston. Once you’re in the city, you’ll find the historic center is easy enough to explore on foot. But to see the sights speckled around the surrounding countryside, it’s best to hire your own car.