The word winter has been so foreign to me the last handful of years in California. With the extended rain that has taken place into spring, Justin and I couldn’t have thought of a better escape than to head south to visit his family for a much needed long weekend. It wasn’t until a few years ago that some of Justin’s family and grandma moved to the south, so it was actually our first visit to the state! I’ve had Charleston on my bucket list of places to visit in the US for years, and it was such a treat that our trip exceeded expectations. Without a doubt, my favorite cities to visit are the ones where locals can share their favorite go-to spots or even act as our tour guides. We left with such a love for the area that we are dreaming of renting a beach house for our next trip back to stay longer — what’s even more bizarre to think is that we’ll have the twins with us for when we return! Eek!
For anyone planning their first visit to Charleston, I would highly suggest staying in the downtown area to make it easy to walk around everywhere. If you’re a history buff you’ll definitely be able to keep yourself busy as Charleston used to be the richest city in the US and is full of American history for you to absorb.
Like I mentioned, we can’t wait to rent a beach house on one of the islands (which are not far outside the city). If your days are limited in Charleston I’d advise not to rent a car, but if you’re looking to explore it’s so neat to leave and view the surrounding area. Being from California the landscape and architecture are just so different from what I’m used to — I had just as much fun sitting in the car while admiring the Spanish Moss as I did walking the cobblestone streets of downtown.
Maybe it’s my pregnancy, maybe I’m getting older, but there is something about visiting the south with it’s slower pace that really suited me. I loved that people would strike up conversations with you just in passing or cared to look you in the eye when actually saying hello. I’m also such a sucker for seafood and BBQ, so happily enjoyed every meal we had — I was just so sad I couldn’t participate in eating the oysters!
Below are the highlights from our itinerary, where we ate, and photos from our time in downtown Charleston, visiting Magnolia Plantation, and spending the afternoon on Kiowa Island.
A day on Kiowa Island
Visited Sullivan’s Island + Magnolia Plantation
Two days in Charleston including a carriage ride to take in the charm of the city (Warning: there are multiple carriage ride routes you can go on, and the city regulates which route you’ll take. Unfortunately, you aren’t able to request where you want to go.)
Darling Oyster Bar
Swig & Swine (also located in Mount Pleasant and an incredible spot for classic southern BBQ)
Pavilion Bar (amazing rooftop spot with great views of the water)
Page’s Ocra Grill (located in Mount Pleasant with a delicious Bloody Mary bar with the insane garnishes — great for brunch)
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