David and I chose Charleston for spring break this year because I wanted to go to the beach and David wanted to explore a new city. We visited Savannah, GA and had a wonderful time both at Tybee Island and exploring the downtown area. This inspired David to select Charleston because it had a quaint feel like Savannah and several beaches. We had a wonderful time exploring everything Charleston had to offer and I have summarized our trip below in this travel blog!
What to Do
Our first day of the trip was also the warmest day, so we packed my giant scout bag and headed for the beach. We loved this beach because it was not crowded and we were able to relax and enjoy the peaceful sound of the waves. One of our favorite things to do at the beach is to read books. We read for several hours and then we took a long walk down the beach right near the edge of the water in the sea foam. We had a blast all day without spending any money except for food.
2. Walking tour
When we visited New Orleans, we picked up a pamphlet walking tour that took us to each of the historic places and had a blurb that we would read in front of each home. We like to do walking tours because it takes you through the most beautiful areas of town and you learn along the way. We picked up a walking tour guide in Charleston for around $5.
3. Historic homes
Our first stop in Charleston was to the visitor center. This is a great way to make sure you hit the hot spots of the city. We were advised to see the Aiken-Rhett House and the Nathaniel Russel house. If you bought admission for both houses at the first stop then you saved money over buying them separately. The Aiken-Rhett house has an audio tour that tells you all about the history of the home. However, the home has not been restored so anticipate peeling paint and unfinished flooring. We enjoyed the contrast with the Nathaniel Russel house which was beautifully restored and is known for its magnificent staircase.
4. Charleston City Market
We did not spend very long in the city market because shopping is just not something we enjoy doing on our vacations. However, it did have a very lively hustle and bustle about it and was a fun place to walk around!
5. Magnolia Plantation Gardens
The gardens were very close to where we were staying and I am so thankful that we had this on our list. Unfortunately, I think we were a few weeks early to catch everything in full bloom. However, the gardens were gorgeous and much larger than I anticipated. Tip: You can get discounted admission on Groupon!
Where to Eat
The Obstinate Daughter
The atmosphere and food were superb. We went for brunch while on Sullivan’s Island. David ordered the farro with chicken and I ordered the eggs in purgatory. YUM.
2. Dessert: BeardCats Sweet Shop
This adorable sweet shop served some of the best ice cream I have ever tasted. We split a cup of ½ hazelnut ½ pistachio!
3. Poe’s Tavern: This funky burger restaurant was named after Edgar Allen Poe who called Sullivan’s Island home while stationed at a nearby fort. If we ever went back I think we would split the $10 nachos because they were massive (even though the burger was awesome!)
4. Butcher and Bee
This was the most unique meal we had during our trip. Our favorite part of the meal and our “must try” recommendation is the bacon wrapped dates.
5. 167 Raw: I had my heart set on eating dinner at FIG. However, we were messy from walking around all day and getting rained on, and FIG was too fancy for our disheveled appearance. We changed plans last minute and tried 167 Raw. I loved the tiny yet lively atmosphere of this restaurant! Unfortunately, I think they were known for their raw oysters which neither of us eat. However, David had a shrimp po’boy that he said was amazing and I had fish tacos that were delicious as well!
Where to stay
We decided to save money and stay at an Airbnb. We highly recommend this! It’s a great way to save money and we typically spend very little time there anyways since we like to explore all day.
Charleston is a vibrant city with so much to offer! I truly believe it has something for everyone from the history buff to the shopaholic.