Charleston

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shop

  • Hampden Hampden is my absolute favorite boutique in Charleston and one of my favorite boutiques in general. Hampden carries lines including Loeffler Randall, Tibi, Zimmerman, and more. The girls who work there are dolls too!
  • Small by Hampden Hampden is by far my favorite clothing boutique in Charleston so I was thrilled when the owner, Stacey, expanded with a new store on King Street. Small by Hampden is a concept store a few doors down on King Street in Charleston that houses some of their more casual designers (aka my favorites!) like Ulla Johnson, Rhode Resort, SEA, Staud, and Ganni.
  • Lake Pajamas Lake Pajamas caused quite a splash when they opened their doors in December 2018. The store is filled with all the beautiful, comfortable, soft pajama styles Lake has come to be known for. Also, the shop carries a few of their other favorite brands like RMS Beauty. The Lake Pajamas store is so special because it is their flagship store and currently their only brick and mortar. It was designed by Charleston’s own, Olivia Brock, making it even more magical.
  • Beckett Boutique A fabulous boutique filled with amazing lines like Elizabeth & James, Holst & lee, Viktoria & Woods, and Rebecca Taylor. I always find a beautiful fun new piece when I pop in!
  • Cynthia Rowley Cynthia Rowley is one of my go-to shopping destinations 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 frozé bar upstairs!
  • Candlefish Simply put, this is the best candle store I've ever been to. It's impossible to walk in and not buy a candle! They do super fun candle making classes also!
  • 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.
  • Candy Shop Vintage A small space full of lots of beautiful jewelry, art, clothes, and trinkets. This shop is a Charleston treasure!
  • Vieuxtemps A beautiful gifts store and the single best place to go for wedding registries and monogramming in Charleston.
  • Croghan’s Jewel Box At over 100 years old, Croghan’s Jewel Box is Charleston’s oldest family owned jewelry store. You’ll find beautiful estate and antique treasures as well as modern pieces and Charleston’s own Goldbug Collection.
  • Cannonborough Collective Situated on Cannon, right in the middle of other creative store owners (i.e. Candy Shop Vintage and Mac & Murphy), the Cannonborough Collective sells a collection of locally sources and made products like Charleston Weekender Turkish towels. It’s a bright, colorful, and happy shop!
  • 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.
  • Acquisitions A beautiful and classic interior design store full of gorgeous furniture, decor, and more lifestyle pieces.
  • Celadon Another fabulous home store with gorgeous furniture + pillows and other great accessories.
  • Indigo Market This is one of Charleston's cutest home stores. The shop is very well curated with a mix of of-the-moment trend pieces, little antiques, and great Palm Beach-esque pieces of furniture (think bamboo chairs).
  • Indigo & Cotton A wonderful shop for guys. Their button-downs are perfection. I find myself wanting to buy them for all Edwin!
  • Madison Matthews If you love whimsical little beach cover-ups and striped button-downs then you’ll love visiting the brick and mortar shop of southern designer Madison Matthews.
  • Palm Avenue The go-to shop in Charleston for Lilly Pulitzer. I always find current Lilly dresses and tops here.
  • Chains on King Street J.Crew, Calypso St. Barth, Kate Spade, Madewell, Anthropologie, Goorin Bros

