One of my main goals for leaving my day job was to start traveling to places I wanted to explore. I even started a bucket list of places I’d like to visit and am slowly working on crossing some of them off with a few upcoming trips I have planned. With Charleston being a place I’ve traveled to quite a bit over the last year, I feel like it’s my home away from home. Sharing a few of my favorite things to do, eat and where to stay. And note to self, I failed to take ANY photos of all my experiences in Charleston and will be sure to not make this mistake again on future trips. Thank goodness for #SBScon and Kim Graham snapping some great photos here.
The Ordinary – The smoked oysters are the greatest thing I think I have ever ate. They sound odd, but they know what they’re doing. The menu is oyster heavy, so if you’re not into them you may want to skip over this place.
Charleston Grill – For an elaborate meal with the best service around, this place is a must visit and requires a reservation. Or do what I do and grab a seat at the bar and enjoy the best crab cake you’ll ever eat.
Edmunds Oast – King Street can feel a little touristy at times, so head off the main road and take the 5 minute cab ride over to this spot. Their beers are made in house (my favorite is the apple cider rose) and the food changes daily. However, their pickled shrimp toast is usually always on the menu and it’s the best combination of fresh seafood and tart and tangy pickled vegetables.
Hominy Grill – I have not yet been here, but several friends enjoyed breakfast here and couldn’t stop raving about it. I unfortunately have ZERO breakfast recommendations first hand outside of our hotel because we always just ate at Palmetto Cafe at Belmond. You guys, french vanilla french pressed coffee…. oh and crumpets. Enough said. Now you see why we never ventured out.
167 RAW – Hands down one of the best restaurants in Charleston. It’s a small intimate space but super casual. Favorite menu items include fish tacos, oysters and shrimp cocktail, guacamole and tuna poke.
The Watch – A fun rooftop restaurant and lounge above The Restoration hotel. The views are incredible and the drinks are sure to please. Their truffle fries make for the perfect snack before heading to dinner on the town.
The Darling Oyster – The decor in this spot is just as good as the food. Right across from The Ordinary, I like to visit both of these whenever I’m on that side of King Street. Get the fish sandwich, it’s amazing.
WHERE TO STAY
I’m a little biased here, but Charleston Place is hands down the most accommodating hotel I have ever stayed at. They recently renovated all of their rooms to a more sophisticated and modern look. Their bathrooms are head to toe marble and is the #1 reason I decided to put marble floors in my new bathroom. It’s stunning! I’ve never taken such lengthy showers until this place. They also have a fabulous spa that offers Moroccan Oil treatments or if you want to be more traditional, they do offer your standard spa favorite services as well.
For another option, The Spectator Hotel is a quaint boutique hotel with serious amenities. It’s one block from Market Street and is just another block down from King Street. It’s in the heart of everything. Complimentary bikes are also available which is the ideal way to get around the city.
If you’re heading out of the city and to one of the beaches (more below) I highly recommend checking out The Rathershacks on Folly Beach. There’s really only one main hotel and in my opinion, not really worth it. The Rathershacks is two blocks from the beach and will have you feeling like home. If you have any recommendations for the other two islands, leave them in the comments below! I haven’t checked either out but am dying to on my next trip.
THINGS TO DO
From three different beaches to check out (Sullivan’s Island, Folly Beach and Isle of Palm) there’s an endless amount of options if you want to check out of the city for a day and relax.
While in the city of Charleston, you can rent a bike and scope out some of the beautiful homes on Rainbow Row or the several parks like The Battery to enjoy the waterfront views.
Shopping! King Street has some great stores and boutiques.
If you like to stay a little more active while vacationing, I highly recommend heading out to Folly Beach (or any of the three beaches around the area) and trying kayaking or paddle boarding. There are tons of tours (we did this one) and you get a up close and personal look at the marshes and the incredible wildlife that makes this place so amazing. If you’re lucky, you may see a few dolphins!
Charleston is definitely one of my all time favorite southern cities. It’s charming, full of kind people and great food. I think you’ll love it as much as I do if you do decide to make the trip down south.