If you have been following me on social media, then you probably saw that I was in Charleston recently for a girls weekend. Paula, Kendall, Chandler and I met up in Chucktown because it had been far too long since our last weekend together. If you remember, the four of us met via Instagram and spent a weekend together in New Orleans back in December. That weekend, I was able to play hostess and show them around one of my favorite cities, but this time, it was Paula's turn. Paula, the South Carolina native, went to college in Charleston so she said from the beginning that she couldn't wait to show us around the Holy City. So there we were. Four girls, back together. But this time, experiencing one of the most charming cities I've ever been to...Charleston.
Charleston is pretty much an overwhelmingly perfect place. My senses were in overload the entire weekend because I wanted to see, eat and do EVERYTHING. From the delicious dinners we had, to the amazing hotel, Charleston was everything I needed and more. The streets are filled with picturesque corners, and the people were full of southern charm. We were so busy during our trip (Paula did a great job planning!), but there is so much to do there that I honestly could go back and probably experience an entirely different trip! If you are planning a trip to Charleston soon, keep reading to see some of favorites. If you are not planning a trip...you definitely should!
WHERE TO STAY
1. The Restoration Hotel - The Restoration hosted us during our visit and I fell in love. What used to be only condos, this spot has grown into one of the most desired boutique hotels in Charleston. Sitting right off of King Street, the Restoration is not only filled with beautiful rooms/suites, but you can also be entertained at the rooftop pool, rooftop bar/restaurant, or the super cute coffee shop! To top it off, they offer wine and cheese in the lobby every evening, so you know they won my heart! It is crazy because I actually stayed here YEARS ago for my bachelorette trip when it was solely condos. It has grown so much and I LOVE the vibe!
2. Belmond Charleston Place - If you are looking for a larger, upscale stay, this hotel is beautiful. We at lunch at one of their restaurants, The Palmetto Cafe, and it was stunning! Filled with shops, and great food options, the hotel is also located in a great spot!
3. Market Pavilion Hotel - During our weekend, we also visited this spot for a drink at their rooftop bar. It looked like the perfect hotel and I loved the views from up top!
4. Zero George - This is another boutique hotel that I love. It is quaint and absolutely picturesque!
5. The Mills House - When I had researched placed to stay, this one caught my eye because it is pink! Also looks like a great option for a weekend getaway, and like everything else in Charleston, super cute!
6. The Dewberry - I have seen this hotel all over Instagram and love the pictures! Again, a cute option for a weekend getaway, or even a longer stay in the Holy City!
EAT & DRINK
1. Leon's Oyster Shop - This was Paula and I's first stop after leaving the airport because I was hungry! We grabbed two seats at the bar and ordered us a froze (yes please!) while we decided on food. Per her recommendation, we got an order of the char-grilled oysters and split the chicken sandwich and it was DELICIOUS!
2. R. Kitchen - Also know as Rutledge Kitchen, this was one of the coolest restaurants I have been to. Apparently it is difficult to get a reservation there, but we were able to snag on out of the patio. So the idea behind this little joint is "family style." Everyone in the restaurant is served at the same time (it might hold 20 people) and the chef comes out to tell you about each dish. Whatever is on the menu is what you are going to get but it is SO GOOD!
3. Husk - Tucked away on a small street in Charleston, Husk looks like what you would imagine Charleston to be. It is a cute little house with few tables, but definitely fulfill your needs food and drink wise. We ended up here after our dinner at R. Kitchen to have a little post meal cocktail. Per the usual for the four of us, we ended up enthralled in conversation and ordered a late night snack of some sausage & cheese dip. If that is a testament to their dinner menu then I would say you need to try it!
5. Chez Nous - Okay, so this place pulled at my heartstrings a bit. Again, this restaurant is located in a small house and has few table so definitely make a reservation. But y'all, it is a super cute French restaurant where the chef HAND WRITES the menu! I mean, the menu was BEAUTIFUL and made my experience so personal. I loved every minute of this dinner. Because Chez Nous is a smaller venue, the menu is limited so go in to it with an open mind!
6. Basic Kitchen - The little spot is right across the street from The Restoration so on Saturday before our bike ride, we stopped in for brunch. Not only is it super cute inside, but the food is healthy and delicious! Also try some of their drinks because the juice is fresh!
7. The Palmetto Cafe - As mentioned above, the restaurant is located inside the Belmond Charleston Place. With a ton of natural light, the spot is not only tasty, but it is beautiful as well!
8. Tratorria Lucca - This might have been one of my favorite meals just because I LOVE Italian. The pasta was so fresh and delicious I could have eaten several courses!
9. The Rise Coffee Bar - Also located in the Restoration, the is the coffee bar of my dreams. It is cute, picturesque and has great coffee when you need a pick me up!
NEED TO MAKE PLANS?
1. King Street - Just go shopping. King Street is FILLED with adorable boutiques and well known shoppes to fulfill all of your shopping needs!
2. Take a Bike Ride! - The Restoration Hotel provides bikes for the their guests, so grab your friends and hit the town for the perfect scenic tour!
3. Get Out on the Water - Foster Yacht & Marine Sales was kind enough to host us for a day on the water. If you missed my Instagram stories during the trip, head to my highlights to see how much fun we had! From pictures on the water to our own dance party, it was the perfect day!
4. Take a Tour - There are SO many things to see in Charleston so get out there! You can visit churches, neighborhoods or whatever your heart desires on a variety of tours!
5. Sullivan's Island - So while we were out on the boat, we road by but it is SO cute! Head on over for the day, or stay a while and enjoy the sunshine and water!
When I tell you Charleston was an absolute dream, I cannot express enough how much I loved it. It was everything you hear about and more. It was charming. It was picturesque. It was lively. It was perfect. And the company made it that much better. Stay tuned for more of our travels, but for now, I hope you enjoy Charleston!
Photos by Chandler Grace Photography