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Charleston Anniversary Trip


This weekend was the best.  The absolute best.

I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful trip to Charleston to celebrate our first wedding anniversary!  This was both Nick and I's first visit and I can say with 100% certainty that it will not be our last.  We both fell in love with the charming, quaint town and the people that live in it.  I mean, everyone was SO friendly -- southern hospitality at its finest :)

We arrived in Charleston on Friday, July 25th in the middle of a storm.  We decided to pass on renting a car so my thrifty self had intended on us taking the bus downtown.  But in the rain, thunder and lightening?  Not so much.  An airport shuttle it was and for only $14/person, it wasn't a bad deal.

We stayed at the most adorable hotel right off King Street, the Kings Courtyard Inn.  Upon arrival, we found out that we were upgraded to a King Deluxe room -- definitely a great start to the weekend!



After getting settled in, we headed down to the nightly wine and cheese hour in the courtyard.  When researching hotels, I knew this alone would sell Nick.  Two of his very favorite things :)


After indulging, we decided to head out and explore the area before dinner. The rain had finally let up but the humidity was really settling in... and lets just say, my hair does NOT do well in the humidity!  After a few blocks of walking, we were already sweating so we ducked inside 82 Queen for a much needed adult beverage.

Our next stop was Poogan's Porch for dinner -- but not before a picture taken outside Husk.  Cutest building of all time!


I had wanted to eat at Poogan's Porch just so I could order the sweet tea salmon and had been looking forward to this meal since I made the reservation.  So what do I go and do but order a shrimp + crab pasta.  I changed my mind last minute and it was a bad decision that I can only blame on travel tiredness.  The pasta wasn't bad but I was kicking myself the entire trip.  Nick had the fried chicken though and so, so, so delicious.  He claims it was his best meal of the weekend!


We were pretty beat after dinner since we'd been up since 4am traveling so we decided to call it a night.  When we got back to the room, we found a bottle of champagne and sweet note courtesy of our hotel!  Another point for Kings Courtyard.


The next morning, we were up bright and early, ready to go!  First stop was complimentary breakfast in our hotel courtyard and then up to the farmers market at Marion Square.  I didn't plan on spending too much time there but we were kind of blown away -- this was no ordinary farmers market.  While there were the usual produce stands, they also had everything from gourmet cheeses to candles to paintings to jewelry.  It was fun to just wander through and check everything out.


 The hair is already a mess.


At 11am, we made our way over to the Palmetto Carriage barn for a carriage ride.  This was one thing we were really looking forward to.  We did the traditional group tour and it was great -- highly recommend.  Our tour guide was full of information yet still laid back and made us laugh.  

I will admit that I was worried the heat was going to take the enjoyment out of the ride but there was actually a nice breeze while we were moving so don't let the warm temps stop you from enjoying this.  It was an hour long tour and I took about a million and one pictures but I'll just share a couple of my favorites ;)





 Photo bombing children


For lunch we headed back to King Street to try out Virginia's on King, thanks to Zelle for the recommendation!  We both had the best sandwiches and were just so thankful to be inside an air conditioned building.  Since we were right in the middle of the hottest part of the day, we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon shopping.  As if I need an excuse to shop...


King Street has the cutest boutiques -- Impeccable Pig being my favorite.  After a couple of hours, we headed back to the hotel for the wine and cheese reception and to figure out our game plan for the rest of the night.  We had late dinner reservations so we decided to keep on plugging along.  Next stop was the waterfront park!

I couldn't wait to visit the Pineapple Fountain but I was surprised to find it was more of a splash pool for kids.  The fountain wasn't going and we couldn't get a picture without random children in the background (see the legs in the bottom right corner? Haha).



We didn't last long out there since we were sweating to death so back to the hotel it was to get ready for the evening.

After freshening up, we headed over to the Charleston Grill for drinks during their live jazz set.  Nick is a big jazz fan so I definitely wanted to include that in our weekend plans.  He loved it and the cocktails were refreshing after a long day outside.



We could only stay for a little bit but we definitely want to come back for a meal the next time we are in Charleston.  As for our dinner that night, it was nothing short of amazing.  Our hotel treated us to 3 courses with wine pairings at Circa 1886 -- located at the Wentworth Mansion -- for our anniversary.  Pretty great, right?


Everything about the meal and the experience was just fabulous.  The service, the food, the ambiance, the perfectly paired wines... we just had the best time and it was a great way to kick off our anniversary the next day.  

For dinner, Nick had the heirloom tomato starter, the antelope loin and the strawberries + cream souffle while I went with the foie grass, chicken fried halibut and transformations in chocolate dessert (naturally).  Seriously, check out the menu yourself and tell me you aren't drooling!

