Happy hump day! ❤ I hope your week is off to a great start. I’m currently riding the struggle bus- working on my third cup of coffee, and contemplating which afternoon snack I should have next… the toffee-caramel cookies I whipped up the other day are taunting me right now. I don’t think calories should count on Wednesdays. Can we make this a thing?
I don’t know about you, but when I’m having a rough day, and the work week seems to be dragging on, one of my favorite things to do is reminisce on previous trips and vacations. Like, if I daydream hard enough, I might be swept out of my desk and onto a beach in Punta Cana somewhere, drinking a piña colada & being fanned by a thong-wearing native named Pedro. Anyone else? No? Well- it works for me. You should try it sometime. 🙂
(no Pedro, but at least I got a rum-filled coconut) ❤
Today’s thoughts do not involve any thongs or guys named Pedro…. (you’re welcome, Marcus), but have been completely taken over by the incredible, impromptu trip my husband and I took to Charleston a few weeks ago to celebrate our engagement anniversary. Marcus is the king of surprise trips- and this one was nothing short of amazing.
Charleston, SC is the most popular tourist destination in the United States….and once you’ve been there, it’s easy to see why. From hidden, cobblestone streets with the most beautiful homes you’ve ever laid eyes on, to famous historical sites like Fort Sumter- Charleston has it all. You can even get your shopping fix on King Street, Charleston’s beautiful shopping district, complete with Prada, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton galore (much to my husband’s dismay, I might add).
Marcus and I were only in Charleston for a few days, but that didn’t stop us from doing and seeing everything we possibly could (#overachievers). Here are some of the highlights of our trip, and suggestions for those of you who might be looking to travel to this fantastic city in the near future!
Where to Eat:
Magnolias Restaurant, 185 E. Bay St. Charleston, SC 29401
Go there for:
Incredible atmosphere, excellent service, and authentic low-country cuisine. You can’t beat their fried green tomatoes, and their shellfish over grits entrée has become a Charleston staple. This is quite possibly my favorite restaurant in the world- and it’s a perfect excuse for a fancy date night with your guy! ❤
Cru Café, 18 Pinckney St. Charleston, SC 29401
Go there for:
Quaint, “home-cooked” meal vibe (seriously, the restaurant is located in a classic 18th century Charleston home!), unique comfort food recipes, and colorful views of one of Charleston’s famous streets. Even better? They offer a myriad of healthy, gluten free & vegetarian options.
Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse, 2411 Mall Dr. North Charleston, SC 29406
Go there for:
Incredible Groupon deal- $60 for two, including a full bottle of wine, all you can eat salad and sides bar, and all you can eat assortment of Brazilian steaks! This place is not in downtown Charleston- it will take you about 20 minutes to get there, but I couldn’t not mention it…it would be an injustice. Marcus found this Groupon on a whim, we tried it, and I have never been so full/fat/happy in my entire life. Let me be frank. If you like to eat- you will love this place.
Where to Drink:
Pavilion Bar at the Market Pavilion Hotel, 225 E. Bay St. Charleston, SC 29401
Go there for:
Panoramic views of downtown Charleston, extravagant pool-side bar, and incredible cocktails. Grab a poolside chair, throw on your shades, and sip on (or chug, in my case…they’re seriously amazing) one of their fresh mango mojitos… I promise you will feel like a million bucks. I can’t recommend this place enough.
Palmetto Brewing Company, 289 Huger St. Charleston, SC 29403
Go there for:
Unique brews, casual vibe, and low-key atmosphere. This brewery is off the beaten path from downtown Charleston, but if you know my husband, you know we had to visit at least one brewery while on our trip. J This one did not disappoint- we even got some labeled pint glasses to bring back to Wilmington with us- double win.
Sights to See:
Charleston City Market, 188 Meeting St. Charleston, SC 29401
This beautiful building, now a certified National Historic Landmark, was once an area for local farms and plantations to sell and trade their produce, and acted as a medium for social gatherings. Now- it serves a very similar purpose, as Charleston natives set up booths to sell their sweetgrass baskets, handmade jewelry, and more. This is a Charleston must-see, but make sure to bring cash! Sticking with the historic theme, most vendors do not accept credit or checks.
