A brief stop in Charleston for my brother-in-law’s graduation from the College was the ultimate 24-hour getaway weekend! Growing up in the upstate of SC, I remember always looking forward to our summer trips to CHS every year. Charleston is steeped (and I mean steeped) in deep, well-presevered history on every street corner! BTW, I am no expert on Charleston by any means, but I have created a comprehensive list for those of you who have never been or who are looking to try new things! There is no way you’ll be able to do all of these things in one weekend unless you are some magician, but please feel free to try and check as many off as possible!
The CODfather is the only place in town to get proper fish and chips. Our WORLD FAMOUS fish and chips are hand made the traditional British way. HUGE 8oz North Atlantic Cod fillets dipped in our own recipe wet batter and cooked until golden brown. Chippy chips hand are cut daily from only premium crop potatoes and cooked twice for perfection.
Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar is Charleston’s Best Waterfront Dining with a focus on local and sustainable produce and seafood. Housed in a 1940s retired naval building on the east side of the Charleston peninsula, Fleet Landing features a fusion of classic and contemporary Southern seafood fare in a setting that celebrates the area’s waterfront heritage.
Make reservations here.
Grace & Grit is a local family-run restaurant with a passion for local food and southern hospitality. At Grace & Grit, they offer a casual upscale dining experience inspired by our home here in the Lowcountry. Chef-driven, their restaurant features quality Southern and lowcountry-influenced cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh, locally caught seafood and big flavors. Relax indoors among interior details that thoughtfully come together to pay tribute to their coastal home or outdoors on their dog-friendly patio, shaded by grand live oaks. Whether local or visiting from afar, Grace & Grit looks forward to welcoming you in for a taste of home!”
Hall’s is another Southern “fine dining” spot that is a downtown staple! It’s also a great brunch spot if you don’t want to splurge for dinner, but treat yourself for dinner. I, personally, would highly recommend the steak and hot pepper martini!
Make reservations here.
࿏ MAMA KIM’S HIBACHI
Mama Kim’s is located in the heart of downtown Charleston and is some of the best (and I mean best) hibachi in the country. Many locals and travelers alike know Mama Kim and she has the memory of a computer. She also has hundreds of pictures of passerby’s hung in her restaurant! (Chandler made the board his freshman year!)
Bill Murray also loves this place and she has a picture with the legend himself.
࿏ POST HOUSE RESTAURANT + INN
Post House is a coastal tavern and inn offering seasonal fare, classic cocktails, seven cozy hotel rooms and a bit of salty air. Situated in the heart of the Old Village, Mt Pleasant, Post House is a home away from home for staycationers and travelers alike as a charming respite from the day-to-day hustle. Take the weekend or the week and settle into Village Life.
Built in 1896, 101 Pitt Street has a longstanding history as the neighborhood hub. Some hundred years and many iterations later, Post House now presents a contemporary take on the neighborhood landmark, still bringing people together, in celebration, over good food and with a few drinks in tow.
Between their menu and cocktails menu, you are in for a treat! The red curry was out of this world and the The Birds + the Bees cocktail was to die for.
Five Loaves cafe is a favorite lunch spot in Mount Pleasant – and there’s a location downtown, too! I love their sandwiches and soups, as well as their brunch, and they have so many gluten free options!
Nestled on the banks of historical Shem Creek sits Mount Pleasant Seafood, one of the oldest businesses in the Lowcountry. Locally owned and operated for more than 75 years, their fourth generation family business is known as the locals choice for fresh local seafood served with a side of southern hospitality.
COFFEE + DESSERT
The cafe, located at 159 Church Street, Bitty & Beau’s Coffee is more than just a place to grab a cup of coffee – it’s an experience. While the shop is run by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the customers love the products, they really come in for the unique customer service experience.
From the minute you step into this coffee shop, you are treated like a queen (or king). You get the highest service and are always greeted with a smiling face!
If you aren’t in the South and have never had Jeni’s, you MUST! There is a shop on King Street that is breathtaking – and you literally can’t go wrong with any flavor! My favorites are the “Gooey Butter Cake” (it’s GF!) and “Brown Butter Almond Brittle!” Try as many as you can while you’re there!
Kaminsky’s entices visitors into its cozy atmosphere with a rotating selection of delectable desserts made in-house daily, in addition to heaping milkshakes, specialty coffees, and cold beverage creations. Delight in over-the-top varieties of classic childhood desserts, signature hot spirited specialties, dessert martinis and hot toddies. A full beer, wine, and liquor selection are also available.
Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer is locally owned, operated, and located in the heart of downtown Charleston, SC. Kudu’s focus is to offer their guests a high quality beverage experience here in their café or outside in our lovely courtyard. They roast their own specialty coffee on a Diedrich IR-12 at our roasting facility located at 708 King Street and offer a rotating list of single origin coffees as well as espresso.
Pounce Cat Cafe + Wine Bar is a place where you can hang out with furry felines, sip on your favorite beverage and snack on a delicious pastry.
They’ve also teamed up with Charleston Animal Society to provide our cats, so if at the end of your visit you’ve fallen in love with your new feline friend, you can take them home with you!
Book your visit here.
Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co. is a craft brewery, taproom, and restaurant located at 1505 King Street, Charleston, SC in the Pacific Box & Crate development. Their moto, “Quality first. The rest will follow” is 100% true.
࿏ FIREFLY DISTILLERY – $
Their is nothing better than sunshine and Spanish moss, mixed with salt air and sweet tea. At Firefly, they are all about good times with friends (two-legged and four). During the summer months, they have concerts and an // to park your // chairs.
࿏ THE GIN JOINT – $$
The Gin Joint has been offering an expansive list of classics along side a rotating seasonal menu since 2010. Alongside their large spirit collection, they also have amazing a curated bar bites menu!
If you don’t know where to start, they suggest a “Bartender’s Choice.” Simply pick two adjectives that suit your fancy and they’ll craft something to satisfy your taste buds. How neat?!
MY PICK: KENTUCKY SUNRISE + STAY GOLD
࿏ HOLY CITY BREWING – $
The Holy City story is about a team of four guys dedicated to craft beer and their community, aiming to bring more of one to the other. If you have time in your schedule, I highly recommend HCB. It’s such a neat place to kick up your feet to enjoy your beer and enjoy your friend’s (or families) company.
࿏ HISTORIC CHARLESTON CITY MARKET
Located at 188 Meeting Street, the market is an AMAZING central location that features dozens of local artists, shops and vendors who sell their products here each day! It is such a cool experience to walk through the market and see all of the products, and it’s bordered by a few of the restaurants + candy shops I’ve mentioned in this post (like 5 Church, Market Pavilion + a popular candy shop for pralines)!
࿏ KING STREET
This is the main strip of shopping + eating downtown Charleston! It’s where you will find the majority of the popular shops and eateries – and it’s also just a gorgeous street to walk up and down to take in the views! All of the high end and regular shops but some really cute boutiques as well and the prices were surprisingly good. I would have bought some cute shirts or a dress or jacket if I had more room in my bag, but I was traveling with just a carry on!
࿏ ARTHUR RAVENEL JR. BRIDGE
The Ravenel Bridge is the most iconic bridge in the Southeast, which spans over the Cooper River and connecting downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant. The bridge has a main span of 1,546 feet, making it the third longest among cable-stayed bridges in the Western Hemisphere.
The Cooper River Bridge run is also run over the Ravenel every year, which is always a really popular event every year!
࿏ THE BEACHES (duh…)
There are so many beach options surrounding Charleston, including beaches on Folly Beach, James Island, John’s Island, Sullivan’s and Isle of Palms! Personally, we love going to Isle of Palms most – but Folly Beach is a much more “tourist-friendly” and party vibe if that’s what you’re looking for!
Some of the classic “Notebook” movie was filmed here! Boone Hall is another beautiful and super popular plantation, and known as the #1 plantation to visit in Charleston, SC! The Spanish moss and lowcountry smells truly can’t be beat!
You can buy tickets here.
The Charleston Riverdogs are part of the Low-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. Grab a beer, a hot dog and enjoy a baseball game overlooking the pretty marshlands.
FUN FACT: The Riverdogs are also co-owned by Bill Murray. How neat?!
You can buy tickets here.
࿏ RAINBOW ROW
Rainbow Row is one of the most iconic spots in Charleston! This area is located at 83 E Bay Street and includes multiples blocks of gorgeous, colorful historic homes! I could photograph portraits here every single day and never get tired of it. It’s the perfect place to get all of the iconic Charleston pictures!
One of my family’s favorite plantations to visit – Magnolia is absolutely gorgeous! It is known for the gorgeous gardens and Spanish moss, and is the perfect spot to get lunch and walk around or do some tours of the property! You can also grab a picnic packet and find the perfect spot to plop down for some great company and great views.
You can buy tickets here.
࿏ PINEAPPLE FOUNTAIN + THE BATTERY
The Ashley and Cooper Rivers come together at the seawall known as The Battery, popular with visitors because of the antebellum homes along the stroll. The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality + the perfect spot for some girls’ weekend photo memories and to rest your feet after all the shopping.
Charleston is the perfect weekend (or week, to be perfectly honest) getaway for a girlfriends get-together, family trip or bachelorette excursion. I actually went for my own bachelorette weekend in Aug. 2019. It’s so incredible easy to walk around and to see the history etched streets.
OTHER MISC. RECS: Butcher + Bee, Candlefish, Hottle Little Biscuit, Sugar Bakeshop, The Citadel, The College of Charleston
OTHER SIDE NOTE: If you are also looking for ways to donate to a good cause in the Charleston area, then check out my other blog post about Charleston Hope’s mission.
Are you a fan of Chucktown? What are some of your go-to’s while in town? Let’s chat about some of your favorites in the comments below!