charleston sc visitors-guide

It’s been a recent dream of mine to travel to Charleston, SC. It’s a weird time in my life where my husband and I are actually discussing retirement options. Say WHAT?! Yes, it’s true. It’s not to say that we have never discussed retirement until now, but as our kids are starting to enter high school, the reality of where we would retire creeps closer.

shallow focus of clear hourglass
Photo by Jordan Benton on

Charleston, SC, came up as a place that I wanted to explore as an option. As luck would have it, my hubby had a business trip planned for this year, so I joined him there for the weekend prior so I could scout out this city’s potential as a future home.

flower basket Charleston

What an incredibly charming city. From the brick crosswalks, to the flower filled window boxes, to the gas lantern lighting and the federal style architecture, the place oozed with charm. As a photo fanatic, each step was a head turner for another slice of eye candy to capture.

federal style arch Charleston

We had no planned activities except, of course, dinner reservations! The trip was meant for both of us to relax and just explore and see what we would see. We checked into our hotel near Marion Square. It was a terrific location. Not much of a water view, but perfectly situated for us to walk wherever the mood struck us.

charleston door

We arrived just after Hurricane Michael came through and carried any type of bad weather away with it. The temps were terrific and nothing but blue skies for our weekend. It’s an incredibly easy walking city. Navigation is no problem, HOWEVER, ladies, take note of the time worn sidewalks that can snap an ankle if one does not pay attention (especially in heals!)

charleston manhole cover

Our dinner reservations for the first night were at Charleston Grill located in the Belmond Hotel in the midst of the delightful King Street. King St. is loaded with shopping. You’ll find stores that we all know and love, plus local establishments that can hold their own with the big boys.

charleston grill bar

Charleston Grill delivered some of the tastiest cocktails that we have ever had. The bar area was gorgeously appointed and they even surprised us with a tasty amuse-bouche while we waited for our table. We were seated at an intimate table by the window overlooking the hotel courtyard. It was quite lovely. We opted for the chefs tasting menu paired with a spectacular bottle of white burgundy.  As they say in the south, Cheers, Y’all!

charleston grill app.JPG

After our fantastic meal, we walked it off with a casual stroll through the city back to our hotel for a relatively early night. We are not party people and we had more than indulged at dinner.

charleston evening

The next morning we bee lined straight for the local farmers market set up in Marion Square across the street from our hotel. We enjoyed awesome breakfast burritos and took in all of the booths of food, local produce and products, and crafters. Before heading back to our room to regroup for the rest of our day, we grabbed some Starbucks. Yeah baby!

marion square sign

The goal for the day was to make our way down to the water by way of the famous Rainbow Row on East Bay St. But first a trip for lunch at a local Cuban restaurant called Cuban Gypsy Pantry Eatery on Calhoun Street. I suppose you’d have to classify this as a dive, as it wasn’t fancy in the least, but the food….!!!! The food was amazing. Luckily we were on foot for the rest of the day to walk off that delicious lunch that was almost impossible to stop eating. It was an easy walk to the water, full of quaint shops, historic architecture and amazing views.

rainbow row

I envy the people that live there to be able to walk that city every day. It is unique for sure. A combination of other places I have visited, but decidedly it’s own flavor. There was a little bit of Florida, a little bit of New Orleans and 100% Southern. It was heavenly during the day and magical at night. I couldn’t get over the number of church steeples in view and the mix of historic and new construction. And the water views filled with little sailboats….are you kidding me?

water view in Charleston

We made our way back to “our” neighborhood to check out a rooftop bar. Carolina Ale House did not disappoint. We sat at the bar and ordered from their impressive collection of beers on tap. We were surrounded by TVs everywhere, all playing college football, with different collage fans at each table. After enjoying a beer and the atmosphere, we headed back out to explore yet another part of the city; the restaurant district. This area had a plethora of super cool stops and every type of food one could want. After making a lap through that area we made our way home. We were exhausted from a day filled with walking (and beer), so we opted for dinner in. We grabbed take out from a local pizza place and headed back to our home base.

chandelier from trees

The next morning I walked to church. It was an OOOOLLLLDDDD school Greek Revival style church built in 1838, complete with paintings dating back to 1814 and most of its original architectural attributes in tact, or at the very least restored. Again, the church was an easy walk to and from our hotel. We opted to have breakfast at the highly rated crepe restaurant called Breizh pan Crepes just off of King Street. It was a delicious meal with great views of the street for people watching. We returned to our hotel to check out so that my hubby could check into his hotel for his business trip.

St Mary's Charleston

This next hotel, The French Quarter Inn, was located close to the water and it was spectacular. We were greeted with complimentary champagne while we waited for his room to be ready. The rooms were very large and were beautifully appointed. Not one detail was missed, down to the brass finishing on the corners of the large baseboards. It was love at first sight for this architecture nerd.

The French Quarter Hotel

Alas, it was time for me to head home. Charleston, SC, was a beautiful host for the weekend and I cannot WAIT to go back. It’s southern charm and hospitality are notable and would make a great destination for any occasion.

charleston gazebo

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