As you probably saw from social media, Josh and I spent last week in Charleston, South Carolina. And, we absolutely LOVED it there! Charleston has been at the top of our travel list for a while, so we booked the trip on a whim and I’m so glad we did. Not only is Charleston so beautiful (and instagrammable i might add!) but it is also so full of history and charm. We decided we want to retire in Charleston and get a beautiful old house with a front porch and rocking chairs. 🙂 There is so much to do in Charleston and we definitely didn’t get to it all, but I wanted to share this Charleston travel guide for all of you in case you were thinking of planning a trip. Which i highly recommend!
Just a side note, i would not recommend visiting Charleston in the summer! The last couple days of our trip started to get hot and humid so I would recommend coming in March or April when all the trees are blooming for Spring and the weather is perfect.
Where to stay
Mills House: We stayed at the iconic Mills House! Yes, the pink hotel. 🙂 We loved our stay here as the location is PERFECT! It is located in the South of Broad neighborhood which is close to literally everything. I have to say the actual rooms could use a little renovation and the bathrooms were pretty small, but you really can’t beat the location and price of this hotel. Plus staying at a pink hotel is just SO fun!
Zero George: We also stopped by this adorable boutique inn one afternoon and fell in love with its charm. The location isn’t as good as our hotel, but i loved how small and intimate it felt. We would definitely like to stay here next time!
What to do
Rainbow Row/King Street: I would highly recommend spending at least one afternoon walking (or biking!) down Rainbow Row and King Street. All the building are different colors (hence the name) and there are so many fun shops to pop into!
Rent bikes: Charleston has a bike share program called Holy Spokes where you can rent bikes for around $12/day and book them through an app on your phone. We rented bikes almost every day! It was the best way to explore Charleston and we loved riding through the historic neighborhoods looking at all the beautiful homes on the Battery.
White Point Garden: I would highly suggest riding bikes down to White Point Garden. It is a gorgeous park with the most beautiful trees! The homes right along the garden are so stunning and you get great views of Fort Sumter and Charleston Harbor.
Plantation Tour: This was one of my favorite things we did on our trip! We toured Magnolia Plantation and wow was it beautiful and full of history. We chose this plantation because it wasn’t too far and the gardens surrounding the plantation are stunning. I mean how picture perfect is this white bridge and trees dripping with Spanish moss?!
Sullivans Island: I would recommend spending at least one of your days at Sullivan’s Island! And, if you can, try and make it for sunrise or sunset. The beaches in the south are nothing like California beaches, and the water is warm so you can totally go in without freezing your butt off! There are so many great little restaurant nearby as well to enjoy.
Haunted Jail Tour: We heard so many good things about Charleston’s ghost tours and we chose to do the haunted jail tour because it’s been on all sorts of TV shows and seemed the scariest! 😉 We didn’t spot any ghosts on our tour, but it was definitely creepy and the guide tells some great ghost stories that may freak you out a little. We also did our tour when it was dark out which added to the spookiness!
Where to eat
Eli’s Table: We ate here our first night and had the most delicious shrimp and grits! It was so close to our hotel and their traditional southern cuisine was perfect for our first night in Charleston.
Poogan’s Porch: This is definitely the BEST spot for brunch! It was literally right next door to our hotel and we sat outside on the porch. They had the yummiest chicken and waffles!
Husk: This is one of the most popular restaurants in Charleston and it did not disappoint! Definitely make reservations in advance because they book almost a month out. Luckily, they had a last minute cancellation and we were able to get in with only a short wait. It is located right next to Poogan’s and our hotel!
Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit: Oh. my. gosh. If you visit Charleston, you MUST try Callie’s! They have the best biscuits I’ve ever had in my life. They have a huge selection of biscuits, jams, butters, everything. They have two locations and you better believe we visited both! We have been craving these biscuits ever since we got home.
Magnolia’s: Another great spot with traditional southern cuisine. Be sure to order the fried mac n cheese… yummmm.
Paw Paw: Order the fried chicken here – you will not regret it!
Carmella’s: We went here for dessert one night after our dinner at Paw Paw because they ran out of beignets. And, i’m so glad we found this dessert bar because they have a huge selection of baked goods and mini cakes to share. We sat out on their patio and shared some cake while we people watched – our favorite!
Peace Pie: This place was up there with Callie’s biscuits! We came here more times than i would like to admit, but they have the most ah-mazing ice cream sandwiches! The cookie is actually pie crust and then it is filled with ice cream and a layer of pie filling. LIFE CHANGING.
Sugar bakeshop: This is the cutest little bakeshop! We picked up some yummy cupcakes after a long day of walking and exploring.
Millers: This is a great breakfast/coffee shop on King street we found on our last day. The decor is very retro and cute!
The Obstinate Daughter: This is where we ate lunch on the day we spent at Sullivans Island. The atmosphere and decor is amazing and i had the yummiest margarita pizza!
Hymans: This restaurant has been around since forever! Lots of famous people have also dined here as you’ll see from the moment you walk in. Hymans has some of the best seafood and lots of it! Make sure you come with an empty stomach because they serve you a lot of food. And they don’t take reservations, so make sure you go early to avoid long lines.
The Spectator Hotel: We stumbled upon the Spectator Hotel one night walking back to our hotel after dinner. They have a really great bar that we got drinks at. The decor gave me serious Gatsby vibes! It is definitely worth stopping in for a drink or it would be amazing to stay there!
Places we wanted to eat at but didn’t get to:
Poe’s Tavern: We walked by this restaurant on Sullivans Island and totally wish we had time to eat here. It looked SO good! I heard their burger is amazing.
Darling Oyster: We made a reservation here but last minute cancelled because we were too tired. I’m not a big seafood person, but Josh is. This seafood restaurant was highly recommended by others!
Zero Restaurant: This is the restaurant at the Zero George Inn we visited one afternoon. We just didn’t have enough time to go here, but i heard it is really good!
I hope you found this travel guide helpful. If you’re planning a trip to Charleston, I am SO jealous! I would go back in a heartbeat. If you aren’t planning a trip, I suggest you do i promise you won’t regret it!
Thanks for stopping by 🙂