Oh Charleston! What a fun trip. As I mentioned in my blog last week, my best friend and I take a trip down South every year. This year was a city I’ve been dying to visit, Charleston. We arrived mid-day Friday and left Monday morning which was the perfect amount of time.
Since I had such a great time on my trip, I wanted to share what we did in case you’re looking to go to Charleston.
Where We Stayed
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel– Normally we stay in AirBnB’s on our trips, but I couldn’t be happier that we stayed at the Mills House Hotel. This gorgeous pastel pink hotel is located right around the corner from some must-go-to restaurants (Pogan’s Porch, Husk, 82 Queen) and right in the heart of Downtown.
Things to Do
I recommend starting your trip with a carriage ride. We booked a last-minute ride after lunch on Friday afternoon with Charleston Carriage Works (only $26). This lasted an hour as the horse drawn carriage and guide take you through the streets of Historic Downtown. It’s great because you are not only learning about the history of the streets, homes, and city, but you are also getting a sense for where everything is located. If you’re lucky you will get Matthew as your tour guide. He did a great job!
Shopping on King Street is a must! Even if you are just window shopping. There are so many cute shops – from chain stores you can fine at your local mall to cute local boutiques.
Enjoy the beautiful weather by walking around. Make sure to check out Rainbow Row and view all the pretty pastel colored buildings. From there you can walk along the waterfront until you hit Battery & White Point Gardens. You can also take a stroll back up the waterfront to see the Famous Pineapple Fountain.
Places to Grab a Drink
On a nice sunny day, Henry’s On The Market has a really cool rooftop that has 2 different floors and mismatched tables and chairs.
Another good rooftop is Stars Rooftop Bar & Grill Room. They also have an area with plastic coverings in case it rains or gets a little cold.
If you’re looking for a dive bar, you will want to check out The Griffon. This bar is COVERED in dollars. It’s pretty cool!
Prohibition has great cocktails and live music! We also had a very friendly bartender who took the time to give us recommendations on places to go in the city.
We spent a good chuck of Sunday at King Street Dispensary watching the football games that were on. Earlier in the day there was a live musician playing covers and getting every one pumped it. It was a lot of fun. I also recommend the burrata and the pretzels if you decide to stay for some food!
Lastly, if you are looking for a fun place to go out at night, check out Uptown Social. We were warned ahead of time it’s a huge college bar, but the DJ upstairs played throwbacks from the 90s through mid-2000s and it was a blast!
Places to Eat
When we first arrived, we headed straight to Jestine’s Kitchen for lunch. We split the cornbread (which was to die for), fried green tomatoes, and fried chicken. This was some of the best fried chicken I’ve had!
For dinner on the first night we went to The Darling Oyster Bar. I don’t eat fish, so I didn’t try the oysters, but my friend said they were very good. We split the hush puppies and I got the fried chicken sandwich (which was delicious).
We started Saturday off by going to brunch at Pogan’s Porch. Like many restaurants in Charleston, this one is located in an old home. You are greeted with complimentary giant crumbly biscuits as you wait for your food. My friend and I both ordered their Down Home Breakfast: Two Eggs Any Style, Choice Of Home Fries or Grits, Sausage or Applewood Bacon, & Side of Fruit.
After soaking up the sun and enjoying the warm weather on Saturday, we headed to Leon’s Oyster Shop for a light afternoon snack. We had a very late dinner reservation that night so we needed something to hold us over. This place is an old auto body shop-turned restaurant. My friend ordered the oysters, we split the hush puppies (which she said were the best she’s ever had), and I got the avocado toast.
We really wanted to check out Husk one night, but the only reservation we could book last minute was 10pm on Saturday. We went over early to grab drinks at their bar next door. This building was a tiny barn-like house turned into a bar. When it was time for dinner, my friend ordered their grilled octopus and I had their NC chicken. The chicken was very good, but I was unable to finish it since they gave me 2 pieces of chicken.
Sunday’s brunch was at 82 Queen. Their brunch menu is more of a lunch menu rather than the traditional breakfast type foods, but it was still delicious! We split an order of the biscuits (which came with 6 biscuits), I got the chicken salad wrap, and my friend had their famous she crab soup and a side of grits.
After the games on Sunday we grabbed a late dinner at Edmund’s Oast. We were the last people there, but the bartender was very kind and didn’t try to rush us along at all. Since we already snacked on the burrata and pretzels at King Street Dispensary, I just ordered a cheese board, my friend had the octopus, and we split some fries.
Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit is a great place to grab different flavored biscuits if you’re looking for a mid-afternoon snack. We each tried the buttermilk, the cinnamon, and the cheese and chive biscuits. If you can’t tell by now, my friend and I love biscuits!
On our last day we didn’t have too much time to grab a sit-down meal for breakfast. Instead we ordered take out from Eli’s Table (around the corner from our hotel). I ordered their Avocado Egg Sandwich which is served on a croissant (my mouth is watering just thinking about it) and my friend got a biscuit, fruit, and a side of grits.
If you love Southern food and visiting warm cities during cold winters, I highly recommend Charleston! However, if you have already been to Charleston and looking for other places to visit, you can check out my previous trip reviews. Check them out here: Nashville/Kentucky Derby, Savannah, and New Orleans. As for 2020, my friend and I are going to mix up our annual trip. It’s still up in the air, but chances are I may be visiting her while she spends 6 months working in Hong Kong!
Comment below if you have any fun cities to recommend!