Amazing food, historical landmarks, and endless Instagram-able spots…I had SUCH a fun time in Charleston. This was my first trip to the South, and it did not disappoint. We took two days off work, getting in around 7:45pm on Thursday and leaving late Sunday afternoon. It’s such a quaint town and I can’t wait to go back and explore more.
»DAYS IN HISTORIC DISTRICT: We stayed at the Days Inn Historic District in Charleston. It wasn’t anything to write home about, but it was pretty reasonably priced and central for everywhere we were looking to check out.
»PAW PAW: We ate our first meal at PawPaw on East Bay Street, a spot we walked to from our hotel. We split the hushpuppies, brussels sprouts (of course) and crispy tuna bites which were all amazing. Did I mention they have Rosé (in fact, multiple other wines) on tap?
»HALLS CHOPHOUSE: After Paw Paw, we Ubered to our second reservation at Halls Chophouse. Even at 9:45pm on a Thursday, this place was BUSY! We walked in and were greeted by a piano player/singer. The restaurant is family owned, so there’s a warm, welcoming feeling the second you walk in; and the staff are constantly coming by each table to make sure you’re having a perfect time. As if the service and atmosphere wasn’t enough, the food was amazing. We ordered the Crab Cakes, Creamy Mashed Potatoes, and Fried Green Tomatoes – all three equally as to die for as the other. For drinks, we got the Pomelo Fizz.
»JOHN KING GRILL + BAR: Though I felt I could’ve stayed at Hall’s the whole night, we ventured next door to JohnKing Grill + Bar for a change of atmosphere. We caught the end of the basketball game and chatted with a few locals that weren’t shy in giving us a few more recommendations for the remainder of our trip in Charleston.
»HOMINY GRILL: We took the advice we received from multiple people the night before and went to Hominy Grill for breakfast. It was a little distant from most things we wanted to check out, so I would probably plan differently next time we go. We ordered the Nasty Biscuit and Goat Cheese/Veggie Omelet. The Omelet was a special, so I’m not sure how often it’s on the menu. If you ever have the chance to order this, I would highly recommend. Call us crazy, but we both preferred the omelet to the apparently award winning Nasty Biscuit. In addition to that, the Bloody Mary was pretty tasty.
»KING’S STREET: We decided we wanted to walk off our breakfast and used that as an excuse to get in some sight-seeing along the way. We headed down to King Street, stopping through a few little shops here and there.
»CRAFTSMEN KITCHEN + TAP HOUSE: By the time we hit the next area we wanted to explore, Market Street, we were well overdue for a drink. We went into Craftsmen Kitchen and Tap House and got a Bloody Mary.
»PORT OF CHARLESTON + WATERFRONT PARK + PINEAPPLE FOUNTAIN: After enjoying our drink, we walked around Port of Charleston and took pictures along Waterfront Park, including Pineapple Fountain
»OLD EXCHANGE + PROVOST: We checked out the Old Exchange and Provost, which was interesting, but I probably would’ve skipped.
»RAINBOW ROW: We ventured down Rainbow Row. Great place to take super colorful pictures! After that, we did a lot more wandering/walking. I loved looking at all the old houses. This place is full of history.
»MAC’S : On our walk to dinner the night before, we passed by this bar that had a ton of arcade games inside, Mac’s. We decided to check that out before we went back to the hotel before dinner. Such a fun spot!
»VENDUE ROOFTOP: Our happy hour was at Vendue Rooftop and it had amazing views of the city. We got there a little before the sunset, so got the best of both day/night views. For apps, we ordered the Crab and Artichoke dip and Fish Tacos and got the Moonshine Margarita to drink. It was a super fun vibe too.
»THE MACINTOSH: We capped our second night in Charleston at The Macintosh, where they were still serving happy hour. We got Potatots, Scallops, Toast, Salad, and Quesadilla.
»CHARLESTON FARMER’S MARKET: The Charleston Farmer’s Market happens every Saturday. There were tons of great stands – everything from coffee, juices, snacks, clothing, and home goods!
»RENT A CAR: There were a few spots we wanted to see outside the city, so we decided to rent a car for easier access. Renting a car and driving around is definitely something I highly recommend. It’s also something I want to try and do every time we visit a new spot. You’re able to see even more of the spot you’re visiting.