We pretty much had to roll ourselves home after that one.  Thank you again to Circa 1886 for the wonderful night!

The next morning, Sunday, was our first anniversary!  I had intended on checking out Hominy Grill for brunch but breakfast in bed won out and that was definitely the right decision.


We had a big day planned including a visit to the Boone Hall Plantation.  I love the movie "The Notebook" (who doesn't?) and knew I had to see the plantation for myself.  Since we didn't have a car, we used Charleston Venture Tours.  It was $84 for the both of us and that included transportation (picked up and dropped off right from our hotel) and the admission fee to the plantation -- not a bad deal.

Boone Hall was a-m-a-z-i-n-g.  It was actually better than I even thought it was going to be.  The Avenue of Oaks is stunning and the house has been beautifully preserved.  I was a bit bummed that you could only tour the main floor of the house but the grounds totally made up for it.  Make sure to visit the slave cabins, see the Gullah presentation and check out the Cotton Dock while you visit.  We could of spent all day long there!








Love love love.  We had about three hours on the grounds before our shuttle came back to get us.  It was perfect timing because we were in desperate need of some A/C!  I couldn't get over how hot it was all weekend.

When we got back downtown, it was almost dinner time and we were starving.  We headed out to Pearlz Oyster Bar and I think this may have been my favorite dinner of the weekend!  It's a casual spot and we just sat at the bar but the food was so great.  Our waitress suggested the lobster roll and she was spot on.  I also got my first taste of Firefly sweet tea vodka! YUM and I will definitely/hopefully be tracking some of that down to buy in Chicago.




We had to work off our dinner so we made our way down Bay Street towards the water.  We checked out Rainbow Row and the Battery and were just in awe of everything.  The houses down there are amazing -- all of lion head door knockers and flower filled window boxes?  Obsessed.

After we had successfully walked off the food, it was time for more of course -- dessert!  We made the trek back up to Market Street to visit Kaminsky's.  An entire restaurant devoted to dessert and drinks is my kind of place.  It was a tough decision but we went with the Butterfinger Cake and it did not disappoint.


The next morning was our last one sadly.  We did some souvenir shopping at the Charleston City Market and had breakfast at Kitchen 208. Breakfast was so good -- I was almost to the point where I couldn't eat anymore but I powered through!  Nick had no problems and scarfed his meal down in about 5 minutes flat.




And just like that, our vacation came to end.  We had the absolute more wonderful time and can't wait to return one day. Thanks for a wonderful trip, Charleston!

56 comments

  1. Beautiful photos!! Looks like you guys had a wonderful time!! I felt the same way after leaving Charleston - can't wait to go back!! I absolutely love your outfit in the photo in front of husk...romper? shorts?! All the food is making me drool and it's 7AM!!! You look gorgeous!!

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  2. Your trip looks and sounds amazing! How much amazing food!!! I'm drooling reading this! And once you have some Firefly, it becomes the perfect Summer drink! You look so pretty for all of that humidity girl!

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  3. Love! I think I want to convince Mike on this for our first anniversary:) And Firefly is my fav summer drink. I like to refer to it as a John Daly:)

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  4. I am absolutely obsessed with this post - I'm pretty sure I need to book our trip to Charleston stat. What an awesome anniversary you guys had! It looks like you had a jam-packed trip, but that's really the way to do it. I had no idea that you could visit the mansion from the Notebook! I'll be tucking this post away for future reference of where to eat. :)

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  5. So glad y'all had an amazing time here!! You got a lot in for a couple days! Kaminsky's is SO delish, they actually have a wait if you want to eat inside... crazy! I always love exploring the old market and farmer's market, there are so many interesting things people sell! Sorry the humidity was bad, definitely come back in the Fall next time :)

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  6. Amazing pictures, and all that food YUM! All your dresses looked fabulous :)

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  7. Wow! Sounds (and looks) amazing! Happy Anniversary! I'd love to get to Charleston. Isn't the South just amazing!?

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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  8. What an amazing trip! Your hotel looks so cute and all that food looks amazing! I'm a little bit jealous you guys always get so many good photos together!

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  9. Hooray! You hit some wonderful spots in town. Glad you enjoyed your travels.

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  10. Wow, what a beautifully fabulous trip. You hit some amazing food places, I'm totally bookmarking this page since I'm a foodie. And that canopy bed, divine!!!!!

    happy one year, lady! xoxo

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  11. IT STILL ISN'T OVER!!!! Now I have to go. Officially.

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  12. Oh my...this looks like it was the best! Happy happy anniversary! So glad y'all had a wonderful trip!

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  13. I love Charleston too! We got married at Boone Hall Plantation last fall. Pearlz has the best happy hour in town!!

