Charleston Travel – 48 Hours in James Island, SC – New Year’s Eve

You may have noticed that I have been a bit behind on blogging about my travels. Not to worry though, I am almost caught up just in time to begin our 2016 travels (more on that later). For now, we are going to talk about our New Years Eve weekend spent in James Island, South Carolina near Charleston. We spent the weekend with my brother-in-law and future sister-in-law who moved to the area late last summer. They are fantastic hosts and showed us an amazing time! We adore these two and couldn’t think of a better way to kick off a new year than with them! Thanks, Max and Samantha!

Also, if you happen to be planning a wedding in the Charleston area, don’t look farther than Chancey Charm, which is run by my beautiful and talented sis-to-be. She knows all of the ins and outs of the industry and will help you plan the perfect event!

Alex and I with Samantha and Max on New Year's Eve
Alex and I with Samantha and Max on New Year’s Eve at Brickhouse
Canopy road in James Island
Gorgeous canopy road in James Island

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After the three-hour drive from Jacksonville (we spent the night there to break up the drive), we arrived hungry and immediately went for lunch and Holy City Brewery beers at The Southern General. The Southern General has delicious craft sandwiches served in a setting that makes you feel like you just walked into the local general store. The restaurant features a bar, small seating area, and “store” filled with freshly pickled items, candied nuts, and homemade sauces. What to order: Start with the cheese curds and then have the Southern Pot Roast with a cucumber salad on the side.

Pot Roast Sandwich
Southern Pot Roast sandwich

Next, we drove five minutes down the road to the famous Angel Oak. Estimated to be over 1500 years old, this is probably the largest live oak that you will ever see and is allegedly the oldest tree east of the Rocky Mountains. There is no charge to see the tree, but expect a small crowd and signs reminding visitors not to touch or climb the tree.

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On our way to downtown Charleston, we stopped at the Magnolia Cemetery for some South Carolina history. The Magnolia Cemetery opened in 1850 and is the resting place of many important Charlestonians and South Carolinians. It is one of the country’s most beautiful examples of Victorian cemetery design. The grounds, filled with nice paths, ponds, and trees, are a lovely place to take a walk or drive. –

After taking a spin through the cemetery, we drove five minutes to the oldest brewery in South Carolina, the Palmetto Brewing Co, for a flight of local beer before playing a game of cornhole while enjoying the live music outside. What to try: Whatever is on tap that day!

Palmetto Brewery
Palmetto Brewery

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Since we arrived on New Year’s Eve, we planned to spend the evening at an event at Brickhouse. We had one of the best New Year’s Eves I’ve ever had and spent the night shucking oysters, dancing under the stars to live music, and enjoying the photo booth. Not to worry-even if you aren’t in town for the holiday, you can still have dinner and enjoy live music at the “party plantation.” The Brick House is located in a historic farm-house under a canopy of live oaks and the restaurant features “coastal comfort” cuisine. The grounds are also available for event rental.

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Photo booth fun:

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The next day, my future sister-in-law and I sweated out our NYE indulgence with a barre class at Studio Barre. I can’t say enough positive things about this studio. I’ve taken barre at a few different studios and this was definitely one of my favorites. The owner Tara was so friendly and welcoming and our instructor Liz, was energetic and encouraging throughout the class! We got a great workout and even made it on the news to talk about starting the new year on a healthy note!

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After the tough class, we were ready for breakfast and went to Bagel Nation, a favorite for students and locals alike. The bagel sandwiches were delicious, but I would recommend going at an off time because it was packed and we ended up having quite a wait. Another nearby breakfast option is Baguette Magic. It was closed on New Years Day, but is definitely on my list for the next trip.

Another neighborhood to explore in the greater Charleston area is Folly Beach. The town has such a fun and laidback beach vibe. We spent New Year’s Day afternoon there watching the famous New Year’s Day Polar Plunge where everyone dresses up like their favorite Bill Murray character (if you didn’t know, he is a Charleston resident!). After that, we watched college football bowl games over craft beers at Snapper Jack’s.

Polar Plunge
Polar Plunge
Watching the Gators at Snapper Jacks
Watching the Gators at Snapper Jacks

When you visit the area, you’ll of course want to see some of historic downtown Charleston. I previously wrote a more detailed post focused on the downtown area here. Since we spent most of our time in James Island on this particular trip, we just did a quick stroll through the Charleston City Market. With a large selection of unique items offered by local artisans, the City Market is a great place to pick up some souvenirs or gifts for friends and family back home.

Downtown Charleston (United States Custom House)
Downtown Charleston (United States Custom House)

Because it was New Year’s Day, most of the shops on King Street were closed, so we walked through the beautiful Ansonborough neighborhood before heading back to James Island for dinner. Some of the homes in the neighborhood date back as far as the 1700s, although many of the oldest homes were destroyed in the great fire of 1838. However, most of the homes were built during the mid 1800’s and have been restored within the last 50 years. Definitely make time to walk through this charming neighborhood!

We had dinner at the James Island neighborhood favorite, the Bohemian Bull. The restaurant boasts that it uses local vendors as much as possible and was packed with local diners. The food was delicious and hearty and I’ve made it my mission to learn how to make their recipe for the Honey-Basil Suckle cocktail. The restaurant also features a large outdoor area that would be fantastic for a large group event, complete with lighting and lawn games. What to order: Caprese Burger with a Honey-Basil Suckle cocktail

Inside the Bohemian Bull
Inside the Bohemian Bull
Outside seating
Outside seating

Although we didn’t have time to visit them, I also want to mention White Duck Taco and Taco Boy if you are in the mood for (take a wild guess) tacos! Both come highly recommended for both the food and atmosphere. I can’t wait to return to James Island/Charleston. A taco night will definitely be on the agenda!

Thanks again to Max and Samantha for hosting us and spending their New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day with us! We had a wonderful time and can’t wait to visit again soon.

Heading out of Charleston, we stopped at this cute little market. I adore the South!
Heading out of Charleston, we stopped at this cute little market. I adore the South!

Check back in next week for some tips for a trip to our nation’s capital! 

RECAP:
Eat/Drink
The Southern General, 3157 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island, SC 29455
Holy City Brewery, 4155 Dorchester Rd, Charleston, SC 29405
Palmetto Brewing Co, 289 Huger St, Charleston, SC 29403
Brick House, 920 W Lincoln Ave, Charleston, IL 61920
Bagel Nation, 520 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412
Snapper Jack’s, 10 Center St, Folly Beach, SC 29439
Bohemian Bull, 1531 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412
White Duck Taco, 792 Folly Rd, James Island, SC 29412
Taco Boy, 15 Center St, Folly Beach, SC 29439

Do
Magnolia Cemetery, 70 Cunnington Ave, North Charleston, SC 29405
Studio Barre, 1956 Maybank Hwy, Charleston, SC 29412
Charleston City Market, 188 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401

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