Charleston, SC is a beautiful, historic city rich with culture, activities, and fabulous food. I was lucky enough to live there from 1999 to 2001, but so many new restaurants and businesses have popped up in my decade and a half absence that I’m collaborating with my amazing best friend, Kathryn Budig, on this post. KB is an international yoga teacher, writer, foodie, model, and all-around badass warrior of love, who just so happens to live in Charleston. Since I have easy access to this well-traveled and knowledgeable woman, I figured I better tap her for assistance.
Some things about Charleston haven’t changed since I lived there. For instance, walking around downtown from Rainbow Row to the Battery will never get old–the architecture and charm of this area are top notch–there are a multitude of fabulous restaurants from which to choose, and it will always be oppressively humid in the summer.
Unless you’re a fan of 99% humidity, I don’t recommend visiting in the dead of summer. That being said, even if you do, the Charleston charm will still grab your heart.
I asked Kathryn some of her favorite things to do in order to best show off the city. (Her answers are in italics)
For a casual dinner?
My favorite casual night out would start at Pearlz for their oyster happy hour (their house oysters are fantastic!), maybe a custom cocktail at The Gin Joint (you pick two adjectives and they make the drink based off of your choice words: genius), and then head to Sean Brock’s Minero for his delicious take on Mexican cuisine (the golden burrito is to die for).
Drinks with a view?
I adore Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant. There are plenty of casual restaurants there with great seafood and a fantastic place to watch the sun set as the dolphins swim by.
I find myself at The Obstinate Daughter in Sullivan’s Island all the time—lunch and dinner. The food is amazing (best pasta in Charleston, right behind Indaco), and you can be casual during the day or dress up for dinner.
It’s a toss up between Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with the beaches here. They’re all pretty fantastic.
The lavender martini upstairs at Cypress is so lovely, and I already mentioned how much I love The Gin Joint. The bar attached to Husk is totally sexy, too.
So many! I love to stand up paddle board on Shem Creek, hit the beach, walk the bridge or Pitt Street Bridge with my dogs, stroll The Battery daydreaming about what it must have been like to live there back in the day, attend a Riverdogs baseball game, oh right, and EAT! This town is full of endless delicious restaurants.
Should you find yourself planning a trip to Charleston, here are some of my lodging recommendations–I’ve personally stayed at several, others are recommended by reputation:
Right on King Street in the heart of downtown. I stayed there when it was an Omni, so I can’t speak to how it is currently, but the location is fabulous.
This is a smaller inn with a rooftop bar/restaurant. Fantastic location with lovely rooms.
With airbnb you can find cheaper places all the way up to luxury apartments in just about any area you’d like. Downtown is great to be in the thick of it, but also old town Mount Pleasant is an option. It’s conveniently located to get downtown as well as Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms. I haven’t been out to Folly Beach in years, but it has a more casual feel than Sullivan’s and was always a favorite of mine.
Fancy. Expensive. Gorgeous. If you can afford it, go for it!
Very charming boutique hotel in a great location for getting to all the goods that downtown has to offer.
This Days Inn is a more affordable hotel option in a really great location.
There are several budget friendly hotels downtown and too many B&Bs to name. The moral of the story is that you should check out Charleston and you certainly won’t go hungry while you’re there. My trips usually involve a 3 meal per day eating agenda… I mean business when it comes to food!