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The Instagrammer's Guide to Charleston: 10+ Photo Worthy Spots

Life is Better in Charleston Balloon wall at Cannonborough Collective, image by Kim Graham Photography

Creating an Instagram-friendly city guide is one of my favorite things to do when I return from visiting a new city (like these posts I did about my previous trips to LA & San Francisco).  Let’s be honest, we want to visit places that make us smile and that will help us fill our phone and feed up with all the pretty pictures.  Well, somehow I’ve neglected our own lovely city- until now! Below I’ve linked to each location’s Instagram so you can see for yourself just how photo-worthy these adorable places are.  I divvied up this list by category, and most of these places are downtown unless otherwise noted!

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-Sights-

-The Pineapple Fountain/Rainbow Row/Tradd Street-

I’m lumping these together because the Pineapple Fountain and Rainbow Row are within about a 5-7 minute walk of each other.  It always surprises how many people haven’t heard of the pineapple fountain when I chat with out of town visitors!  This is located in a gorgeous area right on the water that you’ll adore.  Next, head down East Bay to Rainbow Row. After you get some photos there, turn right onto Tradd Street. It’s my favorite street to walk end to end, and the adorable pink door you’ve seen all over Insta is located at 126 Tradd.  Along the way to the pink door, you’ll pass a darling little pink leaning house and a jillion amazing window boxes.

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-Parks & Plants-

If you ever watch my Instagram stories, you’ve probably noticed I frequent Hampton Park & Allan Park. Colonial Lake is another picturesque outdoor spot, and you can find more of our downtown parks here.

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Plant stores are also a plenty if you prefer to get your greenery shots indoors.  A small selection of Meeting Green Nursery’s offerings is sold at our shop, but head to their Meeting Street nursery & greenhouse for an amazing outdoor plant selection. Check out Haegur Plant Shop if you like your plant shop to come with minimalist vibes & pops of black and white.


-Restaurants/Cafes-

Parcel 32

Formerly Fish restaurant, this place is tile heaven! It welcomes you with a cute courtyard where this plant wall resides, and there’s also a joggling board just begging for a Boomerang.  The courtyard tile will help you capture that “shoefie” of your dreams (as photographed by Libby Williams).

Parcel 32 in Charleston SC
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Basic Kitchen

Transport yourself to a cool California-esque haven. They’ve recently added a cute rainbow mural, and who doesn’t love a good neon sign?!

Basic Kitchen in Charleston SC

 Huriyali

Here the decor is a nod to the food- tons of color & a plethora of plants!  You’ll find plenty of cool murals for those coffee photos you covet. 

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                           The Harbinger Cafe

Transport your feed to a little French cafe for a minute.  This is the perfect mix of rustic charm and modern details, and even the bathroom wallpaper will make you smile!

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Miller’s All Day

The “prescriptions” sign above the bar just makes me smile! Plus I love their mint & kelly green branding, which you’ll find doses of throughout the restaurant. There’s even a real photo booth for when you want to give your iPhone a rest.

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The Daily

Both of the locations of this hip cafe are pretty cute, but by far my favorite is the one inside The Gibbes Museum of Art. The art is a little funky, & the color palette is poppin’ with hints of mustard yellow and plenty of shades of aqua/teal.

The Daily at the Gibbes Museum in Charleston sC

images via Yelp

From The Daily at The Gibbes, you’re just a hop, skip, and a jump to the pink backdrop mothership- The Mills House Hotel.  You might get lucky and have a beautiful horse photo bomb you while you strike a pose!

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The Park Cafe

Here you’ll find plants a plenty and have no trouble creating some killer overhead food photos!

images via @ParkCafeChs on Instagram


-Shops-

Skinny Dip

This is an adorable store that has a cute Rainbow Row mural & boxwood flower wall upstairs. Plus there’s an outdoor patio oasis which even has a swing, so you can Boomerang your heart out! Grab a frosé & your Instagram will be strong, my friend!

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The Community

The owners of this delightful Cigar Factory store have gone to great lengths to transform this formerly stark space.  There’s a wall mural from local artist Hatchcove Designs, and a newly added rainbow wall in the kid’s reading nook. It’s no surprise it’s adorable in here; one of the owners also plans Bachelorette weekends and “Bubbly Bars” through her company Kay and Co Weekends, so she knows a thing or two about creating photo ops.

