Charleston is magical- it is as simple as that. I’ll let you guys in on a little secret: I have always wanted to open a store in Charleston, but I had never been. In my head it was the perfect mix of everything I wanted- flowers, food, beach, city and suburbs. I was actually really nervous to go because I was afraid it wasn’t going to live up to everything I wanted it to be. But, let me tell you, it was everything and MORE! I fell more in love than I thought I could have. I wanted to break down everything for you all so the next time you visit the area, you know exactly what to eat, where to take pictures and what beaches we loved! Plus, we made a video while we were there to share Charleston with you, wherever you may be!
Charleston Travel Guide
Restaurants, Hotels, Beaches, Things to do and more!
Charleston, South Carolina, April 2nd, 2017
Here is the travel blog/video we put together for you all to help you soak up the colors and relaxing atmosphere of the city!
I broke it into three sections for you all: What and Where to Eat, Beaches to go to, Things to Do and Places to See (along with a few hotel options). This place is an Instagrammer’s/Blogger’s dream without a doubt so I wanted to share every nook and cranny with you guys! If you love the guide- share the pins at the end of the post so your friends can love it too!
First off, as the warm weather approaches, restaurants and outdoor seating gets busier and busier. However, we went to dinner at 5:15 or so every night and never had to wait for a table. Granted there were only two of us, but we did not wait once! Being college students, we definitely ate at the more price friendly restaurants, but they were all delicious and lovely. There really was not a place we did not love.
The first night we went to The Americano ($$) in Mount Pleasant. We got the Taco Plate with shrimp tacos, seasonal fish (mahi mahi) and jerk chicken tacos with street corn or rice and beans. The restaurant really speaks for itself in the pictures- it is so fun, upbeat and airy!
For breakfast, we headed over to The Vintage Coffee Cafe ($) in Mt. P for a little snack before heading into town. Hannah got the Granola Bowl and I got the Coconut Tapioca Creme Brûlée- HEAVEN! I also got the lemonade that was so light and sweet. The atmosphere in this cafe was casual, welcoming and family friendly!
We might have had Bearcat’s Sweet Shop ($) gelato multiple times. They will warn you that the waffle cones are fragile and they are not kidding. They are delicious. They melt in your mouth and taste like sugar cookies. From all the different nights we went there (oops) we got banana stracciatella, espresso stracciatella, strawberry, coconut, and pistachio. You really cannot go wrong. By the way, this is located underneath the Obstinate Daughter!
The next night we went to Leon’s Oyster Shop ($$). This is the perfect, casual seafood stop. The retro/grungy theme of the restaurant was everything! We had the greatest service. We both ordered shrimp rolls that had potato chips on top with cucumber salad and they did not disappoint.
Next, we went to the Obstinate Daughter ($$) on Sullivan’s Island. We both ordered Palmetto Log Coladas (they were so refreshing!!!), and shared the Gnocchi all Romana and Soft Shell Crab special. There is a reason they have such wonderful ratings, let me tell ya! Our bartender at the restaurant was so friendly and actually gave us the drink below because we “loved photogenic things”. It, of course, was delightful as well. Honestly, the interior design alone would make me come back to this restaurant, so having friendly staff and amazing food was a plus.
The next morning/early afternoon we wanted a quick snack so we headed over to The Daily ($$) for Iced Almond Lattes and oatmeal m&m cookies (because that is a healthy breakfast, right?). We also loved Black Tap ($$) where we got Coconut Tea, Hibiscus Tea, blueberry muffins and croissants.
The next day we wanted a quick lunch in town so we headed over to Kitchen 208 ($) where I got the Charleston Chick (chicken salad sandwich) with cucumber salad and Hannah got the Club 208 (ham and bacon on Texas Toast) with pasta salad. This was the perfect lunch spot and I adored all the yellow interior of the restaurant! I think welcoming interior design makes restaurants all the better.
We wanted a little mid afternoon snack one day so we went over to Sugar Bakeshop ($) and nibbled on strawberry and vanilla cupcakes. The shop smelt just as a bakery should and was the most quaint mid day break.
The next day we went to Taco Boy ($$) where we got Strawberry Margaritas and shrimp, mahi and steak tacos. You could not get a bad one! The outdoor patio was such welcoming, lively environment and fulfilled all my Tex-Mex cravings.
On one of our last nights we went to Poe’s Tavern ($$) and ordered citrus mahi mahi tacos, a shrimp salad sandwich and potato salads. The service was so fast and everything was incredible! We craved ice cream (per usual) one night in the city so we grabbed Jeni’s ($$) Roxy Road and Salted Carmel cones. One morning, we grabbed raspberry and pineapple coconut Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts ($) when it was rainy.
