My 5 Day Guide To Charleston, SC.

July 4, 2018

I’m sure at this point I’ve drilled it into your head that Charleston is an incredible city to visit. It’s beautiful, historic, big enough to always have something to do yet small enough to feel like a quaint town that is accessible by bike, and the food scene is simply amazing. Honestly, I’m still having Charleston withdraw but working on this guide for the last couple of weeks has luckily transported me right back to the treasure that is Charleston, SC. We stayed in Charleston for 5 days which was plenty of time to do all of the things I had on my list but trust me when I say, I will be back (especially since there are SO many restaurants I still want to try). I hope you all enjoy this guide I’ve put together and have the chance to experience Charleston for yourself some day. Also, if you’ve been to Charleston and have something to add, please leave it in the comments, I’d love to hear your recommendations!
{Pictured: Zero George}

Where We Stayed: Our first 4 nights in Charleston were actually spent just outside of the city in Summerville, SC. at an Air B&B. Because we drove to South Carolina, we figured that driving from Summerville into Charleston every day wouldn’t be a big deal and honestly, for the price and the adorable Air B&B we found, we couldn’t have been happier. 

For anyone interested, this is the Air BnB we stayed at. It was a historic home that was the perfect size for the two of us, it was decorated beautifully and I just loved the wrap around patio. The hosts, while we didn’t have the chance to meet them, were so lovely when speaking with them over the Air BnB platform and I truly couldn’t recommend this space enough. We also learned the Summerville has a lot of great food and an adorable downtown area from a couple we met on a schooner cruise, but unfortunately, we didn’t have the chance to explore. Maybe next time!
Zero GeorgeOn our last night in Charleston we drove into the city to stay at The Zero George which is something I was looking forward to all week. The Zero George is a boutique hotel that offers up the most incredible stay. I’m going to be sharing a full post on our experience at Zero tomorrow, so I’ll link it here when it’s live.
86 CannonWhile we didn’t stay at 86 Cannon it is a sister boutique hotel to Zero George and we were lucky enough to be able to take a tour of this stunning property. 86 Cannon is located in the Charlestons Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighbourhood and is a historic property built in 1862 during the early days of the Civil War. Not only is the history incredible just like Zero George, but the midcentury meets French elegance interiors are enough to not want to ever leave the property. Both Zero George and 86 Canon epitomize Southern luxury. 
What to Eat: There were SO many places on my must-eat list and we were lucky enough to get to just about all of them. However, Charleston has one of the best food scenes in the USA and even though everywhere we ate was amazing and an experience I will never forget, I’ve only just scratched the surface of the food in Charleston.
Breakfast at Basic KitchenBasic Kitchen was the first breakfast spot on our list and was the perfect place to visit to fuel up for a very long day of visiting plantations. Basic Kitchen is all about using local, seasonal ingredients to create food thats healthy and delicious, and was it ever! For breakfast we ordered the Conscious Cowboy which was a bowl with local chicken and ginger sausages and the most delicious cauliflower grits. We also ordered the Surfer’s Delight bowl that had a sweet potato, grilled kale and eggs. To drink, I enjoyed the Apples to Apples green juice that tasted so fresh! Everything at Basic Kitchen from the service was amazing and I couldn’t recommend this spot enough.
Breakfast at One Broad Street:The only regret I have about going to One Broad Street is that I didn’t take a sticky bun to-go! Seriously though, this relatively new restaurant is located in yet another historic building, considered one of finest Italian Renaissance Revival style buildings in the country. The building was recently restored and turned into the gem that is One Broad Street. One Broad Street makes some of the best breakfast I’ve ever eaten (just see evidence below) and we could not recommend it enough.
For breakfast at One Broad Street we ordered the granola and yogurt which looks “basic” but was so good that I actually asked to take a container of homemade granola to go. We also ordered the soft scramble with buratta and a basil olive oil that made the dish taste so fresh and the shakshuka. So yum!
Breakfast at The Harbinger CaféThe Harbinger Café is one of those places that I could have stayed and worked at all day. Everything about this magical space feels well thought out from the menu to the decor. The Harbinger features locally locally-sourced & seasonal breakfast & lunch fare as well as a curated selection of top-notch baked goods with both plant-based & gluten-free options.For breakfast we ordered the The Grasshopper avocado toast topped with super seed sprinkle, tahini, sriracha, garlic cashews and a herb medley. This was some of the best avo toast I’ve ever had (the crunch of garlic cashews really made it). Jamie ordered the The Harbinger sandwich  with house-pickled jalapeños which was also so yummy. To drink Jamie ordered a matcha latté and I ordered an iced honey latté which was refreshing in the Southern heat. The day we were there, they also had a peach almond milk that I so wish I’d noticed before as I would have gotten a splash of it in my latté! 
