Charleston has been my favorite southern city since I first visited over fifteen years ago. The colors, architecture and history of this place call to me (plus the food is pretty amazing). Last month I visited again for my annual girls trip with my law school bestie, and was as enchanted with Charleston as always.
I think one of the best things to do in Charleston is to wander the streets, alleys, nooks and crannies around the historic houses south of Calhoun Street.
I love reading the historic plaques outside these pretty pastel homes dating back to the 1700 and 1800’s. I don’t have any one route that I recommend, but do suggest you make your way all the way south to Battery Park and back.
Now with smart phones, you can wander until you get lost and easily make your way back again. During your walk, make your way down East Bay Street ro find the miss the colorful photo ops on Rainbow Row (between Elliott and Tradd streets).
Tradd Street, Church Street and Waterfront Park are a few of my other favorites to check out. (I could post a million photos of Charleston style porches and window boxes here.)
All the pretty gemstone colors of Charleston inspired me wear a pretty pink dress. This Maternity Tank Dress comes in six colors, runs true to size and is available for only $32 on Amazon. I’ve linked the dress HERE.
If you are looking for some live retail therapy, make your way to King Street.
There you will find lots of modern shops and restaurants, but be aware that many of the stores have limited hours and close by 7pm. If you are looking for more authentic Charleston arts and crafts, head east on Market Street to the booths and kiosks in the old Charleston City Market. (Don’t miss one of the Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits inside- the cinnamon ones are my favorite!)
If you’d prefer to ride and not walk, you can catch a horse drawn carriage by the Charleston City Market, and there are bikes available for rent in the city too.
There are lots of beautiful hotels in Charleston, large and small. I prefer to stay somewhere that is authentic to the area that I’m visiting, so this trip we picked the historic Zero George.
0 George Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
This sixteen room boutique hotel consists of three main structures built around 1805 that surround an intimate courtyard. Each of these structures has been beautifully restored, and I feel in love with the original pine floors in our room. The rooms boasted the perfect combination of vintage charm with all of the modern updates you would hope for.
Zero George offers guests these pretty teal bikes to ride about town. My friend Jen was ready to go, but this belly had different ideas this trip.
Each morning we ate at ton at the amazing complimentary breakfast (including some of Callie’s Hot Biscuits), and at night the bar offered a complimentary wine and cheese selections to its guests. This time around my baby belly had extra cheese and no booze, but I am dying to come back just to have a chance to sit out in the veranda with a glass of wine.
Below is a small list of some of my favorites places to grab a bite to eat. I didn’t have time to eat my way through any more restaurants and I won’t recommend somewhere I haven’t tried. A few restaurants to add to your list:
- One Broad Street: Downtown, open for breakfast, lunch, happy hour and early dinner. Boasts coffee and boozy drinks. Get the Crispy Rice, you won’t be sorry.
- Butcher & Bee: Mile or two from downtown, but worth a small uber ride. Uses locally sourced ingredients. Try the whipped feta with fermented honey for an appetizer.
- Magnolias. Located downtown and always packed for dinner, so make a reservation in advance. Order the shecrab soup, and the pimento cheese dish has been featured on the Food Network.
- Callies Hot Little Biscuits. In Charleston, locations include King Street and Charleston City Market. Totally down for a pimento cheese biscuit, but I scarfed a ton of the hot cinnamon ones down back at my hotel.
And just a few more of my favorite photos from the trip: