Alex and I have one more big trip on the books for 2013, but it’s not for another month, so I thought I’d hold y’all over (and keep my travel bug in check) with some posts about places we have been in the past. I have had a few friends visit Charleston recently, so I had a list of recommendations ready to go! I adore Charleston and have been craving a return visit ever since our first trip there. The city is very walkable and absolutely gorgeous, so depending on where your hotel is, I would just walk from where you are staying or just park downtown for the day and walk around. Without further ado, here are my suggestions for Charleston.
- 82 Queen is a delicious restaurant that would be a great choice for lunch or brunch. The she crab soup is amazing and aptly named “Award Winning She Crab Soup.” I also love the ambiance. It almost feels like you are at a fancy dinner party in the beautiful home with a gorgeous courtyard and gracious Southern hospitality.
- Social – We went to Social for dinner, where we enjoyed great food and flights of wine. The menu is upscale and European-inspired, but the highlight is the carefully chosen wines. The atmosphere was fun, young, and lively. You could easily just do drinks and appetizers here if you wanted to try another option for dinner.
- The Griffon is a great place to head after dinner for some fun. The Griffon is a dive bar, where you can staple dollars on the wall (this has become something of a tradition for Alex and I). It has a fun, casual atmosphere with great beers in an English pub-style setting.
- Husk – We actually didn’t eat at Husk, but I have to mention it because I have heard such rave reviews. Alex and I tried to go to Husk and just sit at the bar, but couldn’t get in because it was the #1 restaurant in the country at the time. We definitely needed a reservation! Hopefully we can check if off our list on the next visit.
- The Charleston City Market is really fun to walk around and get souvenirs and gifts. They have great jams, dips, grits, and other southern foods, along with many unique gifts. I would grab a coffee and browse all of the great vendors!
- King Street has absolutely fantastic shopping, so don’t forget your credit card! I wanted to go into every single store, but unfortunately didn’t have time. There are some big names like Lilly and M.Dumas as well as smaller boutiques like Lily Charleston, which has great stationary, jewelry, and little gifts. If you are a shopper, plan for a few hours at least!
- Another great activity is to take a walk down by the Battery, learn some history about the part Charleston played in several wars, and see many gorgeous homes. We went at sunset and walked down by the water. If you go during the day, there is a nice, grassy park where you could bring a picnic and relax.
- Since you are in the South (and the home of Rhett Butler for any of you who are GWTW-obsessed, like me), you have to take a tour of one of the many beautiful plantation homes in the area. We visited the Aiken-Rhett house, which while not quite a plantation home, is a beautiful historic home. where you can learn a lot about Charleston history.
- A must-see during any visit in Charleston is the Angel Oak tree, a tree that is estimated to be between 400 and 500 years old. It is almost 70 feet high and has a circumference of almost 30 feet. It is actually on John’s Island, about 20-25 minutes from downtown Charleston, but is well worth the visit!
- Hyman’s Seafood – a more casual seafood restaurant that is part of a business that has been around for almost 90 years. Aaron’s Deli is also nearby if you’re more in the mood for a sandwich.
- Pearlz Oyster Bar – slightly more upscale seafood restaurant with great oysters and happy hour specials.
- SNOB – an eclectic low-country bistro that has won rave reviews and is highly rated.
- The Library – restaurant at the Vendue Inn with a rooftop bar in a very hip area. I have also had a few friends stay at Vendue Inn and have heard great things if you are looking for a centrally located B&B.