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Candy Shop Vintage

Just a block from my store, you’ll find this precious place for jewelry.  The windows are always decorated with something fun, and you’ll love their zebra cowhide rug for snapping yet another shoefie. 

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                          Lindroth Designs

I fell in love with this Palm Beach based store thanks to my blogger pals Palm Beach Lately, and now their second store is right here on Upper King. They spared no expense when it came to transforming this space; you’ll find custom ceiling draping and plenty of vintage chairs just begging for a photo op! 

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                   Cannonborough Collective

I bet you had a feeling I was going to shamelessly self promote our shop!  I had to of course save the best for last ;)  Check out some of my favorite fun little corners of our shop, which is in the Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood. We are located on the corner of Cannon & Spring Street, just a block from King Street.

above images via Kim Graham Photography


                -More Shoefies-

Oh you know, it’s like a selfie for your adorable shoes! I realized this kind of deserved it’s own category in case you’re searching for that Instagrammable moment with your feet. Because why not. Up and down King Street you’ll find many entryways with their original tile in tact- for example, the name original owner of our store is embedded in the entry to our shop (Theodorou) .  Here are the locales of some other fun spots, some of which have paid homage to the entryway  with their own updated tile:

”Oh Hey” tile- Marine Layer

”Hello Charleston” tile- Dress Up

”Fashion” tile- Haven boutique  

Cute white tile- Jordan Lash

Blue fish scale tile- Chubby Fish

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That list truly only scratches the surface, and I didn’t even really help you venture to all the adorable spots surrounding the peninsula. Just drop a comment if you find more photo worthy places so everyone else can see your suggestions, too, and please save this to your Pinterest if you found this helpful!

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Charleston Weekending: Sip Your Way Through Spoleto

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One of the fun parts of Spoleto is that 23 restaurants have created specialty cocktails just for the occasion!  Keep scrolling to see the full list of “Spoleto Sips”, and tag me on Instagram if you try any!

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Basic Kitchen

“Garden of Good” Inspired by Roots at the Emmett Robinson Theatre
Ingredients: parsley verdita (pineapple, apple, parsley, cilantro, jalapeno), and lemon, mixed with Seedlip, a non-alcoholic spirit, or tequila

Cocktail Club

“End SCENE”
Ingredients: Hendrick’s Gin, Del Professore Classico Bianco, fresh-pressed grape, lemon, simple syrup, soda water

Doar Bros.

“Due Mondi”
Inspired by Spoleto Festival USA’s roots in Italy and a celebration of dual world flavors Ingredients: Hat Trick Botanical Gin, Amaro al Tartufo, Carolina peaches, prosecco

Felix

“King Herod” Inspired by the opera Salome at the Charleston Gaillard Center
Ingredients: bourbon, Lapsang Souchong demerara syrup, Bénédictine, black walnut bitters, orange twist garnish

HōM

“The Pink Slipper”Ingredients: sparkling wine, Aperol, orangecello, soda, orange peel

Husk

“Between 1st and A” Inspired by the bluegrass concerts of I’m With Her and Punch Brother at the College of Charleston Cistern Yard
Ingredients: Sacred Bond Brandy, Applejack Brandy, crème de cassis, mint demerara syrup, lemon juice, mint, soda water, blackberry garnish

Joséphine Wine Bar

“Salome’s Seven Veils” Inspired by the opera Salome at the Charleston Gaillard Center
Ingredients: Kirschwasser, St.Germain, Dolin Blanc, grapefruit juice, Bittercube Jamaican No. 2 Bitters, house-made hibiscus syrup

Note: Joséphine Wine Bar is also offering Festivalgoers a special three-course Spoleto prix fixe tasting menu, with optional wine pairings. See the menu here.

