I have a bit of a travel obsession. Near… far… and everywhere in between. So to start 2013 off with a bang, I took a trip to Charleston, SC and was transported to a cute, gorgeous city full of charm, elegance and history. After a day on my own, I met up with my college friend/teammate, Andrea and off we went….
One thing you notice while walking in Charleston is the abundance of the horse drawn carriages. I highly recommend the experience; as you get to see quite a bit of the city in about an hour. Plus you get a pretty great history lesson… so you can go back and walk around the areas that you loved the most!
My carriage ride ($20) rode up and down Queen and King St and in the residential areas - it is just amazing to me that majority of these are single family homes. Some of these homes were built in 1700s. CRAZY. I think I am obsessed with the signage here too.
We planned our days around what restaurants we wanted to hit (dont judge), so we opted for a lighter breakfast so we could hit two highly raved about restaurants for lunch and dinner. Stop by the BakeHouse for a Red Velvet Hot Chocolate (YUM!!) and a slice of pumpkin bread… absolute HEAVEN. After we filled our bellies, we walked a block over to Rainbow Row - a strip of colorful homes that are just picturesque… especially for a photographer!
We walked along the bay and down some cobblestone streets to find these gems. Each home blows the next out of the water.. and more than likely it has some crazy history lesson along with it… naturally, between the great weather and the view? I could have walked along these streets for a week.
We also took a trip out to Magnolia Plantation, after learning Boone Hall Plantation was closed for the winter. Bummed, but we made the most of it. It took us about 20 minutes to get out to the area and found out that these people had LOTS of money… and lots of land. We toured the grounds, petting zoo and the majestic home ($22) and got a taste of the history and life there. Oh and we took cheesy pictures.. that obviously RULE.
We also did some shopping along King St… which is full of designer and local shops. Although it is a touristy stop, for this shopper - I was in heaven. Found myself some new sandals! Woot!
Sleep: We rented a 2 bedroom condo via airbnb.com | I love going to a new city and feeling like I am staying at a friends versus staying in the hotels I am used to. If you haven’t check this site out… you must. Huge savings vs renting a hotel room.
Eats: Magnolias, Poogans Porch, Hominy Grill, Henry’s Rooftop, Hyman’s Seafood (touristy, but good) | Charleston has such great food and we happened to visit during restaurant week - which lead to some great deals. We missed out on eating at Fig, High Cotton, Husk and Halls Chophouse… but don’t regret any of our food spots. Everything was delicious and tasty.
Dos: Take a carriage ride first, visit a plantation (Boone Hall Plantation or Magnolia Plantation are both great) and grab a coffee and get lost in Charleston: Rainbow Row, along the bay, up and down Meeting St, King Street (amazing shops), Calhoun Mansion and the Battery.
Drinks: Squeeze, Rooftop at Henry’s, Gin Tonic, Social - and apparently upper King St has a good nightlife, we didn’t make it there though.
Advice: If I could do it all over again, I would look for a condo (or even a hotel room) closer to town. It was lovely to be in the mix of the history, but we had to pay to park pretty much every where. Parking ranges from $6-$10 a day. The airport is only 15 minutes away, so I would just pay for transit vs renting a car and just WALK everywhere. There is so much to do and see… and its all in walking distance. One can literally get lost walking amongst the history. I highly recommend a visit here.