Travel Guide: Charleston Weekend Edition
If you know me, you know that there are few things I love more than a girl’s weekend. And we’ve decided January is the perfect excuse to plan something AWAY from the sad/hibernating/cold we’re all enduring… to somewhere warm and sunny. This go around was to my favorite South Carolina city: Charleston. And no matter where we go, the list of places on our itineraries all have to pass the “trendy/cute atmosphere/good food/non-touristy” test. As all places should. Charleston already looks and feels like a postcard, so when you find the hidden gems it’s really just a bonus.
So, here’s a quick glimpse at our long weekend stay (and a good itinerary to follow!) :
We all arrived later in the evening at different times, unloaded our bags at the Airbnb and hopped in the car to drive 10 minutes down to Sullivan’s Island. We stayed in Mt. Pleasant which is a great location, and usually cheaper finds than in the heart of downtown.
The Obstinate Daughter is a gorgeous restaurant with nautical vibes and all the rope/basket lights you could dream up. We planned on sharing a light appetizer and drinks. “Maybe I’ll just do a side of Brussel sprouts?!” one of us muses. But a few minutes later our table was spread with pizza and pasta. Living our best life, you know? (PS. I’ve had brunch here before and it was one of the best I can remember. Worth a visit).
We woke up early, and in our comfies headed across the street to Starbucks where we spread out at a back table with journals, Bibles, and our dream guides. We named the getaway our “Intentional Life Friend Retreat,” (aka ILFR) so we spent the first few hours of each day dreaming and planning and talking through where the Lord has brought us and where we believe He is taking us this year. (I’ll get into this on another day since some of you have asked, but until then I have a few tidbits on Insta-Stories if you’re curious - under the “Faith” highlight).
After getting ready for the day we headed into the city, it was 70 degrees and sunny and it felt like we were dream-walking. Our first stop was Basic Kitchen for brunch. The epitome of a trendy Charleston restaurant. I ordered something called the “Conscious Cowboy” and I’ll never be the same. But the winner of the day was their Fiery Sunset frozen cocktail. We said we felt like we were back in New Orleans, and that means it’s a GEM find you guys.
We walked down King St. to take in and browse all the good shopping before needing to refuel with an afternoon coffee. We ended up across the street at The Rise Coffee Bar, and actually came here twice because we liked it so much. (Order: Iced Mint Latte with almond milk. You’ll thank me).
Next we took a drive down to Rainbow Row, of course. To stroll and take photos and walk along the Battery sidewalk by the water. Right at sunset. We couldn’t have timed it better if we tried.
Before we headed back to the Airbnb to freshen up, we made one last stop for drinks at Husk. It had gotten a little chilly so the back patio wasn’t open, but sitting upstairs in the old house was just so cozy and full of locals. Our favorite kind of place. (Note: a little on expensive side though).
Back at our Airbnb we comfied up, curled back into bed and watched a few episodes of Southern Charm because HAD TO. So by the time we had thoroughly “rested” it was past 10pm and all we really wanted was some place low key. Preferably with chicken tenders. Thus we ended up at The Kickin’ Chicken a few blocks down in Mt. Pleasant. Perfect for that late night dinner before going back to party and by party I mean sleep. Nothing like friends who also love their sleep as much as you. #thriveright
We had our ILFR session at a cute little coffee shop called Vintage Coffee Cafe. An old house converted into a coffee shop, small but cozy. With homemade donuts, so. Win win.
Then we got dressed and headed to brunch at Millers All Day. It’s that good kind of brunch menu that has everything homey, with biscuits and fried chicken. And their home fries... the best I’ve had. Especially because they have their own variation of Chick-fil-A sauce. All of that goodness mixed in with the colorful mid-century modern feel made it a successful find.
Normally this would have been our “biking through the city” day, since we try to do that everywhere we travel. But it ended up being pretty windy, so we stayed on foot and strolled through the City Market and down to the boardwalk for a bit. Then we grabbed another coffee at The Rise Coffee Bar (#cantstopwontstop) before heading to see the ocean down on Sullivan’s Island. The sun was setting and it was quiet and glorious. Chilly but worth it. I could happily live there I’m sure.
We freshened up for the night and met some friends at The Cocktail Club. Which is a small low-key rustic place on the second story of an old downtown building. They use vintage style glasses, velvet chairs, and all the walls are left open to expose their wood beams. It’s a cozy find for a happy hour.
And in needing to get a good taco at least once, we landed on Minero. Casual with great food. I could have just eaten a whole dinner of their fresh chips and been happy. On our way back to the car, we heard some music playing calling our name and ran inside to have 5 minutes on the dance floor. Making it out just as the crowds starting pouring in. Our particular timing of perfection.
For our last ILFR session we parked ourselves in the back of The Harbinger Cafe & Bakery. Another dreamy stop with plants everywhere and quirky wooden tables and mismatched chairs. The creamiest lattes, and one of those places you just want to stay and stay and stay.
Because we didn’t want to say goodbye just yet… we ended the weekend at the The Park Cafe. A cute stop for sure, maybe the least thrilling of them all to be honest. But our itinerary became a literal All-Star list so the standard was high. I’d go back and do it all over again just the same. So if you decide to go, I’m cordially inviting myself k? ;)
Here’s a quick-link list for when you’re walking down King St. and need to remember, “What was that cute coffee shop again?!” *Definitely not an exhaustive list, there are so many more places to go and things to do, I’m just listing where we went on this particular trip*
Walk/shop down King St.
Visit Rainbow Row
Walk through the City Market
Rent bikes downtown – if it’s warm enough!
Walk along the Battery
Beach time on Sullivan’s Island
Explore the places, take the photos, have the laughs, and eat good food. The end.