When traveling to a city for the first time, it is easy to get overwhelmed trying to plan the perfect trip. Rather than trying to cram too many things in, I try to focus on these key ingredients–unique hotel, local coffee shop, a fun brunch spot, al fresco lunch, boutique shopping, cocktail lounge, dinner hot spot, and a recreational activity. This helps me create the best blend to get the feel for a city regardless of where I am headed to next.
Charleston Travel Blend
The Mills House is pink…doesn’t that make the choice a no-brainer?! Located within a 4-minute walk to the City Market, this centrally located hotel features gorgeously designed rooms, a floral-adorned courtyard perfect for dining and outdoor pool to cool off after a long day of exploring.
I am also dying to stay at Zero George Street on my next visit!
Poogan’s Porch is the perfect southern spot to indulge in biscuits & gravy, chicken & waffles or shrimp & grits — all of which are absolutely delicious.
The dining rooms are bright and airy and can accommodate large groups but make sure to book a reservation as this southern staple can book up quickly.
Fresh oysters and platters of fried chicken are a dime a dozen in Charleston, but when you combine that with fancy champagne, cheap beer and some of the best ‘day drinking’ cocktails in town, Leon’s Oyster Shop becomes a can’t-miss destination.
You will find just the right amount of industrial vibes to remind you that this was once an old auto body shop, but don’t let that description fool you. Every inch of this hot spot has been carefully designed to keep locals and tourists alike coming back for more.
Although Husk is a wonderful dinner option, the Bar at Husk (open at 4pm daily) is located in a historic brick home adjacent to the restaurant and is a quintessential spot to grab a whiskey-laden cocktail.
Since my husband and I have also been to Husk in Nashville, I picked up Heritage, a visually appealing cookbook by Husk chef and owner Sean Brock, to add to our kitchen collection.
FIG has been winning awards in Charleston and across the country since 2003…and for good reason! Their seasonal menus reflect what is in peak form from their local farmers and their creative twists on traditional Lowcountry cuisine has helped elevate the whole Charleston dining scene. Give it a try. You will not be disappointed.
The Daily by Butcher & Bee is a bit off the beaten path from downtown Charleston, but totally worth the trip for your morning latte.
Not a coffee person? Not to worry. They also have an extensive selection of cold-pressed juices, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and more.
Although Charleston is best explored on foot, there are a few additional options to sightsee at a slightly faster pace.
In my opinion, Old South Carriage Co. offers the best carriage tour in the city with friendly, knowledgeable staff and a few different tour options. I prefer the One-Hour Residential Carriage Tour because “dream house shopping” is one of my favorite pastimes and can keep me entertained for hours on end.
Rent a bike for the day too see the rainbow-colored houses and perfectly manicured gardens that make Charleston so unique. Cycle through the tree-lined avenues to The Battery located South of Broad – Charleston’s priciest neighborhood and home of historic 18th-century mansions.
King Street is the premier destination for shopping in Charleston and is a well-curated mix of mainstream shops with hip boutiques. My favorite ones to visit are Hampden Clothing and RTW.
And if you happen to be visiting Charleston during the second weekend of the month, head to 2nd Sundays on King. They close down the streets and have a festival featuring live music, street vendors and sidewalk cafés from most of the restaurants on King.
Try this Charleston Travel Blend for a mix of southern hospitality, colorful scenery and a guaranteed fun time!