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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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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.

charleston weekender hampton park

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!

skinny dip charleston shop

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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