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Charleston Weekending: 72 Hours in the Holy City

When visitors wander off the Crepe Myrtle clad Cannon Street and into our shop, most of them seem to be visiting Charleston for about 3 nights. Therefore, I often have to try to narrow down all of my most favorite restaurants and sights to try to recommend how said visitors should get the best possible feel for all that Charleston has to offer in just 72 hours or less. I always have quite a time narrowing it down on the spot, so I created this possible weekend itinerary in hopes this helps you have the very best weekend in Charleston! In this neck of the woods, I try to help you make every day feel like the weekend, so I also encourage you locals to come back to this list and give some of these things a try any day of the week!

Before we dive in to this magical itinerary that Instagram feed dreams are made of, let’s cover a couple of bases such as where to stay, how to get around, & what to pack If you’re reading this once you’re already in town, keep scrolling (but save this rec for your next visit). Also go ahead and save this post to Pinterest so you can revisit it, because I’m working on a full hotel round-up so you can have lots of options in many parts of town. I’ll add a link to that in this post, & I’ll also link to my Folly Beach recommendations as soon as that is finished!


-Where to Stay-

I was recently hosted by Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant, and it was what staycation dreams are made of! If you are coming during the months of June-August, I very highly recommend staying somewhere with a pool. Hotel Indigo by far has the best pool situation in town; it’s plenty big, is surrounded by lush palm trees, and offers a great mix of places to lounge and play. There really isn’t enough space for a hotel pool of this size if you’re on the peninsula, but luckily this one is still super close to downtown Charleston (about a 5 minute Uber ride). Our rooms were really nice since the hotel was recently renovated, and their adjoining suites were perfect for our group so I think it could work well if you’re coming for a bachelorette.

One of our favorite parts of this hotel was the fact that we were at the base of the Ravenel bridge, so we started our day off by walking to the top! What a gorgeous way to take in the Holy City; spotting steeple tops, boats whizzing underneath you, and seeing marshland all around you. You history buffs will also appreciate the mural of Eliza Pinckney that greets you when you’re waiting for an elevator (Eliza is the woman responsible for bringing Indigo to South Carolina!). I also found out the hotel was dog friendly (very difficult to find in Charleston), so next time I’ll have to bring Maddie!

-Packing Like a Boss-

When you come to Charleston, the main thing you want to remember is an umbrella! We are prone to showers throughout the year, so you might also be glad if you have a rain jacket just in case. As far as attire, most restaurants are ok with casual dress; you can go fancy, but a comfy dress or jeans with flip flops are just fine for most places. It can get VERY muggy anytime from May-September, so dress accordingly to stay cool while you walk around. However, you might want some layers or a light jacket for sitting in the cranked up AC. Charleston is a very walkable city, so don’t forget your comfy shoes!

I also wanted to share the source for the outfits we’re wearing throughout this post, because it’s one product I always pack when I go somewhere sunny. The company is a local brand called ZAGS, and all of their products are UPF 50+! I can’t tell you how many sunburned tourists I have seen wander into my store, so you’ll love having one of their colorful party ponchos or shawls on hand in case you need a break from our sweltering rays. The light weight moisture wicking and cooling fabric make the dresses perfect for touring town, and they can also double as a coverup.

-Getting Around Town-

I think you’ll be just fine if you Uber/walk/rent bikes. The airport is only about 15 minutes from downtown, and everything you’d want to see is a pretty quick Uber ride. However, I have heard of some people having trouble getting Ubers back from the beach on peak season Saturdays, so you might need to call a cab for that. Or, If you want to rent a car, you’ll have a little more ease with getting to the beach or exploring the beautiful plantations and gardens in the area. Some of those can be about a 30-40 minute drive from downtown, so I imagine your Uber tab would add up quickly! If you’re driving, don’t let the downtown street signs discourage you from street parking, because there is plenty of free parking pretty much everywhere except right on King Street. Many of the signs read like you have to have a residential permit to park there, but you have free parking for the specified amount of time. Just watch for signs about street sweeping days and such.

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-72 Hour Itinerary (Play By Play)-

If you want to sit back and relax and just follow this guide, be my guest! I’ve tried to group things by location to help you avoid running all over town to try to find each spot. Scroll to the “a la carte” section below if you just want a big list of recommendations divided by category.

Thursday

Many Charleston visitors miss out on the cute local areas of town like Cannonborough-Elliotborough and opt to only eat & shop on King or Market Street- but not you! You’re hip. Plus, you might already be staying in this part of town if you rented an AirBnB.

