When we decided to do 50 in 5, an unwritten rule was that for every state we had visited before, we had to choose a new city. We’d been to Charleston on a few occasions already, but I couldn’t resist escaping to my favorite city for Easter weekend.
Where we stay
There’s no shortage of gorgeous boutique hotels and bed & breakfasts in Charleston, but they are pricey. We splurged on a stay at the Andrew Pinckney Inn for our first anniversary and loved every minute of it. But in general, we try to book simple, affordable accommodations when we travel.
A few years ago, we discovered Clarion Inn in Mt. Pleasant. It’s just across the river from historic downtown Charleston. It’s no-frills, but it is clean, safe, and so, so cheap. We were on vacation 2014 when I sat in a hotel room at the Clarion and had a phone interview with my current boss. So, we go way back with this spot. ?
Staying in Mt. Pleasant is great for us, because we can drive into downtown in under 10 minutes, or drive the opposite direction out to the beach. I also love staying so close to my dream neighborhood, Old Village. (If you watched “Outer Banks” on Netflix, Old Village will look familiar. They filmed a lot of it there!)
Where we eat
Charleston is my favorite foodie town by far, and we blow our food budget every time we visit. Here are a few favorites from this trip, and previous trips:
LUNCH OR DINNER
Amen Street Fish & Raw Bar – We asked a local where to find the best seafood… best she crab soup of my life.
The Darling – Food and drinks were excellent, but I’m mostly in love with their branding.
Husk – Lots of hype around this one, and I can confirm that it’s 100% worth it.
Hyman’s Seafood – Locals roll their eyes at this touristy spot, but we’ve always enjoyed our meals and the staff’s hospitality.
The Ordinary – The one and only time we’ve ever ordered a seafood tower. One of B’s favorite meals ever.
Toast – This is the first place I ever ordered shrimp & grits, and life has never been the same.
Carmella’s – I love tiramisu, and theirs is A+.
Kaminsky’s – Late-night dessert spot with boozy drinks.
Peace Pie – Serving ice cream sandwiches with a layer of pie filling. ?
During our Easter weekend trip, we did a pre fixe Easter Sunday brunch at High Cotton. The atmosphere was lovely, but we didn’t feel the food justified the price. We’re still on the hunt for good tacos in Charleston, so share recommendations you have! I’ve been to Taco Boy twice and didn’t love it.
What we do
Our favorite activity in Charleston is walking around the historic neighborhoods. When we visited for Easter weekend, I set a goal of not spending money on attractions/entertainment. There’s so much to do in Charleston that is free! We wandered up and down the streets, along Rainbow Row and the Battery, and through the City Market—stopping to take photos of flower boxes and doorways along the way. We drove through Old Village, searching homes on Zillow. We strolled through Waterfront Park.
As we wandered down one of the streets, a sign caught my eye—a free lecture about Alexander Hamilton. It’s totally a nerdy thing to do, but we returned for the lecture that night, and I loved it.
On previous trips, we have enjoyed carriage rides, ghost tours, and a harbor boat excursion. On one trip, we toured the Calhoun Mansion. We aren’t big shoppers, but I would be remiss not to mention the plethora of options along King Street. There’s also a large Tanger Outlet in North Charleston.
I anticipate we’ll return to Charleston before 50 in 5 is over. I’ve already been back since the Easter weekend trip, in fact, to attend a conference. On a future trip, I’m looking forward to trying out some new restaurants (167 Raw, The Obstinate Daughter, Edmund’s Oast, Xiao Bao Biscuit… there are so many) and exploring more of Mt. Pleasant and Sullivan’s Island.