Our last morning we ate at Toast ($$). Hannah got the Breakfast Plate (above) and I got the Granola Tropical Fruit Cup. The service (per usual) was so wonderful, along with the food. We were so amazed by how fast the food came out everywhere! Other restaurants we heard great things about with Home Team, Poogan’s Porch, Butcher and Bee, The Ordinary, Slightly North of Broad, Red Drum, Carmella’s, Hyman’s Seafood Co., Lost Dog, and Republic Ice Cream.
I am a huge beach lover. Any time I can get to a beach- I will. My family has always been the “get down to the beach at 9 am and leave for dinner at 6pm” kind of people. So, knowing there were beaches nearby, we decided to have a few beach days/beach half days at a handful of different locations. The water was a tad chilly (and by chilly I mean frigid) this time of year but the weather was perfect to just hangout on the beach!
We had our first beach day at Folly Beach. It was a little busier than we expected it to be, but it was a really fun little beach town with a pier, restaurants, lots of activities and more. I would probably be more likely to go back to Sullivan’s Island (below) because it was less busy and more hidden, but Folly Beach definitely had a bigger beach town feel than Sullivan’s Island.
From morning relaxing, to walks at dusk, we loved Sullivan’s Island. It was quiet, beautiful, peaceful and just a great way to spend some time. We were on spring break after all so a little R&R was in order. We loved walking on the boardwalk entrance right before Obstinate Daughter.
Lastly, we LOVED the Fort Moultrie Beach to watch dolphins and the sunsets. We brought our ice cream down there multiple times and just soaked up the gorgeous sunset view. Plus, the dolphins were always there!!! I was so full of excitement every time we saw them. Honestly, you could not get a bad beach but these are the ones we experienced and enjoyed!
There are an abundance of things to do in the area, but we really loved just walking around. We participated in some activities and also spent a lot of time just wandering the streets of Charleston. The colors of the city were truly magnificent. They actually have certain historical colors to pick from for the houses downtown. I heard that and it made SO much sense. Everything coordinates in such a beautiful, themed way.
The first thing I would say to do is just walk around down by The Battery and look at all the gorgeous exterior designs. A lot of people take carriage rides or walking tours to see the area and learn facts about the city. Although we did not, we definitely learned a ton by listening to them talk as they passed us. Ha! I got some serious inspiration for my future home, plus future paintings/drawings.
We loved walking down Meeting Street past the Charleston City Market (which is also a go-to, it is fun to just go look around). The houses on it were so fabulous. If you have time, walk down all the little streets off it. They have some of the most photogenic houses/walls and flowers I have ever seen.
You never know who you might run into downtown, taking pictures! We ran into Julia Engel of Galmeetsglam.com and chatted for a while. She is as wonderful, sweet and friendly as she seems! She recently moved to the city and has so many Charleston tips.
Next, head over to Rainbow Row to see these bright, colorful, buildings! These 9 buildings were so fun to photograph and see. After that, if you’re in the shopping mood, attack King Street! It is shopping central! Seriously, every single shop you could want is right there.
Lastly, we got to enjoy the Wine Blending class thanks to The Grand Bohemian Hotel and had an absolute blast! You get to taste four different grape wines and learn the difference with all of them. After that, you mix three different blends and alter the amounts of what you want in it. We had an intimate class of just 6 people and had a wonderful time getting to know everyone. The instructors who led the class were so helpful, full of knowledge and there to make it nothing short of a super enjoyable time for you!
Once you make your three blends and pick your favorite, the instructor takes your percentages and comes back with your own bottle to take home! The best part is, they ask you for an image, name and saying that you want on it. So we got to use my pictures (recognize them from above?) I had just taken to make our “Discovering Charleston” red wine. We both went with a lighter, red wine that does not linger in your mouth afterwards. I would love to go back and do this with my parents for a fun night out!
Philadelphia Alley was such a treat! The greenery and lighting of it was truly magnificent. We enjoyed walking up and down it to soak up some time on our last day. Lastly, if you are looking for places to say, I have heard wonderful things about The Restoration, Zero George, The Mills House, Grand Bohemian and 86 Cannon.
If you visit Charleston and love something not listed here, we would LOVE to hear what it is so we can add it! I pulled so much inspiration from this beautiful place and I hope you all do to. The beauty is obvious, but the atmosphere is truly one in a million. It is a treat to spend time at and I hope you adventure and soak up every moment of being there.
If you love these tips, pin our guide, so you have it for your next Charleston Adventure!