The Charleston Series is wrapping up! Cue the sad faces and tears. So, herein lies my final attempt at pushing you to book the next plane ticket to the Low Country. I’m drawn to ‘Top 5 Lists’ when I’m researching a new place! You’ll find below my own ‘Top 5’ list for Charleston!
1. Visit a Plantation
No visit to the South is complete without a tour through the beautiful Southern, Antebellum Plantations. Luckily, Charleston has some of the best to offer.
- Magnolia Plantation: The one we always come back to; our favorite. You could easily spend an entire day at Magnolia. As you tour the home, you’ll find yourself drawn to the magnificent wrap-around veranda overlooking the grounds. Can’t you just see yourself grabbing a sweet tea and passing the time away in a rocking chair? If you can bear it, break away from the shade of veranda, and meander through the gardens. Walk across the white bridge and get lost in what feels like a daydream. If you like wildlife, check out the swamp gardens! Just beware of the alligators lurking close by. Other tours include, Magnolia’s Cabin Project which are preserved slave dwellings and rice field tours.
2. Book a Food Tour or Create Your Own
You cannot miss the thriving food scene in Charleston. I recently saw it snagged the number two slot on Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Cities for Food in the United States. If you’re short on time but want to get a true taste of Southern food, a food tour might be your best option. I recommend booking with the Charleston Culinary Tours. Throughout the tour you have the opportunity to sample food from some of the best restaurants in Charleston and meet the culinary experts behind the creations.
If a structured tour isn’t exactly your cup of tea, try creating your own food tour. Try listing out all of the restaurants on your “must-try” list and then picking one or two items from the menu to share. Then hop around to different spots to enjoy samples of food! It may be best to do this early lunch or happy hour as dinner reservations are needed for many of the restaurants in the city.
3. Go to the Beach
Charleston is surrounded by pristine beaches and low country marshes that are worth the time to explore and enjoy. Our favorite beach for a relaxed day in the sun is Sullivan’s Island. My suggestion? Grab some drinks, take-out from D’Al’s Pizza and grab the sunset with the one you love; or just someone worth hanging and sharing a pizza with!
Other options include the following:
- Folley Beach: The touristy option for those that are visiting Charleston for the first time. Take a walk along the folley pier and enjoy drinks along the water!
- Kiawah Island: While this area of the Low Country is famous for its golf courses and five star resorts, you’ll find a beautiful beach that will match the elegance of the area.
- Isle of Palm: A great option if you want to explore both beaches and the marshes in one area.
- Morris Island: An uninhabited island in Charleston Harbor accessible by boat. I recommend booking a tour and heading out to Morris Island. The lighthouse alone is worth the trip!
4. Shopping on King Street
Who doesn’t love a good shopping district? Lined with designer shops and boutique gems you’ll want to peek in all the shops that line King Street. Below are some of my favorite shops to explore when we visit!
- Candlefish: Such a fun shop where you can make your own candle!
- V2V: I’m a fan of boutiques and this shop has a great selection of dresses and women’s clothing.
- Hampden: A higher-end boutique that sells beautiful, timeless pieces in a stunning shop.
- Two Cumberland: Located on the second floor, don’t miss this shop when walking around King Street. A great selection of home goods made by local artisans.
5. Explore Historical Downtown
Historic downtown Charleston is as charming as you imagine it to be. On our last trip we chose to explore by Vespa and had such an amazing time. We found so many hidden gems and quaint streets to explore!
- The Battery: A perfect Charlestonly day would include a morning stroll, coffee in hand, along the Battery. If you get up early enough you might even catch a glimpse of the dolphins! As you make your way along East Battery gaze in awe at the gorgeous historic, antebellum homes. I call dibs on the pink one! 😉
- Rainbow Row: If you’ve researched Charleston, then it is likely you have seen paintings, pictures or discussion regarding Rainbow Row. If you’ve started your morning on the Battery, continue along E Bay street until you reach these thirteen colorful Georgian-Style row homes.
- Hidden Alleyways: There are so many alleyways to keep an eye out for during your walk around the historic district. Two that I want to mention (and hope you find!) are Philadelphia Alley and Stolls Alley.
- Charming Streets: Be transported back in time as you make your way through the cobblestone streets and stately homes. A few streets you won’t want to miss are Tradd Street, Church Street, and Meeting Street. There is just something about the quiet of these roads and the history that lurks behind every corner that I will forever admire.
Have you visited the Low Country? What are your must-dos when you visit? Let me know!
P.S. Enjoy more photos on my gallery page or follow my adventures on instagram @acoffeeandacarryon!