Weekend Getaway to Charleston, SC
26 hours of travel for 84 hours of vacation. Some people may call this crazy, but I call it an adventure. My husband had plans with my dad to go on a boys fishing trip to the White River over Memorial Day weekend, so I decided that my mom, sister, and I needed to go somewhere fun as well. We threw out some ideas of where we should spend our girls getaway, and somehow we ended up convincing my mom that we needed to go to Charleston for the weekend! 13 hours, for a three day weekend isn’t so bad right?! After all, how often do we get these “no boys allowed’ road trip opportunities!
Because of the late notice of the trip and the fact that we were going to be in town over Memorial Day weekend we couldn’t get into one of the little boutique hotels, but we were able to book a room at the Hampton Inn Charleston Historic District. A bit pricey for a Hampton because of the location. It is directly across from the trolley stop, the visitor center and the Charleston museum. While we were a little sad we didn’t get to stay in one of the local hotels, our room was clean and quiet and had shades that made it dark as a tomb – which is maybe not the best thing considering how hard it is for me to wake up in the morning already! haha Plus, we didn’t spend a ton of time in our hotel, as we were too busy exploring the gorgeous streets of Charleston.
Our first morning (after an emergency run to Sephora to replace an aging flat iron that finally kicked the bucket #priorities) we did some shopping and wandering around King Street. It has everything from boutiques, to antiques, to inexpensive chains like H&M, to designer shops, to chain restaurants as well as local places. A pretty, fun, and busy street to explore. For Notebook fans, this is the street Allie and Noah laid underneath the stop light in!
After doing some shopping, we had reservations for lunch at Poogan’s Porch. I will do an entire post about the food we had while in Charleston. Charleston is a foodies paradise, an epicurean’s extravaganza, a shrimp and grits lovers dream, a gourmand’s delight…you get the picture! Pretty much if you love food, you will love Charleston. Bottom line. I had the most delectable fried chicken, that I still see in my dreams from time to time.
After lunch we went to the Charleston City Market. More shopping! There is everything here from traditional, local, handmade art, in particular the gorgeous but pricy sweet grass baskets, to the typical touristy type of item. It is really a lot of fun to wander through the long hallways of this market!
By this point, you probably know that I love me some food. We stopped at the Savannah’s Candy Kitchen for some pralines (actually this was our third taste of pralines as we didn’t bother trying to resist the samples that had been given to us during our wanderings. And pralines. Oh. My. Word. Love them. What is it about this sugary, nutty, caramel-y treat that just tastes like the south. So good!
We took a quick stroll past waterfront park (we knew we would be returning later that evening) and then over to rainbow row. As we were admiring the cotton candy colored houses with their iconic doors and window boxes one of the horse drawn carriage rides went past us and we could tell that the tour guide was knowledgeable and interesting. We decided to take a ride on one of these on our last day in town. Ahhh…the best laid plans….
We caught the trolley back to our hotel. The Charleston trolley system is a nice little deal! The trolleys basically make a loop around and around, they are free and your hotel will provide you a map and schedule of the stops. We found that they ran pretty darn close to on time and although Charleston is actually quite small we had already walked 7 miles that day so it was nice to save our legs.
We went back to the hotel to freshen up then took the trolley back down to waterfront park to spend more time in front of the pineapple fountain and under the gorgeous trees that arch over the walkways, then we meandered down the path on the waterfront where you can look out over a marsh into the inlet. Such a beautiful place on a gorgeous night.
We had drinks at High Cotton (with the delicious truffle popcorn) and then dinner at SNOB. Ahhh Mazing. Loved it. Nothing better than ending the night with shrimp and grits, banana cream pie, and a glass (or two) of rose.
The next day was our beach day. Living in Florida for the first part of my childhood, I am a beach girl through and through. The salt water, sand, sun, I love it all. We grabbed biscuits at an adorable little place on King Street called, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, and then headed out to the public beach on Kiawah Island. The drive out there is so pretty and on the way we stopped at the Angel Oak Tree. Oh my. This tree is glorious. If ever traveling out to Kiawah or Seabrook Island it is a must see.
