Raise your hand if you’ve never been to Charleston, South Carolina! NOW, bring that hand to your keyboard and go book your flights like right now; I promise you that you will thank me later.
If you’re looking for a vacation spot that has incredible food, beautiful history, hospitality that’s out of this world, and so much charm you’ll want to bottle it up and take it back home with you- this is the place to go. TJ and I have been going on a trip around my birthday every year- first Europe, then Nashville, and then Charleston, and each one has been so so special. He surprised me with the destination this go around (meaning- we showed up to the airport and I found out where we were going when I typed the confirmation number in the kiosk!) which made it even more exciting.
I’m going to recount some of our favorite things from the trip (while trying to forget about exactly how much food we ate) so I hope you enjoy! Hit me with any questions, I’d be so so happy to answer them! Here we go…
First Stop: Poogan’s Porch – Brunch is my favorite meal of the day, and this brunch just solidified this. I had the Shrimp and Grits and TJ had the Pulled Pork Benedict and both were out of this world. The restaurant was set in a gorgeous old house and made it feel as though we were having a post-mass meal at Grandma’s house. Great food, great atmosphere, and the most handsome company #swoon. 5 Stars for sure for sure.
Next Stop: Classic Carriage Works for a horse-drawn carriage tour through the beautiful city. We got to see some of the most gorgeous (and huge!) churches and some Charleston neighborhoods while learning about the history of this charming city. It was the perfect way to see the city and get our footing before the rest of our visit. If you head to this city, you must do a tour via carriage!
Next Up: Husk – Do any of you guys watch any Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown?! If you don’t you should, and if you do, think back to his episode on Charleston and you’ll remember your mouth watering as he talked about this place. Located right next door to Poogan’s in the center of Charleston, Husk features a James Beard award-winning chef who pushes the envelope of Low Country Cooking (Charlestonian term I learned); I mean we had fried chicken skins with pimento cheese as an appetizer #getinmybelly. Teej had the Confit Duck Leg and I had the Strip Steak for our meals, and, as to be expected, both were truly incredible.
Fort Sumpter: This Charleston landmark is the site of the first shots of the Civil War, how cool is that?! We had to take a short boat ride on the “Spirit of Charleston” to get to the Fort, but from there we were able to mozy around the property at our leisure with some AWESOME guides available to fill our heads with some important history. It’s always nice to squeeze in some history on a vacation, and being in such an important Southern city, I was happy we got to have a little reminder of the past to make us appreciate our trip even more.
Okay, I need to wrap this up (but I could literally go on forever). Some other things we did are:
- 5 Church Charleston– A unique restaurant truly unlike any I’ve ever been to- It’s in an old church! Great variety of food here and everything we had was outstanding. It’s located right across from the Charleston City Market (and from a Ben and Jerry’s) so it’s the perfect way to wind down your day!
- Charleston City Market- An open air market in the middle of the adorable downtown area features art and souvenirs made by local craftsmen. I got some handmade soap for a Christmas gift and it made my entire suitcase smell like Lavender by the time I got home #AMEN.
- The Dark Side of Charleston Walking Tour– We had seen the beauty and experienced the charm, but there’s no such thing as perfect, right?! We were excited to go on this walking tour to learn about some of the dark times in Charleston’s past. It was nice to go on a walking tour at night especially in the beautiful December weather, but we were both hoping for a bit more from this tour. If you are looking to pass some time waiting for dinner, I recommend it, but if you don’t have the time, don’t sweat it.
- King Street- If you’re looking for some shopping from stores from Forever 21 to Louis Vuitton and anything in between, King Street is the place for you. We lucked out and were there for the 2nd Sunday of the month, during which they turn the street into a pedestrian only path fully equipped with food trucks, street musicians, Christmas carolers, and SO MANY DOGS. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. This is my kind of street.
- The Griffon Pub– YALL, so cool. It is “unapoligetically awesome” according to Southern Living Magazine and I couldn’t agree more. This English-inspired bar has dollar bills pinned to the walls around the whole place with people’s signatures on it, so of course we had to join in on the fun; only problem is we didn’t have a pen, so bright pink lipgloss had to do!
- Oyster House + O-Bar – TJ was craving oysters and I mean, what better place to get them than a seaside town?! I don’t even like oysters, but the bar allowed him to pick from a variety of different kinds of oysters with different saliencies, places of origin, and size, so even I was intrigued! He enjoyed those while I enjoyed the She Crab Soup and WOW. Must do! We didn’t make it for their happy hour, but it appears to be one worth catching!
Like I said above, if you are looking for a new city to visit I’m telling you, put this at the top of your list. We were both so shocked by just how awesome the food was and how hospitable the people were. The city was walkable which made it truly manageable during an extended weekend! If anyone has this city on their radar I would LOVE to answer any questions you have!
Next week, I promise some clothes, some beauty, and some more fun! xoShelby
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Love this Shelby! You could write for a travel magazine. Now I really want to make the trip.