Coffee/Breakfast at Vintage Coffee Café: On our second day in South Carolina, we took a day trip up to Sullivan’s Island. I had planned on stopping at Vintage Coffee on our way to the beach and getting our drinks to go but since we started our day later than expected and were hungry, we ended up having breakfast at Vintage Coffee. honestly, I wasn’t expecting that the breakfast here would be that great but OMG was I ever wrong. I ordered the avocado toast that looked simple but it had a tomato-onion marmalade that was to-die-for. I also ordered the tropical acai bowl with granola, toasted coconut and a mango pureeé which was so fresh and healthy, perfect before a long day at the beach. Jamie ordered roasted veggie hash that was also very yummy but my breakfast definitely beat out his. To drink I ordered an iced honey-lavender latté which again, was so good!Dinner at HuskIf you’re visiting Charleston it’s kind of a known fact that you should have dinner at Husk. Opened in 2010 by chef Shawn Brock, Husk is still a make-a-reservation-a-few-weeks-in-advance spot and I now know why. This was some of the best high-end Southern food that we enjoyed and while the menu is constantly changing, I don’t think you could go wrong with anything you order.Our dinner at Husk included tuna with fresh peaches and blackberries, corn bread, cornmeal fried catfish with veggies and the most delicious pork chop with a cauliflower, butternut squash and peach medley.
Dinner at Leon’s Poultry and Oyster Shop: Leon’s was the first place we visited upon arriving to Charleston. We arrived at around 8:30 on a Thursday evening and it was packed! I loved Leon’s for the casual, laid back vibe and just all around fun atmosphere. The food is casual, eat-with-your-hands kind of food and I loved it. For dinner we ordered and shared raw oysters, peel n’ eat shrimp, the chicken sanwhich and sides of hush puppies, slaw and the marinated cucumber salad that you HAVE to have. 
Dinner at The Darling Oyster BarThe darling was a place that I knew we needed to go to and so we made it a plan before heading out on a sunset schooner ride. We arrived just in time for happy hour where The Darling offers up $1.50 raw oysters and $1 off of house cocktails (the fish house punch is a must order). Aside from the oysters which were so fresh, we ordered the shrimp & grits that I am still salivating over. SO.DAMN.GOOD.
Dinner at Minero: Having Mexican in Charleston wasn’t actually on my list of things to do, but after realizing that all of the spots on my list for Monday dinner were closed we decided to look up a good Mexican jount. We landed on Minero after learning that it was another one of Sean Brocks restaurants and biked from Zero George up to the restaurant. I didn’t know what to expect here but honestly, the tacos were some of the best I’ve ever had. I’m very picky about my margaritas so I didn’t love those but I will say that you must order the cauliflower and grilled chicken tacos.
Dinner at Zero George RestaurantThis is another fine dining experience that is not to be missed, especially if you have the chance to eat on the patio because it is simply beautiful. Aside from being a boutique hotel, Zero serves up some of Charlestons most celebrated, elegant cuisine that can only be descried as a feast for the eyes (and mouth). For dinner, we enjoyed the pre-theater menu that included a first, second and dessert course. We also had an appetizer called the “potted plant” (see photo above) which was essentially a pot filled with butter, toasted quinoa and fresh radishes that you are meant to pull out of the pot. 
Ice Cream at Jeni’s King Street: If you’re looking to try some of the best ice cream ever, than look no further than Jeni’s. After dinner at Minero, we biked down to King Street and happily waited in the massive line to experience this ice cream. We ordered the nectar honeycomb, coffee with cream, bramble berry crisp and wild lavender ice cream and there wasn’t a single flavour I didn’t love.
Cupcakes at SugarIf I’m being honest, I mostly wanted to check out Sugar because of the adorable exterior, but upon entering, I couldn’t help myself and ordered a 4-pack of cupcakes…and I am so glad I did. I tried a bite of each cupcake (vanilla blueberry, lime curd coconut, grapefruit strawberry), and every flavour was better than the last!
{The charming exterior of Sugar.}
What to Do in Charleston: There are so many things to do and see in Charleston that I couldn’t possibly share everything in this one post. Every.Single.Corner is full of an enchanting surprise that feels almost too beautiful to be real. Here are a few things we got up to while in Charleston.