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  14. LOVE! These beautiful pictures are making me want to go to Chuck-town right now. I am so in love with that beautiful place. So glad you went to Virginia's! I hope you loved it! And now I'll have some recommendations from you for the next time I go back! So glad you had a great anniversary in one of the most beautiful places -- and that everyone treated you with lovely Southern hospitality! xo

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  15. OMG I am so incredibly jealous of your trip and I want to go ASAP! I've always wanted to go to Charleston I've just never pulled the trigger. Your pics are amazing and that food sounds amazing. Your hotel sounds so sweet and you sold me on the wine and cheese reception. :) Happy Anniversary!!

    <3, Pamela
    sequinsandseabreezes.blogspot.com

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  16. Stunning, stunning, stunning! Out of all the Charleston reviews I've read yours has officially sold me on the fact that I need to visit! Your trip sounds like something that Drew & I would love!

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  17. Beautiful pictures, and glad that you had a nice trip! :-) My in-laws bought a house an hour-and-a-half away from Charleston so we're hoping to squeeze in a little trip there next time. :-) Maybe Binny's has that sweet tea vodka too??

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  18. oh my word. what a wonderful anniversary trip! i have only been to charleston to board a cruise ship (shame on me, i live in charlotte!), but this recap has me DYING to go there. I agree with the heat - i can see how the fall/spring time would help.

    I didn't know about the notebook house being there! those grounds are gorgeous!

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  19. oh yay!!! i love this so much. love all the photos and I shall be copying this whole trip when we go one day. The plantation looks amazing, how cute is that little alley? I love all of your outfits too, can I have your wardrobe?
    Also NOT fair. If that is what your hair looks like after humidity has its way.. NOT FAIR. You are too gorgeous!

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  20. I don't even know where to begin! If I didn't already live here, you would have convinced me to visit stat! I want to stay at the King's Courtyard Inn just for the wine and cheese! Pearlz is one of my favorite restaurants! You should have gotten an oyster shooter! Next time you should go out to the Firefly distillery! But seriously, next time you do visit you better plan to meet some of us Charleston bloggers!! Life as I know it

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  21. Aww makes me want to get back to Charleston, its been a few years! So glad you had a great anniversary!! There's a reality show called Southern Charm thats set there on Bravo if you want to keep up with your Charleston favorites :)

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  22. YAHH! im so glad you had a fun time and you guys did sooo much fun stuff!! i love love boone hall plantation, so im glad you got to see it. and good call on the hotel shuttle!! adding kaminskys to my to-visit list! im all about the desserts! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  23. PS circa is right behind our carriage house!!! and i love love the farmers market, it's so cute. and i agree with ally let's get together next time.

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  24. Charleston is my favorite place ever. We only live 2 hours away, and lots of our family live there. We got married there and had our reception at Middleton Plantation (definitely worth a trip there next time). We are going to stay for a week in Wild Dunes at my parents beach house in 2 weeks, and I can't wait! I loved reading this post and knowing all the places you went/ate. Charleston has the best food ever!!

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  25. I. Have. To. GO!!! What a gorgeous and whimsical place! Neither my husband nor I have been east much, so maybe it's time to plan a trip!

    THOSE TREES! EEEK! I'm so glad you had a great time.

    And girl--the humidity. I understand. I live in Texas (close-ish) to the coast for it to be about 5000% humidity all day, every day....and I have humidity hating hair. It stinks.

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  26. You went to so many of my favorite spots! Definitely go back and get the sweet tea glazed salmon, it’s the best!

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  27. What a fabulous trip! Girl, you couldn't tell your hair didn't like that humidity, you looked great. I would love to visit here one day, looks so charming :)

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  28. Wow you did an amazing job with that recap!! I'm so envious of your trip. Hopefully I will make it back there one day soon and I can use this post as a guide!! I love all the restaurant recommendations and fun tourists tours to check out! Happy Anniversary again :) xoxo

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  29. omg omg I loooove this!! (I'm so upset bc I can't get all of the pics to load and I keep reloading like a crazy person!) but from what I can see it looks absolutely perfect! So happy ya'll had a great time! xoxo

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  30. Looks like an Amazing trip!! That Avenue of Oaks looks gorgeous. I'm dying to go to Charleston. I'm hoping that may be on our travel itinerary in the next couple of years. So glad you guys had a great anniversary trip!

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  31. You hit all the best places in Charleston for sure! We lived there for a year and got married at the Cotton Dock at Boone Hall Plantation. Looks like y'all fit in just like locals! :)

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  32. I literally was just telling my coworker today how I'd love to visit Charleston and her you go posting about it! I am drooling over all of that food especially the lobster roll. What a perfect 1st anniversary trip!

