The Holy City is one of my favorite destinations to go back to and an idyllic place I would one day want to call home. The food scene here is out of this world and day dreaming of my own beach side abode on James Island is making me want to plan my next trip back, pronto.
Check out my quick Charleston, SC long weekend travel guide where I share where I ate, took in the sights, and other useful tidbits of information I picked up on my trip.
Table of Contents
Eat & Drink
- Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls Never tried a lobster roll before and these did not disappoint. Large claw meat filled the entire bun and the flavors spoke for itself (no need for butter).
- Rappahannock Oyster Bar Shrimp and grits with a twist – black garlic! The entree included fermented garlic that has a sticky texture and smooth sweet taste.
- Pour Taproom & Rooftop Bar Take in the sites from this pour-your-own beer rooftop taproom located inside the Hyatt House Charleston – Historic District Hotel. My favorite beer I sampled was Wicked Weed’s Watermelon Dragonfruit Sour.
- Jenni’s Ice Cream Pleasantly surprised by this chain ice cream shop on King St. Sampled dairy-free flavors Texas Sheet Cake and Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns. You can find these flavors online and in select stores.
- El Jefe Texican Cantina TexMex flare equipped with a mechanical bull and bottomless brunch on Sundays. Wouldn’t be a trip to Charleston without a Southern Charm cast sighting. Spotted Craig across the street during dinner at his King St. shop Sewing Down South.
- Poogan’s Smokehouse Tried their Reuben with brisket and St. Louis style ribs. Yum!
- Booze Pops On a hot summer day these were very refreshing
- California Dreaming Tried their namesake salad “California Dreaming” and it was everything you want a giant chopped salad to be. Went for the views of the Charleston skyline and Ashley River, not exactly for the food.
Things To Do
- Historic Charleston City Market
- Window shopping on King Street
- Joe Riley Waterfront Park
- Pineapple Fountain
- Waterfront Park Pier
- Charleston Tea Garden Their Peachy Peach and Carolina Mint teas are so good! They offer free tastings of their teas on-site and free tours of the factory. Take a trolley ride through the tea garden for $14 and see the greenhouse where they grow seedlings and germinate the plants.
- Angel Oak Tree Over 400-year-old oak tree with sprawling branches and wide canopy. Very busy!
- Take a picnic to James Island Park $2 entry fee, take a picnic and sit near the fisherman’s dock overlooking the Stono River
- Charleston Farmers Market in Marion Square on Saturdays
- Pedicab ride through Charleston Way more fun than an Uber – bring cash!
- Strolling down Rainbow Row
- The Battery and waterfront promenade
- White Point Garden – Free Sunscreen!
- Walking through South of Broad neighborhood (the most beautiful homes!)
- Wear your sunscreen – Free sunscreen in White Point Garden!
- Drink more water than you think you should drink
- Wear shoes you are comfortable trashing
- Wear breathable bike shorts underneath your dresses (iykyk) – linking my favorite slip shorts
- I noticed the Charleston uniform was either a tennis dress, white sneaks, and flowing sundress, or mom jeans (take your pick!)
- FYI – The streets flood with heavy rainfall, keep an umbrella on you
- If you plan on driving, part of King Street closes to 1 lane at night
- Make dinner reservations at least 1-2 weeks before your trip, hard to find a table otherwise without waiting over an hour & 1/2 at some restaurants
- Tricked out golf carts everywhere! Golf carts are permitted within 4 miles of your permanent address and can be driven on roadways where the speed limit is 35 mph or less.
- Pay to park, many public parking decks to choose from
Where to Stay
We stayed at Hyatt House Historic District and were overall pleased with our stay. The price was right for our mid-week trip and featured an indoor pool, free breakfast, and spacious room. It’s a little farther north on King Street, for reference it would take over 2 miles to walk to Rainbow Row from the hotel.