Day One of our Charleston Adventure: Knowing that Charleston this time of year is like a fiery inferno, I decided to wear my lightest vintage dresses and my comfiest of walking shoes. Thankfully, being right on the water, there is always a fantastic breeze that keeps you from overheating and sweating. Cuz when that happens to me, I'm usually done for the day. dress: vintage, found on etsy; belt: made by me; sandals: Chacos
Well, hello, long lost friends! I do believe I've said those very same words or similar at the start of each blog post of late. It seems that since summer began a coupla weeks ago, things have sped up around here instead of slowing down. Between a trip home to Indiana, a vacation to Los Angeles with the hubs and this voyage to Charleston with my muthahs, I need a break from this break! I'm ready to start plotting next school year, stitch up some dresses and, well, do nothing. Which is really what I do best.
That all bein' said, I just had to share with you my vacay to Charleston, South Carolina. I'd never been before and I found it to be absolutely amazing. Have you been? We stayed three whole days and managed to cram in so much goodness. I know I searched the interwebs far and wide for what to do...so I thought I'd share what we did so you don't have to do the same when planning your trip to Charleston! Oh and you'll have to lemme know what I missed out on as I'm sure we'll be making a return trip. Which is your fave restaurant (ah, so many choices!), fave beach or fave thing to do? I'd love to hear from ya! Until then, here's our Adventures in Charleston in Three Days!
Day One: Staying in Charleston is mucho money during the peak season (and it's pretty much always peak season cept for Jan and Feb!). I'm talkin' like $200 a night. We weren't about to do that, we had souvenirs to buy! So we stayed just a couple exits outside of town and rented a car. The traffic was never an issue and there was always plenty of parking...even if you did have to pay for it.
This photo cracks me up as it sums up Charleston in one shot: palm trees, beautiful homes and America. Our first order of business was a carriage ride. Now, ya'll, I'm not much of a carriage ride kinda gal, but this one was great. We took a 60 minute tour of the city that included Rainbow Row and Battery Park as well as quaint little side streets. We used Palmetto Carriage rides and I'd have to recommend them. They treat their mules so well and our guide was a history major so dude knew his stuff.
You can't go to Charleston without getting a big fat hairy history lesson. Much of America's history is not pretty. This town does an excellent job of not sweeping any ugly parts of American history under a rug. Time has stood still in this town and it's like revisiting another era. These colorfully painted houses are on Rainbow Row. These houses were in a pretty sad state until they were purchased by a group of ladies in the 1940s who painted them bright colors and essentially "flipped" them. They've kept their bright colors since.
After our carriage ride, we hit the City Market which has been going strong since 1804. It's a covered open air market with vendors selling anything from flea market fair (we all picked up a hat quickly realizing that the sun was going to be relentless) to handmade goods. Of course, the market is best known for the artists creating sweetgrass baskets which you can see behind the painted portrait of the woman above. I loved those murals above each entrance to the market's buildings.
After an incredible lunch at Brasserie Gigi (seriously, the food in Charleston was always amazing!), we decided to walk back to some of the sights we saw on our tour.
Like St. Philips Church which can be seen from just about anywhere in Charleston and made for a good landmark for us...especially since I have no sense of direction.
There are seriously churches everywhere in Charleston which is how it got the nickname The Holy City. There wasn't too much of a draw to come to the New World for the Europeans back in the day as getting here meant spending months on a boat with a high chance of death. And even when ya got here, you still had to battle the elements and those other folks that where already calling this place home (another ugly side of American history). However, one big draw was religious freedom. With that promise, many folks did take the leap to come to American with many of them calling Charleston home. This here super sweet pink church is the French Huguenot Church.
We also went through the Old Slave Mart Museum which was incredible. Slave auctions where held inside this museum because the auctioning off of slaves was outlawed in public view. Formerly, people were bought and sold all along this street. Inside this museum, you can hear the actual recordings of former slaves that were recorded by the WPA in the late 1930s. I found this museum so heartbreaking. I don't think you can take a trip to Charleston without going through it.
After the museum, we strolled down to Waterfront Park and watched the kids playing in the fountains. One of my favorite things about this city are the large beautiful trees. Imagine how much history those trees have lived through!
My mom and mother in law looking very Laverne and Shirley, my fave rerun as a kid.
We ended our day with a big ole mean at Hominy Grill. Kids, you go there, you order you some okra and shrimp beignets. And fried green tomatoes. Oh! AND shrimp and grits. And don't forget to have desert(s). Amazingly good.
Day Two: We hit Folly Beach bright and early. It was such a beautiful beach in a fun little beach town. I would go back there and stay longer if I could. dress: vintage, gift from a friend (thanks, Cynthia!) and redone here; belt: made by me, details here
Folly Beach was a 20 minute drive from Charleston. The pier was a lovely sight.
Mom and I chatting about who-knows-what.
A view from the pier.
I somehow convinced my mom to carry all of my stuff. She's got a sweet sherpa thing happening here. This photo cracks me up.
We strolled the beach for a coupla hours before heading in to the town for lunch. We ate at Folly Beach Crab Shack and I swear, the hush puppies were the most amazing thing ever. My moms-in-law spotted this fun place and I had to snap a picture.
A short drive down the road brought us to Morris Island lighthouse. This nonfunctioning lighthouse is now submerged and the community is attempting to bring it back to it's full glory. Personally, I totally dig it's shabby chic appeal.
While lighthouse gazing, we spotted a family of dolphins not far from the shore having a big time. This was the highlight of my trip to Folly Beach, it was so sweet.
See ya, Folly! We spent our afternoon shopping on King Street popping in and out of shops. We also took in the Gibbes Museum of Art which had a fabulous collection of paintings and sculptures that captured the history of Charleston. Then we promptly pigged out at our fave restaurant of the trip Fleet Landing.
Day Three: So mom and I got this crazy notion that we should walk the 5 mile Cooper River Bridge (aka the Arthur Ravenel Junior Bridge). In the middle of the morning. On the hottest day of our trip. My moms-in-law, being much smarter than us, opted to go on another carriage ride. Smart woman. The walk was beautiful and hot.
No, this isn't the view from the bottom after my mom tossed me over it. I snapped this on our boat tour later in the day. It's this the coolest bridge ever? Sorry Golden Gate. You're cool too.
That's a lotta walkin'.
A mom and me selfie attempt.
Once our walk was over and we picked up my not-nearly-as-sweaty-and-exhausted mother-in-law, we hit Dixie Supply Bakery Cafe for a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives experience. This place is definitely a dive (I got the side-eye from my mom when we entered the place) but the food was delish. After that, we headed over to the pier for a boat tour. This here is Fort Sumter as seen from our boat.
|Having eaten so much shrimp on this trip, I thought it only right to snap a pic of a shrimp boat being followed closely by a buncha hungry birds. After our boat tour, we dined at Blossom and had the best crab cakes ever. Holy cow, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it! That evening we did a ghost tour which was really more like a history tour. It was so fun to hear the spooky side of Charleston.|
Our flight outta Charleston wasn't until noon, so we popped back into town and enjoyed their Saturday Farmers Market and one last stroll through the historical streets. It was such a fun place with so much to do! I don't think we could have crammed in any more but that's okay. Gives us a reason to go back!