If the shops are still open when you get to town (most are open until 5), you’ll want to make your first stop our shop, Cannonborough Collective! Actually all of the shops on Cannon Street are pretty adorable; you could start at Candy Shop Vintage, head to CC, then J. Stark, Sugar Bakeshop, Mac & Murphy, and end at Indigo & Cotton. If it’s after hours, just put these back on your list for Friday prior to checking out the King Street shops.

Now you might be ready for cocktail hour dinner, so Wild Common is a great choice for both! It’s one street over from the above shops, located on Spring Street. It’s a smaller size restaurant, and you’ll want to snag a reservation on Resy if you’re coming for dinner. You’ll have the choice of ordering a la carte or enjoying a 4-course meal. You can also just head to their bar if you just need some cocktails and casual small bites.

Other restaurants I like in Cannonborough-Elliotborough are listed below in the a la carte itinerary section. If you want a night cap, I’d check out Elliotborough Mini Bar or Warehouse for a more casual vibe. Opt for Bourbon N’ Bubbles or Vintage Lounge on Upper King if you’re in the mood for something swanky. If you want a bar for dancing and such, I really wouldn’t know because I never stay out past 10!

Friday

Start the day with a neighborhood spot that serves breakfast on the weekdays; I love Daps or The Park Cafe. Huriyali or Five Loaves Juice Bar are also a good options if you want something on the lighter side like an acai bowl or smoothie.

I’m personally not a fan of fighting the crowds because your girl is kind of a speed walker, so I prefer to head down the narrow King Street sidewalks to shop on Fridays over weekend days. Here are some of my favorite stores on King, starting near Marion Square and working your way south: Simply J, Goorin Brothers, The Skinny Dip, Shoes on King, Jude Connally, White’s Mercantile, & V2V. If you want to shop the chain stores like Anthropologie & J. Crew, those are in the couple of blocks around Wentworth & King. Keep walking south for some other local favorites of mine like Charleston Shoe Company, Ibu, Vieuxtemps, Julep, & E. Blackhurst.

Keep making your way down King & try Miller’s All Day for a great lunch! You could also head left on Broad Street if you wanted to try the Fast & French or One Broad.

Miller's All Day Charleston SC

Spend the afternoon crossing off your sightseeing list; first you’ll definitely need to visit Rainbow Row! I like to head down Tradd Street from there to peruse the lovely window boxes and colorful front doors. I wrote this post about a good door tour route to see at Christmastime, but they are also some of my favorite doors to see year-round! Next you’ll want to make sure you go to the Pineapple Fountain and perhaps have a stroll along the battery or sit & swing at Waterfront Park. A couple of cute shops in the area are Indigo Home & Maris DeHart (both on Vendue Range).

pink door in Charleston on Tradd Street

When it’s time for dinner, you’ll already be near East Bay if you ended your visit at the pineapple fountain, so I would try one of these spots: SNOB, Minero, or The Establishment. Afterwards, I highly recommend the Gin Joint for cocktails! Most locals swear by Pearlz Oyster bar for oyster shooters, but I love the ones at Darling Oyster Bar a tad better. Or, if you prefer to eat your calories instead of drink them, try: Carmella’s, Kaminskys, or walk up Market Street if you want a free sample of homemade pecan pralines.

Saturday

Enjoy pool time if you’re staying somewhere like Hotel Indigo, or it could be a good day to head to the beach. Each beach has it’s own special vibe, but I would have to say my favorite is Sullivan’s Island. While there I would check out Obstinate Daughter, Poe’s Tavern, or Home Team BBQ. Insider tip- the frosé pouches at the Co-Op are all the rage right now!

If you didn’t bring a suit, you could also use the day to sightsee around some of our beautiful plantations and gardens! Cypress Gardens and Boone Hall are in their own necks of the woods, but west of the Ashley you’ll find some that would allow for visiting multiple sites in one day; Middleton Place, Magnolia Plantation, Drayton Hall, & Legare Waring House.

Get cleaned up then head out to dinner & drinks downtown: lately I have been on a kick of recommending Camelia’s at Hotel Bennett for drinks and Basic Kitchen or Parcel 32 for dinner.

