With all the talk of making America great again, I wanted to spend this year traveling and discovering all that America has to offer. The first place on our list was the quaint, historical city of Charleston, South Carolina. Using our favorite flight finder, Kayak Explore, we managed to book round-trip airfare to Charleston from JFK for less than 250 a person! Definitely a win in my book.
There are so many things I loved about Charleston, but if I were to round it up in a few words, it would be the delicious food, the perfect weather, and the southern hospitality. Below, I listed the things we did, the things I wish we had time to do and our favorite dining establishments.
Things To Do:
- Boone Plantation. I might be the only 29 y.o. in all of the USA who has never seen the Notebook, but I was stilled excited to see the famed Avenue of the Oaks as well as the magnificent grounds. Boone Plantation is a 30 minute Uber ride from downtown (without traffic) and I would recommend it as a must see for anyone visiting.
- Angel Oak Tree. Angel Oak Tree is a 65 foot tall, roughly 500 year old tree that is located on John’s Island. Seeing this tree in person exceeded all the expectations I had for it! If only trees could talk, I bet this one would have a lot to say. John’s Island was also a quick 30 minute trip outside the downtown area. I recommend asking the Uber driver to wait for you as seeing the tree doesn’t take that long.
- Walking Tour of Downtown. There are many historical tours of the downtown area. We did the Charleston Footprint tour with Michael and it was great. The tour was 2 hours long, Michael has a great sense of humor, and we got to see many sites that I would otherwise have missed.
- Middleton Plantation. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed with this particular visit and would much have rather visited Magnolia Plantation. It might have something to do with visiting in February, but I felt the grounds at Middleton were lacking. Magnolia is supposed to have a rich wild life including Peacocks and Alligators!
- Waterfront Park- If you do a quick Instagram search of Charleston, you’ll find many many photos of the famed Pineapple located in Waterfront Park. Naturally, I had to be like everyone else and take a photo here too. During our walking tour we learned that the pineapple is a symbol meaning “welcome” so it only made sense that Waterfront Park was one of our first stops when we arrived.
Where to Eat:
To me, the best part of any trip, is dining on the local fare. Local fare in Charleston is called “low country” food and includes southern staples such as Shrimp and Grits and good ole’ southern fried chicken.
- Husk- one of my favorite restaurants ever! I definitely recommend making a reservation in advance as they seem to book up quickly, and with good reason! We started with the wood fried chicken wings and O.M.G. they were finger licking good. Quite literally I was licking my fingers while a sense of euphoria settled over me. The wings were in a honey ginger garlic glaze that was the perfect blend of tangy and sweet. For my entree I ordered the cheeseburger and both my sister and husband ordered the HUSK Fried Chicken. Both entrees were out of this world, but if I had to choose one to recommend, it would be the cheeseburger. The cheese was perfectly melted, the onions were perfectly caramelized, and my FAVORITE thing was that it was the perfect size! None of that meat falling out, bread running out too quickly nonsense that ruins restaurant burgers for me. The HUSK fried chicken was served on a bed of farro and cabbage with a delicious vinaigrette. Overall, this was a meal I will definitely remember for a long time!
- FIG- In our years of dating, Scott and I have had the pleasure of having dined at many wonderful restaurants. FIG, which stands for Food Is Good, is a restaurant that will definitely be added to that list as it was a great dining experience. This is another spot that fills up quickly so I recommend making a reservation way in advance. We had stopped at other restaurants previously for appetizers, so we just ordered entrees. They were all out of bass that night so I ordered the replacement, a perfectly seasoned and pan seared Papano on a salad of mixed greens. I can’t quite remember what was in the salad, but I do remember loving it ( a hard feat for this girl as I hate salads on principle). Something about the contrasting texture of crunchy nuts mixed with sweet fruit really made my taste buds happy. Scott had the pan roasted rib eye adn my sister had a salad. Both were good, but the crowning jewel of the meal was that strawberry Panna Cotta. Not too tart, not too sweet, just PERFECT!
- Amen- This was our first stop on our first night and really started the trip on a good note. We ordered half a dozen oysters and the fried green tomatoes to share. The oysters were so scrumptious. They also have a special hot sauce that is made especially for seafood. Onto the fried green tomatoes! Perfectly breaded and served with some mildly spicy Pimmento cheese. I only wish I could have some right now!
- Callies Hot Little Biscuit- the delicious smell of baking goods wafts into your nostrils as soon as you open the door. I had the sampler which included a blackberry biscuit, cinnamon biscuit and regular biscuit. Scott had a breakfast sandwich topped with sausage, egg, and pimmento cheese. I personally think the thing to do here is order the biscuit samplers with a cup of hot coffee. You will love the blackberry jam topped biscuit, I guarantee it!
- Hominy Grill- Another cute breakfast spot. This was also a recommended spot by many of our friends and I did enjoy the fried chicken sandwich here! It came with some really creamy gravy and had the perfect blend of spicy chicken with sweet biscuit. Two thumbs up!
- Butcher and Bee – We enjoy walking everywhere so we decided to walk from our Air BNB located in downtown Charleston to this restaurant. In hindsight this was not the best idea as we did stroll through some not so nice neighborhoods! I really enjoy tapas style dining because it is a great way to taste many items on the menu without getting overly stuffed. We tried the pickled vegetables, falafel, cauliflower, roasted kohlrabi, spicy carrots, and and lamb ribs. Between the three of us, our favorite dish was the spicy carrots.
Things We Didn’t Have Time For:
- The two things we didn’t have time for on our quick trip were The Battery and walking across the Ravenel Bridge at sunset/sunrise. Seems like the perfect reason to head back over ASAP! 😀