Now that it’s been almost four months (I can’t believe it!) since we moved from San Francisco to Charleston, we’re really starting to feel settled at home. We’ve made a great group of friends, we’ve figured out our daily routine, we’re finally getting back on track with fitness (we just started Orange Theory and we love it), we’ve ridden our bikes all over town and we’ve definitely seen our fair share of brunches, lunches and dinners. Even though it’s a smaller city, it sure doesn’t feel that way. Charleston has so much to offer when it comes to activities, restaurants, arts, shopping and you can’t forget all of the history. While we’re currently working on a much more in-depth Guide to Charleston (coming soon!), we thought we would share our short list for those of you that may be coming for a long weekend or getaway. We’ve been getting lots of requests, so keep reading to see what topped our list…
Enjoy a Cocktail and Dinner at The Ordinary
The Ordinary is our favorite all around dining experience in Charleston. We love sitting at the bar for one of their many delicious rum-based cocktails and whether it’s an appetizer or an entree, you won’t want to miss their seafood.
Rent Bikes and Cruise Around South of Broad
We love a leisurely bicycle ride. If you’re lucky, your hotel will already have bicycles available for you to take out. If not, there are a number of options for rentals. Once you have your bicycle you can cruise through the pristine South of Broad neighborhood – just make sure you take notice of the many one way streets.
Tour a Historic House or Plantation
Charleston is one of the oldest cities in the United States, so naturally it’s full of history lessons to be learned. There are a few historic houses we’ve enjoyed visiting, including the Aiken-Rhett House and the Nathaniel Russell House in Charleston. Or you can visit a few of the historic plantations in the area, such as Magnolia Plantation, Middleton Place or Boone Hall.
Visit the Beach at Sullivan’s Island
If you’re open to an early rise while on vacation, we highly recommend a sunrise stroll on the beach at Sullivan’s Island. If you prefer to stay in bed a little longer, lunch at Obstinate Daughter or Poe’s, followed by a walk on the beach may be an even better option.
Eat Brunch at Butcher & Bee
To some, brunching is considered an important weekly event, often given as much dedication as going to church or watching football. That culture is definitely alive and well here in Charleston. While I normally don’t partake in one of the only forms of socially acceptable drinking before noon, I do love the food. If the toughest decision of the day is deciding between ordering savory or sweet, then you’re probably off to a great start. I always order “Pancakes for the table”, but it’s my way of getting a little bit of both. When craving brunch, more often than not, we find ourselves going to Butcher & Bee. I get the Brown Rice bowl filled with rice, veggies, egg and almond butter, which sounds like an odd addition, but it definitely makes the dish.
Shop on King Street
The King Street fashion district is filled with wonderful little shops and restaurants. Two of my favorite boutiques on King are Hampden Clothing and Lily and two boutique mens shops Thomas likes are M. Dumas & Sons and Grady Ervin. Looking for a quick bite to eat? There is a wonderful dive-in lunch spot off King on George Street called Caviar & Bananas. On Upper King, you’ll find some of our favorites restaurants, bars and shops- Stars, The Darling Oyster Bar, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, Monza, The Daily, Blue Bicycle Books, and Beckett Boutique.
Just off Upper King in the Cannonborough/Elliotborough neighborhoods you can find some really fantastic spots more specifically on Cannon and Spring Streets. Make sure to checkout Xiao Bao Biscuit, Cannon Green, and Five Loaves Cafe. If you’re in the mood for sweets, Sugar Bakeshop always satisfies and across the street you will find an adorable paper shop called Mac & Murphy.