Last weekend my boyfriend, Shane, and I took an overnight trip to Charleston after spending some time with my mom in Myrtle Beach for a few days. Charleston is close to Myrtle Beach, so it made sense to venture down there and close out our trip in a beautiful city. To say we ate a lot of good food would be an understatement. We visited several great restaurants and saw much of the beauty of Charleston in a very short time. While I wish we were able to stay longer and continue to stuff our bellies, our trip was well worth it and a lot of fun. Here’s a little recap of our 24 hours in Charleston…
We arrived in Charleston around lunchtime ready to eat, so we stopped at the famous Magnolia’s for some southern food. It was pretty crowded, but we were able to get a table for two next to the window. I ordered a local Palmetto Brewery amber ale and a crab cake sandwich with a side of jalapeño-peach coleslaw. The crab cake was fresh and flavorful, and mostly consisted of crabmeat (always a good sign). The slaw was a great combination of sweet and spicy. I ordered the slaw just so I could top my sandwich with it, and it didn’t disappoint. We also received fresh sourdough bread with whipped herb butter alongside our meals.
After lunch we checked into our Airbnb for the night. We lucked out and found a charming, historic home in the French Quarter to stay at. One of our hosts owns a design company in Charleston, so their house was beautifully decorated. Our hosts were friendly and able to provide us with a lot of information about the city, and they had the most adorable dogs! We like to use Airbnb everywhere we go, as it allows us the opportunity to meet locals and immerse ourselves in the culture of the city we’re visiting. If you haven’t used Airbnb for your travel needs yet, you’re missing out! This was the pretty view from our third-floor room:
We settled into our room for a bit before heading out for a night on the town. Charleston has an excellent downtown happy hour scene that we took full advantage of. We first stopped by Southend Brewery for a beer. This place was huge and doubled as a restaurant with a full menu. I had a pint of their blonde ale, which they brew onsite. It was nice and refreshing on such a hot Charleston day.
Next we headed over to a little gem called The Gin Joint. I would have spent all day and night here if I could, and I left wishing we had a spot like this in Charlotte. In fact, we ended up back here later that night for another drink because we loved it so much. It’s a tiny, intimate place with just a few tables and a small bar. There were several shelves lined with interesting bottles of liquor, and behind the bar we saw fresh herbs, various bottles of flavored bitters and other unique drink additions. I had a special happy hour cocktail consisting of lemon, ginger, honey and gin. We shared a smoked gouda cheese board with hot pepper honey and lavash, and some amazing oysters with scotch brine, jalapeño mignonette and smoked sea salt. We had a lot of oysters on our vacation, but these were by far the best.
After our happy hour stops, we took a stroll down the boardwalk and hung out by the water for a bit to relax and people-watch. The sun was going down so the heat subsided a bit and left us with a nice breeze.
For dinner we went to Blossom, a cute little restaurant on East Bay Street. Everything about this place was fantastic, from the service to the ambiance to the delicious food. I went with the grilled tuna (rare, of course) with port sauce, which came with coconut rice, edamame and mushrooms. The tuna was cooked to perfection, and the coconut rice was SO flavorful and creamy. Shane had fried chicken, which he said was some of the best he’s ever had. As stuffed as we were, I had to try their dessert. We shared a peach oatmeal crisp with vanilla bean ice cream and raspberry compote…and by share, I mean I ate 75% of it. It was a sweet ending to our tasty meal.
We walked down some of the Charleston streets after dinner, admiring all of the big, fancy southern houses before returning to our Airbnb. The next morning we had a late breakfast at Welkin Coffee. We ate so much the day before that we were craving something a little lighter, so we each got a coffee and shared a couple of pastries and fruit. Not only was my iced coffee just adorable in the mason jar, it was REALLY good coffee.
We spent the next couple of hours meandering through the Charleston City Market. The market is a great representation of the city, with various local vendors selling items like jewelry, books, art and crafts, sweetgrass baskets, soaps and gourmet food throughout 4-5 long brick buildings. It’s a must-do if you are ever in Charleston!
Our trip was coming to a close, but we made one last stop for lunch at Lowcountry Bistro, a little southern café right near the market. I had the crab melt, which came with pimiento cheese and fried green tomatoes on a huge English muffin. I had a side of cheese grits, which were melt-in-your-mouth good. Shane had a side of mac & cheese with his burger, which was also really tasty.
We headed back home after lunch. We had a great time in Charleston, filled with good food and beautiful sights. I captured one last gorgeous picture on our way over the Arthur Ravenel Jr. bridge as we left…
What do you love about Charleston? What are your favorite restaurants? Leave a comment!