What to Do, Eat, & Drink in Charleston

July 5, 2016

HELLO!

All caps necessary. How have you been?! I’ve been taking a much-needed hiatus from blogging. While I’ve missed this community dearly, maintaining this page of the internet was feeling more like a chore than a passion. This season of life is a busy one, and I just haven’t had the capacity to commit to a regular posting schedule. I am really getting the itch to bring this page back to life, but I hope you continue to bear with me through this busy phase.

Anyhow, things have been going pretty well in the life department. Lots of work, family time, weddings, birthdays and such. I haven’t had a free weekend in lord knows how long, but have been loving every jam-packed minute.

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For my birthday, Blake surprised me with a trip to Charleston for the two of us. I was beyond excited, and researched the city in and out before heading out two weekends ago. It was my second time visiting the Holy City, and its safe to say it will not be my last. It’s the perfect weekend getaway with tons of sights, shopping, and good eats to explore.

While planning for the trip, I scoured the internet for articles and blog posts on activities and restaurants to incorporate into our stay. I want to share an outline of what we did and ate on our trip to help any of you who are thinking about visiting Charleston. I enjoyed every second of our weekend, so I want to share what we did with everyone!

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STAY

We stayed at The Renaissance Hotel in Charleston’s Historic District and absolutely loved it. I am very weird about hotel rooms (they kind of freak me out), but this one was clean and beautiful. The staff was incredible as well. Upon arriving, they gave us maps outlining breakfast/lunch spots, dinner restaurants, and bars, including price ranges and dress code. They also had complimentary flavored orange/lime water in the lobby, a bar, an outdoor pool on the 3rd floor, and a very nice fitness center for guests to enjoy.

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DO

Charleston Farmers Market – Ya’ll. This is a must. The Charleston Farmers Market is on Marion Square every Saturday from 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM and is kind of a big deal. My perfect day includes a trip to the farmers market, so I knew I had to check it out. There were so many fabulous food vendors, local farmers, and artists. Along with the vendors there was music, dancers, and tons of people that really brought the square to life. We grabbed brunch from some of the food vendors (more on that below) and explored.

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Charleston Historic Market – Totally touristy, but so cool! The Charleston Historic Market runs through downtown selling local art, t-shirts, souvenirs, jewelry, etc. It is so fun to walk through, peruse, and get some much needed shade. Plus, I’m a sucker for the palmetto roses they sell.

Waterfront Park, The Battery, & White Point Gardens – This strip of sights is a must. Make a point to explore the dock and Waterfront Park and walk along the water until you reach White Point Gardens. It’s so beautiful and full of life. I wish I lived here so I could go running down The Battery every morning or set up camp in an eno by the water.

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Rainbow Row – I am a total architecture geek, and love looking at old, beautiful homes. Rainbow Row is the name of a row of iconic homes near White Point Gardens. They date back to the 1700’s, but were restored in the 1930’s. They’re so beautiful, and it’s crazy to think how long they’ve been a part of Charleston and all the different worlds they have seen. The things I would do to take a tour of them all!

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Walk Around – One of my favorite things about Charleston is how walkable everything is. We spent Friday night and most of the Saturday on foot exploring. There are so many beautiful homes and cool shops to pop into. Make sure to bring some comfortable shoes!

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EAT

Outta My Huevos – Ok guys. After seeing this on May’s blog a while back, I have been pining to check it out. I stopped for brunch at Outta My Huevos at the farmers market on Saturday, and it ended up being my favorite meal of the trip. I ordered the Warm Local Vegetable Salad which had Carolina gold rice, okra, squash, grape tomatoes, shishito peppers, kale, soft eggs, feta, and cilantro. I added a drizzle of hot sauce and was immediately in heaven. This is a must!

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Roti Roll – I’ve blogged about Roti Roll before, as they just expanded to Atlanta. They are originally from Charleston, where they have been voted Charleston’s best food truck for years. Roti Roll is Blake’s favorite, so he stopped there for brunch at the farmers market. He ordered two rolls – one with chicken, one with pork – and had rave reviews.

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The Daily – This is another must! After drooling over The Daily on May’s Instagram for two years, I was so excited to head there for brunch on Sunday. The menu includes coffee, smoothies, toast, biscuits, juices, bowls, and more. I could not make up my mind, so I ordered a cold brew coffee with almond milk, a matcha mint smoothie (mint, banana, vanilla, matcha, & almond milk), and avocado toast with tomato. Hands down the best avocado toast I’ve had in my life. The Daily also has a small “market” where you can buy pre-made salads, sandwiches, sides, and local produce.

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Butcher & Bee – After reading about Butcher & Bee on Pinch of Yum, I immediately made reservations for dinner. The menu features a variety of mezze (apps), sides, and entrees that all sounded amazing. Blake and I went a little overboard on the mezze (we ordered 4…) so we were hardly hungry for the entree and side we ordered (swordfish with ratatouille + potatoes with avocado chimichurri). We left with full bellies and a full to-go box. It was amazing, and I’d highly suggest going for wine (they’re BYOB-friendly) and a tapas-style dinner.

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Basil – Without any sort of reservation, we wandered around Charleston on Friday night in search of something for dinner that didn’t require an hour long wait. We stumbled upon Basil, a thai restaurant, and were sold. I ordered curry and Blake ordered their chicken pad prik. I enjoyed my curry, but if I could do it again I would order one of their tofu/veggie dishes. Overall, the meal was good and apparently a very popular spot among Charletson-ers, but would not recommend going out of your way to eat here.

Caviar & Bananas – This is the cutest spot! Caviar & Bananas is a restaurant, coffee bar, and market in downtown. We stopped in for a beer, a kombucha, and some A/C after walking around all day, but I wanted to order everything on the menu! They have salads, sandwiches, sushi, and more. I highly suggest coming here for a casual lunch and a beer.

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DRINK

Black Tap Coffee – We stopped at Black Tap for coffee on Saturday morning, and I was immediately drawn in by the purple building and minimalist decor. I ordered a cold brew with almond milk and Blake ordered a drip coffee. Both drinks were extremely flavorful, and we enjoyed sipping, chatting, and hanging out in the bright, mellow coffee shop before we started our day.

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492 – I’m not a big bar person, but wanted to stop somewhere for a drink after dinner on Friday night. We moseyed around until we found a restaurant with an outdoor bar/lounge patio. They had an awesome cocktail and beer list, so we stopped in for a drink. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and would definitely recommend stopping by for a drink and sitting outside!

And that’s about it! We packed as much as we could into our mini weekend trip and had a blast. If you have any questions about Charleston or where we went, please send me an email or leave a comment! I am by no means an expert, but would love to help in any way I can. 🙂

Your turn:

Have you ever been to Charleston? If so, what are some of your favorite spots to eat, drink, and do?

XO, Bailee

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