I was fortunate enough recently to travel to Charleston, South Carolina with my director for a Conference. Charleston has been on my list since Julia Engel moved there a couple years ago. If you don’t follow her blog galmeetsglam.com - please go do that now. She has some incredible resources on what to do in Charleston and it was her list that ultimately inspired our itinerary.
All the same, I wanted to share with you all where we stayed, ate and explored on this short trip to The South.
The Elliot House Inn
I loved our stay at The Elliot House Inn. Nestled right in the heart of the historic district and adjacent to the highly rated eatery, “Husk,” the hotel allowed us to walk to a number of our destinations. The hotel service was great and the continental breakfast is even hand delivered each morning to your private door. We enjoyed rooms on the 3rd floor terrace and they were as comfy as they were quant. This was my first time in a hotel room by myself and it was very homey and warm. I felt I could relax easy (minus some jet lag!) I love historic boutique hotels and I can’t recommend Elliot House enough!
Husk was on my shortlist of restaurants to check out but I was a bit intimidated by it’s high class prestige. After landing late in the evening I thought it might be the best spot for a snack or dessert. My director opted to spend the night in and so this extrovert walked next door and braved her first restaurant visit BY HERSELF. And you guys! It was not that bad!
I called ahead about the bar availability but after seeing the small and full space I went back and boldly asked if a table was available - and an hour before closing on a Wednesday there was! I was offered a menu and tucked myself into the window seat. The ambiance inside Husk is modern and stylish but you still feel like you’re in an old southern house - which of course you are. I opted for a light fair of their gem lettuce salad and was offered some pork infused butter and bread. I CAN’T EVEN WITH HOW GOOD THAT BUTTER TASTED. The salad was perfection as well and before I knew it I had been encouraged into a slice of traditional southern checker pie. I also realized I COULD enjoy a meal by myself in a nice restaurant.
Hominy Grill seemed to be on every blogger’s lists for the best brunch in town. We went on our first morning after some walking tours and found a table right away. The food was good and came out quickly. We did not partake in the famous grits but there seemed to be a lot of locals inside which is always a good sign. If you want some classic and true Southern breakfast foods, Hominy Grill will not disappoint you.
After brunch and window shopping we stopped for a cupcake to go at Sugar Bakeshop. I had seen this sweet store front on Instagram so much and was excited that it made it into our schedule. I opted for the Lavender and vanilla cupcake covered with Sugar’s signature sugar coated blueberries. It was delicious and had just the right amount of floral undertones.
I didn’t snap a photo of our seafood dinner but Fleet Landing was a great water front location and offered all the seafood meals you could want. I opted for the Wedge Salad and Artichoke Dip and both were ginormous and scrumptious. We ended up sitting at the bar as the Thursday night crowd was large. We chatted with the friendliest locals and bartender and had an overall great time.
We stopped at King Street on our last afternoon for some shopping and site seeing. Wanting to take a break from the heavy Southern Fair, we opted for the recommended Poke Bowls at Beech. Even though the food was fresh and healthy the portions matched our fried meals. I honestly have never seen a bigger poke bowl - but it was delicious!
Mac & Murphy
I heard about this uber cute stationary store from a YouTuber Ashley Aleese. Located right around the corner from Hominy Grill and across the street from Sugar Bakeshop, this tiny little creative nook had all the Rifle Paper you could want and then some. We chatted with the shop owner (who knows the minds behind Rifle Paper Co. personally) and flitted through the small isles of cards. They were unfortunately sold out of a lot of their normal “Charleston” branded gifts but it would be the perfect spot to grab a momento.
I knew that the Skinny Dip chain of East Coast shoppes would be insanely preppy and this Charleston store delivered on it’s promise. This lovely little boutique boasted so many amazing brands that all evoked a bright, colorful and coastal vibe. It was so fun to look through the racks! They also offered a lot of print art and watercolors from local artists. I am so glad we were able to stop by!
SITES TO SEE:
I was pretty ecstatic when I saw that our hotel was in walking distance from the famous rainbow row houses of Charleston. We walked down early on a Thursday morning and were met with little to know traffic and zero visitors. We had the whole block to ourselves to enjoy and take in in the morning light. It was also a convenient little jaunt from the Bay and it was sweet to explore the charm of the surrounding neighborhood.
OLD SOUTH CARRIAGE CO.
Our historic carriage tour was by far the best adventure we had on our mini trip. I am so glad my director suggested it (and to think of it, so had a few others). We signed up for the perfect time slot a few hours before our airport ride and it provided the richest experience of the downtown Charleston area. Not only do you get so much history for your $25 ticket, you also get to relax for a couple hours and simply take in the sites. It was so neat to learn about the complex history of Charleston, as a slave town, a freely religious town and a town that has seen so much adversity and change while maintaining its splendor and originality. I not only learned Charleston was a pioneering city for religious diversity but was also home to many of the first women’s suffrage heroes. And it still remains so breath taking…
Charleston has definitely captured my heart and I cannot wait to return someday soon with Jeff! If you only have 48 hours it is definitely still worth a visit and I know I have barely touched the surface off all this historic beach city has to offer.
Have you been to Charleston? I would love to read your recommendations below!
Until the next Southern getaway…
~ A ~