Eat

  • 167 Raw Golly, the lobster rolls are amazing! The seafood here is so fresh and everything on the menu is perfection! I love the guacamole, the poke, the oysters, the tacos, the tuna burger, and the lobster roll. It's my single favorite Charleston restaurant!
  • 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!
  • Xao Boa Biscuit Take a break from Southern food at XBB for creative Asian comfort food. One of our favorite restaurants!
  • The Macintosh A knockout restaurant. The menu is inspired and housemade cocktail are delicious. Great for dinner but also don't miss their Sunday brunch!
  • Melfi's Charleston restauranteur, Brooks Reitz’s, newest edition to the local food scene is a homerun. Melfi’s has the feel of a classic Italian joint with fresh pasta, delicious salads, large plates, and Roman-style thin pizza. I absolutely love the Stretch Armstrong pizza!
  • The Ordinary Go here if you're a big seafood + oyster eater! The atmosphere is amazing as the building used to be a bank and the rice pudding dessert is one of my favorite sweets ever.
  • R Kitchen Every single night the menu changes so you are always in for a surprise! Each night the menu is a seasonal 5-course menu that foodies will die over. The best part is that it's not a stuffy, snooty preset menu and the price is unbeatable!
  • Purlieu Purlieu is one of my favorite restaurants for date nights and girls’ nights out alike. The menu is a blend of Lowcountry cooking and traditional European cooking. I absolutely cannot get enough of the gnocchi!
  • Basic Kitchen This light, bright, and airy spot serves up delicious healthy (but hearty!) food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner featuring the best local and seasonal produce and ingredients. I also happen to think their juices and cocktails are some of the best in town! You’ll leave feeling satiated and refreshed. Don’t miss the chance to dine on their adorable garden patio on a beautiful day too!
  • Trattoria Lucca Nestled in the Cannonborough/Elliotborough neighborhood of Charleston... It's one of my favorite Italian restaurants in town. The menu changes daily/seasonally but they always serve 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • One Broad Street Opened in an old refurbished bank, One Broad Street is a neighborhood favorite among locals. It’s situated in the perfect location to grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner before exploring Rainbow Row and the South of Broad neighborhood. The menu is just as vibrant as the locals passing through!
  • FIG Locally sourced food that will give you the perfect taste of the Lowcountry. This is one of Charleston's hardest reservations to get.
  • Malagón Malagón is a delicious ode to Spain! Everything is Spanish from the menu to the wine to the retail. Take my advice and order 'La Bomba' it is unbelievably good!
  • Sorghum & Salt This is one of my favorite spots to go when I want to order a bunch of items to share. The menu is a collection of farm- and sea-driven small plates that is constantly changing based on the season. I like the cozy, casual atmosphere too!
  • 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 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.
  • Fulton Five The perfect, yummy, romantic Italian spot for date night or a nice meal out with your parents.
  • Stella's Stella's is Charleston's best Greek food restaurant. It has a great menu for sharing and a really nice patio to dine on. Their Sunday brunch is a fan favorite too!
  • Minero The best place in Charleston to cure your Mexican food craving. They have great chips and guac!
  • Tu Tu is a delicious Indian food restaurant with an über cool minimalist atmosphere. We go here when we need an Indian fix!
  • 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.
  • Renzo Known for their Neo-Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas and selection of natural wines, Renzo has established itself as an Italian favorite in Charleston since opening in spring 2018. The menu often changes but is always delicious! The caesar salad is unreal too!
  • 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.
  • Chubby Fish Chubby Fish gives Charleston a fresh and inspired spin on classic seafood dishes with their local and sustainable seafood menu. The nautical décor is easily some of my favorite in town and the oysters are incredible!
  • Poogan's Porch The restaurant occupies an old house so it is charming from start to finish. I love the biscuits here too!
  • 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!
  • Goat Sheep Cow North Goat Sheep Cow has been a favorite of my family's for forever. Their original location is located in the South of Broad neighborhood so it has always been a little local gem of a cheese shop. At the Goat Sheep Cow North location, you can enjoy all the delicious wine, cheese, charcuterie, and more in their big plush booths or on their adorable little outside patio. It’s one of my favorite places to go for happy hour in the city.
  • 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 Park Café My favorite meal at Park Cafe is breakfast. The light and airy space has amazing avocado toast and a delicious breakfast sandwich.
  • Daps Daps established a bit of a cult following in Charleston since opening its doors. The friendly neighborhood spot serves breakfast all day along with delicious daytime-approved cocktails. Ask any local and they will tell you that the shining star on the menu is the chickpea 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).
  • Caviar & Bananas Gourmet market and café style stop with great grab and go options.
  • Huriyali The yummiest healthy café for smoothies, juices, bowls, salads, and sandwiches. I love their smoothie bowls!
  • Sugar Bakeshop A neighborhood bakeshop with sweets and treats that are just as good as your grandma's famous recipes.