Sunday

It could be a good day to just brunch and chill. Or, if you like to visit other churches when you’re traveling, you’ll enjoy the beauty of the building (and the short service) at the pink French Huguenot Church. Ok now back to brunch. Some of my favorites lately are: Felix, Parcel 32, Harold’s Cabin, & The Darling Oyster Bar. I also swear Moe’s Crosstown Tavern has the best shrimp and grits in town, it’s just not the place you go if you’re looking for cute-sy ambiance.

If you haven’t sat atop one of our rooftops and enjoyed the steeple-clad views yet, check out The Watch or Citrus Club.

72 Hour Itinerary (A la carte)

If you prefer to fly by the seat of your pants, peruse the categories below and choose your own adventure!

Fancy-ish Restaurants

Zero George // SNOB // Hank’s Seafood // Charleston Grill // Parcel 32

Casual-ish Restaurants

Basic Kitchen // Minero // Fleet Landing // The Darling Oyster Bar

Off-Peninsula Restaurants that are worth the drive

Wild Olive // Obstinate Daughter // Vicious Biscuit // Fat Hen

Cannonborough-Elliotborough Restuarants

Xiao Bao Biscuit // Josephine’s // Felix // Babas // Malagon

Favorite Coffee Shops & Cafes

Huriyali // The Harbinger // Five Loaves Cafe & Five Loaves Juice Bar // Vintage Coffee // Second State Coffee // Upstairs at The Skinny Dip (coffee & wine only)

Saturday/Sunday Downtown Breakfast & Brunch

Daps // Felix // Parcel 32 // The Park Cafe (temporarily closed)

My Favorite Shops & Sights

Browse my recent post about the most Instagram Worthy Spots in Charleston & I think you’ll find what you’re looking for!


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Top 3 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent For Your Next Trip

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There are tons of misconceptions out there when it comes to travel agents and how they work. I have worked with travel agents for several vacations, and hands down think it’s the best way to go when you travel! This Saturday you’ll have the chance to connect with several local travel agents and learn about the latest cruises and resorts at the Cruise and Travel Show. This will be the perfect opportunity to begin a lasting relationship with someone you trust with your one vacation of the year. Keep scrolling to read some of my favorite reasons to work with a travel agent, get a coupon code for free tickets to the show, and to find out which celebrities you can expect to meet on Saturday!

This post is in partnership with Dream Vacations, but all opinions are my own.

Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina

Why I Prefer Working With Travel Agents:

1. Save Money/Get Perks (yes, it’s FREE to work with a travel agent!)

A lot of people shy away from calling on a travel agent because common sense would make you think this is an added luxury you can’t afford. It’s actually quite the opposite! In fact, the times I have worked with a travel agent, it has saved us money. A travel agent is typically getting paid by the hotels or activities they book for you, not by you! You then get the best possible rate on really nice accommodations and I’ve often gotten other perks; when we went to Istanbul last fall we scored a $100 dining credit and cheaper prices than I found myself online. Whether you want to go to a resort, on a cruise, or just create an a la carte vacation, this is going to get you the best bang for your buck.

reasons to work with a travel agent

2. Save Time & Stress

I definitely suffer from analysis paralysis when it comes to finalizing a travel destination and booking a hotel. There are a plethora of options these days, and I get so overwhelmed so fast! I love scouring Instagram and Pinterest to find the places I want to visit in said city, but when it comes to lining up our accommodations, I like to leave it to the pros. Give them a budget, and let them do all the work. It IS actually work to plan a trip after all; sometimes hours and hours of research on websites that aren’t always up to date.

3. It’s Good To Have a Trustworthy Advocate

Prior to leaving for your trip, it’s nice to be able to ask someone with first hand experience about most of the locations you want to go to. If they haven’t been themselves, likely one of their colleagues or other clients has information that will help you make an informed decision about things like the best time of year to travel to your destination.

If something goes wrong when you’re miles away from home, that’s going to put a major damper on your plans! A travel agent has access to a network of other options if need be, and it’s their job to help you when you’re in a pinch.

Sounds pretty magical to plan a vacation with so much ease, am I right!? Now, sit back and start dreaming of your summer vacation with a little help from the Cruise and Travel show…

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The Details of the Cruise & Travel Show:

There will be plenty of guests of honor for you to meet this weekend at the Charleston Marriott. Bravo celebs Shep Rose & Captain Lee will be in attendance from 10-12, The Cocktail Bandits will be there serving vacation inspired cocktails for you to sample from 1-3, and Wyatt Durrette will be performing from 2-4!

