Charleston is one of the South’s most vibrant cities to travel to! It’s full of color and history and incredible culinary and design scenes. Today we’re giving you the lowdown on where to stay, see, eat, sleep, and shop in Charleston, South Carolina!
What to Pack for a Weekend in Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston has its own distinct style — it’s about full skirts, vibrant hues, tastefully tailored, mix-matched patterns. You’ll want cool, breathable outfits for during the day and some good walking shoes to see the sights. And something nicer for evenings out at all of their fabulous bars and restaurants.
Compact Packing Tips
No need to check luggage with these tight packing tips, especially for a weekend! If you follow these, you should be able to get everything packed comfortably in a TSA-approved roller bag. My favorite is this gorgeous gem from Rockland! You also don’t want to forget your umbrella and sunscreen!
- Roll, rather than fold clothing, this actually performs double duty: It prevents wrinkles AND packs everything more compactly. win-win!
- The one exception to the rolling-rather-than-folding rule is thicker items like pants or skirts items (which you probably won’t need much of in the Summer in Charleston anyways!) Fold these as wide and flat as possible and pack first at the bottom of the suitcase.
- Pack a few versatile neutrals you can wear more than once. Capri pants or white shorts, for example, that match everything and can be dressed up or down.
- Pack socks and underwear inside shoes– this also performs two functions: helping shoes keep their shape and prevent them from getting crushed in transit, and this frees up more space in the suitcase that your socks and underwear don’t have to take up.
- Skip the toiletries — if you’re staying somewhere with a spa, like the Dewberry, you can pop in there and pick up a few local luxuries or overnight your essentials from amazon prime to be delivered to the hotel front desk. They’ll be there by the time you arrive! Which brings us to our next point….Where should you stay in Charleston?
Where to Stay in Charleston?
The Dewberry is right in the heart of downtown Charleston, surrounded by gorgeous churches, city centers, shops, and bars. Designed by NYC and Charleston-based firm, Workstead, The Dewberry is a gorgeous, luxe, twist on traditional design.
The rooms are big and well laid out. Complete with quiet corners to read or work and beautiful, feminine design details like these antique mirrors, wardrobes, and chandeliers:
The Library Bar is a wonderful lounge in the lobby, adorned in midcentury mixed metals and lush velvet club chairs. And the drinks are carefully crafted and beyond beautiful. I mean… just look at this incredible Mai Thai:
Pop into Henrietta’s for breakfast downstairs at The Dewberry. Their locally sourced honey is incredible on everything and the staff couldn’t be sweeter!
Where to Dine in Charleston?
You can’t leave Charleston without getting some fabulous seafood. And The Ordinary, is pretty awesome (dare I say… anything but ordinary!). It’s an oyster bar built inside an old bank. They have a number of oysters local to Charleston that you won’t find anywhere else. And an incredible caviar ceviche that was so good we ordered a second!
Husk is the most beautiful restaurant in Charleston! If you want a taste of Charleston with the best ambiance. The space epitomizes traditional Charleston design, complete with casual upstairs bar/lounge that serves incredible cocktails and yummy bar bites and an upscale dining room next door.
Sorghum & Salt
If you’re a more adventurous foodie, you’ll want to check out Sorghum & Salt. Their small plates are all so good you’ll want one of everything! And they’re market-dependent so the menu changes constantly, which makes it hard to recommend specific dishes. With that said, a couple of stand-out dishes were the tilefish, cauliflower, and pasta dishes.
Best Home Decor & Art Shopping in Charleston
Vibrant design scene- always something cool and funky to be found in the Mitchell Hill showroom, just down the street from the gorgeous Circa showroom, which has some of the most phenomenal lighting.
Head to the Beach Towns Around Charleston
There are some great beach towns a quick drive outside of Charleston. Folly Beach is known as the casual, party beach with some great surf at the ‘washout’ down on Ashley Street and some wonderful rooftop bars and seafood.
The Crab Shack is a great lunch spot! And the Jack of Cups is a newer bar/restaurant with some really interesting currey-based dishes. Down Ashley street and you’ll find the colorful beach houses situated atop piers as a flooding and storm precaution.
Edisto Beach, South Carolina
Truly the antithesis of Folly Beach, and just 40-50 minutes in the other direction from Charleston, you’ll find the calm, sleepy beach town known as Edisto. Entering Edisto is like driving into an old Southern Gothic novel. Mossy trees drape over either side of the street, it’s quiet.
You won’t find a Whole Foods here– the island has strict commercial and residential building and zoning restrictions that keep Edisto from becoming, well, Folly beach– the commercial party beach. There’s a serpentarium and Sunday water masses on the marsh, if you’re into that kind of thing. Go boating and grab some amazing bar-b-q at Harvest Moon, famous for their yellow bbq sauce.
Unlike the beach homes on Folley, the exterior palettes are more traditional, the construction is newer, and nothing is built higher than 40 ft. It has the horizontal sprawl of a California beach town. Along the marsh you’ll find beautiful, custom estates with distinct styles, generally more contemporary than the beach homes. This was one of my favorites– Just look at that gorgeous porch!