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Charleston, Here We Come


On Monday, we booked our flights to Charleston for our anniversary trip!  So, so, so excited!  We'll be heading down there in July for a long weekend (Friday-Monday) and it will be both Nick and I's first visit to the area.  While flights are taken care of, that's about the only thing I've done so far.  I've been busy, busy researching things but I thought who better to ask for suggestions than you guys?  After all, lots of you live in Charleston or visit often - you're the pro's!  So here are some of the things I'm wondering about...

+ Rental Car
Is this necessary?  We want to stay right downtown and really only plan on staying down there since it will be such a short trip.  We'd like to just avoid the car altogether to save money... but then what is the best way to get from the airport to hotel?  Cab it or is it too far that the prices will be ridiculous?

+ Accommodations
Where to stay?!?!  This is the one I need the most help with!  We do know we want to be right downtown in the middle of everything.  But as for a hotel or B&B?  And then which one?  We're clueless.  There are so many options and I swear everything has great reviews.  I don't want to spend more than $350/night so that's our only limit.


+ Restaurants
Again, so many options!  We like or will try pretty much anything so throw your best suggestions at me.  We're big seafood lovers so extra points for those restaurants.


+ Carriage Ride
Worth it - yay or nay?  If we do it, should it be one of the first things we do or would that be something romantic to do on our actual anniversary (our 3rd day of the trip)?


+ Anniversary Day
Our anniversary will be on Sunday so I want that day to be extra special.  Any recommendations on what to do or where to eat that day?

Thank you in advance for all the advice!  You guys are the best!
Linking up with Shanna

42 comments

  1. Ok I can answer two of these right off the bat...you don't need a rental car it's about $14 per person from the airport to the downtown area and then everywhere else you can either walk or take a cab or one of those little peddlers. Unless you want to go to the beach then you'll need a car. The carriage tour is really great and we used Palmetto Company - they actually have zones that they go in so you can take 4 during the day and not have the same route. As for restaurants I can send you some places we went and also the place we stayed!! You're going to love it!!

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  2. This is where we wanted to go for our anniversary this year! I need to get all the deets from you!!

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  3. So happy y'all get to go there for your anniversary. I'd LOVE to visit charleston someday. Looking forward to the recap of your trip (which I know is a couple months away :))

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  4. yah!! this is my favorite city!! i would take a cab from the airport to downtown. but you'll need another cab to go to the beach OR you can take a trolley from downtown to mount pleasant to the beach. http://www.lowcountrylooptrolley.com/

    as for the carriage tour -- eh im personally not a fan bc i feel bad for those horses in the heat (especially in the summer) -- but if you decide you want a ride they are easy to find downtown.

    i love love cupcake on king street for sweets! have the best time! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  5. I'm no help in travel planning, but I want to wish you a wonderful weekend / anniversary!

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  6. I've never been to Charleston but I've always wanted to go! I hear it's gorgeous! I hope you have an amazing trip and I can't wait to hear all about it!

    <3, Pamela
    sequinsandseabreezes.blogspot.com

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  7. Wish I knew the area.... Have so much fun..!!!!

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  8. Yay this looks like a beautiful weekend getaway!

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  9. Y'all are going to have SO much fun!! I have lots of recommendations for you:

    Stay: Courtyard Mariott on Calhoun is walking distance to everything, nice, and a reasonable price

    Eat: Peninsula Grill- if you want a nice romantic dinner, this is the place! Sit outside in the courtyard, it's BEAUTIFUL (look at pics online). SNOB and High Cotton are some other favorites.

    I also know they do charter sailing tours which would be a fun anniversary activity. Let me know if you have any more questions :)

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  10. I would love to travel there one day. Ill have to take tips from you!

