Today I am excited to introduce a new Pretty Southern Series, The Weekend Getaway Guide! In this guide we will introduce you to some of the South’s most charming cities and teach you how to get the most out of a weekend visit. We’ll include our favorite spots to eat, hang out, stay and shop.
Back in May my husband and I had the pleasure of going to Charleston, SC for our honeymoon. We wanted a place that we would be able to drive to and stay in affordably but still feel like we had gotten away from home. Here are my tips for getting the most out of the city:
1. Rent! There are plenty of fancy (ie expensive!) hotels around Charleston. My advise is to rent a cute house or apartment right in the heart of downtown. Using a site like homeaway.com or vrbo.com you can find plenty of cheaper alternatives to a hotel that offer more space and character. We rented a carriage house that was original to the city architecture and was located right behind an awesome bakery.
2. Bike! Charleston is super easy to get around, most of downtown and it’s hot spots are in a few flat, easy-biking square miles so you MUST either bring your bike or rent a vintage cruiser when you get there.
3. Eat! There are SO many delicious restaurants of all types around this city. Some of our favorites included Thai at Basils, amazing modern cuisine at critically-acclaimed FIG, beers and nachos on the patio of gas-station turned cantina, Fuel, and burgers at AC’s. Start each day with pastries, muffins, or croissants from WildFlour Pastry and coffee in the soothing atmosphere of Hope&Union.
4. Visit! There are so many things to do around the city including visiting the world-famous open markets, taking in the colors on Rainbow Row, or walking by the river at the Battery. In addition to these I recommend taking a drive out to laid-back Folly Beach where you can lay out, walk the pier, and then get a beer and the most delicious guacamole at Taco Boy.
5. Explore! After hitting the tourist sites you should talk to the locals to find the lesser-known attractions that will really make your trip. Drive out to James Island to visit and photograph the glorious Angel Oak Tree. It is over 1500 years old and is massive! Stop and explore some side roads as well. On a tip from a local barista we discovered a locally-loved seafood restaurant and an abandoned bar, the Sophisticate, all down a dirt road on the way to Folly Beach. Charleston is also home to the famous Fort Sumter but we went to explore the tunnels and cannons of the lesser-known (and tour-guide free) Fort Moultrie.
6. Drink! After a long day of biking and exploring you will be ready for an evening libation and Charleston has lots of great bars. We really enjoyed the quiet atmosphere of the Gin Joint, a pre-prohibition style speak-easy; and the mod-60s atmosphere of the hip Belmont. Make sure you try their homemade tonic water! If you are looking for a relaxing glass of wine, visit Bin 152. The French owner of this tiny café will put together a wine and cheese pairing that is sure to please your palette.
The Southern charm and old-world style of Charleston, paired with it’s great eateries, shops, and beaches; make it the perfect destination for a weekend getaway in our beautiful south.
**All photographs taken by my husband and I on my Fujifilm Instax 210.