Le Farfalle

“Cigarette Girl” Inspired by Carla Bley – Trios at the College of Charleston Cistern Yard
Ingredients: Henry McKenna Single Barrel bourbon, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Averna, orange bitters, Angostura bitters, smoked ice

McCrady's Tavern

“The Brown Derby” Inspired by Classical Showcase at the Dock Street Theatre
Ingredients: Old Grand-Dad bourbon, grapefruit, lemon, honey

Millers All Day

“The Spoleto Collins”Ingredients: Sutler’s Gin, Pedro Ximénez Sherry, lemon juice, strawberry-basil syrup, soda

Minero

“Los Santos Sangria” Inspired by Path of Miracles at the Charleston Gaillard Center
Ingredients: rosé, passion fruit liqueur, peach, lemon

O-Ku

“Menotti’s Composed Pie”Ingredients: shochu, blueberry, vanilla, pineapple shrub, lemon-herb meringue whip

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“Ekphrasis”Ingredients: strawberries; mint; rum; lime juice; lavender simple syrup; soda; mint, strawberry, and lemon garnish

Poogan’s Porch / Poogan’s Smokehouse

“Poogan’s Prosperity”Inspired by the history of the Festival and the shared love of arts between Charleston and Spoleto, Italy Ingredients: gin, prosecco, elderflower, crème de violet, pomegranate juice, edible flower garnish

Prohibition

“The Fever”Inspired by 600 HIGHWAYMEN’s The Fever at Woolfe Street Playhouse
Ingredients: gin, green apple syrup, lime juice, cardamom bitters

The Darling

“Spoleto Swizzle”Ingredients: Velvet falernum, white rum, orange juice, pineapple

The Macintosh

“Prince of Tyre” Inspired by Shakespeare’s Globe’s performances of Pericles at the Dock Street Theatre
Ingredients: Beefeater Gin, Dolin Génépy le Chamois, Yellow Chartreuse, Bittermans Orange Cream Citrate

The Watch Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits

“Curtain Call”Ingredients: Citadelle Gin, Giffard Crème de Pamplemousse rose, St. Germain, grapefruit juice, lime juice, mint, cucumber, lavender

Tradd's

“Viola” Inspired by Shakespeare’s Globe’s performances of Twelfth Night at the Dock Street Theatre
Ingredients: gin, crème de violette, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice, Champagne, edible flower garnish

Victor Social Club

“Victor Virelles”Inspired by David Virelles’s concerts at the Simons Center Recital Hall
Ingredients: jalapeño-infused tequila, St. Germain, strawberry

Vintage Lounge

“Coppa di Spoleto”
Ingredients: Pimm’s no. 1, Lillet Rose, gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, rhubarb bitters, Angostura bitters, soda, lemon garnish

Wild Common

“Pay No Attention to the Colour”
Inspired by Target Margin Theater’s Pay No Attention to the Girl at Woolfe Street Playhouse
Ingredients: pink peppercorn–infused tequila, Cocchi Rosa, rhubarb liqueur, grapefruit cordial, lime juice, club soda, jasmine flower garnish

Zero Restaurant + Bar

“The Cocktail of Errors”
Inspired by Shakespeare’s Globe’s performances of The Comedy of Errors at the Dock Street Theatre
Ingredients: Plymouth gin, fresh-squeezed orange juice, Giffard lychee liqueur, Suze, egg white

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Make sure you check out all the Spoleto fun (& Spoleto Sips) before the festival ends June 9! https://spoletousa.org/

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Fun With Friedrich's

Stylish Round Sunglasses from Friedrich's Optik worn by Charleston blogger Charleston Weekender

When you think truly iconic glasses & sunglasses (so iconic, in fact, that they have been worn by the likes of fab femmes Jackie O’ & Iris Apfel) you probably already think of Friedrich’s Optik. They have stores all over the world, but a lot of people don’t know they also have a brick and mortar right here in Charleston on lower King Street!

This post is in partnership with Friedrich’s Optik, but all opinions are my own.

Chic round sunglasses from Friedrich's Optik in Charleston SC

I recently went to Palm Beach to meet Iris Apfel, so I had to stop in the Friedrich’s store there so I could twin with this stylish lady. How cute is SHE?! My life has basically been made because we were even in the Palm Beach Daily News together (as seen in the photo below left).

The following week, my friend Andrea and I were so thrilled to get to borrow several cute Friedrich’s styles that we took on our Palm Springs trip with us. We felt like the most fabulous queens in our shades; I’m talking movie star status! If you need prescription sunglasses like I do, Friedrich’s can take care of that for you. They also have plenty of gorgeous styles of regular glasses to choose from. Have a look at some of the styles we sported during our trip!

