If you’ve never been to Charleston, you must go and go soon! It has been on our travel bucket list, and we were very excited about seeing all the architecture, eating some delicious biscuits, and doing a carriage tour. If you want to make a full week vacation out of it I would suggest spending a couple of days in Charleston, Savannah, and ending on Tybee Island. You could spend way more than a week doing all three of those, but it would be a beautiful week to remember.
Here’s how we spent our time in Charleston!
Our first stop was a coffee shop! Mainly because we’re obsessed with coffee and coffee shops, but I also had a little bit of work to tackle that morning. So we scoured Pinterest and decided on Black Tap Coffee because it had an adorable exterior, and on the menu was a Black Julep. What is a Black Julep you may ask, as did I? It is an espresso drink, shaken with honey and mint leaves and it is heavenly. This is a great little coffee shop for delicious coffee, fun drinks to try, and really good pastries. We shared a Banana Nutella Turnover, YUM.
After coffee, we headed to our second stop of the day, a carriage tour! There’s something about being in a cute town with lots of history and taking a tour by horse and carriage. There are several carriage tours to choose from but … they all do the same routes! Once you get in your carriage, no matter which company you go with, they all have to line up and go past the booth set up by the Department of Transportation, and they tell them which route your carriage will go on. They do this to cut down on traffic, and so they don’t have all the carriages causing traffic delays. So go with the cheapest option! We found a carriage tour on Groupon and were able to save a few dollars that way. The tour lasts about an hour, and you learn a lot about the city.
Carriage Tour Tips:
- Bring cash to tip your tour guide
- Choose whichever carriage tour company is cheapest – look on Groupon
- Sit on the end of your row so you can snap pictures as you’re on the tour
Once we finished the carriage tour we went and walked around City Market. This is right where your carriage tour ends, so you don’t need to move your car! In fact, if you have time to kill you can walk around City Market before and after your carriage tour. We did this, and once our carriage tour ended we were hungry! Fortunately, one of my favorite places to eat was located inside City Market, Callies Biscuits. To say I was excited about eating here is an understatement. I have had their biscuits just once before while I was in Atlanta for a conference, and as we walked through City Market and my eyes landed on their little shop I swear I heard the angels singing. haaaaalelujah!
We both got biscuit bowls, and they were divine. Mine had grits, avocado, pimento cheese, tomatoes, and green onion. Brannon got the meat lovers with bacon, sausage, cheese, and grits. Do yourself a favor and get some mini cinnamon biscuits to go so you have a snack for later that evening. We didn’t do this and suffered from major regret!
After lunch, we took ourselves on our own walking tour of the city. You can definitely purchase a walking tour, but after doing a carriage tour we looked at our list of things we wanted to see still and took off on foot. Just make sure you wear comfortable shoes and you’ll be fine! Here’s what we went to see on our own walking tour:
- First, we walked to Rainbow Row, and yes they’re as adorable as you imagine!
- Waterfront Park. This is so beautiful! A cute little park right on the edge of the water, right next to the most beautiful southern houses you can imagine. You’ll be walking on clouds as you dream of what your life would be like living in one of the homes…. and subsequently how you’d be house broke, or more realistically, living in the servants quarters above the garage.
- Stop to see the Pineapple fountain, and yes it’s as cute as you see in all the pictures. If it’s warm outside you can take a break here and stick your feet in the water! If you’ve got kids this would be a great place to come and take a break so they can splash around in the water. Just bring a towel and a change of clothes.
- On the way back to the car we parked over by City Market we stopped by Goat Sheep Cow. The cutest little shop with all the cheese, wine, and bread to make your heart content.
We like to start our days out with coffee, and if we come to a city with a TON of cute coffee shops, you can almost guarantee that’s how our days are going to start. This time we headed over to Mercantile & Mash. Not only was their shop adorable, their coffee delicious, and their wifi strong, they also had a full menu! We didn’t realize this otherwise we would’ve gone for lunch. We got a latte and chocolate croissant to share… because there was a 2nd coffee shop I wanted to hit up.
We headed out and back to downtown Charleston. We parked as close as we could to King Street this time. If you’re wanting to do shopping while you’re in town, then you don’t have to go anywhere other than King Street. It has your favorite shops like Anthropologie and Madewell, as well as unique-to-Charleston boutiques! We walked along the shops and headed to coffee shop number two, which is right on King Street. The Skinny Dip is the perfect place to pop in for a little shopping break. It is located above their little boutique, and it’s combination coffee shop and co-working space. While you’re there check out their outdoor space in the back – the cutest little area with porch swings, lovely plants, and twinkle lights. They also do events there and if I lived there you know I’d have so many meet-ups and workshops here!
After walking around King Street for the afternoon, we were ready for a late lunch/early dinner. We headed to Butcher and Bee for delicious tapas. We had crispy olives, bacon wrapped dates (YUM), house bread with olive oil, and lamb tartare. It wasn’t overly filling, but it was perfect for an early dinner. If you go during lunch their menu is different and you can find things on it like a braised lamb pita, or a sweet potato sandwich. I’m ready to go back and try one of those!
Needless to say, we really loved Charleston and will definitely be back. I suggest going in the early spring or late fall so you don’t have to deal with the heat because it get’s HOT during the summer.
If you want more pictures, then here you go – enjoy this virtual recap of our trip to Charleston!
Pin this post for when you’re headed to visit Charleston and leave a comment letting me know what you’re planning to do when you go (or what you’ve done if you’ve already been).