Four Days in Charleston in the Fall

Four days in Charleston, SC in the fall - Rainbow Row
In October, we took a 1 year anniversary trip to Charleston, SC. I am such a foodie so after Top Chef Charleston, I have been wanting to go this southern city. Off we went...

We stayed at a boutique art hotel in the French Quarter, The Vendue. The hotel has rotating art exhibitions. I love these dogs we were greeted with when checking in- with a glass of bubbly! We were off to a great start. The hotel has a small bar for cocktails (as part of The Drawing Room restaurant) and roof deck bar + restaurant which we went to a couple a nights for the sunset. The service was amazing from before we checked in (earlier the week we left, the concierge called to see if needed anything for our stay, which has never happened before!) to throughout our 3.5 day stay. From the location, the service, and the ambiance, I can't recommend the hotel enough!
Charleston SC Hotel Downtown The Vendue
The Rooftop at the Vendue sunset Charleston SC

One afternoon we used the hotel's free bikes to explore down The Battery and the historic streets. We stopped many times to gaze at the beautiful homes and take pictures.
Bike riding in Charleston SC
Charleston SC dock
Charleston SC The Battery
Riding bikes in Charleston SC

After I took this doorstep picture and we were heading to continue biking around, a man stopped to help us with our bikes and he ended up being the owner of this house! He said he would've invited us in for a drink but he had somewhere to be. Ahh what could have been!
The Battery fall decorated house Charleston SC

Around every corner - color and unique architecture... especially the famous Rainbow Row! #instagramhusband, thank you. ;)
Rainbow Row Charleston SC
Rainbow Row window box florals, Charleston SC
Charleston SC architecture

We did a few typical tourist activities. We visited the old Angel Oak about 25 minutes outside the city on John's Island. The Oak is 400-500 years old and just amazing to stand under.
Angel Oak tree Charleston, SC John's Island
Angel Oak tree Charleston, SC John's Island

We went to the Boone Hall Plantation for a tour of the house and the grounds. The Notebook was filmed here and Blake Likely + Ryan Reynolds were married here so clearly had to check it out. I couldn't get over the beautiful mile long, oak-lined driveway and the many flowers in the gardens - with butterflies everywhere!
Boone Plantation Charleston SC
Boone Plantation garden Charleston SC
Boone Plantation garden with butterfly Charleston SC

We also took a horse-drawn carriage ride around the city one afternoon. While we had biked the area, we learned so much more about the history of the city from our guide. I recommend doing a tour despite it being the most touristy activity, ever, haha.
Charleston SC horse drawn carriage ride tour

We then explored the historic area some more, and I couldn't get enough of the beautiful doors, windows, and architecture!
Charleston, SC architecture, window boxes, and doors

Saturday was our last full day and we spent most of it at Folly Beach. Going to the beach in October when its in the high 70s and sunny? I will take it!  It was easy to take an Uber and rent chairs + umbrella. We explored the pier - from above and below!
Folly Beach Charleston SC 
Folly Beach Pier Charleston SC
Then we grabbed a quick bite at Jack of Cups. It was a unique spot where we had lo mein and curry mac + cheese (Yelp reviews were raves for that dish, so had to try it). Center Street is the main drag off the beach and had so many fun bars + restaurants, which I am sure would be a blast to hop around for a more "party" experience.
Jack of Cups Folly Beach green curry mac and cheese

Speaking of food, we ate WELL. All the meals were absolutely delicious. Let's just say I planned this trip around breakfast, lunch, and dinner then we filled in the activities, lol. Some stand outs:

Sausage, egg, and pimento cheese biscuit breakfast sandwich at Callie's Hot Little Biscuit (Doug has this twice!!). Omg so good.
Callie's Hot Little Biscuit Charleston SC sausage pimento egg breakfast sandwich

"Tapas-style" seafood lunch at Leon's Oyster Shop. We shared peel + eat shrimp, local oysters, smoked mahi dip and fried clam lettuce wraps. All washed down with frosé for me. The vibe of this spot is so cool- highly recommend.
Leon's Oyster Shop Charleston SC

Afternoon treat at Jeni's Ice Cream. I had their 2 seasonal flavors: sweet potato with torched marshmallow and sweet cream biscuit with peach jam. YUM. Come to Boston, Jeni's?
Jeni's Ice Cream Charleston SC

Our three dinners were amazing and each very different.
My favorite dish at Husk (and maybe the whole trip) was the grits with pork belly appetizer. I am still thinking about it.
Dinner at Husk Charleston, SC

Hominy Grill served up southern classics and I loved my meal of brisket, tomato pudding (who knew so delicious), and fried grits. Actually still thinking about this meal, as well! DC got their shrimp and grits which were also yummy.
dinner at Hominy Grill Charleston SC

Fig was our final dinner and we may have saved the best for last. We got the ricotta gnocchi and lamb bolognese to start. I don't think I've had such melt in your mouth gnocchi, ever. For my meal, I had the fish stew with mussels, shrimp, squid, rice, delicious broth and grilled bread for dipping. Another meal I am thinking about still.
Dinner Fig Charleston SC

We also had lunch at Pawpaw (fried chicken!), coffee at Black Tap near the college, and brunch at Poogan's Porch (pimento cheese fritters!).
Poogan's Porch Charleston SC pimento cheese fritters

Some restaurants we didn't get to but heard good things were 167 Raw, McGrady's, Xiao Bao Biscuit, Butcher and Bee, and Lewis BBQ. My restaurant list was even longer - so many great spots.

Our last night we took in the city from the roof at the Market Pavilion Hotel. Highly recommend going up there. The views and ambiance are even better than The Rooftop at The Vendue.
Market Pavilion Hotel roof deck sunset Charleston SC

From a shopping perspective, I loved the Maris DeHart boutique which was across the street from our hotel - how convenient! - and walking down King Street (below) with many boutiques + stores.
King Street Charleston SC

In hindsight, I would recommend renting a car but using Uber/Lyft was very easy too - just what you prefer!

Thanks, Charleston! Check out more photos on Instagram using the hashtag #CovalsYear1.
Exploring Charleston SC in the fall

All photos by me.

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1 comment:

  1. You have truly captured the beauty, vibes and great food of this city!! You post makes me so nostalgic. I want to go back again and again.

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