Charleston

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shop

  • Hampden my absolute favorite boutique in Charleston and one of my favorite boutiques in general. Hampden carries lines including Loeffler Randall, Tibi, Equipment, and more. The girls who work there are dolls too!
  • Beckett Boutique a fabulous boutique filled with amazing lines like Elizabeth & James, Holst & lee, Viktoria & Woods, and Rebecca Taylor
  • Cynthia Rowley along with Hampden, Cynthia Rowley is the other shopping destination I stop at first upon arriving in Charleston! There are only a few Cynthia Rowley stores in the country so it is a real treat to have one in Charleston! I die for her designs and really gravitate toward her dresses.
  • Lily a lovely little jewelry, stationery, and gift store. They carry jewelry that the owner has found in markets in Paris. I have a few earrings from here that are among my favorite pairs I own.
  • Skinny Dip a collective store filled with a mix of well-curated mini boutiques. You'll find clothing, accessories, decor, Charleston items, and more. Plus, there is a coffee shop/bar upstairs that serves delicious coffee and in-house froze that you can enjoy on their outdoor lounge!
  • Candlefish simply put, this is the best candle store I've ever been to. They do super fun candle making classes also!
  • Shirtini this shop is just what it sounds like... a shop specializing in shirts. They specialize in classic white button-downs for women but have a few pops of color in the store too.
  • Peyton Williams beautiful one-of-a-kind jewelry made with gorgeous colored stones. Peyton William has a bangle like bracelet with a clasp that is perfect for people like me who have tiny wrists.
  • Candy Shop Vintage a small space full of lots of beautiful jewelry, art, clothes, and trinkets
  • Finicky Filly as this store is owned by a mother daughter team, it's the perfect place to pop into to shop for girls and women of every age. They carry great brands, lots of affordable pieces, and fabulous accessories.
  • Julia Santen Gallery the most amazing vintage poster store. I have a few original Givenchy sketches from here and I treasure them.
  • Acquisitions a beautiful and classic interior design store.
  • Celadon another fabulous home store with gorgeous furniture + pillows and other great accessories.
  • Indigo & Cotton a wonderful shop for guys. Their button-downs are perfection. I find myself wanting to buy them for all my male friends!
  • Moon & Lola this is our one stop shop for adorable monograms.
  • Mac & Murphy a marvelous little card store! They have a card for every occasion whether it be happy, sad, funny, or just because. They also do beautiful specialized paper and stationery.
  • Indigo Market this is quickly becoming one of your favorite home stores in Charleston. The shop is very well curated with a mix of of-the-moment trend pieces with little antiques to great Palm Beach-esque pieces of furniture (think bamboo chairs).
  • Cannonborough Collective situated on Cannon, right in the middle of other creative store owners (i.e. Candy Shop Vintage and Mac & Murphy), the Charleston Collective sells a collection of locally sources and made products like Charleston Weekender Turkish towels. It’s a bright, colorful, and happy shop!
  • Madison Matthews if you love whimsical little beach cover-up and striped button-downs then you’ll love visiting the brick and mortar shop of southern designer Madison Matthews. I also adore this shop because its nestled on one of my favorite streets in town, Church Street.
  • Vieuxtemps a beautiful gifts store and the single best place to go for wedding registries and monogramming in Charleston.
  • Open Door having a party or little gathering? Then pop into Open Door for everything you need to entertain in style!
  • Palm Avenue the go-to shop in Charleston for Lilly Pulitzer. I always find current Lilly dresses and tops here.
  • Charleston Krewe preppy, southern ties, bow ties, belts, scarves, coaster, cups, you name it.
  • Goorin Bros the ultimate hat store. I love their wide brim felt hats.
  • Chains on King Street J.Crew, Calypso St. Barth, Kate Spade, Madewell, & Anthropologie

