Last weekend I did a girls’ trip to Charleston, SC with my sister and 2 best friends. You may have seen some of it if you follow along with me on Instagram. This is our third annual girls’ trip . Last year we went to Santa Barbara, CA. You can see that travel guide here. I was the only one who had been to Charleston before. My husband and I went to a Garth Brooks concert there a few years ago, but going there on a girls’ trip was a completely different experience and we had the best time. It’s the most charming and dreamy city with beautiful architecture, great southern food and so much history. I’m sharing where we stayed, where we ate and what we did. I hope this helps you if you take a trip there.
We found a really great place on Airbnb to stay without really knowing much about the area that we were going to be in. Turns out, it was perfect! We LOVED the location and the house was really cute.
The house had 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. It fit the 4 of us perfectly. And although we didn’t use the kitchen for cooking, it had a great kitchen and dining space. There was not a yard, but it had a cute balcony with 4 rocking chairs. If the weather wasn’t quite so warm, I think we would have used it a little more.
Our unit was above a cute (and delicious!) cafe and when they opened you could hear some music and talking. I use a sleep fan app at night, so it didn’t bother me too much. The location was great – super close to a few coffee shops, walking distance to great restaurants and bars and not too far at all from the water. I would definitely recommend a stay here.
Charleston has a great food and drink scene. And we definitely ate at some great restaurants! From oysters to fried green tomatoes – we had all sorts of delicious food. Well, some of us (me!) thought oysters were delicious. It wasn’t for everyone! 🙂 There were so many recommendations that we got that we didn’t get to try, so I will share those as well. And there were some places we ate that I maybe wouldn’t go back to and I’ll let you know what those were as well.
Revival is where we had dinner the first night. We had a super early flight and we didn’t eat much from the morning until dinner, so we were starving. That being said, we didn’t love the food here. We thought it was okay, but it didn’t wow us. Apparently they opened pretty recently and that might be working through some kinks still. We all started with the she crab soup and we tried the shrimp and grits, the halibut and some cocktails. The cocktails were good and we enjoyed those.
The place we stayed was right above Harken Cafe. You could not beat the convenience and luckily it was also do delicious. We went there for breakfast on our first morning and we tried all the things. I loved the turmeric chai latte with oatmilk. Definitely get the cheddar scallion scone with the honey butter and compote and the seasonal quiche.
We stopped in this cute artisnal cheese shop and grabbed some cheese, crackers and wine. The staff was super helpful and knowledgable and the cheese and wine we had were really good. We took it back to our house as a snack before dinner and it was great!
It’s the restaurant attached to The Dewberry hotel and I had heard such good things about the hotel that I wanted to make sure that we made it over there. The resturant itself was more lounge like…hence the name The Living Room, I guess. Our cocktails were great! The fried pickle appetizer was really good. And the mushroom bolognese was the absolute highlight. We tried to make it up to The Citrus Club, which is the hotel’s rooftop bar. But there were 13 parties ahead of us due to them shutting down the outside seating for inclement weather, so we decided not to wait. I was told that the views are great and the cocktails are fun, so I hope to try it at some point.
For breakfast on Saturday morning, we walked over to Callie’s for biscuits. There are so many delicious looking options, I could hardly decide. We all got a regular biscuit with blackberry jam. I got a biscuit with sausage gravy, yum! And everyone else got the spicy chicken biscuit. I’ve had the pimento cheese biscuit and I totally recommend that one as well. And now I might go online and get some biscuit mixes shipped to my house. Lol!
After our bike tour, we went to Saltwater Cowboys for lunch. It was recommended to us by our guide. Our appetizers were the best part – all fried and delicious. Get the fried green tomatoes, fried pickles and crispy Brussels sprouts. It was a nice place to grab a beer and see the water, but I don’t think it was a place I would make sure to go back to.
We needed a pick me up after the beach, so we found this place. We grabbed some frosé (frozen rose – in case you weren’t sure what that is), complete with penis shaped gummies (that was a weird surprise!). I got the sampler flight and the cucumber watermelon was my favorite.
Our plan was to go to 167 Raw Oyster Bar for dinner. So many people recommended it. But we accidentally went the wrong way and decided to see if we could get in for dinner at S.N.O.B. That was another restaurant that we had heard such good things about and it did not disappoint. The cocktails were so good and the dishes we tried were fantastic. We overheard guests complimenting the chef and we asked them what they tried and decided to get those as well. The beef carpaccio and the steamed clams were for sure our favorites. Get extra bread for the clam broth! We also tried the tagliatelle pasta and the butternut squash bisque. So good!! We were too full for main entrees, but we heard the scallops and the rack of lamb were really good.
Quick note: 167 Raw is closed on Sunday and we didn’t get to go, which was a bummer. So make sure to plan around that if you want to give it a try.
We tried to go back to The Gin Joint after dinner, but they were closed for a private event. A Google search led me to Bar Vauté and I’m so glad we found it. It’s a speakeasy and luckily a nice couple on the street directed us to the unmarked door. But it’s located under Brasserie la Banque. If you are looking at the entrance to the restaurant, the door is to the left and then you take the stairs down to the bar. Our bartender was great and the cocktails were yummy! We even asked him to make us a drink of his choice and we loved what we got!
