My college girlfriends & I made a pact recently to travel once a year for a girls' weekend away. This was our inaugural journey & we absolutely loved the opportunity to explore Charleston, or as we affectionately were calling it #ChicktownUSA. Here's how we spent our weekend in Charleston, South Carolina:
What's with the pineapple? In the 16/1700's seafaring captains' wives would impale fresh pineapples on their front porches when they were home from voyage to symbolize a hospitable welcome to other travelers. Cute, no?
One of my wedding industry friends, Katie (Catherine Ann Photography), moved to Charleston last year, so I knew I had to book her to take some snaps of us on Chalmer Street & around town. All these pink walls & homes made me so happy. From left to right above: Jenn, Ally, Me, and Carly.
After Katie led us on an adventure along cobblestone streets, we popped into the historic Dock Street Theatre. Seeing this place meant a lot to me because one of my favorite bands, Jump Little Children, used to play a New Year's Eve show there every year for about a decade. I never made it to a show in Charleston, but they reunited for a few shows this winter & I got to see them for the first time in 10 years. Being in this historic building reminded me of how much I love them. I also like to pretend that Carly & I are a folk duo in this photo!
After Dock Street, we went to Toast for breakfast. I honestly thought I didn't like biscuits, but then we went to Toast. Everything was so, so good. The pitcher of mimosas also made everyone happy & ready for a full day of touring.
Here are some of our favorite spots from the trip::
STAY - we stayed at The King Charles Inn. It was nice and simple, perfect for our group of girls. The absolute best part was the location. We walked everywhere. It was right around the corner from King Street, where all the cute little shops are, and a short walk to the waterfront. We walked to dinner almost every night & had a few coffee shops we could pop into in the morning. At one point, there was a huge production crew filming across the street at a restaurant named FIG. Given my obsession with film & tv, I was able to snoop around and determine it was Top Chef they were taping. I had hoped it was Bravo's Southern Charm (guilty as charged).
EAT - I'm not the biggest foodie in the world. I could eat eggo's everyday, but when you're in Charleston, you learn there is better stuff out there. Every few feet is an amazing, critically beloved restaurant. Here are some of the spots we enjoyed::
Poe's Tavern - This one was a short ride to Sullivan's Island, but worth the trip. The little island feels like a true beach town, and the restaurant was friendly, casual, and delicious. My friend & I shared a chicken sandwich and each had a local beer.
Bearcat's Sweet Shop - a short walk from Poe's Tavern, we went here for gelatto after dinner. Ah-mazing.
Husk - The following day, we had a brunch reservation at Husk. Husk was designed by James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock. I did not know who this was until one of my February 2017 couples referenced him as their catering inspiration for the wedding. Their caterer designed their menu with some of his famous southern techniques in mind- including Anson Mills Carolina Gold rice. Most of us ordered a ham sandwich (a fancy sandwich mind you), and one of the girls had the classic shrimp & grits. My favorite part was the tablescape design & the actual design of the homey restaurant. We had a local brew here as well, but I never remember the name of my beers.
Poogan's Porch - We had a dinner reservation at Poogan's Porch, even though the name kind of gives me the creeps. This was my favorite meal. It was really traditional and simple, but just so good. I had fried chicken, and the other girls had sweet tea glazed salmon, cast iron pork chop, and pan roasted duck. We shared biscuits (I can't count how many biscuits there were on this trip) and sat outside where we could people watch everyone out on a Saturday night.
O'Harah & Flynn - This tiny wine bar was just a block from our hotel, and I loved it. It was so small, only two people work there. One in the kitchen and one to take orders. It's definitely a good place to go if you're not on a schedule, because it does take a while to order and enjoy it. It was the perfect place for us to wind down after walking miles throughout the day.
DO - It feels a bit like food and walking are the main activities in Charleston. In addition to our amazing meals, we also visited a few popular spots:
Magnolia Plantation - This Lowcountry plantation has the oldest gardens in America. We toured the house and then spent hours wandering around the gardens. It's a slice of history, and I learned quite a bit.
Unitarian Graveyard - Yes, we had a graveyard on our to-do list. It's just so beautiful. Overgrown and historic, with headstones dating back to the 1700's. It's located at 161 1/2 King Street, and it's really lovely.
King Street Shopping - We wandered around King Street for quite a while. It has mostly high-end, fashion oriented brands, with some fun and quirky boutiques mixed in. My favorite was the colorful Moon & Lola, because we don't have one down here.
The Waterfront Park - Home to a famous pineapple fountain, we walked down from our hotel & just checked out the crowd for a while. It was so pretty along the water and we totally lucked out with the weather.
I think that is all that was notable! Unless you guys want to hear about how we watched Charlie's Angels in our hotel room when we needed a break? I'm a big fan of Charleston now, and can't wait to go back! Here's a little video I made on my 8mm app (make sure your volume is ON):
Song, The City of Our Lady by the Milk Carton Kids