TRAVEL GUIDE: CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA

 
 


Charleston has been at the top of my travel list since as long as I could remember. It’s cute, quaint and the food is INSANE! What more could you want? My mother and I decided to do a mother daughter trip there since she lives in New York. We thought a yearly trip would be the perfect way to see each other more + explore new places. We travelled to Charleston in October which we heard was the best time to go. The weather is perfect and not too humid. It did get chilly the last few days so I would definitely bring a light jacket + layers!



PLACES TO EAT & DRINK

Favorite thing to do while traveling: eat and drink! I’m still not over the food in Charleston. There wasn’t one restaurant that wasn’t good. Each had their own vibe and the food was to die for. I’ve included my top recommendations with some hidden gems. One thing to note about Charleston, the restaurants always seem busy! People truly take time to go out to eat and enjoy their food. So prepare & make reservations, if possible.


Breakfast:

Hominy Grill: if you go for brunch Sat 9-4 Sun 9-3 get there right when they open or I wouldn’t recommend going. The Huevos Rancheros is SO good + add a side of bacon because why not

Wildflour: (bakery)

Poogan’s Porch: the hype is real, this is a MUST. Try to go a little early to sit on the porch

Queen St. Grocery: it’s a hidden gem & the crepes are so delish

Callies Hot Little Biscuits: hot biscuits, need I say more?


Lunch:

SNOB: I recommend coming for lunch as it’s the same amazing food but at much better prices than dinner

Cru Café: it’s tiny so come early or later for lunch

Butcher & Bee: great for sandwiches! Has a late night menu from 11-3 & it’s BYOB

Tattooed Moose: duck club with fries- ask for extra pickles if you’re into them! They’re homemade & spicy


Dinner:

Halls Chophouse (steak house): it’s pricy but worth every penny!

O-Ku (Sushi): such a good happy hour! I think we went three times it was so good & easy. Half-off all rolls & select bottles of sake.

Five Loaves Café: super casual, easy, affordable and AMAZING! Great for lunch or dinner. ½ sandwich and soup/salad combo for lunch. Definitely get the goat cheese gnocchi if you go for dinner!

FIG: seasonal menu with a southern twist

Husk: like FIG, it’s a seasonal menu with a southern twist with a better location

The Ordinary: the seafood & drinks are AMAZING! The space used to be an old bank. Great atmosphere! Happy hour Tues-Fri 5-6:30

The Darling: it’s SO cute in here! I would even sit at the raw bar for great people watching. Happy Hour 4-7 weekdays

Magnolias: More of a traditional southern cooking. We had shrimp and grits here and it was amazing. It’s also in the perfect area if you enjoy walking after dinner.

Xiao Boa Biscuit: Not your typical southern restaurant but one of our favorite dinners. It’s asian food with select dishes from China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. So tasty!


Dessert:

Peninsula Grill: I would just go here for a glass of wine & the coconut cake. The coconut cake is INSANE! It’s pricy but the cake is worth it.

Jeni’s Ice Cream: Lots of flavors & options. Even vegan options!


Happy Hour/Drinks:

Reds Ice House on Shem Creek: in Mt. Pleasant (This is not Downtown just use your GPS to get there its super easy you can’t miss it) Has amazing views of the city. Go for drinks & apps. Such a good waterfront restuarant. You might even spot dolphins!

Rooftop Pavilion Bar: come for a drink before sunset to get the best view of the city! It’s expensive so you’ve been warned.

Kudu Coffee & Craft beer: perfect spot to grab a cup of coffee or beer

The Darling: it’s SO cute in here! I would eve sit at the raw bar for great people watching. Happy Hour 4-7 weekdays

The Ordinary: the seafood & drinks are AMAZING! The space used to be an old bank. Great atmosphere! Happy hour Tues-Fri 5-6:30



THINGS TO DO

Rainbow Row: Named for a series of thirteen colorful historic houses in Charleston, South Carolina. The houses are located north of Tradd St. and south of Elliot St. on East Bay Street, that is, 83 to 107 East Bay Street. VERY picturesque. So picturesque, I went back twice ;)

King St: I must have walked up and down King St. like 288944 times this trip. There are tons of restaurants, bars, and shops! It gives you a great feel for the city. It’s also a great street just to walk if you’re unsure where you’d like to go eat. There’s always something! The beginning of King St. is pretty college oriented- TONS of bars and restaurants. The middle of King St. (Marion Square- like Queen St.) is pretty tourist oriented- TONS of restaurants and shopping. The end of King St. (about Queen St. to the Battery) is all historic homes/buildings which are beautiful and a must see!

The Battery: at the end of King St./the city From here you can see Fort Sumter (don’t bother going out there) located in Charleston Harbor. The fort is best known as the site upon which the shots that started the American Civil War were fired. The Battery is a landmark defensive seawall and promenade named for a civil-war coastal defense artillery battery at the site, it stretches along the lower shores of the Charleston peninsula, bordered by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, which meet here to form Charleston harbor

Waterfront Park: at the end of Vendue Lane Great walk along the waterfront- be sure to check out the pineapple fountain and walk to the end of the pier

College of Charleston: take a stroll around campus. It has gorgeous landscape and historic buildings!

Market St: Check out the historical open air market. This is a great place to pick up unique souvenirs but it’s usually packed with people so just do a quick run through of it.

Folly Beach: If you want some beach time or to spice up the city living for a bit.

Ghost Tour at night if you’re into that kind of stuff!

HYLO Fitness: If you’re into working out while traveling, I highly recommend this studio. I took their HIIT class and it felt amazing to sweat while traveling! They also offer yoga classes.

Bendy Brewski Yoga & Brunch: We didn’t try this but someone from the Sweat in SD fam recommended it! Yoga, booze and brunch! What more could you ask for?


WHERE TO STAY

So I may not be the best person to ask for this category in Charleston. We booked a stay through a property management company in Charleston. They manage several properties in the area. They ended up cancelling the stay TWO weeks before the trip. We also booked 6 months in advance so this was such a surprise. Definitely, message me if you’re booking it through a property management company and I can confirm if it was the same one. Since it was only 2 weeks away, Airbnb’s were super limited. We ended finding one that was fairly close to the area we wanted to be in. Being able to walk to everything is definitely a number 1.. Next time, I’d probably stay in a hotel just to be safe and prevent this from happening again. I also like to compare the Airbnb & hotel living. I feel it’s always different city to city. If booking through Airbnb, look at ALL the reviews. Most people who leave reviews are super transparent & you’ll find out all the deets through there.

I plan on visiting again soon so definitely let me know any hotel & Airbnb Recommendations! Would love to expand this “where to stay” list.