Home to Southern Charm, both literally and figuratively. While I was bummed I didn’t see Bravo’s reality star, Shep, galavanting around the historic district at the wee hours of the morning we were welcomed with heavy pours and southern hospitality. Charleston is a romantic city, rich in culture and history. The pastel colored buildings that line the cobblestone roads make for some great IG photos. Don’t worry you won’t have to go on a hunt for these backdrops, just look for a gather greater than a dozen and you surely have arrived at a classic “Charleston photo spot.” Charleston is a great city getaway with the airport only 15 minutes from town. I spent the weekend with family but I will definitely be back for a girls weekend, as it would make for a memorable bachelorette trip!
Where to stay
Belmont Charleston Place
I just loved this hotel. We had a suite overlooking the Gucci store. What more could a girl as for? Well a GG belt of course! Back to the hotel. Location. Location. Location. Everything was in walking distance and the hotel was very central in the historic district. The decor is very sophisticated but has modern appeal. The couches were a silver velvet and the bathroom was covered in white marble. While the furnishings were more classic with a mahogany finish.
The Palmetto Cafe is a must in the A.M. The light shining through and open- air concept was really inviting and warm. No need for reservations. If you are in a rush to get onto the sites, they have a buffet but we opted for al carte.
I loved the way they plated each meal with flowers. Such a beautiful touch. 100 for presentation!
Other hotel options:
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
The Vendue Hotel
Things to Do:
Take a carriage ride:
Head right out the hotel to Meeting St. and book yourself a carriage ride. I highly suggest booking a private tour the first day you get there for a more intimate experience as they will sell out early in the morning for day of tickets. If your only in town for a short while don’t worry I got you covered! You can request front row! I was a little bummed to be honest the carriage tours are on a lottery system through the city. So when you pass a checkpoint the city will tell the driver which route to take, so you aren’t guaranteed to go down rainbow row and the battery. Set your expectations low basically, as I didn’t luck out with a great route.
Charleston City Market
This market is right next to the ticket sells for the carriage tours. While we waited for our tour we strolled down the market. You really only need 15 minutes for this as most booths are your typically touristy crap you don’t really need.
Butcher and the Bee
This eatery requires an uber but is well worth the trip. It’s a Mediterranean take on tapas with cozy vibes. The coffee cups are an eclectic mix of different shapes, colors, and logos with children drawings taped above the kitchen. I would order a few plates and add on the $3 sides for a hearty family style meal.
We got the stuffed French toast, Shakshuka (MUST– and order a side of bread), and Middle Eastern Migas with a side of hummus. This was the perfect amount for three people and trust me we are eaters. You won’t leave hungry.
Other Lunch Options:
Gnome Cafe ****VEGAN****
Leon’s Oyster Shop
Back to Sightseeing
Nathaniel Russel House
This house was by far my favorite tour. You will learn about the Russel family and envision antebellum life. What made this tour so special was the lengths they would go to make each room the exact replica of its original state. I don’t want to spoil all of the details so you better go so you can be WOWed too. Shocker,
This staircase is one of two suspension staircases in Charleston. Cool AF.
Other house tours:
The Calhoun Mansion
Bike the Battery
Biking is the best way to explore the charm of Charleston. This way you can admire the nuances of the city and peer through the alley ways into secret gardens.
On your bike ride, make sure to stop and take some photos in front of Mills house and rainbow row. The pastel pinks and purples are too pretty to pass up.
Shop along King street
Gibbs Museum of Art
Candle making at Candlefish – (made the list because of the BYOB)
Day Trip to Sullivan’s Island
Darling Oyster Bar
I highly recommend the raw bar menu. For three people we ordered 3 orders of crab and 2 orders of shrimp. I would request the crab served heated (kinda felt weird eating chilled crab, Is this just me?) and we probably only needed 2 orders. If you are craving something else you can’t go wrong with the Lobster Roll.
If you have more time in Charleston and want to check out a plantation. I would go see the one where the Notebook was filmed in Mount Pleasant. For me personally, I didn’t enjoy the plantation tour that much because the details of slavery made me very emotional. I think its important to acknowledgeable our country’s dark past but full warning if you have a heart you will be shedding some tears.