What are your favorite things to do in Charleston? This is something I’m asked almost daily—and rightfully so because Charleston is such a wonderful place to visit. Especially if you come in the spring or fall… it’s truly magical. The food and beverage scene here is especially vibrant—full of lowcountry classics and tons of new, swanky hot spots. Along King Street and beyond you’ll find countless small boutiques that are unique to Charleston and chock full of treasures, big brand stores like J. Crew and Sephora, and quite a few luxury names you would know anywhere, like Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
Oak trees dusted with Spanish moss, cobblestone streets, historic mansions. Those are just a few of the things you’ll see as you stroll through the Charleston landscape, which is a unique and extremely picturesque combination of quaint and old south grandeur.
With that said, I’ve always had a hard time naming my favorite things to do in Charleston. Because… where to even begin? Every corner in Charleston has something that will make you want to pull out your camera and also make room in your belly for something wonderful to eat. But if I were a visitor and were spending just 48 hours in town, here’s how I’d spend my weekend in Charleston…
Before I begin, you will not want to miss a giveaway that has just gone live on my Instagram feed!
One lucky winner will win an entire weekend of fun in Charleston! The prize includes:
• a two night stay at The Vendue
• $150 to spend at Revival on a wonderful lowcountry cuisine
• $200 spa certificate to Woodhouse Day Spa
• an original oil painting by local Charleston artist, Rebecca Hoyle
• an entire weekend in the brand new Cadillac XT4, compliments of Baker Cadillac of Charleston
The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is the first of its kind. I’ve been lucky enough to spend a couple of weeks driving two different XT4s and I can tell you… it’s the most stylish car I’ve driven. It’s a crossover that drives like a sports car, but has the space of an SUV. It’s full of luxurious features that I’ve been spoiled with, like a heated steering wheel and seats, a huge moonroof, and a fancy touch screen with all the bells and whistles you could ever want as far as audio and navigation goes. The XT4 is the perfect vehicle to whip around the small streets of Charleston in style.
Hop over to my instagram feed to follow the easy instructions on how to enter. You may also have an extra entry by leaving a comment on this blog post! Be sure to include the name of your Instagram handle so that I’ll be able to reach you. The giveaway will end in one week.
Finally, my Charleston recommendations! (Since the giveaway prize includes a stay at The Vendue and a weekend with the XT4, I’m going to be speaking as if you’re staying there and using the XT4 to get around at times.)
After checking into your hotel and settling in at The Vendue, head over to King Street for some shopping! (Surely it’s not just me, but exploring new stores is always one of the most exciting things to me when I’m in a new place.)
Some of my favorite stops are Croghan’s Jewel Box, Hampden Clothing, Candlefish (You can even do a candle making class there!), v2v, LAKE, and if you want to shop for littles, do not miss Little Almond Blossoms. Honestly, there are so many great stores and all you need to do is walk and you’ll see them all since they are all on the same street!
Before dinner, grab a drink or an appetizer at one of the many rooftop bars in Charleston. There is actually a great rooftop right on top of The Vendue! (We used to frequent it quite a bit for happy hour before the kids came along.)
The options are endless for dinner, but here are some of our favorites—and be sure to make reservations well in advance. For something quaint and quintessentially Charleston, try 82 Queen, Poogan’s Porch (also has a wonderful brunch!), or Husk. For a dining experience that will knock your socks off, try FIG. If you’d like something upbeat and trendy, I’d suggest O-Ku, our favorite sushi spot. For a wonderful steak and jazzy atmosphere, try Hall’s Chophouse. And for a cozy Italian meal, go for Indaco! For a casual seafood menu with an upscale flare, head to The Darling and be sure to grab the clam chowder french fries. There are also a few newer spots that are getting all the buzz right now, like Tradd’s, Melfi’s, and Parcel 32.
Afterwards, head to any of the above restaurants for a night cap or dessert! There’s also a wonderful dessert spot called Carmella’s Dessert Bar, which is just a block or two away from The Vendue, making it very convenient to walk back to your hotel.
Grab a cup of coffee and stroll the Waterfront Park, which is just a block away from The Vendue. (That’s the great thing about this hotel—it’s in the middle of everything!) Here you can stroll along the Charleston Harbor and see the “famous” Pineapple Fountain. Then take a quick walk along one of the connecting cobblestone streets up to East Bay Street and you’ll come across Rainbow Row, another famous landscape in Charleston. From there, you can take a left and walk along the Battery and see all of the beautiful mansions, or head right and go directly to breakfast. By then, you’ll be ready for something yummy! One Broad Street is a great option to grab an easy breakfast and refill your coffee. However, if you’re in the mood for something more sit-down, head to Poogan’s Porch for a classic southern breakfast!
Saturday Late Morning:
If the weather is nice, a walking tour is the way to go! Here’s a list of some options or check out Walk and Talk Charleston—I’ve heard great things! This is the perfect way to learn about the rich history of Charleston and see some beautiful buildings and homes. I promise you, it may all look beautiful, but once you hear the stories of what happened right on the ground you’re walking, you’ll think it’s even that much more amazing.
During this time, you’ll walk by some notable art galleries. And don’t forget, the winner of the giveaway will win an original painting by Rebecca Hoyle!
Take a quick drive in the XT4 (if you’re the giveaway winner, that is!) to Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant for lunch. I highly recommend Tavern and Table, which sits along the water and has a little bit of everything on the menu. (If you’d like to stay downtown for lunch, go to 167 Raw for a lobster roll!)
By now, you’ve shopped, dined, walked (and walked some more), and dined again… it’s definitely time for a spa visit. Also in Mount Pleasant is Woodhouse Day Spa, which is the perfect place for a group of friends to gather for a spa day or for a couple to escape for massages. (The winner of the giveaway will receive $200 to spend there!)
During your trip back to the hotel, you’ll drive over the iconic Ravenel Bridge!
Now that you’re relaxed, enjoy dinner at Revival, a modern southern eatery that is in a building connected to the hotel. (The winner of the giveaway will receive $150 to spend here!) I haven’t tried this spot yet, but take a look at the menu and tell me your stomach isn’t already growling.
I highly recommend the Gospel Brunch at Hall’s Chophouse. It’s complete with live gospel music and the most delectable menu. I always choose the Crab Cake Eggs Benedict. It’s life changing.
After checking out of your hotel, swing by the beach if you haven’t yet! Sullivan’s Island is my favorite beach in town because it’s quiet and feels more untouched than the others. (The Cadillac XT4 will come in handy because all of our beaches are a little bit of a drive.) The real estate at Sullivan’s Island is quite a view, as well, if you’re a lover of looking at beautiful homes like I am. There are also some delicious restaurants just a few steps off the beach, like Poe’s Tavern, which is well known for their amazing burgers. However, my pick is The Obstinate Daughter! It’s one of my favorite restaurants in Charleston.
I don’t know about you, but I’m hungry now! Head over to my Instagram feed to enter the giveaway. Don’t forget you can leave a comment on this post for an extra entry!