Kiawah is a lovely, quiet, and peaceful island with a pristine beach. My husband and I had stayed on this island during a beach trip a few years back, so it is very near to my heart. It was our first trip together just the two of us, besides our honeymoon, and everything was so wonderful and romantic. Kiawah is now one of my favorite places, so I knew I wanted to take my mom and sister to see this gorgeous area! The public beach has a snack area, changing and bathroom areas, an outdoor shower, and umbrella and chair rentals. We took advantage of the chair and umbrella rental as we were all a bit pasty white from the winter and wanted to have some shelter so we didn’t fry.
The wind was really blowing this day and when I mentioned how strong the breeze was to our chair rental guy he said, “well it’s that tropical storm coming in tomorrow.” What? Tropical storm? This was seriously the first time we had heard about it. Note to self: Check the weather before driving from the west side of the Mississippi to the East Coast.
Still, the day was sunny and the temperature perfect so we decided that we would worry about the tropical storm headed our way tomorrow. For lunch, we grabbed some sandwiches and chips from the nice grocery store on Kiawah and we enjoyed a picnic on the beach and spent most of the day there sunbathing, shelling, swimming, and relaxing. This was one of my favorite days of the trip!
After we left Kiawah, none of us were quite ready to give up the beach atmosphere so we drove over to Folly Beach for dinner and margaritas at Taco Boy and a sunset stroll on the pier. Folly is the opposite of Kiawah. Kiawah is like the sedate, wealthy, but really sweet grandmother, and Folly is the hip, fun, and a little goofy grandson. When my husband and I traveled to Charleston, we took surfing lessons on Folly Beach and it was so. much. fun. Definitely recommend if you are into water sports! It was hoppin’ this evening, and we enjoyed doing some people watching. After the pier we grabbed some frozen yogurt and made our way back to our hotel.
Tropical storm Bonnie started heading to shore during the night! We woke to completely overcast skies and the threat of rain – a lot of rain. That didn’t stop us from walking, without umbrellas or ponchos or any rain gear at all, over to Hominy Grill for breakfast. i never claimed to be the best at decision making okay? Our mouths were watering in anticipation. On the way it started sprinkling. By the time we arrived it was raining and there was a long, long, LONG, line standing out in the rain waiting to go in. The wait? 1.5 hours! In the rain! We went to the restaurant next door and were seated immediately. A pitcher of mimosas helped ease our disappointment at not getting to eat at Hominy Grill, and the meal ended up not being bad at all!
After a quick run through the rain to a nearby drugstore to acquire some umbrellas we were back out on the street with full tummies and soaked shoes and frizzy hair! We knew that it was supposed to rain all day long so we came up with some alternative indoor things to do! One of the coolest things about Charleston is the architecture and the old homes that have been turned into museums that you can see. We decided that this was the perfect rainy day activity.
One of our favorite stops during our soaking wet shopping expedition was a little candle shop called Candlefish. It is just off of King Street. It is like a candle museum! You smell 10 or so scents from their “fragrance library” and tell the experts which were your favorite, then they will bring candles that they know you will like. They even have candle making classes which we SO wanted to do, but had waited too late to make reservations. If you area a candle connoisseur like myself, you will definitely want to go here. I have been burning mine since I have been home and the scent always reminds me of our trip.
We ended our last night in Charleston with a delicious pizza dinner and an early night in due to the rain. Our plan had been to spend some time there the next day, but the rain was so bad and even the freeways were starting to flood so we left early and made the long drive home. It was a good thing because later on that day the traffic had gotten so bad that people were stuck on the highways for hours.
I definitely recommend Charleston for a great weekend get away with the girls, or a romantic get away with your guy. It is a great city with rich history, gorgeous scenery, amazing food, and lots to see and do!
Thanks so much for stopping by and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see pictures from all my travels!