Charleston, South Carolina is one of my favorite cities. At around four hours, the drive is quick and easy from Charlotte. Great food, lots of activities, and a fun historic vibe make Charleston the perfect weekend getaway. Through my many visits, I have mastered the “hits and misses” of the classic southern city.
Where to Stay: Historic District
Take it’s from someone who has made the mistake of staying out of town and trying to tackle parking- pay more and stay in town! There are tons of cute hotels and choices for every budget.
This place definitely calls for a special occasion! Nightly rates hover around $350 but it is truly a five star experience! Our room at ROK was not a room at all but a loft-style apartment. This hotel is the total luxury experience. There is a rooftop deck with great views of the city, customized breakfast picnic baskets are delivered to your room in the morning, a full gourmet kitchen! I could go on and on. You can occasionally find deals on this place through SniqueAway, a luxury hotel flash sale site.
Save- The Francis Marion Hotel
This one is our go-to hotel in Charleston. The location is fantastic. Everywhere you will want to go is walkable from the hotel. There are great restaurants and shops just outside of your door! The price of this one is much more manageable. We have stayed here for around $150 per night in the off season. There is a huge park right across the street ( where Clint and I got engaged!) that hosts the farmer’s market.
What to Eat: Everything!
Well, almost everything. Charleston has big-time restaurant competition, so mediocre restaurants aren’t that common. We avoid all chain places (the ever-crowded Bubba Gump Shrimp, Sticky Fingers…). There are just too many great restaurants to eat at a chain! We also don’t love the popular tourist destination of Poogan’s Porch. We have tried it several times and just aren’t impressed.
Magnolias – All time favorite!
This place is classic Charleston. Fantastic southern food and a really nice atmosphere. Some favorites are the fried green tomatoes and the pimento cheese filet. YUM. We make a point to go here every time we visit Charleston.
Jestine’s Kitchen- Lunch
Jestine’s is a teeny tiny spot that is always crowded- for good reason! The food is absolutely fantastic. Once you get a seat, they bring out homemade pickles and cornbread with honey butter. Talk about a good first impression. We love the fried chicken and the meatloaf. Plan to wear your favorite elastic pants on the way home from this trip!
Must-Do: The Angel Oak