Recently my husband and I and another couple took a very quick road trip to Charleston, SC. It involved a van, some medical equipment, and plenty of snacks, but we made it there in 12 hours, had one full day, then drove 12 hours back home on the third day. It was great fun and Charleston is absolutely lovely. I've only ever heard great things about Charleston, and it definitely lived up to its reputation. Here are a few of my favorite shots from our trip, as well as the places we ate and stayed and shopped.
Hotel: The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel. Excellent service, free Starbucks coffee, free champagne hour from 3-4, good weight/fitness room, clean and comfy guest rooms!
Dinner: Fleet Landing Restaurant and Bar. Great cocktails and excellent seafood. I don't even like oysters and their fresh oysters were pretty great. Down by the water, make a reservation to get outdoor seating!
Breakfast: I ate at Toast. The cheesy grits and omelette were perfect fuel for a day of walking! Meghan ate at Eli's Table; despite finding eggshell in her meal, she thought it was otherwise pretty good. Tom and Joe ate at the hotel, which was a little pricey.
Lunch: Jim & Nick's Bar-B-Q. I had a really hard time finding something to eat here that was gluten free, but they did their best and used lettuce leaves for my chicken tacos. (Who doesn't have corn tortillas??) Everyone else loved their dishes. More importantly, it was near all the good shopping.
Dinner: We had a glass of wine at Charlestowne Tobacco & Wine while we waited to be seated. Felt exclusive though. Magnolia's for dinner was superb. They were very accommodating to my gluten intolerance, and brought out my own special loaf of crusty, warm, soft-in-the-middle gluten free bread. Best meal of the trip!
Shopping: We didn't do a whole lot of shopping, but if you see an antique store, definitely pop in. Pretty sure some of that stuff was used by the Founding Fathers. There are lots of great little stores hidden off the main shopping drag, you really won't be disappointed if you walk around and go into whatever strikes your fancy. We also went to the Charleston City Market, which is listed as one of the top things to do, but I was a little disappointed to be honest. There was a lot of cheap crap mixed into the quality stuff. Very busy. We didn't take any carriage rides, maybe next time, but if you find the stables, don't hesitate to talk to the drivers and owners and pet the horses. That made me happy!
Breakfast: We ate at Toast again. It was fine, but we could have gone somewhere else. Our waitress wasn't great and it was a very different experience than the previous morning. Not sure what that was about!
Overall, we had a great impromptu trip. I had some anxiety before going, but I'm so glad I said yes to a new adventure and got to see a city that I had heard so many positive things about. It would really be a great city to retire to! And I'm sure we'll be back to visit in no time!