I really wanted to try Husk for dinner, but there weren’t any reservations available. We ended up going for brunch and I think we all liked it. But we didn’t love it. The best part of our meal though was the ricotta donuts with maple bacon glaze. I would get those again in a heartbeat.
We were told about Church and Union from a few people because of the stained glass windows and I definitely recommend going when it’s still light outside because they really were stunning. We were restaurant hopping that night, so we decided to get some appetizers and a round of drinks. The chai old fashioned was what we all got and we all loved it! We tried the red pepper arancini and the Brussels sprouts and really liked both.
It’s hard to believe I am still sharing restaurants with you, but what can I say? We ate out for every meal and I want to make sure you don’t miss something. We really wanted to get some oysters while we were here, especially because the rest of the girls had never had them before. Needless to say, I don’t think they are something the girls will be ordering on a regular basis. But at least they tried them. I prefer small and sweet oysters, but local oysters here are more on the briny side. Everyone’s favorite was the seasonal oyster with apple, fennel and mint on top.
We were told to get their shattered martini and we did. None of us loved them, but maybe we aren’t martini people enough. The rest of our food was amazing though. Like seriously so good. We got Cheddar Bay Hushpuppies, Spanish Octopus, Spicy Shrimp Ajillo and the Blue Crab Rice. I would go back for any of them. Yum!!
We did more than just eat and drink. Lol! Charleston has plenty of things to do and there was probably even more that we could have done. But I think it was a good amount for the time we were there.
I know, I know! I said we did other things besides eat and drink. But this was something I had to share!
One of the most fun things that we did was take a private mixology class at The Gin Joint. They don’t advertise it on their website, but if you email them directly you can find out more about their offerings and availability. We chose to do an hour class and it was $100/hr per person. It included a welcome drink and charcuterie board. We each were taught to make one drink for us to share and I made one extra. So total we each got to try 1/2 portions of 6 different drinks. We told our bartender what spirit we wanted to use and he came up with flavor profiles and ingredients based on our preferences. It was so much fun and we left very tipsy and more knowledgable about making craft cocktails. I can’t wait to share those recipes with you soon in some upcoming #brittanybartends stories on Instagram.
Listen, is a 2 hour walking tour the best idea after an hour long mixology class? Maybe? Maybe not? Our tour guide might have been a little too serious for our state of mind. But we learned a lot and saw some beautiful houses along the way. There is so much history in Charleston – a lot of it not so pretty when it comes down to it. But it’s a history worth knowing and there is so much to see. This is the tour that we did, but there are plenty more as well.
The architecture in Charleston is so charming. The 3 story porches, the gas lanterns, the shutters and the cobblestone streets. It was all so lovely and we spent a lot of time walking around and just enjoying the city and it’s charms.
Some well known shows and movies have been filmed in the Mount Pleasant area of South Carolina – namely The Notebook and Outer Banks. We wanted to see the coast and it was a great way to see it and see some movie sites as well. We rode e bikes and those were so much fun. You can pedal like normal (boring!), use pedal assist or you can use the throttle and pretty much it was like a motorcycle. Our tour was booked through Rebellion Roads. We saw dolphins, the pharmacy that Noah and Allie get ice cream from in the movie and so many gorgeous views of the water. I highly recommend doing a bike tour. You can Uber to Mount Pleasant. It’s like a 15-20 minute drive. We rented a car though, so we drove over to Sullivan’s Island after our tour ended.
We wanted to make sure that we saw the beach while we were there. The four of us all love the ocean, so after our bike tour we drove over to Sullivan’s Island. We parked on the street and found a board walk to the beach. We walked along the water for a little bit and then over to The Co-Op. We all needed a little pick me up. I bet we could have spent more time in this area, but we were tired and ready to get back to our house to rest before we had to get ready for dinner.
On our last full day after brunch we drove to Boone Hall Plantation. This plantation has been used in multiple movies, but The Notebook is the one that we had all seen. We took a tour of the main house and then learned more about the Gullah Geechee people and their history and culture. It was fascinating, sad and eye opening. But the property and the gardens were beautiful. It was about a 25 minute drive from our house, but we enjoyed spending a few hours there.
We didn’t really make it over to King Street, which is somewhere that I went the last time I visited. We walked down it once on our way to dinner and saw tons of shops – a lot of which we can shop anywhere. But I do know that the further you go, the more unqiue the shops get. We just didn’t get a chance to do that. However I loved the area where we stayed. There were churches on every corner, a market on Saturday, art galleries and horse drawn carriages too.
And that wraps up this Charleston, SC travel guide. I hope that if you visit you have as much fun as we did. Comment below if you try anything on this list and what you thought!
Brittany Krupnik is a real estate investor, designer and home stager. She creates spaces where life can be enjoyed - whether that is reimagining a space and bringing it back to life through flipping, helping someone envision themselves and the life they can have in a new home through staging or designing a vacation rental that serves as the backdrop for families and friends to create memories.
Brittany has staged over 500 homes and designed over 250 homes. When she is not designing, you can find her reading, traveling or trying out a new restaurant. She lives in Tempe, Arizona with her husband and 3 kids.
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