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  11. Okay. I'm obsessed with Charleston. I've stayed at several places, all of them in the heart of downtown off of King Street, and that was the best decision. I would HIGHLY recommend Virginia's On King for dinner. Amazing! I've heard they have great brunch as well. We brunched at Bay Street Biergarten, and it was so unique and so good! If you go there -- get the chicken and waffles and a mimosa! I got the french toast, and though it was good, I was envious of my friends' breakfasts the whole time! Hyman's Seafood also has great seafood, so if you're looking for that, it could be a good choice. I've been to Charleston several times but hardly even dipped my toes in all the options. I'm definitely wanting to go back and try a few new places!

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  12. If you plan on sticking to downtown you definitely don't need a car - it's really not that big (you probably walk more/farther in Chicago than you will there). The only reason you'd need one is if you wanted to venture out to a beach. There are so many restaurant options because they are all amazing, you really can't wrong! So excited for you trip, it's going to be a blast (just be prepared for it to be roughly a bazillion degrees)!

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  13. So exciting! I can't help because I've never been there, but I can't wait to hear all about it :)

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  14. Have soooooo much fun! I definitely want to visit Charleston before we have kids! Maybe that can be our anniversary trip next year! :)

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  15. Okay, girl - since I can't be of help in this area since I've never visited Charleston (on our list, though!), I sought out Iowa Girl Eats to help you! She visited in the past couple years, and she wrote three great posts about her trip. I think these will be helpful to you, especially her favorite restaurants and details about where they stayed!
    http://iowagirleats.com/2013/04/02/sweet-southern-style/
    http://iowagirleats.com/2013/04/04/friday-favorites-charleston-restaurant-edition/
    http://iowagirleats.com/2013/04/07/final-thoughts-on-charleston/

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  16. We stayed at the Harbour View hotel in Charleston and loved it! It's right on the water, which was nice. I don't think you need a car unless you're going to go to any plantations or things like that, which you may not want to pay for a tour to. Two restaurants we didn't get to try because you need reservations ahead of time are Fig and Husk, so check those out and make reservations if you like the menu!

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  17. I've heard Charleston is beautiful with awesome food and very romantic for an anniversary trip!

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  18. It has been waaay too long since I have been so I am little to no help! :(

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  19. i am so jealous! no advice, as i have never been, but i will stalk your recap post when you get back! and i vote carriage ride is always worth it!

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  20. I LOVE Charleston! One of my favorite cities and we just got married there last year. For hotel stay at the French Quarter Inn! It is right in the middle of the city and the staff is SOOOO nice! They give you champagne when you check in, every night they do a wine reception, continental breakfast with mimosas, cookies and tea at night and more. Not to mention they are the NICEST people ever!! My wedding guests were SO impressed with the hotel and service. As for restaurants Pearlz Oyster Bar is awesome for Happy Hour if you like oysters and champagne cocktails!! Definitely check out the bar at Market Place hotel which is a rooftop pool bar and has amazing views of the city. You really can't go wrong with restaurants! Make sure to make reservations. My favorite restaurants are Husk, McGradys, The Macintosh, The Ordinary, 82 Queen, Magnolia, but you really can't go wrong. Also check out my wedding website which lists a bunch of things to do http://sheltonandleonard.ourwedding.com/view/9329374741548281/32166781 We put this together for guests since many of which were from out of town. And forgot to mention Blind Tiger for drinks, walk through the bar to the back patio and it is so much fun!! Jennifer www.pintrerestdreams.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you girl!!! This is amazing! The French Quarter Inn sounds like my kind of place... fresh cookies and champagne! So many awesome suggestions! :)

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  21. Yayy! I'm not much help because I've always only gone for a day when staying in Hilton Head or Isle of Palms, but you will love it!

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  22. Stay at the Vendue Inn!! So amazing. It's where we stayed after our wedding. Make sure to eat at Cypress also!

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    1. Thank you! I'm going to check out both of those!!

