Charleston, SC had been on the top of mama and I’s travel list for quite some time and if it’s not on yours already, it should be! You will not find another place that offers so much southern hospitality, charm, history, and good old fashioned comfort food. It’s the perfect destination for a weekend trip because while this charming town has a lot to offer, it is easily done in 48 hours! Sure, there are some restaurants and sights that we didn’t get the chance to try out, but all the more reason to make it an annual trip 🙂 My one piece of advice if you are only staying for 48 hours is to stay somewhere downtown so that everything is within walking distance of your hotel!
W H E R E T O S T A Y
The Restoration Hotel. After several recommendations from friends, we felt like The Restoration Hotel checked off everything on the check list. Cute. Affordable. Great location. Lots of amenities. Coffee and and food choices on site. Did I mention cute?!
When visiting Charleston you have one of two types of choices for hotel options. You can go the old fashioned, vintage southern charm route or you can go for something a bit more modern. We wanted the best of both worlds. The Restoration provided touches of southern charm while still feeling like a luxurious getaway. My personal favorite thing about the aesthetic of the hotel was the exposed brick throughout each room. Not something that you see in Texas!
Not only were the rooms extremely spacious, turn down service is provided, breakfast is brought to your door each morning (in a picnic basket!), there is a cute coffee shop on site, a library to use as you please, and a more than accommodating staff! The Rise is the coffee shop attached to the hotel and dubbed to be “the most Instagrammable shop in Charleston” which I can attest to. The Watch is their rooftop bar and restaurant that draws quite the crowd as it should for it’s view of downtown Charleston, great ambiance, and great food! There is also a spa on site if you would like to treat yourself!
Photography by: N. Mickle
W H E R E T O E A T
- B R E A K F A S T/ B R U N C H
- Hominy Grill– Known for their shrimp and grits but I opted but for “Charleston Nasty”- a fried chicken biscuit topped with gravy. The long lines are well worth the wait plus they have an outside drink window while you wait so you can enjoy a mimosa on the patio.
- The Daily– The same owners as Butcher and Bee but we preferred this place. The Daily has a hip vibe and very small menu. That being said, if you want something quick and good, this is the place! I was a huge fan of their avocado toast and blueberry coconut smoothie.
- Husk– I put this on here specifically for brunch because you have to go for the shrimp and grits- oh and the cornbread too! Best shrimp and grits in Charleston and they serve old fashioned cornbread with best flavored butter you’ve ever tasted. If you go for dinner, I’ve been told to sit on the bar side which is a carriage house and has the best burgers!
- Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit– Most delicious breakfast biscuits ever. If you wanted to do this before a full on brunch or treat yourself to a snack later in the day, you totally could as they are snack sized!
- L U N C H/ D I N N E R
- 167 Raw– On the smaller side so I would suggest this place for lunch or an early dinner. They are famous for their oyster bar and lobster roll!
- Cru Cafe– Southern comfort food done right! They certainly have something for everyone. If the weather is nice, they also have a great outdoor seating situation.
- The Watch– If you are staying at the Restoration Hotel then this rooftop restaurant is very convenient! I highly suggest their oysters and scallops. The scallops were the best we had the entire trip!
- 5Church– Hands down our favorite dinner spot and there is no way that I will do it justice. I tried to take pictures but you have to see it to get the full affect. This restaurant is made out of an old church so there are still stained glass windows and the bar is made from an alter. The ceiling is miles high and has words written all over it. If you don’t go here, I can promise you are missing out. We easily hung out here for 4-5 hours! All of their dishes are extremely creative and a true foodie’s delight. I highly suggest the meatballs and scallops.
- Poogan’s Porch– We were so hungry and the food was so good that no pictures were even captured. This little yellow house is right next door to Husk and is everything the reviews made it out to be. Make sure to make a reservation as it is a hopping place. I got the short rib ragu with sweet potato gnocchi and goat cheese and holy cow I’m still dreaming of it!
- The Darling Oyster– If you want oysters, look no further. This cute spot has everything you could ever dream of when it comes to oysters! And since Charleston is right on the water, you haven’t had a fresh oyster until you’ve tried them in Charleston!
W H E R E T O D R I N K
- C O F F E E
- The Rise– This is the coffee shop that is attached to the Restoration Hotel and dubbed to be “the most Instagrammable coffee shop in Charleston”. Not only is it cute though, the coffee is dang good. I had it every morning that I was there. I’m not sure how long they will have the Winter Thyme latte but if it is still available when you are there, GET IT.
- Black Tap– We didn’t venture here but I’ve heard it is another super cute coffee shop!
- C O C K T A I L S
- Zero George– This hotel is everything you dream of when you think of Charleston. If you aren’t already staying here or coming for dinner, make sure to at least stop by for drinks. They do happy hour prices and you can choose to sit anywhere in the house that you like. My personal favorite spot is outside on the covered balcony.
- The Watch– Even if you don’t make it here for dinner, I’d highly suggest stopping by for at least drinks. The view and cute rooftop are the perfect setting for a pre-dinner cocktail or glass of wine.Dress: Nordstrom | Bag: Urban Outfitters | Jacket: Similar
- The Gin Joint- Such a fun and cozy spot that comes highly recommended. If you like to sip on a fancy cocktail and enjoy a creative atmosphere, this is the place! Make sure to do the bartender’s choice- SO MUCH FUN!
- The Belmont– This bar is AMAZING. They have the best cocktail bar in Charleston and if that didn’t already sell you, they even have homemade poptarts for dessert.
S I G H T S T O S E E
- King’s Street– The best shopping in Charleston, seriously. Even if you just want to window shop, this is the place! I suggest starting here and then making your way to The Battery, Waterfront and surrounding neighborhoods. It’s all in walking or biking distance to each other. Top: Nordstrom | Jeans: LOFT | Shoes: Similar | Sunglasses: Raybans
- The Battery– Make sure you walk down to The Battery and explore the neighborbood around there. So many cute and historic spots.
- Waterfront Park– An ocean view and a beautiful walk around the harbor. There is also a Pineapple fountain that you must see. If you didn’t know, pineapples are a symbol of hospitality and they are all over the place in Charleston!
- Rainbow Row– The iconic row of 13 colorful houses. I personally thought it was a little overrated and not as “picture-esque” as it looks but still a cute spot to visit on your walk around Charleston.
- Plantations– There are several plantations in Charleston that allow for visitors and each holds a special piece of history. All of them are said to be gorgeous in their own way. Since we only had a few hours, we made the trek to Mount Pleasant to see “The Notebook” house otherwise known as the Boone Hall Plantation. You only need an hour or two to do this but Mount Pleasant is about 20 minutes away from downtown Charleston and can be easily accessed with Uber if you do not have your own car.Top: Target | Leggings: Spanx | Jacket: Similar | Shoes: Nike
- Sullivan’s Island– Charleston is home to a few beaches, but if you only have time for one, make sure to hit up Sullivan’s Island! The beach isn’t especially the prettiest but being so close to the ocean, it’s a fun afternoon spot to enjoy the sun. We stopped by The Daily and picked up food/drinks to take down to the beach. Swimsuit: Aerie | Hat: Similar | Sunglasses: Raybans