I’m SO excited to finally share this post. Last month over Thanksgiving break, my guy & I packed our bags & headed to South Carolina, North Carolina, & Georgia! This was a complete spontaneous trip, planned the month before with a goal of visiting my boyfriend’s family in Charlotte. I’ve never really spent time on the east coast (with the exception of Florida), so I was excited to experience east coast life during fall. We decided to head to Charleston early to experience a city that has recently grown to the top of my travel list. I’m SO glad we did (& you should too) because it was a beautiful city filled with history, architecture, and charm every where we turned. Today, I am going recap the first half of our trip, covering most of our Charleston experience. My second part will be up on the blog later this week, recapping the end of Charleston leg of the trip, our day trip to Savannah, & our time in Charlotte. Thanks for reading & hope you enjoy!
For some brilliant reason, I decided to book the red eye flight out to Charleston & hit the grounding running when we arrived at noon. I always try to maximize our time when going on a trip so I tend to book the first possible flight out and the last possible flight out. I don’t always account for sleep or grumpy boyfriends so this may not have been the best idea. We had two connecting flights (LA –> Dallas –> Charlotte –> Charleston) with less than an hour in between each so we were running through the airport like zombies, in the middle of the night, half asleep. It’s a miracle we even made it!
We landed on Saturday @ noon & immediately headed to brunch at High Cotton. Throughout my research I read that brunch was a must in the South so me being the brunch lover I am was SO excited. I ordered a Sweet Tea & the waiter said “When in the South, right?!” I was already swooning over this city! We dined on the best corn bread I’ve ever had, warm apple donuts (UGH SO GOOD), eggs benedict, & tuna sandwiches. It was the perfect start to the trip. Next time I’m in Charleston, I want to try this place for dinner.
After brunch we wandered around the cobblestone streets, exploring & getting to know the city before checking into our hotel. We strolled along the Waterfront Park & sat, people watching, near the famous Pineapple Fountain. Throughout my time in Charleston, I noticed pineapple symbols were everywhere. I wondered what it meant & after asking around, I learned that pineapples are the symbol of hospitality. Back in the day, when men would come home to Charleston from exotic trips, they would bring home pineapples & display them outside their home, showing the city that they had returned safely. This gesture meant all friends & family were invited to their home to listen to their stories from abroad. This was meant to show affluence & hospitality. I love that pineapples are still a symbol of Charleston today.
We checked into our hotel, the Days Inn. This obviously isn’t the most fancy hotel in the area, but it was perfect! It was the best location we could have asked for & it was cheap which scored major points with TJ. We didn’t spend much time in the room so something quaint & comfortable was perfect for us.
After hours of napping, we got dressed up and headed to King Street for drinks & dinner at The Ordinary where we dined on delicious oysters. You must try the crispy oyster sliders. Fried oysters on Hawaiian rolls. Must I say more? So yummy! Before dinner, we had drinks at Prohibition (I asked the bartender for his favorite & he served me a Sazerac which was amazing) & at The Belmont where I was told it was a must to order an Old Fashioned, so I did & it was delicious. We also sat in a seat that was literally in the window & I couldn’t have been more excited!
The next day we woke up bright & early to learn all about Charleston. We went on a tour through Free Walking Tours by Foot (we also did a tour through them in New Orleans). It’s so great because it’s a “Name your own price” tour & they are really awesome ways to learn about the city you are exploring. I personally love learning all about the history of a city I’m visiting, it gives my trip so much more meaning. & it gives you a lot more insight to the best eats & places to visit.
After our tour, we had Sunday brunch at Poogan’s Porch. I originally wanted to go to Halls Chophouse for their famous Sunday Gospel Brunch. Unfortunately you have to make reservations like SUPER far in advance. I thought we might get back here for lunch another day, but sadly we didn’t-it’s on my list for next time. Poogan’s Porch was an excellent alternative. It’s in the cutest little yellow house (I heard it’s haunted!) where all the seating sections are separated by different rooms. I felt like I was eating in someone’s house! There was a toasty fire roaring in the fire place. After eating the best biscuits I have ever tasted (they were warm & everything!), we dined on chicken & waffles & omelettes. So yummy!
After resting from our food coma back in the room, we explored the City Market (a market & tradition going back to the 1800s). They sell everything from the famous Sweetgrass Baskets, to beautiful Charleston art from local artists, to fun souvenirs you can’t pass up to yummy snacks! We ended up in the Battery where we walked up and down the streets for hours admiring the beautiful houses. Each one was so unique and beautiful, you could feel the history just walking through the streets. I was picking out my house, asking TJ when we could move there. I found the cutest pink house!!
For dinner, we got dressed up & headed to Husk. Seriously. So. Good. We decided to get a few appetizers so we could get the best of the best. After recommendations from the waiter, we ended up with 4 appetizers, drinks, and dessert. Their menu is every changing, truly defining Low Country cuisine. This is definitely a must go to spot if you are ever in the neighborhood.
We ended the night with a ghost tour, exploring the old city jail. We went at 10pm @ night, & I’m not gonna lie…it was SO spooky. I completely recommend going on a ghost tour while in Charleston. With the long history of the city, comes haunting encounters that are fascinating! I didn’t personally experience any paranormal activity, but it was so fun to get a little scared & snuggle up to TJ.
After finally sleeping in (TJ’s idea…not mine) we had breakfast at a restaurant near our hotel called Toast & hit the ground running. We decided to go to a few museums (Charleston has SO many) to learn more about this charming city. We started with a tour at the historic Nathaniel Russell house dating back to the early 1800s. This restored house is absolutely stunning from the amazing spiral staircase in the middle of the home to the formal gardens surrounding the property. I could really feel the history walking around & imagined what it would have been like to live in the 1800s. We toured a pink circular room, where the ladies of the house and their guest would sit & sip tea (& I imagine gossip a lot). This room was made for me & I’m ready to replicate it whenever I buy a house. Seriously SO charming.
Next we hit the Old Slave Mart Museum learning about the dark history behind this beautiful city. Charleston is gorgeous & stunning, but it’s important to understand & remember what happened in this city. It’s so important to remember. After that, we took a boat ride out to For Sumter…regarded as the site where the civil war began. If you think we learned a lot about this city & it’s history…you are SO right. This was just one more fun stop on our history tour through Charleston.
We decided to skip the Uber ride home & walked instead to take in even more of this beautiful city. More & more reasons why I want to move there…TJ better be careful, I might book a one-way flight to Charleston soon. After resting up, we got ready for dinner at SNOB or Slightly North of Broad. I heard they have the best shrimp & grits, so of course I had to try! It was such a romantic atmosphere & evening, one of my favorites in Charleston. One thing I loved about Charleston is the hospitality, everyone is so friendly & helpful! I really felt like I got the best experience possible because of all the wonderful people we met along the way.
After dinner we stopped by Proof for cocktails & a live band. It was so much fun to get out of the cold & listen to the eclectic band in a quaint & cozy bar. Such a fun & lively atmosphere, I could have sat there all night. the Hemingway Daiquiri & the Pink Rabbit were recommended to me for drinks & OMG they were so delish!
There were so many other bars that I had on my list to go to! Sadly, we weren’t able to go to all of them & try their amazing drinks. Always a reason & excuse to go back! These were the ones we missed out on:
Thanks SO much for reading Part 1 of my Charleston adventure. Part 2 will include my final day in Charleston & my favorite meal where we had a really awesome celeb sighting. I’ll also be talking about our day trip to Savannah & our two days in Charlotte.
Hope you enjoyed reading. Have you been to Charleston?! If so, tell me your recommendations! Like I said, I already want to go back & any reason is a good reason!