I’ve got vacation on my mind lately – but really, who doesn’t this time of year?? I actually travel a bit (surprisingly often for a Seattle working mom). Both my husband and I are California natives and, with our families spread out between the Golden State (I am from Northern California – there is a distinction) and Arizona, we travel to these two beautiful states several times a year. However, last year I had the pleasure of vacationing in several seriously lovely locales including Santa Barbara (I know, California), London, and Charleston.
Charleston was seriously one of my most favorite destinations…EVER. I know, bold statement. The food, the history, the culture, the beach, the food…it’s all amazing and definitely worthy of a trip down to Dixie. Below I am sharing a quick sampling of where we stayed, what we ate, and what we did on our extended girl’s weekend last May (simply the perfect time to go – not too hot and without any threat of hurricane season).
Where To Stay
Accommodations are aplenty; from charming B&B’s to beachfront rentals, you are sure to find something to please you in Charleston. I was traveling with 8 college girlfriends, so we found a place large enough to fit all of us comfortably on Home Away. Many of us were traveling from the Pacific Northwest ( with easy direct flights from Seattle available on Alaska), so we were interested in some chill, beach time in the sunshine. Charleston offers so many opportunities to be near the water – we choose to stay south of the city at Folly Beach on James Island. A very easy drive (about 20 minutes) into Charleston proper, but laid back and relaxing right on a flat, sandy beach with the gentle Atlantic outside
Where To Eat
Not the shrimp n’ grits or fried fare you may imagine when you think of Southern cuisine, Charleston is a mecca to delight your tastebuds with fresh ingredients, modern fusions, and, of course, off-the-charts fresh seafood.
High Cotton Fine dining, this was our special night out celebrating our “milestone birthday”
Poogan’s Porch We ate here for brunch, I had the fried chicken and sweet potato waffle…delish!
Butcher and Bee Farm-to-table fresh and healthy fare. Nursing a hangover, I had green juice and a brown rice bowl that was tdf.
Lewis BBQ Fantastically messy Austin-style BBQ in a beautiful outdoor/indoor setting.
McCrady’s Tavern Hard to choose a favorite, but this was one for the record books. The delicious fare and craft cocktails combined with the cellar-like brick and hardwood ambiance made for a perfect meal.
Cru Cafe Quintessential modern Souther dining, we had an amazing lunch here among many locals.
What To Do
Charleston has a so much to offer; which is the very reason we choose this city to vacation with a large party. From the aforementioned beaches to the amazing historic architecture, there is something for everyone! While the natural beauty of Charleston harbor is a major draw, the history of the “holy city” (named for the number of churches) is something you must explore.
Boone Hall There are several plantation tours available. We chose Boone Hall for it’s proximity to Charleston and the fact that so much of the property has been restored. We took a guided tour, which I highly recommend, and there were also several programs that were interesting to witness. The slave tour was particularly moving.
Walking Tour The walking tour was one of my favorite things that we did while on our trip. Our tour guide was incredibly knowledgeable, and the walking tour is a really great way to get a sense of the Charleston’s rich history. You meander down cobblestone streets and learn interesting facts like how these “front doors” on the street lead to an interior porch and a second door that leads to the home. These porches fave lush gardens with plenty of huge live oaks providing shade on humid afternoons. Seriously, Charleston is a architecture treasure trove!
Where To Shop
King Street offers your shops aplenty from your Anthropologie and J.Crew to more local finds. Although more touristy, there are plenty of good coffee, home interior gems, and food (not to mention people watching). Antique shopping is also amazing in Charleston. Because of the nature of our trip, we didn’t spend a lot of time exploring antique shops but this is on the top of my list when we return.
Two Cumberland This small boutique in an upstairs space off of King Street. Fun, local jewelry, and unique resort wear favoring the southern climate.
Maris Dehart This beautiful store is located near the waterfront. Offering fun accessories (I bought the flat-brimmed straw hat I wore throughout the trip) and a great selection of apparel, this store is definitely worth perusing.
Find out more about what I packed for our trip to Charleston in my previous post.
Want to see more travel content? I’m hoping to share our trip to London soon. Leave me a comment with any suggestions. Thanks for reading! ~Jenn