Charleston - what can I say? You're a gem.
If you're looking for somewhere beautiful, charming, relaxing, delicious & quaint, Charleston is the place for you.
We stayed at a hotel in North Charleston, but I would suggest staying closer to the city center. The city is very walkable, and you'd be able to function without a rental car.
We could not have asked for better weather! Highs in the 60's, I'll take that any day of the week.
My favorite part of the weekend was simply wandering around. All of the houses have these huge two-story porches that face the water. There are a ton of historic homes and they're all gorgeous. Matt and I just walked up and down every street, picking out our favorites and what we'd change on the less desirable ones (there were very few).
Saint Alban. This place is less than a month old, but one of the cutest coffee shops I've ever been in. It's a little north of the city center, so you'll need to be ok with a longer walk or drive there :)
Black Tap. Pour overs for days. A great cortado. A Charleston classic. Definitely go! (And stop by the Old City Jail while you're over there!)
Bakehouse Bakery Cafe. After you hit up Rainbow Row, make sure you grab a treat at Bakehouse. Super cute atmosphere and delicious baked goods.
FOOD & DRINKS
A note to vegetarians - there is a LOT of meat in Charleston's food. Check ahead and ask if they can take the pork out of everything :)
Stars Rooftop & Grill. I loved the Kale Salad & Mushroom Bruschetta... YUM. They also had really great craft cocktails. Grab a drink after dinner and go up to their rooftop bar! It's open til 2am and they have a lot of big heaters :)
McCrady's. A great farm-to-table restaurant with a rotating menu. Very cozy inside. Also, they give you a little treat at the end of your meal, which is such a fun touch :)
Taco Boy. AWESOME a la cart taco menu. The Baja Fish was a favorite! Not to mention they have a great outdoor patio area (we sat inside because it was full, but they had all the windows open and it was wonderful!) We were at the Charleston location, but they also have one on Folley Beach.
The Obstinate Daughter. This place is on Sullivan's Island, and was decorated in the most adorable nautical style - not overly kitchy, just beautiful. We came here for brunch, and we were NOT disappointed. Matt ordered the Apple French Toast, and I can confidently say it was the best french toast I've ever tasted. I always opt for savory over sweet, but this is one time I feel I made the wrong decision (full disclosure, everything we ordered was good).
While You're on Sullivan's Island, take a walk on the beach from the lighthouse. You get a great view of Charleston from this beach. It was a little chilly for laying out, so we took a walk with our coffee instead. It was beautiful!
A few tips:
- A rental car might be worth it for the option to take a trip to the beach. We didn't make it to Folly Beach this time, but we loved Sullivan's Island! I would still rent even if we stayed downtown.
- Select a hotel/Airbnb downtown
- Bring quarters. Most of the street parking is metered Monday-Saturday.
- Don't eat too much in one sitting. There are SO many great places, choose coffee, brunch, lunch, snacks, drinks, and dinner at different locations.