Travel Log: Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina is one of those cities that I have wanted to visit for several years now, but getting there means a long flight or set of flights from Seattle and I just had not yet found the right opportunity. However, that changed when my lovely friend Christine decided that she wanted to spend a weekend in Charleston for a low-key bachelorette party. While initially the timing did not work for me to join, I was able to jump in last-minute and am so glad I did because we had a fabulous girls' weekend in the Lowcountry. Please read on for more photos, restaurant recommendations, and blogger photoshoot location tips from our weekend in Charleston, South Carolina.

I hopped on a redeye flight Thursday evening leaving Seattle just before midnight and landing in Charleston at 10:30am with a layover in Houston. After a stop at our hotel to drop our things and change, we headed to Leon’s Fine Poultry & Oyster Shop for lunch. This restaurant is located in a building that used to be a body shop and is named for the former shop owner.

We had a wonderful lunch of oysters (raw and fried), fried chicken, salad, and delicious cocktails. They also jumped on the "frosé" train (frozen rosé) for summer, a must-try if you are a rosé wine fan! 

Friday evening instead of a formal dinner we chose instead to bar hop on King Street for drinks and small bites at The Belmont and Proof. There are so many options along King Street that you really can't go wrong, and I am so glad we stayed in this central area. It was great to have so many restaurants, bars, shops, and even a Saturday morning farmer's market all within a short walk.

On Saturday morning, our first order of business was brunch at Poogan's Porch, located in an old house on Queen Street. Poogan's Porch is famous for both their biscuits and their grits, so of course I had to order shrimp and grits for my meal. I was concerned about not being able to try their biscuits until our waiter told me not to worry, they would bring out a fresh basket of biscuits for the table. Whew, crisis averted. My girlfriends ordered fried chicken and waffles, a pulled pork benedict, a "Tennessee Hot" fried chicken sandwich, and we shared a mimosa pitcher. Everything was delicious and I highly recommend Poogan's Porch for brunch when visiting Charleston.

After brunch, we hit the streets to walk off those brunch calories. We wanted to check out Rainbow Row, a short walk away from Poogan's Porch through Meeting Street. This photo was taken at Four Corners, the corner of Meeting Street and Broad Street with important buildings on each corner: Charleston City Hall, Charleston County Courthouse, the Postal Museum/Post office, and St. Michael's Church (behind us).

Rainbow Row is a group of thirteen colorful historic houses in Charleston, representing the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the United States. This photogenic street is a must-stop for bloggers and we were one of several groups of gals here posing for the perfect Instagram shot and it was so fun to see all of the colors!

We saw quite a few horse or mule carriage tours while walking around the city, and although we didn't take one it looks like a fun way to see downtown Charleston and learn more about its history.

Our next stop after Rainbow Row was Folly Beach for paddle boarding. We didn't paddle board out on the ocean, but on one of the rivers/tributaries that leads out to the ocean. It was only my second time paddle boarding, and we had a ton of fun. The highlight was definitely a random guy jumping off his dock to swim a cold beer in a red solo cup out to our bride to be. It was ridiculously hot and humid, making that beer taste amazingly good! After paddle boarding we walked out to the pier in search of food and cold drinks.

This view from the patio of Pier 101 Restaurant & Bar was exactly what we wanted after two hours out paddle boarding on the water in 92 degree heat. We enjoyed tacos, cold drinks, and live music all at the same time. There is something about the sound of the ocean and the breeze off the water that will never get old to me.

Saturday evening we treated ourselves to dinner at Husk on Queen Street. Husk is James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock's second restaurant, serving modern Southern cuisine since November 2010. Dining at Husk has been on my wish list for a few years now, and we savored an array of fabulous dishes including fresh oysters, blistered shishito peppers, a grilled corn and peach salad, and a selection of main dishes: battered catfish, roast chicken, confit duck leg, and roast pork. The bride's fiancé treated us by sending a bottle of champagne to our table to top off an already wonderful evening!

Just in case you are interested in learning where I found this floral one-shoulder dress, it is from ASOS and is available in regular, petite, and tall sizes! I'm wearing a regular US 4, and it is currently on sale with some sizes still available.

On Sunday morning, we coordinated outfits and went back to Rainbow Row for a fun photoshoot session. I loved how the blue and yellow houses matched my outfit so nicely!

This Faux Suede Knotted Top was one of my Zara summer sale finds, and unfortunately most sizes are now sold out but it is only $19.99 if your size is still available!

We also walked to Waterfront Park to take in the views and take some more photos. I could see spending several hours here reading a book and enjoying the views!

I am a huge fan of all of the big shade trees in Charleston, and the ones along this Waterfront Park walkway made a perfect backdrop for group photos.

Continuing our tour of Charleston's photogenic spots, we next visited Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens. We took a free tour of the mansion, and although we were not allowed to take any photos inside I can say it was pretty much what I thought a southern plantation mansion would look like. There was a library of old classic books, a dining room with a fancy china setting from England and a huge mirror from France, and a sitting room with wicker furniture and doors that opened to an outside patio. The tour is less than 30 minutes and worth the time (and the air conditioning) if you decide to visit.

The Boone Hall Stable has previously housed racehorses and currently boards polo ponies. Of course I couldn't resist hanging out with this friendly fellow.

The Boone Hall Plantation produced cotton in the 17th and 18th centuries, then moved into brick production in the 19th century. This production was all accomplished with slave labor, and the above buildings were homes for the property's slaves. Current visitors can tour the nine slave cabins learning about aspects of slave's lives with audio tracks, photos, and exhibits.

The "Avenue of Oaks" at Boone Hall Plantation just begs for photos. The Avenue of Oaks was completed in 1843, meaning that these trees are all at least 174 years old!

Our final dinner in Charleston was at The Butcher and the Bee on Sunday evening. We ordered a variety of small plates and shared everything - my favorite way to dine and I absolutely recommend this restaurant when visiting Charleston! Our fiancés also teamed up to arrange for multiple bottles of rosés to be sent to our table in another generous gesture to ensure we enjoyed our night. 

In summary, we loved Charleston and I would visit again in a heartbeat! This city has a rich history, amazing food, and of course Southern hospitality. If you have visited Charleston before, what is your favorite memory? Thank you for visiting my blog today, don't forget to enter the $200 Amazon giveaway, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


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