Chic round blue sunglasses from Friedrich's Optik in Charleston SC
Charleston Weekender & Charleston Shop Curator wearing Friedrich's Optik Sunglasses in Palm Springs California

After trying less expensive, mass produced glasses brands like Warby Parker (and being disappointed in them), I’ve come to the conclusion that you definitely get what you pay for! Glasses are something I wear nearly every day, so it’s really worth the investment to get a pair that will last. Plus, when you learn about the materials Friedrich’s uses to create their iconic frames, you understand what a wonderful value they really are. Silk is what gives them their vibrant colors, and the frames are made from buffalo horn (which is plentiful in Germany)! Another added bonus of shopping with Friedrich’s is that you are supporting a family operated business that will likely be around for generations to come. You really get what you pay and can feel great about your purchase when you support small businesses like theirs!

UPF fabric caftan from Zags in Charleston SC worn by Charleston Weekender

Check out some of the fab Friedrich’s styles my pal Andrea was rocking during our trip, and follow us on Instagram at The Curated Weekend to see more of our joint adventures & fun with fashion!


images c/o Nathan Cox Photography, Kim Graham Photo, & Palm Beach Daily News // clothing provided by Zac by Zac Posen, Persifor, & Zags // Shoot locations: ACME House Co.’s The Eight Thirty & Saguaro Palm Springs

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Charleston Weekending: Rainy Day Recs

Charleston bloggers with colorful umbrellas

Rainy Charleston days can really bring me down, because we are mostly used to sunshine around these parts! If you do happen to find yourself here during a visit to Charleston when it’s rainy, have a look at some of my recommendations for what to see and do to ensure you still have an enjoyable visit.

all images c/o Jennifer Collins Photography unless otherwise noted

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Sunshine-y Shopping

Of course I hope you’ll check out our shop, Cannonborpugh Collective! It’s kind of always sunny inside because we usually have a balloon wall installation & plenty of cute gifts to make you smile. We also have adorable colorful umbrellas!

Cannonborough Collective | 185-A St. Philip Street  image c/o Aneris Photos

Cannonborough Collective | 185-A St. Philip Street

image c/o Aneris Photos

There are plenty of other cute shops all over town, of course! Skinny Dip has a lot of light coming through upstairs, so I never mind working from their upstairs coffee shop when it rains! The Community is a great spot to go grab gifts or pick up a cute card, and Indigo Market is always dressed to the nines with their reclaimed vintage furniture.

Take a Class

Since we are such a foodie-filled city, you can find several cooking classes around town. You can check out In The Kitchen With Bob, but I hear it fills up quick . Another favorite class of mine is the Candlefish candle making classes. You can BYOB while you hone your chandling skills!

Grab Coffee & Dessert

Some of my favorite cozy cafes are: 132 Spring, The Harbinger, The Daily at the Gibbes, and Gnome Cafe.

Rainy Day Charleston activities Gnome Cafe

Catch a Movie at a Unique Theater

Having an adult beverage or even a meal during a movie can make your cinema experience that much more fun! I certainly don’t go to Cinebarre just for the food (sorry to say it’s never blown my socks off), but it is a nice convenience to be able to order food while you catch a flick. My husband and I usually prefer to attend movies at Terrace Theatre, where I often get a Guinness while I watch. The adorable Charleston Flower Market is next door, and there are 2 good restaurants in the same shopping center; Zia Taqueria and Crust Wood Fired Pizza. Not only is the Citadel Mall an IMAX theatre, I hear it also has big comfy chairs that recline all the way; perhaps you can skip the food & bev and opt for rainy day relaxation instead.

Try Break Out/Escape Games

This kind of activity sounds like a bit of a claustrophobia nightmare to me, but I guess it could be a fun way to spend the afternoon if your down for being locked in a room for an hour!  Downtown we have Break Out Charleston, Escape in 60, & Time Traveler Escape Games

Visit a Museum/Peruse Some Art

The Gibbes Museum of Art recently underwent a renovation, and the gift shop alone might be worth the trip!  There are also so many cute art galleries in the French Quarter area of downtown, so check out some of those. I would start at Robert Lange Studios and then make your way to the galleries on State & Church streets.

See a Show

There are a plethora of places to see an entertaining show. Theatre 99 is great if you long to laugh, or Dock Street Theatre and Sottile Theatre usually have good offerings for the live performance lovers out there.