Rainbow Row, 85 E. Bay St. Charleston, SC 29401
One of the most iconic streets in the United States, Rainbow Row is a gorgeous row of homes that were renovated following the destruction of the Civil War. How the rainbow color scheme was decided upon is still a mystery. One homeowner on the street, Dorothy Porcher Legge, began renovating the homes she owned a pastel pink color, and the rest of the street followed suit. Current home owners are required to maintain their pastel home colors to ensure the legacy of Rainbow Row lives on. Really though- this place is a prime spot for selfies, and will make your new lifelong goal to own a home in Charleston. ❤
The Battery, E. & S. Battery St. Charleston, SC 29401
Take a drive down East & South Battery, and I guarantee you will fall in love with Charleston (if you somehow haven’t already). From the grand mansions to the palm tree lined streets offering gorgeous views of the Atlantic- this part of town is immaculate. Again- perfect selfie spot for that vacation Instagram post. 🙂
King Street Shopping District, King St. Charleston, SC 29401
If you are a professional window-shopper like myself, you will undoubtedly appreciate the beauty that is King Street. Take an afternoon stroll down this charming, Southern road and you will 1. spend your entire paycheck 2. look for excuses to stop into every single shop 3. spend the rest of your trip convincing your husband that it’s imperative that you immediately relocate to Charleston (yes, it happened. No regrets). Happy shopping, readers!! And if your significant other is looking a bit worn down- suggest a trip to the brewery after…. he’ll come around. 🙂
Things to Do:
Charleston Horse Drawn Carriage Tour
Palmetto Carriage Works, 8 Guignard St. Charleston, SC 29401
Old South Carriage Company, 14 Anson St. Charleston, SC 29401
Going on a tour of one of the nation’s most historic cities while sitting in a horse drawn carriage? Talk about the cutest, most perfect Charleston activity you could embark on! Both of these tour companies are super knowledgeable about the area, and the guides make the tours fun. If you’re anything like me, you would picture a bunch of history buffs taking notes and asking obnoxious questions- and I promise, it’s nothing like that! This is probably my favorite activity in Charleston- you gain so much knowledge about the city, get to see all the popular landmarks, and have the experience of riding in a horse-drawn carriage.
Fort Sumter Tours, 340 Concord St. Charleston, SC 29401
Another historical activity??? I know, I know- I promise I’m not trying to bore you to death. But this tour is awesome. You can only access Fort Sumter by boat, so you get to ride a ferry there and see some amazing views of the city- plus, once you get there, you feel a whole new appreciation for our country and our history. That was up there on the list of most cliché things I’ve ever said, but it’s true. Plus- you can get a picture of yourself sticking your head into a canon. I think that alone would be worth the trip (it was for me… 🙂 ).
Magnolia Plantation Tour, 3550 Ashley River Rd. Charleston, SC 29414
Mansions, and gardens, and brunch- oh my.
Isle of Palms, Palm Blvd. Isle of Palms, SC 29451
Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown Charleston? Check out Isle of Palms- a beautiful pubic beach just across the bridge from The Battery. Cute afternoon date idea: head to Whole Foods (or Harris Teeter, if you’re looking to experience the “Kroger of the South”), grab a few sandwiches, salads, and those little Sutter Home wine bottles, and have a picnic on the beach! Marcus and I did this on our trip to Charleston during our senior year spring break- it was the perfect lazy afternoon activity (even though Marcus wasn’t thrilled about me spending $18 on a Whole Foods salad).
Charleston is the perfect city for that long-weekend getaway you dream of on a dull Tuesday afternoon. I hope you are inspired by this post to visit this incredible place and make some memories of your own.
Any other Charleston locations I left out?? What’s your favorite weekend getaway? Leave some comments & some love! ❤