Sweet Carolin(a)

Print this recipe!
A Visit to Charleston

Summer is fast approaching, and we’re anxiously awaiting the beautiful warm weather!

If you just can’t wait until June, a quick trip down to Charleston might be the perfect solution to whet your appetite.

Charleston is the perfect place for a weekend escape. We love the beautiful weather, quaint historic feel, and amazing food scene.

Plan your trip to the iconic Southern city this Spring, and be sure to check out these places.

 

STAY

When visiting Charleston, you definitely want to stay in the historic downtown district. But you’re not going to find a W Hotel in downtown Charleston. This city is beautiful and filled with old historic buildings, so you’re going to want to stay somewhere with that Southern charm. Check out our recommendations:

The Restoration Hotel – Think about every luxury design magazine you’ve ever coveted. When you arrive at The Restoration, you’ll be shocked to see that it’s literally a magazine spread come to life. The boutique modern luxury hotel is housed in 5 restored historic buildings and is seriously beautiful. In addition to amazing accommodations, the hotel offers chic bike rentals, community lounge areas, a spa, and fun events to get to know Charleston.

Zero George – This luxury hotel is made up of restored historic buildings featuring a beautiful private landscaped courtyard for an authentic Charleston experience. They offer culinary classes and host renowned visiting chefs for a luxury foodie escape.

The Mills House – If you have a friend who’s been to Charleston, especially if it was for a wedding, they probably stayed at Mills House. It’s a large (by Charleston standards) luxury hotel centrally located near major shopping, food, and sight-seeing destinations, and the adorable pink exterior is very ‘grammable.

 

EAT

Charleston is pretty much known as the food capitol of the South. If you’re going to Charleston, you’re going to eat well. So forget that cleanse or detox for the weekend, and indulge in everything delicious the city has to offer.

Charleston City Market – Looking for a quick bite and a uniquely Charleston experience? Check out Charleston’s City Market. It’s right in the heart of the city, perfect for a quick break between site-seeing. There are over 300 local artisans selling food, crafts, and other goods daily.

Eli’s Table – It’s hard to find Southern food that’s vegan friendly, but the team at Eli’s table is great about making it happen. The bold locally-sourced modern Southern fare is delicious, and the atmosphere is perfect for a date night.

Gnome Café – This adorable vegan café in downtown is delicious and super popular with the vegan community. The best part is, they have ALL DAY BREAKFAST!

McCrady’s – So you can’t get into Husk, but really want to try James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock’s food? Check out McCrady’s. They’re serving up contemporary Southern cuisine with a commitment to sustainable ingredients. They source many ingredients from their rooftop garden and other local farmers. You’ll get a taste of history too! In its old days as a tavern George Washington was known to enjoy a few ales in the banquet room.

 

DRINK

You best believe you’ll be sipping on some delicious cocktails to go with all the tasty Southern grub you’ve been eating! Make sure to head downtown to enjoy the booming nightlife scene. There you’ll find tons of fun bars offering sophisticated cocktails, as well as great local wines and even distilleries if that’s your thing.

The Bar at Husk – Unless you’re planning a visit for next year, don’t count on getting a reservation at Husk. No worries though, the bar is an equally memorable experience and serves a small selection from their menu. Located in the building next door, you’ll be met with a fun historic Charleston vibe that goes perfectly with the classic cocktail selection. Be sure to try the Dragoon’s Punch. The recipe was found in historic documents by the Charleston Preservation Society, AND it’s probably the best thing we’ve ever drank.

The Gin Joint – For a serious cocktail experience, check out The Gin Joint. Choose one of their delicious concoctions or throw caution to the wind and order the bartender’s choice. Using the words sour and spicy will get you a tasty creation every time.

Deep Water Vineyard and Firefly Distillery – We’re willing to bet you’ve never had Lowcountry wine before. Deep Water specializes in using a native grape called muscadine, that makes some delicious sweet wines. The vineyard boasts 48 acres of beautiful land to explore just a short drive from the city, and the Firefly Vodka Distillery happens to be there as well.

 

 

SIGHTS

With a full schedule of eating and drinking, make sure to leave some time to explore the city and all of the awesome sites! As one of the first colonial cities in America, and a major shipping port for centuries, there’s no shortage of history and culture to take in. The downtown area is extremely walkable, but there are some cool sites to see outside the city as well.

Oyster Point Historic Walking Tour A walking tour is the best way to see historic Charleston. A great tour guide will offer unique stories, history, and insights to really help you connect with the city. The team at Oyster Point are some of the best, offering small, personalized tours that are interesting, interactive, and fun. Not a fan of tours? We promise, this will change your mind!

Middleton Place The low country is known for some of its beautiful and extravagant plantations. Be sure to visit one while you’re in the area. Most require a short drive, but they’re certainly worth it. Middleton Place is one of the best known, being a National Historic Landmark, with its huge, beautiful gardens and museum. If you’re there on a weekend, expect to see a wedding or two.

Fort Sumter National Monument If you’re a big history buff, you’ll definitely want to check out Fort Sumter. Catch a quick ferry out to the historic battle site to get a history lesson and spectacular views of the city. Still looking for more history? Check out Charles Towne Historic Landing Site for some colonial heritage.

Rainbow Row – You can’t visit Charleston without taking the mandatory pic in front of rainbow row. Chances are your walking tour will take you by this stretch of colorful houses.

 

OUTDOORS

Charleston is in a semi-tropical coastal region, so there are plenty of amazing outdoor activities for anyone looking to spend a day in the sun. There are countless islands, beaches, resorts, and plantations to see outdoors in the area, but here are our top picks:

Kiawah Island –  You’re down South for the warm weather, so you may as well take in some rays on the beach. Kiawah Island is a beautiful barrier island near Charleston offering pristine beaches, dolphin-watching, bike trails, golf, boating, sightseeing, and more.

Angel Oak on John’s Island – The Lowcountry is known for its giant live oak trees, and Angel Oak is one of the most famous and majestic. Just a short way from downtown, the Angel Oak tree has stood for around 400 years. The land surrounding the famous tree has been preserved and turned into a park, so you can walk the trails and take in all of the beautiful trees.

Morris Island Lighthouse – There are some beautiful lighthouses in the Charleston area because of its history as a port. One of the most prominent ones is Morris Island Lighthouse. Erosion has worn away much of the island, making it harder to access and in danger, but Save The Lighthouse has done some great work to preserve the landmark. The only way to visit is through a boat cruise, which will also give you great views of the port and dolphins!