1. We Weren’t Prepared for Walking
Charleston is very much a walking city. Once you arrive downtown, everything seems to be within a few minutes of each other. While this obviously contributes to travel ease and accessibility, I personally did not come prepared with the right shoes. In our Friday post, I highlighted my colorful Toms which were great for an evening; however, they really only worked with that one outfit, leaving me with improper shoes for the majority of the trip. Additionally, some of the streets are cobblestone and even flats were difficult to manage at times. My feet were so sore by the end of our trip!
How To Avoid This: Bring a comfortable, chic pair of shoes for daytime. Leave your heels behind and make sure to have a lot of options like a good neutral that will go with multiple outfits. I’ve linked several great options below for you to shop.
2. We Didn’t Make Reservations
The one reservation we had ahead of time was at the famous restaurant Husk. We got a 9:15 PM slot and we thanked our lucky stars for that. Once Brandon arrived for work, he quickly realized that every restaurant is good and every restaurant is crowded. By the time we went to make other reservations, the only time slots they had were either really early (hello, 4:15) or really late. We opted for the early slots and actually ended up skipping lunch every day because of this. While I wouldn’t really consider this a true “mistake”, if you’re looking to eat three square meals a day, you’ll definitely want to make reservations well before you arrive.
How To Avoid This: Use something like Open Table and secure your reservations ahead of time. Also, keep a lookout for our post on Friday where we highlight the best restaurants we ate at.
3. We Only Had One Plantation Tour
Hands down, my favorite part of the trip was our tour of Magnolia Plantation. We took a tour of the historical home where we learned about its rich history through a vivacious tour guide. Afterwards, we walked around the grounds exploring old oak trees, bridges, and wandered through the gardens. You can see our full post here. I regret only taking one plantation tour because they are so well done and interesting. I highly recommend looking into others if you’re staying for a while.
How To Avoid This: Book a second tour at a place like Boone Hall Plantation
4. We Didn’t Stay At 86 Cannon
One of my biggest regrets from our trip is not staying at the Charming boutique hotel of 86 Cannon. I knew about this new hotel before we went; however, it was completely booked for our specific weekend. We stopped by the charming spot one afternoon and actually ended up running into the owner. He was gracious enough to give us a private tour, showcasing the living spaces for guests, the dreamy porch where wine and cheese is served, the breakfast area, and the library. 86 Cannon also has free parking for guests and charming bikes for you to take out during your stay. If we go back to Charleston, I’d stay at 86 Cannon in a heartbeat.
How To Avoid This: Book it early to ensure your room!
5. We Went During the “Busy” Season
It seemed as though everyone and their mother decided to go to Charleston when we did. Before we went, I kept seeing bloggers who went, articles written on the city, and travel guides posted. I would definitely say that Charleston’s busy season is spring. This was nice in the sense that everything was in bloom and they hadn’t reached scorching summer temperatures yet. The downside of this was that tourism was at a high point and the streets were really crowded. It was difficult to find parking and all restaurants and shops were packed with people. I know that this can’t really be avoided, but we had no idea it would be that way.
How To Avoid This: Book a trip for fall, if possible. If you are going in the springtime, try to travel by bike if possible and get up early to avoid the crowds.