I think that Charleston will forever have a place in my heart. Brandon and I were able to spend four days in the charming city, exploring all that it has to offer. Confederate jasmine was in bloom during our time in the city, making everything smell and look amazing. We had several spots that we did not want to miss during our stay and I’ve rounded up our favorites in a concise city guide. If you’re headed to Charleston anytime soon, we’d highly recommend these options. And, in case you missed it, check out our post on 5 Mistakes We Made in Charleston (and how you can avoid them). Leave a comment below and let us know which spot looks the best to you!
Our Favorite Restaurants:
Husk: The ever-popular Husk is consistently talked about on every major travel site as a “must” for restaurant goers. I was lucky enough to make us a reservation and even a month and a half in advance, the only time they had available was 9:15 PM. The restaurant is a restored plantation style home and we ate upstairs, overlooking the porch. I ordered the chicken, while Brandon opted for the pork chop. Our overall dining experience was very good, but I was surprised to find that it was not my favorite restaurant out of all the many places we went.
Hominy Grill: We went to Hominy Grill by recommendation of one of my teacher friends. We were pleased to arrive at 9:00 AM, beating the crowd. As a started, we ordered the homemade pumpkin & ginger bread and homemade banana bread. Every ounce of my being embraced the amazing carbs and I wanted to take a loaf home! We then ordered an omelette and biscuits that came with homemade jam. Brandon and I would highly recommend this little spot for brunch.
Magnolia’s: Magnolia’s is true southern food and just feels good for the soul. My veggie plate (pictured below) had the best fried green tomatoes and home grown vegetables. Overall, everything was amazing here, even the sourdough bread.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream: I’d heard a lot about this little ice cream shop and insisted that we hike up King Street for a few scoops. With flavors like Browned Butter Almond Brittle (pictured below) and Brambleberry Crisp, it was hard to limit ourselves. The cute shop is definitely worth the trip and it’s conveniently located next to many major stores.
Sugar Bakery: I went to Sugar Bakery in quest of a fantastic cupcake. The small shop delivered and even though I just go their classic vanilla, they had so many flavors that would appeal to a variety of taste buds. Satisfy your sweet tooth here and snap a photo of their adorable store.
Our Favorite Shops:
The Black Dog: Okay, Brandon and I spent an embarrassing amount of time in here. If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know that we have a black lab named Tara. This shop is originally in Martha’s Vineyard but contains all sorts of merchandise with a simple black lab as the logo. We died! Brandon got a shirt, a stuffed animal for Tara, and we may or may not have purchased a baby onesie for some point in the distant future…
The Charleston Historic Market: This is a very touristy area but we loved walking the market and exploring all of the handmade items and Charleston souvenirs. Definitely worth a quick stroll on your way to dinner!
King Street Shops: I can’t remember the names of all of the many shops we went into on King Street. We saw art galleries, browsed clothing stores, and peeked in at antiques. King Street is your one stop for an enormous amount of shopping opportunities in Charleston.
Our Favorite Activity:
Magnolia Plantation: For a full recap, see our post here. This was amazing and educational at the same time!
Our Favorite Hotel:
Andrew Pickney Hotel: We stayed at three different hotels for our three nights in Charleston. This one was our favorite because it had a central location, allowing us to walk to dinner and they had warm cookies when we checked in, plus a wine and cheese hour.
Angel Oak Tree: A local suggested that Brandon and I visit Angel Oak Tree, a 500 year old oak that’s magnificently preserved. We stood awe struck under the shade of the tree, marveling at its amazing limbs. Parts of the tree dip down and touch the ground, then swoop back up, making it look like a wild roller coaster. This was a twenty five minute drive from downtown, but actually ended up being close to our hotel on night #2. We’d recommend it if you’re a nature lover or staying outside of the city.
The Carriage Tours: While we did not take a carriage ride (I am very allergic to horses), they seemed to be everywhere and offer an educational look at the city while enjoying an old-fashioned ride. It’s a great 40 minute tour and you’ll likely get a guide who can answer all of your questions about the history of Charleston.
Perusing the Residential Streets: One of my favorite parts was just exploring the side streets and residential areas of Charleston. “Rainbow Row” is a historic run of Georgian style, colorful houses ranging in everything from neutral to purple. We loved finding new spots every night, snapping pictures of the jasmine in bloom, and peeking into driveways to see beautiful home gardens and manicured lawns. We even joked about buying the homes that were for sale but quickly realized Charleston real estate prices are way out of our budget. Nevertheless, it was fun to daydream and wander around exploring.