Charleston

Here is part two of our recent trip to South Carolina – a weekend in Charleston!

Jay and I left Hilton Head Island around 10:00 a.m. on Friday. After an easy two-hour drive, we arrived in Charleston and checked into our hotel, The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel. This hotel is absolutely beautiful! The outside of the building is pink, and the inside lobby is covered in marble with pops of color – think a purple lounge, lobby seating with orange pillows and cerulean couches. They also have a restaurant called The Barbados Room, a beautiful courtyard with a fountain and a beautiful pool. When we arrived our room was ready, so we dropped off the bags and freshened up before heading out to explore.

We headed straight for lunch, and ended up at Le Farfalle where we indulged in delicious food and craft cocktails. We then set out to explore the Market Street area. We decided to do a horse-drawn carriage tour to give us a good overview of the city and its history. Unfortunately, about five minutes after our tour began, a massive thunderstorm came through. Our guide did not stop the tour, as our horse seemed totally unaffected by the loud thunder! We toured the College of Charleston campus area which is beautiful, and later that day when watching TV, we learning it was recently named Travel & Leisure’s most picturesque college campus! Despite the fact that we couldn’t really take any good photos, and got absolutely soaked, we learned a lot about the city.

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After our very wet carriage tour, we walked through some of the covered market area to check out the local goods being sold. There was beautiful jewelry, blankets, leather goods, and amazing hand-woven baskets. The baskets were the most impressive to me! I just wish we could’ve gotten more photos of everything, but we had to let the camera dry out.

Once the rain mostly let up, we headed back to our hotel to shower and get ready for our dinner reservation at Husk. We had snacks and a bottle of wine in the room while getting ready. We headed out about an hour before our reservation to have a drink in the carriage house next to Husk. This place was so amazing! On the first floor is a spacious bar and the second floor are tables with drink service. It was crowded and we would have been fine standing, but we got lucky and scooped up two seats at the bar as another couple was leaving. Jay was extremely impressed with the massive whiskey selection they had, and tried two of them. I had a delicious glass of Cava, which I noticed is very popular in Charleston (you don’t find that on menus too often in New England!)

At 7:30 we headed over to the restaurant for our dinner reservation. They were running a little behind, but we didn’t mind at all as we were in vacation mode and we got to wait on the beautiful front porch of the restaurant. Our dinners were both incredible – we indulged in delicious (and fattening I’m sure lol) fried chicken skins for an appetizer. Husk’s menu changes daily, so all of the ingredients are always fresh. I would definitely go back here and recommend it, and a pre-dinner drink in the carriage house is a must!

On Saturday we set out for a quick coffee and breakfast at City Lights Coffee, a popular college spot. Their iced coffee was delicious as was the chocolate croissant I indulged in! We then called an Uber to head to our next destination. Using Uber in Charleston was more convenient than any other city I’ve used it in! There are always tons driving around, and we never waiting more than five minutes for ours to arrive.

Our next stop was a tour the Aiken-Rhett House Museum. This beautiful historical home offers a self-guided audio tour, and is being preserved as opposed to restored, which makes it very fascinating. After our tour, we strolled back down Meeting Street towards our lunch destination. On our way to the Aiken-Rhett House, I had seen a cat cafe on Meeting Street called Pounce, and of course knew we needed to stop in!

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As we strolled toward Pounce, we almost walked right by what ended up being one of my favorite places the entire trip! I spotted a pair of gold Chanel flats in the window of a store called The Trunk Show and knew I needed to go in. What we walked into was high-end designer consignment heaven! I combed through the store, impressed by the variety of designers and abundance and quality of the merchandise. They had many newer consignment items (so many Chanel suits!), as well as vintage sections (think 1920’s treasures to 1980’s prom dresses). They even have wedding gowns and men’s items (too bad those Gucci shoes were too small for Jay!) The patient and friendly sales associate showed us around, happily took anything out of a case that I wanted to see, and you better believe I left there with a new treasure! I can’t wait to go back here some day to see what else I can find.

After leaving The Trunk Show, we stopped in Pounce. We were informed that they were currently full, but could make reservations for later in the day for a one-hour session of kitten play time with complimentary beer, wine or coffee! We left and decided to make reservations to return later in the day.

We then headed to our lunch spot, 167 Raw. Jay and I agreed that this was our favorite food experience of the whole trip. They don’t take reservations, and there was an hour wait, but we knew it was worth it so we grabbed a drink from the bar and waited outside the restaurant (and only really ended up waiting a half hour!) We had some of the best oysters we’ve ever had, and I had the absolute best lobster roll I have ever had. I can’t wait to return here some day!

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After lunch, we strolled and shopped on King Street. King Street is shopping heaven! There are many popular designer and chain stores here, but what I loved most were the small clothing stores. We also went into many jewelry stores (no one can keep me away from sparkly things) and beautiful art galleries. I told Jay we will have to return here to decorate our future house with the beautiful art we encountered!

After shopping, we returned to Pounce for kitty play time! Gosh these kittens were cute – and all up for adoption! We spent an hour cuddling and playing with them. Being a cat lady I was totally beside myself and could not stop smiling! I think our photos don’t even do the cuteness justice! I am so happy I spotted this place.

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After Pounce, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for our dinner reservation at The Darling Oyster Bar. Yet more oysters, and they were delicious, but we decided they were second to 167 Raw. Our meals (we both had the scallops) were amazing. We then hopped next door to The BelmontΒ for yet more delicious craft cocktails (this seems to be a theme in Charleston and we loved it!) I had an Aperol Spritz and it was so good! We then hopped in a Uber back to the hotel just in time because another southern thunderstorm soon arrived! We went for a night-cap in the “Best Friends Room” in the hotel. Shout out to the awesome bartender, “Roger the Bullet Dodger”, who created and served delicious cocktails!

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Our last day in Charleston was Sunday. We checked out and left our bags with the hotel, then headed to Rainbow Row for photos before our brunch reservation. Rainbow Row is so beautiful, as evidenced by our photos. We had a great time exploring and taking photos. We then headed to brunch at Blossom, which was very good. Sadly, our next stop was the hotel to retrieve our bags and rental car and head to the airport.

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We both absolutely loved Charleston, and cannot wait to return to our favorite places and explore even more of the city some day (and hopefully repeat our carriage ride without the storm!)

Photos taken by Jay Brodeur and Alicia DeAngelis.

 

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