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  33. OMG that pic of you at Boone Hall is gorgeous. You hit up so many great places (minus my house for wine!) and I'm so glad you all enjoyed your stay here. Holy humidity though, right!? Hate that ha. Happy anniversary!

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  34. Looks like a great trip!!! Charleston has to be one of the best cities, ever! Wasn't Boone Hall plantation wonderful!?! I'll have to remember the Marion Square famers market- we didn't know about that one!!

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  35. You just made me want to go visit that place:)
    Now you know why us southern girls give up on hair in the summer. Humidity bites.
    You two are just the cutest! Glad you had a great time! It all looks perfect!

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  36. SO. MANY. BEAUTIFUL. PHOTOS! Happy 1st Anniversary..!! It looks like you had a blast! Love the photobombing children! Haha

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  37. Okay. I officially want to move to Charleston. Everything you did looked like it was SO much fun! Ahhh I'm jealous! I want to plan a trip out there, hopefully before we start having babies, so I will DEFINITELY be asking you for suggestions!

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  38. I went last year and fell in love. You're right, everything is SO cute in Charleston. and the Charleston Grill was amazing!!! You two are the cutest couple, glad you had a great trip!

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  39. Looks like an amazing trip! Charleston is such a gorgeous, fantastic place. We went a few years ago, and I love it. I am dying to go back!

    Nikki
    thefashionablewife.com

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  40. Oh my word! I've always wanted to visit Charleston and that longing has just tripled!! Everything looks so..well "cute" to quote you but the buildings, the food--seems so amazing! Glad you guys had such a special first anniversary!!

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  41. Ahh all of it. I just LOVE it. I am determined to get these asap. I have never heard a bad thing about charleston!

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  42. And now I must visit Charleston! :) Wow! Looks like you had a fabulous weekend celebrating your anniversary! It seems like you hit the jackpot in choosing the Kings Courtyard Inn...and all of the food looked so delicious! Happy belated Anniversary...here's to year 2 being even better than the first!

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  43. Can't stop swooning over these photos! I secretly love that photo with the little kid photo bombing your selfie lol Sounds like an amazing trip!! Thank you for sharing :)

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  44. WOW! Totally my idea of the perfect trip! The pics are amazing and you look beautiful Happy Anniversary.

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  45. I love this recap! Definitely wrote down some of the places I've never tried. I actually think we're going to stay at the Wentworth when we go. But I'm going to double check on the place you stayed as well! Charleston is so wonderful! xo

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  46. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Beautiful pictures, it LOOKS like you guys had an absolute amazing time. Love that you went to the plantation where the Notebook was filmed. How cool!

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  47. Loved reading your recap! Such beautiful pictures - I'm so glad y'all had a wonderful time. I am still obsessed with window boxes after visiting Charleston over a year ago - I think one or two might be necessary in a future house :) Happy anniversary!

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  48. Happy anniversary! It looks like you had a wonderful trip - It makes me want to go back to Charleston and visit the plantations, we didn't get to visit any when we were there!

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  49. Your weekend sounds incredible! I passed on my husbands work trip here and am just kicking myself for doing so! This definitely on my bucket list!

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  50. Your trip seriously looks so amazing I am now 100% convinced I want to go there..especially for an anniversary with the way the hotel treated you guys! I bet it would be beautiful in the spring/fall too since we aren't used to the humidity this year. So glad you guy were treated so well for your anniversary, it looked wonderful!

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  51. I am glad you two had a wonderful time... Love the recap :)

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  52. What a great trip, Katie! Honestly I don't always read vacation posts because it's hard if you can't visualize it like you're there, so I was excited that I had a good idea of the area and places you were talking about :) I've never gotten to do Charleston tourist style since I'm from there and every time I go back it's family time...but now I think I might just have to sneak a trip in without telling my relatives and really do it right, haha!

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  53. OMG you went to SO many fun places… I absolutely love Poogan's and definitely need to visit Boone Hall sometime- it looks gorgeous! And yes- the humidity is crazy down there… pretty much always. Glad you guys had a great time!! xo

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  54. Girl, the hummadity in SC is the worst! Charleston in late Winter {late Febuary, early March} is probably the best. As many times as I've been to Charleston, I've never made it to the Boone Plantation but will be adding it to my list! So glad y'all had such a good trip!

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  55. I was in Charleston that same weekend...for a bachelorette party, though, so it was a totally different experience! My boyfriend and I did go for the first time this past spring and did some of the same things you did, though!

    Happy Anniversary!

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  56. Looks like you had such a fabulous time and a wonderful first anniversary! It looks like we will have to add Charleston to our list of places to visit! -Jess

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