Charming, quaint, delightful: these are the words that come to mind when you find yourself describing Charleston, South Carolina. For years, Southern locals have kept this peninsula and its surrounding beaches a well-kept secret, but its attention-getting food scene means its a secret no longer.
We already love Charleston — whether just for 24 hours or a girls getaway — but here are 7 ways we fell in love with the city even more on our latest trip.
There have always been great hotel options, but unique, boutique accomodations are more recent and one of the finest places you can choose to stay is newcomer, Zero George. Dripping in detail, this restored carriage house (dating from 1804) is outfitted in sophisticated, traditional details from the floor-to-ceiling floor window treatments to the oyster-shell garden set up with bistro table and chairs.
Speaking of oysters, it wouldn’t be a trip to this coastal town without enjoying a fine selection from a local favorite, 167 Raw. The space is tiny, but perfect for grabbing a couple of Lobster Rolls to-go. While you wait, pop the top on a local craft beer (we love the Westbrook “White Thai”) and snag a half dozen at the counter.
A few years ago, Downtown Charleston submitted to somewhat of a “great divide” between the long-distinct “Lower” and “Upper” King Street. Lower King has long dominated the tourism scene, with stalwarts like “Rainbow Row” and plantation-style hotels like “Charleston Place”. But, today, Upper King is having a moment to shine with newcomers like Parlor Deluxe, where late night food is served with mid-century swing, replete with hot dogs, tator tots, and hand-scooped s’mores ice cream.
Whether you’re searching for the perfect breakfast sandwich, or simply looking for a white-washed, Instagram-worthy breakfast shot, St. Alban’s got your number. Brightly-colored, old school chairs line the building. Grab the Sunday Times, and enjoy a properly-poured La Colombe coffee under the sun.
We don’t just love The Ordinary because it’s housed in a giant, restored bank or because they serve a “fancy” $45 caviar service. No, we love it because of the warm service and experience we receive time and time again. Quality shines through every last detail and for a fabulous meal brought to you by award-winning Chef Mike Lata (of the institutional sister-restaurant, FIG), look no further.
Before you catch your flight out of town, make sure you say “hi” to the boys of Black Tap Coffee. Their chic, minimalistic shop rivals any coffee house you could find in the Bay Area. Not only do they roast their beans 10 miles away (on James Island), but they have perfected a nitro brew that is undeniably smooth and flavorful, which means we buy ours by the growler.
Opening photo by Anthony via Flickr // Other photos by Hayley