Breathtaking views, historical landmarks, cobble street alleys, and colorful buildings are just a few of the things you’ll find in charming Charleston. This thriving southern city has been on my travel bucket list for quite some time now. All of those darling pictures all over Instagram made me want to visit so badly. My husband and I recently went to South Carolina for his cousin’s wedding, so knew we had to make it a priority to go to Charleston while we were down there. It was also our two year wedding anniversary so it was a double win and the perfect time to take a trip.
Charleston is everything you imagine it to be and more! I think it’s safe to say it is one of my favorite places I’ve traveled to yet, I don’t think I could ever tire of this city. With so much to do and see in one city, it can be a little overwhelming on where to start. Our days were jammed packed with a lot of fun activities. I’m excited to share a travel guide of all the things you must do in Charleston based on our trip there. Bonus: they are pretty budget friendly! Here are a few of our favorites…
Where to Stay:
Marriott Spring Hill Suites – We stayed at a Spring Hills Suites by Marriott located about 5 minutes away from downtown Charleston. It was a beautiful hotel right next to a gorgeous Marina. It was super clean, had comfortable beds, a pool, and delicious breakfast in the morning. Highly recommend it.
Where to Eat:
Let’s be honest, food is the most important part of any trip! (at least it is for us). Charleston has such a thriving foodie scene. There are endless dining options to choose from. One of the hardest thing about staying in Charleston was picking all of the restaurants to go to because there are so many amazing ones. We didn’t get to go to all of the places on our list, but you’d probably have to stay there for about two weeks to be able to hit every single place.
Leon’s – An amazing spot for delicious low country eats. Try the fried chicken sandwich, it does not disappoint! Plus, this place has a really cool atmosphere, and not to mention frosé.
Darling Oyster – A stylish and vintage spot with delicious seafood dishes, fry baskets & raw oysters. It’s the perfect seafood restaurant for a date night, or night out with friends!
Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit – Basically a cute and tiny shop that serves up an assortment of the best biscuits you’ll ever have. We made sure to check this place out because when in the South, one must try biscuits! There are so many different ones to try, but our favorite was the cheddar and chive biscuit. Also, get their iced mint sweet tea with lemon.. it’s the bomb.
The Vendue Rooftop Bar – This was our first time being on a rooftop bar and it was super cool to have such a pretty view of the city. The quaint rooftop bar is ideal for sharing an app and getting some handcrafted cocktails all while watching the sunset.
The Taco Spot – A little hole in the wall restaurant that has the best tacos! We both got the Mexican street tacos (3 for $5) and they were delicious. Can’t beat it!
Carmella’s – This place is so neat, it’s a super cute and cozy cafe, dessert and wine bar all in one.
Queology – We stopped here for a late night bite and we were so glad we did. The service was great and the food was to die for! We got the pulled pork nachos and the smoked chicken wings with their famous in house sauces. So good.
Jenni’s Splendid Ice Cream – This is a really fun ice cream shop we stumbled upon on King street. They have unique flavors and their ice cream is really rich and creamy. It is one of the best ice cream places we have tried, and we tried quite a few! 😉
Sugar Bake Shop – A must stop. This is an insta-famous bakery with tons of handmade delicious goodies to try!
What to do:
Angel Oak Tree – The angel Oak tree is worth the visit if you don’t mind going for a short drive. This tree is over 1,000 years old and is said to be one of the oldest living oak trees in the country. It’s huge and the limbs are just grown out everywhere.
Rainbow Row – The iconic Rainbow Row makes for some pretty and cheerful photos. You can find it downtown, near the waterfront, and it is a series of colorful historic houses. These houses are so gorgeous and a must see when in Charleston!
Pineapple Fountain + Waterfront Park – Waterfront Park is home to the famous Pineapple Fountain. It’s also located downtown, not too far from rainbow row. This park is so beautiful and perfect for a stroll or picnic. Grab a wooden swing and relax. We even got to see dolphins swimming in the distance while we were sitting there.
Walk the Battery + Battery Park – Enjoy a scenic and historic walk on the Battery, a landmark defensive seawall in Charleston. It’s a nice walk along the water and see some of the most breathtaking mansions you’ve ever lay eyes on. You can also take some time to explore the battery park next to it, which is another one of the prettiest parks.
Shop on King’s Street – Make sure to take some time to do a little window shopping, or real shopping on King’s street. It has some of the best fashion and home decor shops, like West Elm, Lilly Pulitzer, Lush, H&M, and many other boutiques and high end brands.
Fort Moultrie – Fort Moultrie is a series of forts on Sullivan’s Island, built to protect the city of Charleston. It was a neat experience and Mike loved it, he’s sort of a history buff. It’s a little bit of a drive from the hotel, but not too far and this way you get to see more of Charleston. (P.S – it’s close to the beach!)
Sullivan’s Island – Sullivan’s Island is a town and an island located in Charleston County, not a far drive from downtown. It is also very close to Fort Moultrie. The beaches there are gorgeous and not very crowded either.
Rent a Bike and Cruise – Since everything about Charleston is so picturesque, going on a bike ride is a great way to see a lot. There are bike rentals all over the city. It is just so much fun to look at all the building and take it all in.
Visit a Plantation – There are quite a few plantations you can visit in Charleston. Boone Plantation is a gorgeous one known for it’s astonishing moss draped trees.
Oh Charleston, I just adore you! It’s so easy to fall in love with this city. I am so glad we got to travel here. I mean, pastel colored buildings, booming restaurant scene, city life, and the ocean as your back drop, can it get any better?! Feel free to ask me any questions regarding our trip in the comments below. Have you ever been to Charleston? If so – what was your favorite thing about your trip?
Happy Travels! 🙂