»ANGEL OAK: We made our way to Angel Oak, a massive tree that’s said to be 400-500 years old. It was definitely a cool spot for photos, though it was hard to get one with just the tree since there were so many tourists. From there, we made a big tourist mistake and went to Cypress Gardens, which has apparently been closed for awhile. Cypress Gardens is the gorgeous lake where Noah and Allie go in The Notebook. My high school self was NOT happy we weren’t able to see this!
»BOONE HALL PLANTATION: Even though we didn’t get to Cypress Gardens, we did make it to Boone Hall Plantation. This is probably one of the most famous and photographed plantation in the country. The grounds are pretty big, so definitely fun to do some exploring and get submerged in the history. It’s also one of the other filming spots of The Notebook.
»SULLIVAN’S ISLAND: Our last stop before heading into the city was Sullivan’s Island. This was a spot that was on my list, but we honestly almost skipped because we didn’t think we had enough time. I’m SO happy we didn’t. Maybe I’m biased because I’m from Southern CA and love anywhere by the beach, but this was definitely one of my favorite parts of our trip. It was such a peaceful town and I wish we had planned to spend more time there.
»OBSTINATE DAUGHTER | SULLIVAN’S ISLAND: We ate lunch at Obstinate Daughter and ordered the Farro Brussels and Rutledge Pizza-AMAZING.
»BEARDCAT’S SWEET SHOP | SULLIVAN’S ISLAND: We topped our lunch off with some Brown Sugar and Biscotti Almond gelato from Beardcat’s Sweet Shop. DELICIOUS.
»HENRY’S HOUSE: We had put our name down at 5Church and decided to stroll around Market Street, where we found a cool looking bar called Henry’s House. We had no idea they have happy hour from 5-8pm DAILY, so after getting our $21 bill for 3 drinks, we decided to get two more. They also have live music in the upstairs section starting at 10pm and you can also arrange for bottle service.
»5CHURCH: We headed back to 5Church for our appetizers and ordered the Tuna Tartare and Creamy Mashed Potatoes (in addition to a few drinks). This spot was super lively and the decor is amazing. It’s a former church (couldn’t have guessed by the name) turned restaurant/cocktail bar so you can imagine there is tons of decor to look at while stuffing your face.
»HIGH COTTON: After our first round of food, we headed to High Cotton, which came HIGHLY recommended to us. We weren’t overly hungry, so we ordered the calamari, fried oysters, and I got a salad with a side of Ranch. Could’ve easily been the three drinks I had, but I swear it was one of the best Ranch dressings I’ve ever had.
»S.N.O.B.: We ended our evening at S.N.O.B., an old warehouse turned bistro. We sat at the bar, split the Banana Cream Pie, and each ordered an Espresso Martini.
»HOT LITTLE BISCUIT: We took the local’s advice and placed an order online so we could cut the line. I knew we had a few additional spots we wanted to try, so we decided to keep it light and only get 2 biscuits (I could’ve easily had 2 more). We tried the Cheesy Chive biscuit with the Savory Thyme Butter + just a plain biscuit with Carolina Honey and Homemade Jam. As expected, both were melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
»HALLS CHOPHOUSE: We headed back to Halls Chophouse for their gospel brunch. SO – I’m not one to go back to the same place more than once during a trip, however, 1. We heard the Gospel Brunch was a must (especially going to a Gospel Brunch in Charleston) and 2. I literally had dreams about those crab cakes (and still do). We sat at a high-top and enjoyed insanely delicious popovers + their famous Bloody’s as we waited to place our order. I naturally ordered the Crab Cake Benedict. The gospel singers and piano player added another solid Southern touch. Halls does a great job of taking a classy environment and warm, family feel and blending them together. To top it off, we tried the Caramel cake, which was a heavenly end to our meal experience.
»FLEET’S LANDING: From there, we Ubered back to Market Street and walked around a little more. We ended up going back to Mac’s, the arcade bar, which we then found out was a Chicago Bears bar. The last stop on our agenda was Fleet’s Landing. We ordered the Hushpuppies and Shrimp & Grits, both I would highly recommend.