Situated on the Atlantic Coast, Charleston is one of America’s oldest cities and is brimming with southern culture, beach goers, bachelorette parties, and boatloads of history. I had the opportunity to spend the weekend there and here’s how I would do it if I had to in just 24 hours:
Morning at the Beach
Wake up and head to the beach! Since it’s on the Atlantic Coast, the water on Charleston beaches is relatively warm all year long. Fan favorites include Folly Beach and Isle of Palms. If you know someone in the on Seabrook Island or Kiawah, you can lounge on one of the more exclusive beaches in the area just outside the city. If not, head over the iconic Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge to Sullivan’s Island. Take a stroll down the public beach and see views of the historic Fort Sumter, Charleston’s skyline, the massive suspension bridge– just make sure not to leave your stuff on the beach for too long otherwise the waves will grab it (speaking from personal experience here….).
Lunch on King Street
After a few hours on the beach, grab some lunch at Closed for Business – on the adorable and historic King Street. It’s known for it’s craft beer selection, especially those from the Carolina’s region. For food, I highly recommend the crispy green beans, the veggie burger and the tomato soup!
Afternoon as a Tourist
Walk off your lunch and do a self tour of the city–there are more formal ones of course (I saw plenty of horse carriage tours), but walking around yourself is a wonderful touristy adventure in itself. The city is filled with so much history and personality at every corner. Some items you need to check off your Charleston bucket list include: admire the Georgian architecture and cobblestone streets, pop into an overgrown graveyard and find a headstone from the 1700s, snap a pic in front of Rainbow Row, window shop down King Street, find a traditional sweetgrass basket in the outdoor Charleston City Market, snapchat the pineapple fountain and gaze over the views of the harbor, find your favorite style of window box, and choose your dream house out of the giant mansions along East Bay. It sounds like a lot, but Charleston is a relatively small city and you can do all that in a matter of hours!
Sunset on the Roof
Charleston is super unique in the fact that there are zero skyscrapers. It’s called the Holy City because nothing is allowed to be built higher than the city’s church steeples. And since roof top bars are a huge deal you get great panoramic views of the water, the bridge, and city. A great place to take it all in with a glass of wine in hand is the Rooftop at the Vendue. The Vendue is a boutique hotel in the historic district of Charleston and has a double decker rooftop bar with plenty of seating and is the perfect place to be during sunset.
Dinner at Poogan’s Porch
Treat yourself to some fine Southern cuisine and make a reservation at Poogan’s Porch. A short walk from the Vendue, the wait to be seated might be long (despite having a reservation) but the biscuits and sweet butter are totally worth the wait. Shrimp and grits, fried chicken, and rich mac and cheese are all fan favs at this restaurant.
Go out on King Street
Little known fact to us Texans, but Charleston is bridal party central. As soon as the sun goes down, the brides in white and bridesmaids in black all come out to play–seriously it’s insane, I’ve never felt so single in my life. Nevertheless, you can have a fabulous time hanging out on the rooftops of some of Charleston’s bars. Favorites include Stars Rooftop and Reef on King Street and Henry’s House by the Charleston City Market. Henry’s is fun because its got multiple floor each with live music and a completely different vibe. When I was there, they had a rock cover band in the “whiskey bar,” a DJ with a laser light show in another area, in addition to a band on the first floor and multiple roof tops and patios.