5 Reasons To Experience Charleston Wine + Food

What I Wore To Charleston Wine + Food Plus, 5 Reasons This Is A Must Do Food Experience

I rarely need convincing to head to Charleston. I mean I wrote a whole post on why you SHOULD go in the winter! When the #BloggersDoTravel girls heard about Charleston Wine + Food Festival it was a unanimous decision to make our way there to experience it. Sure, I’ve been to “other” food, wine, and everything else, festivals. But let me tell you something. Nothing I’ve ever been to holds a candle to this festival. Here’s what I wore, what we did and 5 reasons why you should add this to your travel list for next year.

PS Tickets are now on sale for Charleston Wine + Food 2020, grab them here!

First, what exactly is Charleston Wine + Food?

Charleston Wine + Food is a 5 day wine and food experience like no other. The heart of the event is the Culinary Village that happens Friday through Sunday. Set in Marion Square which is off King Street, this park gets transformed into a true village of food, beverage and experiences. This space has vendors, chefs, cooking demos, and live music and even a silent disco. You can eat for 5 hours straight and try something new every single bite. One of my favorite things about the Culinary Village (versus any other foodie festival I’ve been to) is not only the amount of food that’s served but the incredible quality. These aren’t just bites of chicken, or veggies. No, no. We ate ALL THE THINGS.

A few favorite things we had while walking around Culinary Village was the andouille sausage, pimento cheese hot dogs. Incredible. We also indulged in lobster bao bun rolls. Yes, lobster. There was also paella chock full of shrimp and tender meat. We had brisket, duck, scallops and more. They do not skimp on the food! Then came all the wine. But not just wine, there was also tequila, my favorite Don Julio, and bourbon like Coopers’ Craft and everything in between. One of my favorite areas was their rosé tent. It was an entire section dedicated to all things rosé. It was a basic girls’ dream!

5 Reasons To Visit Charleston Wine + Food

1. Experience New Restaurants & Chefs From ALL Over

My favorite part of this was seeing restaurants I’ve been dying to visit in Charleston. It was such a great way to try their specialties and even chat with the chefs. One very cool thing about this festival too is that a lot of restaurants and chefs from outside of Charleston come in for it. There were several restaurants from Atlanta like Saltyard and Fox Bros BBQ. Some even from New York, Maryland and North Carolina.

Reasons To Visit Charleston Wine + Food
Reasons To Visit Charleston Wine + Food

2. They Do Not SKIMP

There’s no other food festival I’ve ever been to that serves this much QUALITY food. We ate like QUEENS you guys. We had all the things from all the food groups. Caviar, scallops, ribeye, shrimp and more. You name it, we probably ate it. The price tag of the tickets for this isn’t even that bad. For $135 per day, you can indulge for 5 straight hours. It’s a great way to spend a day in Charleston and eat and drink. The ticket only includes one-day admission though, but in all honesty, I think one day is perfect! You’d definitely spend way more than that on food and drinks between lunch and dinner at a restaurant in the city.

TIP: My pro-tip, many of the chefs did a menu change halfway through. So you could do a lap and try all the things. Then at around 3:30, they did a swap and changed out their offerings so you could do ANOTHER lap. Guys, it was glorious.

3. There’s More Than Just Culinary Village

Since Culinary Village is Friday-Sunday, I definitely recommend doing one day there and then checking out what’s beyond CV. You can totally head to Charleston Wine + Food and just do Culinary Village and have an incredible time. But, if you want to dig deeper into food and events, they have a slew of options. We did the Au Natural wine tasting at Graft. Cathy and Kristin did Lunch Squad (total envy we didn’t get to join), and we all did Winderlust together. I think Winderlust was a personal favorite. Between the incredible venue and views to the ridiculous food we enjoyed, it was a highlight!

These tickets are separate from Culinary Village and I recommend adding at least 2 to your itinerary for the weekend. Below are a few snaps from our Au Natural Wine Tasting Class at Graft.