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  23. YAY! Cypress for sure. And Hank's is a seafood lover's paradise (but upscale, no plastic bibs ha). I say cab it to and from the airport. You can flag down a pedicab if you want to trek from the East Bay bars to Upper King Street, and otherwise walking is very doable. Prepare for some possible humidity and a very fabulous trip! :)

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  24. Oh my gosh, I am so jealous!!! I want to go to Charleston so bad.
    Can't wait for the vacay recap post.

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  25. So fun you're traveling for your anniversary... its going to be a wonderful time!

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  26. Hands down one my absolute favorite places to visit! Looks like you are in for a real treat! What a great place to escape and celebrate :) Love your blog! So glad I found it!

    xo, Jenna
    http://thesuburbanmrs.blogspot.com/

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  27. Charleston is one of my favorites! You should definitely check out Olivia Rae James' blog. She lives in Charleston and always finds the coolest places to go to. http://oliviaraejames.com/blog/
    She's one of my favorite bloggers!


    Enjoy your trip!!

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  28. Never been so no advice here except have fun!!

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  29. I was in Charleston for my first time this past August....LOVED it and would go back in a heartbeat!!! We stayed at a B&B- The Elliot House. So quaint and charming (and very close to downtown!) And if you have time- go to Isle of Palms!! I also honestly don't think you need a rental car- unless you want to travel to Isle of Palms or Plantations, otherwise we walked everywhere!! Just talking about Charleston makes me feel like I'm there again..ahh :) If you have any questions- email me!! I'm not a Charleston expert, but I'd be more than happy to chat! xo

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  30. I would love to visit Charleston. Have the best time ever!!

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  31. These are all some great recs. I'll work on an email and send it to you this week about what to do and where to stay. But just a quick tip, I'd recommend staying at the Frances Marion. It's a great location to be on either side of King St.

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  32. Stay at Charleston Place or Restoration on King. Def eat at Magnolias and SNOB. Eat dessert at Kaminsky's (toll house pie!).

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  33. Yeah so exciting!!!!! I mean you have so many amazing resources through the blogging community for sure! You will have to give me a little cheat sheet of your favorites in Chicago for me! ;-)

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  34. Y'all are going to have the best time! We went last June and stayed at the Andrew Pinkney Inn - highly recommend (they have breakfast every morning on a rooftop porch that is presh and it is close to everything). Hands down my favorite meal was at Anson. Magnolia's was also delish. We did a cooking class at Charleston Cooks! and it was so so fun. I wrote 3 posts recapping our trip last June - they should pop up if you search "Charleston" on my blog, or I can email you the links, just let me know!

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  35. Ahhh!!!!! I'm so exited for you, and can't wait to hear all about it - I want to go to Charleston so bad!!

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  36. Have the best trip! I can't wait to hear how amazing it is - I've been dying to go!

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  37. Francis Marion is where we are staying and it is right on King (where you want to be trust me) and it is old historic charm all the way! Also, no rental car really needed bc everything you need is downtown and I mean everything! Carriage tour? yes why not they are so cute! Ah! LOVE this city!!

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  38. You wont need a rental car if you are wanting to stay right in town! You both will be able to to walk places just make sure to bring your walking shoes! Places to stay I cannot help with however sadly because we have always stayed at beach houses! I loved getting to see the plantation homes while there My overall favorite though was getting to see the ones in which the Notebook was filmed from which were Boone Hall it served as Allie's summer home! I loved eating at Magnolias & if you get dessert & like pecan pies get theirs called Sourthern Pecan Pie it has Bourbon added to it & its delish :)

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  39. I'm late to the game here but I don't think you'll need a rental car, everything is walkable here especially if you stay anywhere near the Old Market or King Street. Restaurants: Hominy Grill for brunch, Husk, SNOB, Poogan's Porch, ah there are so many! It's definitely a foodie town, you kind of can't go wrong with anywhere. Make sure to see the Old Market, Rainbow Row and the Battery, and stop at Savannah's Candy for pralines :) I have never done a carriage ride but my parents did and they enjoyed it. When I walk past them its always smelly from the horses... haha

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