charleston city guide
by Juliet Bryant
Charleston is a special city for a few reasons. There is a lovely clashing of cultures that is quite intriguing. Classy southern bred and raised women in sundresses walking past kombucha on tap sold with apple pay by tatted entrepreneurs is a little peek into the vibe. You have the timeless low country southern charm and the young modern ideas of millennial's dwelling in the same city. It all comes colliding together in a vibrant and charming way in a Nicholas Sparks-esque city perfect for a slow summer adventure!
me oh my! The Dewberry is a glorious place. You want to stand a little straighter when you walk in the door! The most luscious interior design would make any religious instagramer drool. Marble and wood, modern furniture, smiling desk clerks… the essence of cool elegance that still somehow has just loads of southern charm all at once. Can you tell I liked it? Inside is Henrietta’s restaurant, a bar lounge, and coming soon, a rooftop bar!
There are a loot of darling airbnbs that are super fabulous, and a lil better for those balling on a budget (I feel you!). I recommend getting one actually in Charleston rather than right outside of it if you want to enjoy all that Charleston has to offer. This city is a little spread out and you don’t want to waste vacation time in driving. Just make sure to book ahead of time because there are more good options available!
Charleston’s food options will not disappoint! I think it’s one of my favorite cities for food culture. There is a lovely mixture of cutting-edge cuisine, low country and seafood. For us, going out to dinner is the “evening event”, I love getting dressed up and walking around when the day is cooler. This is just the place to enjoy a sparkly evening on the town!
Tu - wow, what a beautiful restaurant. The offerings are as soul-satisfying as the design! I recommend making a reservation though, this place stays busy!
Pancito and Lefty - We had a really special time at Pancito and Lefty and I HIGHLY recommend this place. Super chill vibe with the best tacos of your life. Everything was just bursting with flavor! We got a lot of helpful tips from our waiter about what the city has to offer, some of which I’m sharing with you here! Here’s a spot I’ll for sure be going back to so don’t miss it, especially if you’re a taco lover (and who isn’t?)
Henrietta’s - we went here for breakfast and it was so very lovely. We sat and relaxed for hours just sipping coffee and talking together on a cloudy Sunday morning.
Basic Kitchen - fresh and flavorful dishes in a hip beachy atmosphere.
Butcher and Bee - a lively twist on traditional southern food in an industrial space.
Luke’s Craft Pizza - high quality oven baked pizza in a minimal little hole-in-the-wall.
Millers all Day - very good food for any meal of the day, what more could you ask for?
The Daily - this is a coffee shop but for me, the highlight was this amazing toast we had there. Mine was whipped feta and honey and I wish I’d gotten more than one. I could eat it allll day long.
Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit - gimme alll the biscuits! We didn’t have time to eat here but I sure wanted to. Sweet and savory biscuits! I’d probably choose this spot for breakfast. The hours are quirky so be wary to check ahead online when they are open!
Daps breakfast and Imbibe - fun atmosphere with a menu that consists mostly of a quirky spin on loaded grits and pancakes.
Rodney Scott’s BBQ - for a real taste of the south! This truly southern experience will make your mouth water!
Jenni’s Ice Cream - perfect for a hot summer day or night, the smell of the freshly made cones will invite you in from the street!
There is a whole lot that you could do in Charleston, but I have the feeling that Charleston is more of a being place than a doing place. Those kinds of places can be so very important for those with a fast-paced life who just need to catch up with themselves! Charleston is a thriving city with an exciting nightlife, but during the day it is a sleepy, sweet, southern town. If I were to spend more than 48 hours here, I would do just about the same thing every day: have a delicious breakfast, spend all day in total relaxation at the beach (reading or writing or thinking) and in the evening I would shake the sand out of my hair and put on a pretty dress and go out to a fancy place! It’s just the place to reconnect with loved ones or your creativity. If you’re looking for a place that has everything you need for a southern summer getaway, Charleston is your place. Besides just reconnecting and eating, a few other things to do in Charleston would be:
Saturday Morning Market - right across from The Dewberry in the middle of downtown, you can’t miss it. A place to delight your senses.
A little Bit of History - Charleston is rich with history. There are plenty of tours if that’s your thing, but in our short time we enjoyed walking around Battery Park and reading the plaques.
See the Homes! - One of my favorite things we did was walking around those great big southern mansions nearby battery park and peeking into their lovely gardens where I liked to imagine myself having morning coffee amongst the roses. Rainbow row is one of those “instagram famous” places and is right by battery park too, so that’s fun to walk by!
Kick It at the Beach - I could stay at the beach allll day my whole life, so you know where I spent most of my time in Charleston. We went to isle of palms which is only a 20-minute drive in the car, and parked in the residential area which was less crowded and cuter!
Walk a Bunch - walking is always one of our favorite things to do in a new city. There’s just no better way of getting to know it! King Street is the main drag through town and has pretty old buildings and great shopping. I love to get a bit of exercise while on vacation, it keeps me feeling fresh and enjoying my time, so this is a fun way to do it! I’d recommend walking this area soon after you arrive in Charleston to give yourself a good idea of the lay of the land for your stay.
Redux Contemporary Art Gallery - this place came highly recommended by our kind waiter at Pancito and Lefty. Full of all the best kinds of art.
Local Events - I’d recommend looking at the dates you’re going and see what events are going on! While we were there, there were several events and Charleston is an alive city so it’s worth checking to seeing if there’s anything you’d be interested in!