Our trip to Charleston was over far too quickly for me, but despite only having the weekend, we managed to see and do quite a bit. It’s the perfect city to visit if you like walking, discovering, and of course eating. It is deservedly called a foodie town, so if that’s the sort of travel you’re interested in, scroll down for my favorites.
We chose The Dewberry based on a very short trip I took 5 years ago. I didn’t have a ton of time to explore the city as I was working on a campaign, but I vividly remember the hotel. The perfect refuge, centrally located, and just very very chic. It was the first decision I made (after booking our flights) and I assured Eric he would love the place as much as I did.
We were not disappointed in the slightest. It has a really rad mid century feel with plenty of modern appointments, and the rooms are even comfier than I remembered. They have a bar in the lobby, excellent room service, and a really cool rooftop cocktail bar called The Citrus Club (more on that below) that offered a view of the city below. I could see this hotel being excellent for a group of friends, a wedding party, a family vacation – it really was luxurious without being stuffy and I adored that.
Gateway Walk + Churchyard – We found the entrance to this Churchyard quite by accident – which in my opinion is the best way to explore. We happened to see an arched gate off of busy King St. and wandered over to have a look. A very helpful couple told us to go in and walk down the path – open to the public. At the end was a really breathtaking churchyard with Spanish moss hanging over the old headstones. The Unitarian Church adjacent was open to the public as well, and we were kindly invited in to see the interior. The ceiling was stunning and the construction is estimated to be from the late 1700s. A must-see for sure.
French Quarter – Most of our time in Charleston was spent wandering the French Quarter and looking at the houses. There was no shortage of historic homes to look at, many of which have a plaque that describes the original owners or notable inhabitants. Rainbow Row is located nearby, with a stretch of colorful houses that are fun to see.
The Battery – On one of the warmer days, we walked down to The Battery, down at the very tip of Charleston to look out over the water. I highly recommend going early in the day, bringing along an iced coffee and taking a stroll. There are some tree-lined portions for shade, benches, and just a beautiful view to take in.
Angel Oak Tree – Located on nearby Johns Island, the Angel Oak tree is breathtaking. It is often called ‘The World’s Most Beautiful Tree’ and it is apparent why as soon as you are able to lay eyes on it. The canopy is massive, it stands over 60 feet tall, and is estimated to be around 500 years old. Words just really do not do it justice, so if you have the time, please go!
Eating + Drinking
The Citrus Club – There is no other word for the Citrus Club other than fun. From the moment you arrive at the Dewberry (it is located on the roof) the experience is fun. You’re given a special key card (citrus themed of course) to access the club, and are whisked straight up in an elevator. The space is mid century with splashes of color, and while there is an interior portion, the exterior is the most lively with little tables and cozy linen-cushioned couches to stay a while on. The employees wear perhaps the cutest uniforms I’ve ever seen (linen a-line dresses in pink hues and linen shorts were what I saw mostly) and the drinks are both photographable and delicious. I ordered a Garden Spritz and it was the perfect tonic for the warm weather.
The Darling Oyster Bar – When I first visited this spot in 2017, I was new to oysters, and was keen to expand my knowledge. Since then I’ve grown to love them even more and was excited to return to this spot in particular. We sat at the raw bar (during happy hour, yes please) and tasted our way through the days catches. They have a simple menu with really lovely oysters, a beautiful location, and overall a good time. If you go, get a matchbook (or two) – they’re just as the name promises – darling.
Rodney Scott’s BBQ – A highly highly recommended spot that has spawned several other locations, you’ll want to visit the original in Charleston. They specialize in pit-cooked bbq and classic sides that are all must-haves when visiting the south. It is deservedly famous and SO good.
Chez Nous – Hands down, our favorite meal of the entire trip, and once again it was not planned. We actually had chosen a different spot for dinner, but had a little time to kill beforehand. While we were walking on King St, slowly wandering off onto a side street when I spotted a small sign that said Chez Nous, pointing down an alley. I immediately remembered having been sent it as a recommendation, but I never looked into it. Curious, we went down the alley, saw the exterior of this darling house and decided on the spot that if they had room we had to dine there. No checking the menu, nothing – just an immediate “we have to do this”. The space is small (it was a house at some point) but they were able to fit us in and I was thrilled. They only offer 2 choices for appetizers, mains, and desserts, but every single bite we had was incredible. It’s a restaurant that feels like a discovery, and one that I personally cannot wait to return to. I would recommend making a reservation, and if you can – have a seat outside. The garden was beyond dreamy.
The Ordinary – This was perhaps the most recommended spot for oysters, and it was divine. Housed in an old bank building with large windows, the restaurant is absolutely stunning. The stand-outs on the menu for me were the smoked oysters and the gumbo.
Leon’s – While they are equally known for their oysters and fried chicken, we opted for the fried chicken and it was delicious. I’ve been craving fried chicken for a few months now and this absolutely hit the spot. If you can ask for extra of the hot sauce that they cook it in, because it tastes incredible on just about everything. Other standouts were the scalloped potatoes and the frozen (!!) gin and tonic. Deffo make a reservation, we were just able to squeeze in on an afternoon, but it was busy.
Little Jack’s Tavern – Alright just in case you don’t have a reservation at Leon’s and have a little time to kill, go to Little Jack’s which is almost next door. We grabbed a drink here and the space was lovely. I didn’t have anything to eat, but the menu looked great.
Clerk’s Coffee – Located inside of the trendy Hotel Emeline, Clerk’s coffee is popular. There was quite the line when we went, but it moved along quickly and we ended up with some really lovely iced coffees to take for a walk around the area. A very pleasant place to have a sit if you have the time.
Post House Inn – Alright this one is going to bother me for a while because it was the restaurant I was most excited to go to, but sadly we weren’t able to make it over before the end of our trip. I’ve vowed to come back because it looks AMAZING. It’s both a hotel and a restaurant and everything about the space has me dying to go and visit. Plus I’m told their burger is incredible. Next time!!
Frannie & The Fox – Also part of Hotel Emeline, Frannie & The Fox was perfect for a leisurely lunch for us. We ordered a pizza, some spritzes (obvs) and the meatballs. Everything was so good and the space is just as pretty as can be. They have live music during brunch on Sundays, which was so fun.
Harken Coffee – Harken Coffee was another spot we hadn’t planned on, but when we walked by and saw how charming the space was we ducked in for iced coffees. If you can, order the spiced vanilla latte and make sure to grab a cookie too.