Before heading out to California for the summer, Thomas and I wanted to take advantage of all of the southern cultures we could get. Where better to soak in the low country tastes, smells, and accents than Charleston, South Carolina.
Growing up in Columbia, SC, Charleston was only a quick drive away so we frequently visited to get our "beach fix." Whether it was shopping on King Street, enjoying the super fresh seafood or lounging on the beach, I always looked forward to it and didn't mind the drive. Now, being married and loving adventure, we were up to the travel from Alabama to enjoy a sweet 48 hours in a place we love.
Where to eat
Breakfast/Brunch | Poogans Porch
If you want a true taste of the South, run (don't walk) to Poogan's Porch! They have shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, pimento cheese balls (highly suggest) and all the southern dishes you need to taste before leaving! If seating is open outside and weather permits, choose to be seated on the porch. You'll get an incredible view of the charming side streets of Charleston.
Lunch | Hominy Grill
Just like mama's cooking (but better). Before the meal, when serving drinks, they'll bring you all-you-can-eat boiled peanuts. Get the biscuits with the housemade jam as a snack! They have fresh specials every day and a dessert menu you can't resist. It's about a 4-minute walk to the battery so you can walk off your lunch and enjoy the scenic southern mansions.
Happy Hour | Restoration Hotel rooftop bar, "The Watch"
A great location to sit back, soak up the sun and enjoy a few drinks and snacks! We chose to sip on the Romero's Bad Habit and The Ghost of Strawberry Church - both very yummy.
For snacks, we nibbled on the Takeout Wings, House Truffle Frites (fries) and on the Ham and Cheddar Hushpuppies.
Dinner | Hanks Seafood
By far our favorite dining experience! Everyone was so kind and so eager to serve us! We were greeted first thing when walking in the door and were advised to sit at the bar or the community table for faster service. The community table is a larger table seating several parties but is a great idea if there's a long wait.
Don't limit the bartenders to the cocktail menu because they are so so talented and can whip up anything you're in the mood for. While we were there, we enjoyed the tuna tartare (ah-mazing), the ceviche (so good if you wanted to branch out and try a unique seafood dish), and crab cakes (their crab cakes are the best I've ever tried). We finished off the night with a slice of key lime pie. Side note: I don't normally care for key lime pie, but this pie was delicious and I'd order it again!
Dessert | Carmella's
If you need a quick pick-me-up snack or you're in the mood for something sweet late at night, Carmella's is your place! Located near the Market, you can find a quick cup of coffee, a fun dessert cocktail or choose a dessert from their sweet display of personal cakes (to share, of course).
What to do
Candlefish Candle Making Class
If you're wanting to do something different and maybe take a break from the heat of walking the streets, this is a great option! Whether it's with a special someone as a date or a group of gals, it's a blast! This was so so fun, super educational but also walked away with 4 candles! Basically, a candle pourer from Candlefish walks you through the process and chemistry of candle-making, you get to sniff tons of scents and create your own candles with the favorite you found. You pour your own oil, wax label your own glass and fix your wick. From start to finish, it's hands on!
Go to the Beach
If you're wanting to go to the beach but don't want it to be super crowded, I suggest heading to Isle of Palms Park. Once you pay the tenant for parking, you can unload your beach gear and head over the dunes to the beach. There are public restrooms, changing rooms and showers to clean off before heading to supper.
Walk up and down King Street
Shopping, shopping, galore. From smaller, local boutiques to larger, more well-known shops, you can find anything you're looking for! Parking is tough, s try and find parallel parking on a side street.
Walk the battery
If you're wanting to see some traditional and beautiful Charleston homes, head to the Battery and wander around the cobblestone streets. You'll be in awe of all of the vintage door knockers, colorful houses and porches, greenery and ivy, and fire lanterns.
Spa Treatment at the Amethyst Spa
If you wanted a "treat yourself" afternoon, this is a fabulous option. They have a lengthy menu of services that they provide from pedicures and manicures to massages. The service is incredible and you won't find a better spa in Charleston.
Manicure at Mylkbar
This is a fun place to take a group of girlfriends or a bachelorette party. Mylkbar uses only non-toxic products (love that) but more than that, their interior beats any other nail salon in Charleston. With cute and flirty decor, you'll experience the most pampering pedicure with rose and the most hilarious staff. They'll keep you laughing the whole time.
Where to stay
My family has a condo in Charleston so we're able to use their space when we come to stay but plenty of spaces around us are also up for rent! Try an Airbnb or Vacation Rentals before booking a hotel. For several reasons: 1. The cost will be cheaper 2. You'll be closer to water 3. More space.
We can't express what Charleston means to us and we can't wait to visit again! What are your favorite places in Charleston? Where do you look forward to visiting? Please share! I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Thank you to Candlefish, The Restoration Hotel and Hanks Seafood for their experiences and sponsorship of this post. All opinions are my own.