Eat

  • Leon's Oyster Shop dine at Leon's for the atmosphere and the best hushpuppies and fried chicken in town. I also love the siam salad and oysters!
  • The Macintosh a knockout restaurant. I order the deckle and a housemade cocktail.
  • 167 Raw golly, the lobster rolls are amazing! The seafood here is so fresh and the housemade chips and guacamole are perfection (I order the guac with the tuna poke).
  • Trattoria Lucca nestled in the Cannonborough/Elliotborough neighborhood of Charleston... It's my favorite Italian restaurant in town. The menu changes daily/seasonally but if you're lucky they will be serving the warm cauliflower sformatino appetizer. It will rock your world.
  • The Obstinate Daughter I simply love this restaurant on nearby Sullivan's Island. The geechie fries are a must along with the shrimp po'boy or any of the pizzas. Plus, they have an ice cream shop too!
  • Poogan's Porch the restaurant occupies an old house so it is charming from start to finish. I love the biscuits here too!
  • Sugar Bakeshop a neighborhood bakeshop with sweets and treats that are just as good as your grandma's famous recipes.
  • Callie's Hot Little Biscuits this place does biscuits and they don't mess around! They are open during the day and open late night for those out enjoying a cocktail or two.
  • The Rarebit this place does a mean chicken and waffle dish for breakfast and brunch and then serves it again on their late night menu.
  • Xao Boa Biscuit take a break from Southern food at XBB for creative Asian comfort food.
  • Hominy Grill simple yet really well done southern food. They also serve you mimosas and cocktails from a window if you're waiting for a table! The okra and shrimp beignets are a must.
  • FIG locally sourced food that will give you the perfect taste of the Lowcountry.
  • The Darling Oyster Bar I love this restaurant for it's fresh seafood and oysters. The tiled floor, large bar, exposed brick walls, and pops of green make for great decor vibes too.
  • The Ordinary go here if your a big seafood + oyster eater. You won't be disappointed.
  • Two Boroughs Larder offers a diverse menu of food. I like doing shared plates here.
  • Jestine's Kitchen the best no frills Southern food in town. There is always a line out the door.
  • High Cotton gorgeous dining rooms + Southern charm + delicious food. I love brunch here! P.S. they filmed The Notebook here.
  • Oak Steakhouse the premier steakhouse in Charleston. Everything here is fabulously done.
  • Halls Chophouse I love dinner here - they stay open late! - but I also love Sunday brunch here as they have Gospel singers perform. The live music at dinner will not disappoint either!
  • Cannon Green yummy seasonal Mediterranean food with a southern twist. A great spot to grab a drink, enjoy a long brunch, or gather for dinner. They also have a gorgeous event space.
  • Henrietta's a southern brasserie, if you will. The menu is French inspired but still deeply rooted in the south. Everything is delicious and I think it has some of the best service in all of Charleston. To note: it's located in the Dewberry Hotel oh, and don't skip dessert here.
  • Fulton Five the perfect, yummy, romantic Italian spot for date night or a nice meal out with your parents.
  • Le Farfalle with so many delicious Italian restaurants in town, it can be hard to pick a favorite but Le Farfalle should definitely be on your list. It has an upscale vibe (this white marble countertops) and a delicious selection of appetizers, vegetables, pastas, and mains. The space is big so it’s a great spot to consider going with a larger group.
  • Stella's this restaurant opened with resounding praise! Go here to take a break from southern food… the Greek inspired restaurant will have your heart singing… so will the speciality cocktails (and I don’t even love Greek food!).
  • Juliet the pizza here is mouthwatering. I think it is the best pizza in town so if that isn’t enough to convince you to visit then I don’t know what is.
  • Minero the best place in Charleston to cure your Mexican food craving. They have great chips and guac!
  • Basico Situated in North Charleston, this Mexican joint serves up fresh tacos and craft cocktails in a bright and colorful space with a relaxing patio. It's a great change of pace from Southern food.
  • The Park Café my favorite meal at Park Cafe is breakfast. The light and airy space has amazing avocado toast and a delicious breakfast sandwich.
  • Butcher & Bee one of my favorite all-around restaurants in Charleston. Every meal of the day is amazing here and I love the healthy options on the menu (their menu is all locally sourced).
  • Tavern & Table come here for the food but also for the outdoor bar and patio. It is on the water in Shem Creek and the perfect spot to find yourself on a beautiful day or for evening happy hour.
  • Edmund's Oast if you’re a beer drinker then be sure to spend an afternoon at Edmund’s Oast trying their local beer that’s brewed on sight and their new American fare.
  • Goat Sheep Cow North Goat Sheep Cow has been a favorite of my family for forever. Their original location in located in the South of Broad neighborhood so it has always been a little local gem of a cheese shop. Now, with the Goat Sheep Cow North location, you can enjoy all the delicious wine, cheese, charcuterie, and more in their big plush booths or adorable little outside patio. The North location also has a shop so you can take home your favorite meats, cheeses, and wine. It’s one of my favorite places to go for happy hour in the city. Oh, and my sister would want me to share that the grilled cheese is phenomenal!
  • Caviar & Bananas gourmet market and café style stop with great grab and go options.
  • The Daily coffee lovers will be right at home here. They also have yummy smoothies and great little bites that everyone will love like avocado toast
  • The Glass Onion all natural, local, and fresh Southern soul food. Need I say more?
  • Huriyali the yummiest healthy café for smoothies, juices, bowls, salads, and sandwiches. I love their smoothie bowls!
  • Lewis Barbecue the single best place to go for bbq in the Charleston area. If you consider yourself a bbq lover then a trip to Charleston isn’t complete without stopping here for a bite.
  • Mercantile & Mash everything comes together here… it’s a grocery, coffee car, wine and butcher shop, in-house dinning, and games!