Charleston Wine + Food by My Style Vita

4. It’s In Charleston

I mean, how can you really say no to a reason to visit Charleston. From the walkability, incredible food, great weather, there’s no better place for a Wine + Food Festival. My favorite part of it being in Charleston was how easy it was to walk to everything (I prefer a bike though!). We did have to drive to Winderlust, but Uber’s are easily accessible and affordable. Plus, the views at the events and venues are usually incredible. Charleston is the #2 wedding destination for a reason. Many of the events were held at some of the best venues in the city like Winderlust at Lowndes Grove Plantation. It was truly stunning.

5. Try New Things & Make New Memories

There were foods, beverages, liquors and beers I never would’ve thought to try before this event. With knowledgeable vendors, you can learn a bit about what you’re trying and get to try new things. Plus, all of these experiences with friends makes for some really fun memories.

Charleston Wine + Food Festival 2019

What I Wore To Charleston Wine + Food

My biggest tip for visiting Charleston no matter what you’re there for is to pack comfortable shoes. It’s very much a walking city and you’ll want to explore on foot for most of it. I always pack jeans, chucks and an espadrille like my Marc Fisher LTD ones, lightweight tops and jackets to easily layer. The nights can get cool (besides the hot sweaty summers of course) so definitely check the weather. Our first day there was quite cold at night and required scarves and jackets! Here’s what I wore…

For Day One

We headed to Graft, a fun wine bar to attend an Au Natural wine tasting. The girls and I learned all about sulfates, natural wine making and more. This space is so beautiful and if you’re ever in Charleston, I highly recommend heading in to Graft for a glass of wine or two! I wore this new CeCe floral print denim jacket that is for sure going to be a staple for spring and summer. I love a good denim jacket but never love pairing it with more denim. Having this one will allow me to wear it with all my jeans!


My Style Vita look: white tee, jeans and PIPP TOPSAIL bag

For Day Two

To attend the Culinary Village, I went COMFY. The sun started to shine on Friday and it finally warmed up. So I ditched the sweaters and went for a fun ruffle tee (last seen here) and Converse. Culinary Village is set in a park with lots of straw on the ground so you don’t want to wear any opened toe shoes or anything really that nice. My brand new platform Converse were pretty dirty after just one day there. Plus, I uh, spilled food on them…


For Day Three

We headed out to do a few touristy things like visit Rainbow Row. It’s a must visit when you’re in Charleston and just oh so colorful. I wore my new Marc Fisher LTD espadrilles and matched my tee to them. After a little exploring, we went to Tradd’s for dinner to wrap up the trip with a delicious meal.


Where We Stayed

We tried a new to me hotel for this trip, The Restoration. I’ve visited their rooftop restaurant, and coffee bar, but never stayed at the hotel. The Restoration Hotel was a great location off King Street and Wentworth in the heart of downtown. Each morning started with a picnic basket full of breakfast goodies like muffins, biscuits, coffee and fruit. Such a nice way to start our day.

The Restoration Hotel in Charleston.
Room of The Restoration Hotel in Charleston.

Grab Your Tickets!

Tickets for the 2020 Charleston Wine + Food go on sale August 28th, 2019. Book experiences, workshops and day passes to the festival here.

All photos by Julie Livingston Photography

Jessica is an Atlanta life and style blogger. Aiming to bring practical tips to your every day life. Tips that you can easily tackle and make your life feel just a tad more 'put-together'.

Leave a Comment


  1. 3.18.19

    Ok I’m ready to go back!

    Cathy, your Poor Little It Girl

  2. 3.18.19
    Lisa Autumn said:

    Oh this looks like so much fun!

    x Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  3. 3.18.19
    Laura Leigh said:

    Obsessed with all of these shots and they’re making me want to go to Charleston stat!!! Loving all of your looks and your hair cut SO much!

    xo Laura Leigh
    Louella Reese

  4. 3.18.19
    Rachel said:

    I’ve never been to Charleston and have been DYING to go! Your trip looked like so much fun and the hotel you stayed in was gorgeous. 100% making it a point to go to the wine & food festival next year!


    • 3.18.19
      Jessica said:

      It is SO worth a trip. Highly recommend. Even go during off season for less humidity and cheaper hotel rooms. Such a great vacation spot.

  5. 3.22.19
    Kimberly said:

    Looks like so much fun!! I LOVE Charleston!!