Rent Bikes and Explore: If there is anything that I would recommend to you if you’re planning on visiting Charleston it would be to rent a bike over walking or driving. The city is so accessible to get around by bike and nothing takes more than 20 minutes to get to. Plus, biking allows you to stop when you’d like and I promise you that you’ll notice so many more beautiful things that you wouldn’t if you were in a car and walking will take too long.
Visit Rainbow Row, The South of Broad and The Battery: All of these places are within biking distance to each other and are so worth checking out if you love history and beautiful homes. Jamie and I spent so much time just biking around the South of Broad in awe of the incredible homes and stopping to read the plaques mounted outside of them which explained the history of each property. 
Spend a Day Touring the Plantations: full blog post hereWe spent an entire day visiting 3 plantations, Boone Hall (pictured above + ), Magnolia Plantation and Middleton Place were the 3 we opted to explore. While there are A LOT of plantations, these are the 3 that kept coming up in recommendations and they were all truly stunning and filled with history. 
Magnolia Plantation (I’ll be sharing a full post on Magnolia Plantation soon!)
Middleton Place
Take a Day Trip to Sullivan’s Island: Our day trip to Sullivan’s Island ended up being one of my favourite days we spent in South Carolina. Located about 45 minutes outside of Charleston, Sullivan’s Island is the perfect day trip to take and escape to the beach. Pack up your beach gear and a tent (you’ll need to it shade yourself from the sun and heat) and spend the day swimming in the warm Southern ocean. After our beach day, we went to lunch at Poe’s tavern which was a casual spot in Sullivan’s Island with lots of history about Edgar Allen Poe and yummy, approachable fare.  Sullivan’s Island would also be a wonderful place to bike around and explore because the houses there are also a sight to see however, unfortunately, we didn’t have time after spending so long at the beach!
Take an Evening Stroll Around Hampton Park: After dinner at Zero George, Jamie and I drove down to Hampton park to catch the sunset. I had Hampton Park on my “maybe visit” list, not expecting that we’d get to it but goodness, am I ever glad we did. This 60-acre park is filled with the most beautiful flowers and walking around was like being in a dream that I didn’t want to wake up from. 
{Flowers and a palm tree in Hampton Park.}
Take a Tour of the Historic Homes: While there are a lot his historic home tours you can take in Charleston, the 2 that everyone recommends are the Aiken-Rhett House and Nathaniel Russel House (pictured above). Both of these homes and filled with history and offer an in-depth tour of both the inside of the homes and property. My favourite home tour to take was the Aiken-Rhett house as you get a headset and tape and are able to take yourself around the tour, stopping and starting whenever you like. 
{Inside the Aiken-Rhett House.}
Take a Sunset Schooner Tour on Charleston Harbour: After our dinner at the Darling Oyster Bar we had plans to head on a sunset schooner tour which I was so excited for. We saw sharks and dolphins and the air was so warm the night we went. While the sun wasn’t exactly out on the night of our tour it was absolutely beautiful nonetheless. 
{The sky turned pink just before the sun set completely and it was stunning.}
Where to Shop: I didn’t really except to do a lot of shopping in Charleston and I mostly stuck to that except for purchasing a couple of candles. There are a lot of cute shops worth ducking in to and here are the 3 I’d suggest.

CandlefishCandlefish is a Charleston based, you guessed it, candle company with a library of over 100 exclusive scents. The storefront is beautiful and sells other brands aside from Candlefish but of course, I and to pick up a couple of candles tom remember our trip by. Candlefish also offers candle making workshops which, if I had of had time, would have loved to try. 
Mac & MurphyMac & Murphy is a cute little card and stationery shop just up the street from Sugar Bakeshop. I loved this colourful little store and think it’s the perfect place to pick up a gift or two.

Hamden ClothingHamden Clothing sells the most beautiful designer pieces from some of my favourite brands such as Zimmerman and Ulla Johnson. A must stop if you love designer and beautiful stores in general. 

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