Charleston cocktail glass

You can also try an assortment of tasty vacation inspired food from a few different cruise lines, get loads of info on the latest and greatest destinations, and they’ll even offer some fun times for your kids (like a balloon artist & some familiar local characters). Take the whole family and get everyone excited for your next trip!


Use my discount code, LCL, to
score free tickets here!

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Weekending Outdoors: Picnic Pointers

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This post is in partnership with Bravazzi, but all opinions are my own.

Each year I like to share some picnic scenes to help you get inspired to get outdoors! The weather is PERFECT right now, so it’s a good time to soak up the sunshine before the mosquitos set up shop.  If you live in Charleston, I’ve included some upcoming outdoor events for you to know about. If not, I’ll share a few fab picnic ideas so you can make your own fun outdoor soirée!

colorful picnic inspiration

1. Easy to Transport Libations

Bravazzi is a hard Italian soda (4.2% ABV) that comes in 4 flavors- the blood orange is my fave! Gluten free is a must for me, and it’s also all natural without icky artificial additives (it’s made with 100% fruit juices).  There’s a store locator on Bravazzi.com if you want to find it in your area, and if you’re in Cherleston you can find it at Harris Teeter. Wouldn’t it be perfect for a boat day, too?!

2. Picnic Supplies

I love the look of picnic baskets, but I find most of them to be pretty cumbersome to schlep across a park. Opt for an insulated cooler or small basket like this one I found at a vintage market. To keep clean up simple, stick with paper products & disposable utensils or finger foods. For a picnic blanket, I always stick with my old faithful, a Turkish towel of course!

colorful charleston picnic

3. Get a Little Fresh

Picking up some fresh flowers from the grocery store make your simple sunshine-soaking feel a little more fancy. Treating your picnic set up like a real table scape makes you want to enjoy the moment and linger a little longer.  Bring along some fresh fruit, and it will make your beverages feel like that much more of a treat!

If you’re local to Charleston or visiting this spring, below are some upcoming outdoor events for you to know about.  Or if you want to do a DIY picnic, be sure to check out Hampton Park, Allan Park, Colonial Lake, or Brittlebank Park!

Charleston Mimosa Festival | March 30

High Water Festival | April 13-14

Charleston Beer Fest | May 18

Spoleto Festival | May 24-June 9

Follow along on Instagram (@charlestonweekender) for more Charleston tips and inspiration to help you make every day feel more like the weekend!

all images by Kim Graham Photo

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Weekending at Home: 5 Ideas for a Date Night In

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I was quite inspired by my recent Palm Springs stay at the Wexler Fishbowl in Sunmor Estates to bring you some fun ideas for a “date night in”. When we go to Palm Springs and stay at an ACME vacation rental like this, we typically want to stay home as much as possible! Heck, we stay at home as much as possible back home in Charleston, too, but in mid century Palm Springs homes the surroundings are especially dreamy for an at home date night. Some of you gave me your fabulous date night in ideas on this Instagram post, so thank you for the brilliant inspiration! Read on if your date nights have become a little mundane, and know we’re right there with you with far too many Netflix & takeout-filled evenings.

Note: this post is partially in partnership with ACME House Company, but all opinions are my own. The post also contains some affiliate links that earn me a small commission and help keep this blog up and running.

1. Say “Cheese”!

Personally, I find it fun to take photos or videos for no good reason at all! Capturing memories is always a good idea, especially at home since that’s where you likely spend most of your time together. Take turns taking pictures of each other in your element (i.e. I could snap Jonny in the kitchen and he might capture me reading a book in my swing chair). Or perhaps you could interview each other and record that on video (i.e. share 5 things you like about the other person or asking each other about your dreams for the future). We made a private Instagram account that we hope to share with our kids one day, so that’s a great place for these pictures and videos to live!

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2. Get Creative in the Kitchen

Likely one of you does most of the cooking, and thank the Lord that’s my husband in our relationship! The kitchen isn’t a place I enjoy very much if I’m being honest, but there are plenty of ways you can both have fun in the kitchen: find a new recipe to bake and take turn adding ingredients, be your own mixologist with whatever ingredients you have on hand for craft cocktails, or break out one of those wedding registry items you never use (I’m looking at YOU, pasta maker & Kitchen Aid!).

3. Start Your Own Book Club or Game Night for Two

Head to your local bookstore and pick a book together- it could be an old classic, something set in your city, or a book on relationships (I highly recommend the 5 Love Languages!). I loved this idea from the owner of ACME’s Midcentury Deluxe: Take turns reading out loud to each other for 30 minutes each, then individually progress to your agreed upon point by the next read-aloud meeting. You can take a few minutes to discuss something new you learned, or wait until you’re finished the whole thing and chat about the book’s discussion questions.

