Charleston, South Carolina. Have you heard of it? Unless you have been living under a rock, of course you have! Charleston is repeatedly on list of the best cities to live and visit.
It is great for a long weekend with your girlfriends, your partner, or a family getaway. I am lucky enough to have been able to visit Charleston a few times and want to share my love for the “Holy City”.
Charleston is a port city located at the end of a peninsula, where three Rivers jump into the Atlantic Ocean. It was founded in 1670 and was originally called Charles Town as a nod to King Charles.
Its cobblestone streets and architecture let themselves to the southern spirit that is alive in Charleston.
The history continues to speak volumes as you walk down the streets. I feel that is almost palpable.
One of the first things I like to do when visiting a new city, is to take a ride. This can be on either on a trolley or a carriage ride if possible. Learning the history of where I’m visiting and getting the lay of the land from a local is always a good idea.
In Charleston, if you go to the square located on N. Market St. and Anson you will see numerous companies vying for you to go on their carriage tour.
I assure you that they take good care of the horses that are used for these rides. The city of Charleston is very good about monitoring the health of the horses. They draw numbers to see which route the carriages are going to take. This way the neighborhoods are not inundated with carriages at the same time. I found this very interesting And smart. All of the tour guides in Charleston have to go through certification before they can give any type of tour. This includes continued education until you’ve reached a 25 year mark and then they feel you’ve got a good understanding of what you’re doing.
The few tours that I have been on have been spectacular. They tour guides take their jobs very seriously and are educational and entertaining. There is a lot of history in Charleston and they try to pack as much in as possible.
The exchange building located on E. Bay St. has a lot of history to share. It’s not a very long presentation, but it’s very interesting and educational on exactly how Charleston fits into the history of our country and the revolutionary war.
I love a good food tour. I think it is a great way to see a city and learn a lot about it. The Charleston food tour I took was the Charleston Culinary Tour. I share about my food tour in Charleston, check it out.
Cypress Gardens is one of the many beautiful locations in the area where the movie, “The Notebook” was filmed. This particular place was the romantic rowboat scene but the birds won’t all be there as they were brought in for the movie.
Boone Hall Plantation was the outside of Allie’s family home. The grounds are breathtaking and worth the visit, especially if you are a fan of the movie.
There are beaches nearby to visit and settle in for the day. They include Folly’s Beach, Sullivan’s Island and Isle of the Palms. If you want to go for a bit of a drive, there is also Kiawah Island south of Charleston that is famous for its golf courses.
Well, I am glad that you asked. If you are following a food blogger who travels a lot you come to expect the low down on food. When you are in the Low Country of SC, there is a lot to share so let us dig in!
If you like seafood, Charleston is your city. I will start with a few of my favorite oyster spots.
The Ordinary is no ordinary oyster house. It has a French feeling to it with the brass and white subway tile but is definitely a fancier Southern seafood restaurant. It is located at 544 King Street and does take reservations.
The Darling Oyster Bar located at 513 King Street has an old fashioned oyster bar and a regular bar surrounded by plentiful seating. The beautiful green and white of this restaurant is eye candy and pairs nicely with the lovely menu. I have eaten both Sunday brunch and dinner here and it has never left me disppointed.
167 Raw Oyster Bar is located across the street from our hotel, The Kings Courtyard, at 193 King Street. One reason we loved this spot (we might have visited it more than once) is it has a New England flair but with that down home Southern warmth. The variety of oysters is always on point and their wine list is small but perfect.
FIG is a restaurant name that is as well known as the city of Charleston itself. FIG (the acronym for Food Is Good) is so popular it is hard to get a spot. I showed up as the restaurant opened and was able to find a place at the bar. The food does not disappoint and neither does the service.
82 Queen is located at, you guessed it, 82 Queen. It is in a very cool building over looking a courtyard. the She Crab soup is not to be missed. Best in the city. No lie.
SNOB or Slightly North of Broad is a very energetic restaurant located on E Bay Street. It has an open kitchen that is fun to watch meals being prepared and the food traveling through the dining room. They take reservations and I highly recommend making one for this favorite.
Husk is Chef Sean Brock’s baby. It is a tradition in Charleston as it has been around for over a decade. Located on the quiet Queen Street, the menu is different on a daily basis but always recommend anything that comes with pimento cheese.
Lenoir is Vivian Howard’s new restaurant located on Wentworth street. I really enjoyed the dirty martini that used pimento cheese stuffed olives. To. Die. For. It is a beautiful space and the food is the definition of comfort food. They do take reservations.
The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island is that one restaurant that I would say is worth fighting the traffic and the drive out of downtown Charleston. They have pasta, pizza and all of the Frogmore Chowder you can dream of. My son purchased the Charleston cookbook at the Obstinate Daughter just so I could have that recipe to make at home.
I fly into the Charleston airport and took a taxi into the city. Unless you are staying out of the downtown area, I do not believe you need a car.
While we were in town we did uber a few times but it really wasn’t a hassle. It is a walkable city and parking is limited so keep that in mind.
I will be back. I don’t know when, but I will be there. Maybe as a girls trip or for a weekend away celebrating my anniversary with my husband. Charleston has my heart. I hope you let it have yours too.