Last fall I had the opportunity to spend the week in beautiful Charleston, SC for a Lauren James photo shoot! Believe it or not, this was my first visit to Charleston! I know, it’s shocking. I remember the early days of Lauren James when I would go to market with my dresses and people had NO idea who I was and the number 1 question I would get was, “These are amazing! Are you from Charleston??”. (I guess my dresses have a Charleston feel that you just can’t miss!) But ever since then I’ve been dying to go to this magical city that everyone assumed I grew up in! I mean, if there ever was a city made for me… Charleston is it!
So during my week long work trip I made mental notes of where I would go if I ever came back for a leisurely weekend in the Holy City and I wanted to share my picks with you!! This city is so amazing so if you are only visiting for a weekend you need to pack as much in as possible!
Where To Stay:
We rented a house on one of the islands in the area, Isle of Palms and it was SO amazing! We had about 10 people on our trip and we wanted to all stay together so we got a house with 5 bedrooms and a fun rooftop porch so we could see the ocean! This is a great way to get a big group all in one cozy space for not too much money! It’s also the best way, I’ve found, to travel with your family if you have multiple kids because you have all of the same amenities a home and can all be in the same space without having to book multiple hotel rooms or an expensive suite.
BUT, if you do want to stay in a hotel in the city, these are the ones I’m looking at for our next trip!
The Spectator Hotel: Don’t let the cool 1920s vibe or classically dressed butlers fool you—this hotel is newly built, has the top-of-the line amenities, and has all of the modern comforts you’re used to. It’s located in the heart of the historic district just blocks from King Street and within walking distance to about anywhere you would want to go! I love this location because you wouldn’t even have to rent a car if you didn’t want to, which is nice for a big family! We can just load up the stroller and walk!
French Quarter Inn: Any hotel that offers me a pillow menu and complimentary champagne upon arrival is ok by me! I mean… sold! But it’s also just step from the city market and offers free bike rentals for you to explore the city! If you love the sound of this place, make sure to leave the kids with grandma and grandpa because this is the perfect place to stay on a weekend getaway with your hubby!
Zero George Street: If a quaint cottage is more your style, check out Zero George Street! It’s perfect for a trip where you want to lay around in a gorgeous cottage and order room service all day! It only has 16 guest suites so you know it will be a nice quiet, RELAXING, weekend if you choose to stay here!
What To Eat:
Circa 1886: If you want a splurge meal for an anniversary or fancy birthday with your hubby, this is it!! It checks off the entire “date night” list from romantic atmosphere, amazing service, and a food and wine list that will surely rank among the best meals you’ve ever had! If you want to feel totally wined and dined with fabulous food and an amazing wine paring, check out Circa 1886!
Poogan’s Porch: Look, I’m from the south and I KNOW fried chicken. But whoa. If you want to get slapped in your face with the most amazing fried chicken you’ve ever tasted than Poogan’s Porch is the place to go! (And if you’re feeling like living life on the edge, their Deep Fried Pimento Cheese Fritters are some of the most talked about side dish in the city!). Head to Poogan’s Porch for a more casual dining experience that will leave you full and happy!
Husk: If you’ve started searching for the best food in Charleston than this one comes as no surprise! It’s on about every single list of MUST EAT places in the city!! Make sure to get a reservation, even for weeknights, because everyone is flocking to Husk! So if you love all things southern and tasty, (I mean… if you don’t we can’t be friends) than you need to try to get a table at Husk! Just make sure to call WAY in advance!
The Ordinary: If seafood is what you are after, then you NEED to check out The Ordinary! And heck, go all out and get the Shellfish Tower if you know what’s good for ya!! There is nothing better (or fresher) than seafood at The Ordinary!
Tattooed Moose: Before you judge the name… just know you are probably absolutely right! haha If you want a really good… (I mean REALLY GOOD) low profile, casual dinner, you need to check out the Tattooed Moose. Just be sure to leave the dress and heels at home or you’ll get some strange looks from the locals (yes, I’m speaking from experience). This little diner was featured on Food Network’s Diners Drive-ins and Dives for it’s eclectic atmosphere and amazing diner food. If you go, PLEASE do yourself a favor and get the Duck Fat Fries! ahhhh I still dream about them!
What To Do:
Head to the beach: If you’re staying in the city but want to venture out to one of the beautiful beach towns nearby, you need to book off some time to go to one of three beaches. Sullivan’s Island is a bit quieter than other beaches so it’s great to a relaxing morning by the water! This beach doesn’t have lifeguards or public bathrooms so just be prepared for that! (Fun fact, Reece Witherspoon has a house here!) IOP (Which the locals call Isle of Palms) is where I stayed while visiting the city! It’s more of a touristy area so there are beachside restaurants and bars (with bathrooms) and fun little gift shops which make it my pick for a family friendly beach location! Last but not least, Folly Beach. This is another great place to visit with your whole family because it’s lined with gift shops and little restaurants perfect for kids of all ages! Head to Folly Beach if you’re wanting to come face to face with some local wildlife as well! You’ll surely come face to face with a sea turtle or a dolphin while on Folly Beach!
Waterfront Park: If you’re wanting to relax in a cute area a little closer to town, head down to the edge of the peninsula to Waterfront Park! This is located right in the Battery so you can drive down streets filled with amazing architecture before landing in the park! It’s perfect for a little picnic lunch and then dolphin watching!
King Street: How could I write a blog about Charleston and not include the most iconic street in the city? If you’re wanting to walk around and visit amazing parks, ice cream shops, cool old churches, and yummy restaurants, King Street is your one stop shop! They also have amazing shopping like Skinny Dip Charleston which happens to be my favorite boutique in the city! You can also find your favorite Lauren James pieces in the iconic store!
There are so many other amazing things to do and see in Charleston! Just start googling! It’s such a fun city for families as well as a girls weekend or a romantic weekend away so I’m sure it will be the perfect spot for your next trip! And maybe I’ll see you there! Because I’m already planning my next trip! 🙂
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