Hey y’all and Happy Friday! (I can say y’all since we’re talking about Charleston right?)
Today I’m sharing some amazing places to visit and fun things to do in the beautiful Holy City, in the format of a weekend guide! This guide assumes you have 36 hours, but there’s plenty to do if you have more time 😀.
Start your trip off right with brunch at Husk. Ryan and I have gone here multiple times and it is quite simply fantastic cooking. The dishes are unmistakably “southern,” but with a fresh and modern take. We loved the shrimp and grits, fried chicken, cornbread, and pimento cheese starters. The (mayo-free) potato salad is different and to-die-for. Order a delicious drink from their cocktail list to get your weekend off to a kickin’ start! Make sure to book a reservation a couple weeks out.
After you are thoroughly stuffed with some low country cookin’, take a leisurely stroll around historic Charleston. The preservation of architecture and buildings is unparalleled. Check out my previous post here which is totally dedicated to the beauty and architecture of Charleston for some inspiration.
If you want to learn some history along the way, try joining a walking tour! We used this tour group and loved it. Our tour guide went through the entire history of Charleston (well, abbreviated history, we only had 2 hours) pointing out meaningful sites and details we would have never noticed along the way. If you’d rather sit back and relax while learning about Charleston, a carriage tour is for you! Both are wonderful options.
Details from a building on Meeting Street^.
After you’ve strolled down King and Queen Street, relax with a cocktail at the The Vendue. They have a large and spacious rooftop bar with gorgeous views of the city and harbor! Make sure to stroll through the Charleston City Market afterwards. It’s an old market where you can buy anything from sweet grass baskets to local grits/ hand-mixed spice blends, etc.
Dinner time! There are too many good options to name, but I’ll try my best! Try Magnolias or High Cotton for a classy meal with impeccable service (hey you’re on vacation, right?). If you’re looking for seafood, check out 167 Raw. But ~diner~ beware, the wait times at 167 Raw can be very long as they do not take reservations and only have five small tables.
(Ryan and I at Magnolia’s in 2016)
After dinner, it’s time to hit the hay and gear up for another great day!
Venture a little bit outside the city limits to Mount Pleasant and Shem Creek. Mount Pleasant is the neighborhood bordering Charleston and is such an adorable little community.
Grab a bite to eat and an iced latte at Vintage Coffee Café. The avocado toast and egg sandwiches are not to be missed. Then head over to Nature’s Adventures on Shem Creek for a wonderful kayaking tour!
This was one of our favorite things that we did, and again, so educational. Our guide, Matt, knew anything and everything about the wildlife in the surrounding areas. He pointed out blue crabs, oysters, horseshoe crabs, dolphins, different species of plants, and even explained the difference between a swamp and a marsh. (Swamps have trees, and marshes don’t. Who knew!?) We kayaked peacefully through the saltwater marshes that surround Charleston, and then out into the harbor for a fabulous waterfront view of the city. If you love being outside or kayaking, don’t miss this!
Head back to Charleston for some relaxation or shopping before dinner. King Street has all the big box stores, but also amazing local boutiques and wonderful antique stores as well. I mainly window shopped but it was such a fun experience.
It’s suppah time! Head to Home Team BBQ for a meal that does not disappoint.
(C/o Home Team BBQ, my picture inevitably did NOT turn out like this 🤣)
Once you’ve enjoyed all the brisket, why not wash it down with a cocktail at Proof. We happened upon this little bar and I loved the vibe. Ryan loved the Pappy Van Winkle 🤣 so we were both happy.
It’s late and time to head to bed. Unless you’re still up for more fun! Check out a Charleston ghost tour or just walk along the cobblestone streets and take in the smell of fresh magnolia blooms under the soft light of the gas lamps that line the city.
Grab a quick bite to eat at Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits. These delectable biscuits will start your day off right. All of the flavors are delicious but I loved the cinnamon, blueberry jam, and bacon cheddar.
Next, head to Charleston waterfront park to check out the pineapple fountain and gorgeous harbor views. If you haven’t walked along East Bay Street, now is the perfect time to do so. East Bay Street is right along the harbor, eventually turning into the Battery. Some of Charleston’s oldest and most beautiful homes line this promenade.
Time to get out of the city again! Head to Magnolia Plantation for stunning gardens and scenery. The grounds are breathtaking and you could easily spend a whole day here. We saw so many gorgeous gardens and beautiful wildlife when we visited. The plantation is a bird sanctuary and very peaceful.
You could also visit Boone Hall plantation to see a more traditional looking house. This plantation was the setting for Allie’s summer home in “The Notebook.”
For your final night in Charleston, dine in one of the city’s most renowned restaurants, the Peninsula Grill. The coconut cake is 15 layers deep and worth every penny.
Looking for something more casual? If you’re up for an adventure, bop over to Folly Beach and grab a table at Chico Feo, a laid back taco joint with live jam sessions and amazing food. This was a random stop for us and ended up being one of our favorite meals our whole trip.
That wraps up 36 hours in Charleston! I’m no expert having only been a handful of times, and there is so much more to explore and see!
Some other options are below:
- Charleston harbor sunset sail
- Anyone of the various museums
- Fort Sumpter and Fort Moultrie
- Drayton Hall
- Old Exchange Building
- Pitt Street Bridge (great for catching a sunset or sunrise)
- Walk or run the Arthur Ravenel Bridge
- Free tour of the Unitarian Church
- Visit Angel Oak tree
- Stop by the Preservation Society of Charleston
- Rent bikes and ride to the Morris Island Lighthouse
- Historic homes guided tour
- Try SUP (stand up paddle boarding) in the Charleston Harbor
- Visit Sullivan’s Island Beach or Folly Island for a beach day
Some more pics from our trip:
Pitt Street Bridge:
Morris Island Lighthouse:
Hope this guide was helpful and enjoyable! Have a great weekend everyone 😄.