Sip

  • Citrus Club Obsessed would be an understatement! This rooftop bar at The Dewberry Hotel is so well done with minimal but super chic kind of retro vibes and amazing cocktails. The waiters all wear adorable uniforms, which is a little special touch I love. The views from the outdoor seating area are some of the absolute best in town!
  • 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.
  • Bin 152 Charleston local's go-to wine and cheese bar. It's a great place to unwind after a full day. The minimalist French vibe here is spot on!
  • The Gin Joint A cozy, intimate place to grab a drink. Their cocktails are always changing & ever interesting! You can also create your own cocktail based on your favorite adjectives.
  • Vintage Lounge A swanky old school vibe wine bar. It's the perfect place to spend an evening with girlfriends nestled into the plush booths. We love going out here!
  • Camellias If you're in the mood for bubbles, then Camellias is the place to go! The whole bar is pink, like the flower it's named for, but that's not the only way it sets itself apart... it is Charleston's premier Champagne Bar (there is a full bar menu too!).
  • Graft At Graft, the walls are lined with different wines to choose from to enjoy right there in the bar. It might sound like it would be hard to pick a bottle but the two sommeliers (aka long-time friends) behind Graft created their own honest, relatable, and often funny tags for the bottles they sell. So it’s a blast selecting a bottle to enjoy! Graft also has a menu of wines by the glass!
  • 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).
  • Stars Rooftop A rooftop bar with great specialty cocktails and 360 degree views of Charleston.
  • Warehouse An industrial-chic neighborhood bar with craft cocktails and elevated bar food. A great weekend spot.
  • Container Bar The Container Bar is inside of an old auto body shop and three reconstructed shipping containers and hosts five rotating bars and food trucks. With a focus on locally grown, fresh ingredients, it’s a wonderful new addition to Charleston.
  • Babas on Cannon This “old world café” opened in Charleston in fall 2018 and quickly became the best new place to sip coffee in the morning, nibble breakfast and lunch during the day, and sip wine in the evening. I love the bustling evening scene!
  • The Harbinger Café Handcrafted, health-conscious breakfast and lunch + coffee. The atmosphere will make you feel right at home and the cookies are out of this world. Pro tip: try the 'Best Friend' cookie!
  • 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. It's a perfect coffee + breakfast destination.
  • Second State Formally known as 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.

Stay

  • Zero George An absolutely charming historic boutique hotel! The vibe is traditional yet contemporary and will leave you inspired at every turn. It's composed of five historical residential buildings that all have a porch or a patio. Plus, the in-house restaurant is outstanding and they offer amazing cooking classes! If that isn't enough, they serve guests complimentary wine and cheese every evening. Did I mention they have bikes!? I'm in love with this hotel!
  • 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. 86 Cannon truly offers everything!
  • 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. In addition, the rooftop bar, Citrus Club, is by far the best rooftop bar in the city! The Garden & Gun boutique is nestled in the hotel as well!
  • Belmond Charleston Place The most all-encompassing hotel in Charleston thanks to its great bar, full-scale spa, and rooftop pool. You can never go wrong with staying here + the location is unbeatable!
  • The Inns The Inns consist of a few different historic old homes that have been renovated and revitalized to create an authentic and upscale low-country vacation home experience! I can tell you that the mattresses are Heavenly and all the details like the beautiful huge side porches are perfection. This is a great option is you are traveling with your family, a group of friends, a few couples, or a bachelorette as you can book a whole house!
  • 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 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.
  • 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 A great way to see Charleston is on a carriage tour. 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 historic homes of the city make Charleston really special! There are a handful but my favorites are the Edmondston-Alston House, the Calhoun Mansion, and the Nathaniel Russell House. All of which are tucked into the South of Broad neighborhood.
  • Historic Plantation Tour The Charleston area boasts a handful of historical, sprawling old plantations. The must-see plantations to visit for history tours and garden wanderings are Boone Hall Plantation, Magnolia Plantation, and Middleton Place.
  • South of Broad Walk through historic downtown Charleston to take in the gorgeous and unique architecture of The Holy City as well of some of the most Instagram-worthy houses you've ever seen.
  • 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.
  • The Gibbes Museum of Art One of my favorite ways to spend a leisurely afternoon is wandering around The Gibbes Museum of Art admiring the exhibitions and the architecture of the building itself. It is one of the best museums in the South!
  • Candle Making Class If you want an activity that will leave you with a token to take home from Charleston, then I recommend a candle making class! It is such a fun way to spend two hours, you will learn so much, and it's BYOB!
  • 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!
  • Beach Day If you are planning a trip to Charleston in the spring or summer, then I highly recommend adding a beach day to your vacation. All the beaches are within easy driving distance with Folly Beach and Sullivan’s Island (my favorite!) being the two closest. In my opinion, the windblown seagrass makes our southern beaches some of the prettiest in the county!
  • The Water Room The Water Room is as beautiful as it is zen as it is clean. It is Charleston’s best clean nail salon! The Water Room uses only nontoxic, clean beauty products, and offers chemical-free treatments. I’m in love with the space! There is also a room that can be closed off for private parties.