Sip

  • Cocktail Club a wonderful little bar that is half indoors and half outdoors. Go on Sunday nights for half priced bottles of wine and live music.
  • Stars Rooftop a rooftop bar with great specialty cocktails and 360 degree views of Charleston.
  • Market Pavillon Bar another rooftop bar with gorgeous views, signature cocktails, and yummy bites too.
  • Bin 152 Charleston's go-to wine and cheese bar. It's a great place to unwind after a full day.
  • The Gin Joint a cozy, intimate place to grab a drink & small bites. Their cocktails are always changing & ever interesting! You can also create your own cocktail based on your favorite adjectives.
  • The Watch Rooftop this rooftop is a must because it has views of the entire city. The Watch has a farm to table menu and has delicious specialty cocktails. Plus, with it's white marble tables and sunset views, it is a very Instagram worthy place.
  • The Vendue Rooftop this watering hole gets voted the best rooftop bar in Charleston year after year. The views are not to miss.
  • Prohibition late night food, crazy-interesting cocktails, an extensive liquor, beer, and wine list, live music, and dancing... what more do you need? Oh, and they have swing dancing lessons!
  • The Belmont located on upper King Street, the Belmont is one of my favorite bars to go to for a relaxed (yet delicious) cocktail with friends. You won't find a pretentious vibe here and you'll actually be able to hear the friends you are chatting with (unlike many bars).
  • Black Tap Coffee go here for flavored lattes (the lavender and honey are musts!) and to set up shop to get a little reading or work done on your laptop.
  • Revelator Coffee One of the best southern coffee institutions. Revelator Coffee is the perfect place to go for free wifi, fabulous coffee, and light fare from local businesses.

Stay

  • Belmond Charleston Place the premier hotel in Charleston complete with a great bar, full-scale spa, and rooftop pool.
  • Zero George traditional yet contemporary are the vibes you'll get at this boutique hotel. It's composed of five historical residential buildings and they offer amazing cooking classes!
  • 86 Cannon adore, adore, adore! I absolutely put this boutique hotel on the top end of my favorite places to stay in Charleston. The Inn is owned by a husband and wife who used their vision to purchase an old Charleston house and turn it into a luxury 5-bedroom B&B. There are three common spaces – a library, a bar, and a dining room - as well as two long porches, ample parking spaces, and complimentary bikes available to guests too. They also serve a light breakfast as well as cocktails at happy hour. You can just book one room or you can book out the whole house + you can host parties there and bring in chefs for big meals in. 86 Cannon truly offers everything!
  • The Restoration Hotel a hotel situated right on King Street that oozes with Southern Charm but also has rooms and suites that feel like they could be your friend's apartment. Be sure to check out the rooftop bar, The Watch.
  • The Dewberry a gorgeous luxury hotel that, I think, has a very New York City meets Charleston feel. Expect old-world charm with a modern edge. The hotel's bar, Living Room, and restaurant, Henrietta's, are both fabulous spots in the city and musts, especially if you're staying in the hotel.
  • The Spectator Hotel a luxurious hotel where old meets new. You'll want to cozy up in the bar all evening. The Spectator has a great location too as it is right by the old city markets.
  • Vendue Inn an art filled boutique hotel with a great rooftop bar.
  • The Governor's House Inn this bed and breakfast is the former house of the youngest signer of the Declaration. The house oozes with character and has a wonderful porch for guest to relax on.

Do

  • Carriage Tour the best way to see Charleston. I recommend doing a carriage tour on your first day in Charleston to help you get a lay of the land, learn some of the history of the city, and see beautiful parts of town you might have missed otherwise. My carriage tour guide company of choice is Palmetto Carriage Tours.
  • Historical Home Tours the best house tours are the Edmondston-Alston House, the Calhoun Mansion, and the Nathaniel Russell House.
  • Boone Hall a gorgeous old Plantation lined with oak trees dripping with Spanish Moss.
  • Ravenel Bridge a 6-mile walk back and forth on the walking/biking path on the side of the bridge is a great way to get a little exercise outdoors and to walk off some of the amazing food you’ve been eating! The views are pretty gorgeous too!
  • South of Broad walk through historic downtown Charleston to take in the gorgeous and unique architecture of The Holy City
  • Hampton Park while I never get tired of walking around all the picturesque neighborhoods of Charleston, if you want a change of scenery, the perfect place to go for a walk or a picnic is Hampden Park. It is 60 acres big and always has something new in season blooming.
  • Sailing my parents found Captain Paul of Charleston Sail years ago and we still love and use them to this day. Paul and his wife own the boat and take you out on marvelous little sailing trips. We always bring wine and some snacks! It’s the perfect way to see Charleston from the water and enjoy a beautiful day.