If friendly competition sounds more exciting, hit the Target aisles or Amazon and find a new game to play, and I bet you have friends or neighbors to swap with. It could be a trivia game, board game, or card game (but I find most card games to be boring with just two people). Heck- you can turn your game into a strip version if you want (I won’t tell you who recommended that one!). Get it on the calendar, and don’t cancel!

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4. Make a Playlist Together

It seems that mix tapes are a thing of the past, so the updated version of that is creating an online playlist! We use Spotify, so it could be fun to take turns adding songs to the list and then listening to it together. Just sitting in each other’s company with background music & no TV on can be so refreshing, and you might even wind up having a living room dance party!

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5. Change Your Scenery

When we’re at home together, we often tend to turn to couch potatoes! While staying at the “Fishbowl”, we were still able to relax while avoiding the couch. Take your cocktails outdoors if you have a fire pit or porch, eat at the dinner table or create a living room picnic, or go for an evening stroll. Mixing up your surroundings can definitely spice things up in your relationship!



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Each Palm Springs trip we’ve been on has given us time to reconnect and made us a lot closer, largely due to the fact we aren’t spending as much time in front of our screens. I hope you’ll treat yourself to a little Palm Springs getaway with your love, too! Use code WeekenderLove to get $100-200 off your stay at any ACME property when you book it in 2018 (valid for any 2018/2019 stay). Click HERE to browse/book (and to see which home I’m dreaming of staying at during my next visit)!

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All images are c/o Nathan Cox Studios for ACME House Company


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Best CHS Bachelorette Weekend Ideas

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One of the questions I get DM'd about the most on Instagram is, "What should I do for my bachelorette party in Charleston?"  I've given this one a LOT of thought, so I have a great round-up of ideas that I think you and your girls will love.  Also be sure to get in touch if you want to set up a private sip & shop or workshop at our store, Cannonborough Collective!  

all images c/o Sean Money & Elizabeth Fey


Enjoy a Group Activity

One of the best ways to really create some memories with your bride tribe is with a fun group activity. You can find lots of workshops offered around town, or create your own private event or spa day!  Below are a few of my faves:

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Group Workouts

Bachelorette Yoga with Serenity Tree Yoga

Private Barre Class at Barre South

Pamper Yourselves!

Dry Bar for blow outs or braids

Mylk Bar for Manis/Pedis (cutest nail salon for a group!)

Learn a Little

Flower Crown Class by Petaloso

Candle Making Class at Candlefish

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Wine & Dine

There are SO many restaurants to choose from in this foodie haven of ours!  Here are my recommendations for the best restaurants to accommodate larger groups.  

Harold's Cabin // Rarebit // Miller's All Day // The Watch

Elevé at The Grand Bohemian // Butcher & Bee // Lewis BBQ

CHS bag available at  Cannonborough Collective  

CHS bag available at Cannonborough Collective 

Shop 'Til You Drop

There are SO many adorable shops around town. You and your best gals will be in Instagram heaven at any of the following spots.  I linked to their Instagram accounts so you can see what I mean ;)

Cannonborough Collective // Toss Designs // The Skinny Dip (get some frosé while you shop!)

Candy Shop Vintage // Mac & Murphy // Candlefish


Don't Forget the BALLOONS!

Call ahead at Cannonborough Collective to line up a balloon pick-up, or shop below for some cute options you can fill yourself with air (the following links are affiliate links which will earn me a small commission). 

Letters for banner (gold or rose gold) // Jumbo Letters // Jumbo Ring // Hot Pink DIY Balloon Garland, Rose Gold DIY Garland // (* do yourself a favor and buy this pump! It makes balloon garland life a breeze)


-Shop This Post-

Andrea, Cayleigh & I have on a floral print that comes in several styles: High Rise Midi, High Rise Cut Out, Matching Bra // The twins' High Rise Track Leggings // Escape bag // Kelsey's Top & Bra


-Photo Credits-

Images by Sean Money + Elizabeth Fey // Yoga led by Melora of Serenity Tree Yoga // Flower crowns by Petaloso // Event Coordination: @CharlestonShopCurator // Yoga apparel gifted by Onzie // Pictured bloggers: @KC_Doubletake, @ThePetalReport, @KelseyJHill

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