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Make the most of this year by booking a trip to one of our favorite spots: Charleston, South Carolina. Here’s our guide to the best weekend away, filled with our top recs for wining and dining!
Driving into the heart of downtown Charleston feels like something out of a Nicholas Sparks movie. Spanish moss drapes down from the tips of centuries-old live oak branches, wrapped green with Kudzu vines. Colonial-era homes stand tall but tilted just as they have for hundreds of years. At low tide, the smell of pluff mud lingers over exposed oyster beds and scrambling fiddler crabs, only to dissipate as the saltwater seeps back into the marsh, slowly filling all the trails it left empty amongst the reeds. Azalea bushes, brimming with pink blooms, pepper the parks and roadsides as the sidewalks start to fill with visitors from every corner of the country. It’s Springtime in the low country!
Welcome to Charleston, South Carolina! We hope you came hungry. Don’t let this historic city’s tiny airport lead you astray; there’s more to do here than any sane visitor could fit into one trip. Behind the kitchen doors of innumerable restaurants, shrimp and grits are plated, oysters shucked, and hushpuppies fried. If your belly isn’t full while you’re in the Holy City, you’re doing something wrong. From morning coffee to nightcap cocktails, we’ve got you covered on where to get the best of the best.
We’ll start your day with a coffee to-go and maybe a light pastry. Brunching here is a sport, so you will want to leave room for your reservation.
Most shops on King don’t open first thing, so we suggest heading down to the Battery. Along the way, you can take pictures in front of the iconic homes of Rainbow Row. These historic, pastel houses are located on East Bay Street. Meander down the brim of the Battery on the elevated sidewalk overlooking the water and stroll through White Point Garden. The homes surrounding the Battery are some of the oldest and most expensive in Charleston. Make sure to stop and admire the stunning window box flowers!
After filling up on mid-day meals, head to King Street to shop! Some stores we think are worth a walk-in include: Beckett, Buxton Books, Charleston Preservation Society, Half-Moon Outfitters, Hampden, Julep, Lake Pajamas, M. Dumas & Sons, Madison Matthews, Roller Rabbit, and Finicky Filly.
All that shopping is sure to make you thirsty, so we’ve put together a list of places for pre-dinner or nightcap cocktails:
With a drink or two down, it’ll be time for dinner. Make sure you get reservations where they’re offered in advance– we’re talking at least 2 or 3 weeks in advance! Charleston is known for its food, and these spots fill up fast.
Since 1670, this southern town, with its palm tree-lined cobblestone streets and flickering gas lanterns, has charmed those who pass through, and we hope you have time to do and see it all. Take a historical walking tour, shop until you drop, eat more than you thought possible, and lay out on the beach with a yeti full of rosé in hand. We have a feeling you’ll be booking your next trip back before you even leave.
Here are a few well-reviewed hotels in downtown Charleston we highly recommend for your stay!