Check Out a Fun Nail Salon

If you want cute-sy decor & non-toxic salons, grab a pal & check out Mylk Bar or The Water Room. I also love Lu.Nu.La Nail Lab, which is more of a 1:1 studio; the owner is super talented if you want some trendy nail art!

Kid-Friendly Ideas 

I don’t have any munchkins of my own yet, but for something fun for the whole family I would recommend The Aquarium, The Children’s Museum, or The Alley (bowling & arcade games).


Drop any other rainy day ideas you have in the comments below so everyone else can enjoy them,

and check out my Charleston Guide for more things to do around the Holy City!

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Fab Femme Foodies: A CHSWFF Recap

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Since March was Women’s History Month, I kind of think I want to keep the lady love going strong! I also have a Girliest Spots in Charleston post you might like so be sure to check that one out, but first I wanted to share some great ladies with you. I either met or encountered all of these ladies at the Charleston Wine & Food Festival, and they are doing some amazing things in the Food + Beverage industry! I’ll share the events they were involved in, too, so you can try to catch them next year.

1. Elli Richter & Caryn Ohara from RetrEAT

Holistic Life Coach Elli Richter always delivers a dose of good vibes at any event she participates in. She led a beautiful guided meditation during “RetrEAT”, where we also dished on our relationship with food with Ayurvedic Health Counselor Caryn Ohara. The concept of healing through food is novel for some despite it’s ancient beginnings; I truly believe you can “heal your gut & change your life”!

2. Carrie Morey of Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit from Lunch Squad

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Um yeah, Callie’s founder Carrie Morey is pretty much the queen the biscuits! She’s also been churning out a bunch of fun collaborations (recently teamed up with A Packed Party & topped her biscuits with sprinkles). Callie’s also recently added a gluten free option to their market location, so I can’t wait to check that out!

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During CHSWFF, we got to make biscuits with her for our family style dinner at an event called “Lunch Squad”. Carrie usually does a biscuit making event where I’ve picked up LOTS of pointers, so keep an eye out for that for next year as well!

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3. The @WeOnlySmokeWhenWeDrink squad from Smokin’ in the Boys Room

There are plenty of names you have heard of when it comes to bbq. Most of those names are men, but do you understand what is happening here folks? The ladies are taking over! Yasssss. The gang of gals that dubbed themselves “We Only Smoke When We Drink” took charge of the smokers and their gents hung back to sous chef for them! How cool is that?! Local lady Christian Jackson Holy City Hogs & Delaniah Bringle of Peg Leg Porker in Nashville are two gals to keep on your radar!

But also, many of these ladies love and respect their husbands in a really cool way. And visa versa. But, it’s just their time to shine right now so watch out for what’s to come with this gang. I predict we will also continue to see more ladies involved in the craft beer and bourbon scene as well!

4. Tiffany Thiessen; yep, the lady formerly known as Tiffani AMBER Thiessen and now cookbook author!

For the past few years, Tiffani has been hosting a Cooking Channel show, and recently released her own cookbook, Pull Up a Chair. Thanks to my friends at Le Creuset & I Love That For You, I got to meet this fantastic woman! Her autograph in my cookbook reads “Liz, you’re not one to forget”. Bahahah I’ll take it!!

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5. Andrea Serrano, my gal pal and fellow #CHSWFFStreetTeam member (we were also partners in crime at Daps Wine + Punch Brunch)

Andrea of Charleston Shop Curator & I just got back from a trip to Palm Springs together for a whole week, so go see what we were up to at @TheCuratedWeekend! There is usually lots of food involved regardless of when or where we get together, and we are some serious Meg Ryan dinner dates (a la When Harry Met Sally). Well, not THAT scene from WHMS, more like the scene where she’s being a little particular when she orders her food. We can’t help it we have complicated dietary restrictions slash preferences ok?! But for real, this lady is a super duper inspiration to me and is such a great cheerleader when I need it most! We feed off of each other’s energy and lift each other up. If you don’t have a friend that does that for you then keep looking!

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Each year, the Charleston Wine & Food Festival seriously gets better and the featured chefs/talents get even cooler, so make sure you follow them on Instagram to stay in the loop about the 2020 festival! Thank you so much to the CHSWFF for letting me be part of it as a 2019 #CHSWFFStreetTeam member- it’s truly my favorite local gig of the entire year.


images c/o Kim Graham Photo

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