I am home from Charleston and WOW, what a trip. This city was everything I ever wanted it to be and more. It was beautiful, elegant, chic, full of good food, rich in history, and full of beautiful homes to look at. We went on this trip partly as a baby moon and partly for a conference with our church planting network. We got the opportunity to attend so we combined our funds for a baby moon with it and I am so glad we did. This trip brought up some genuine trauma in me having lost Blakely on our last trip that also happened to be for an ARC gathering. I was convinced I was losing this baby during the first night of conference and kept having to check my dress. PTSD sucks. But the Lord met me in my trauma and he really ministered to my heart. I just want to give a quick encouragement to all you women who have carried and lost a baby. I am months and months out from my loss, closing in quick on a year, and I still am struggling and grieving that loss. It sucks. Take it as it comes.
With that… We went to so many amazing spots around the city this trip, many of which you suggested to me, and I have the full round up below. I hope it helps you as you navigate a trip to Charleston, SC!
We arrived at Charleston Airport around noon and it was the easiest travel experience ever. We ran down to get our rental truck and drove just about 20 minutes to our hotel. We stayed at Hotel Bennett and it’s INCREDIBLE. I give it a 10/10 rating for everything. The staff, the food, the vibe, the cleanliness – everything.
Late lunch: Playa Bowls across the street from our hotel – we ordered açaí bowls here daily.
Explored downtown Charleston: We drove around ALL the streets. We drove south on Meeting St. past Rainbow Row and all the historic streets packed full of stunning homes that took me back in time 200 years. We drove around The Battery and gawked over the Civil War ship out on the water, and then we drove west of downtown to continue looking at the different areas of homes. We drove literally on every possible east-west tiny street in between Meeting and King St. and all around!
We returned to our hotel to get ready for our dinner reservation at 82 Queen. This spot was a top rated one online/by y’all and is next to Poogan’s Porch and Husk. A lot of restaurants are closed on Mondays in downtown, so 82 Queen was one of our only options that we could eat at with our allergies that was open. It was okay to be honest. The pork chop Paul got was delicious. My duck was okay, but not fantastic. The vibe of the space was not intimate or romantic like I had hoped, but we also went at 6:30 when the sun was full exposure. There was basically no music on, and it was a little disappointing. But, we still had a great time and a good table to ourselves!
After dinner, we went to The Dewberry for drinks on the rooftop! SUCH a good spot. It’s a beautiful rooftop scenery with lovely outdoor seating overlooking the city and pink accents everywhere. They had a pink booth inside! This is certainly only a drinks and bar food kind of place, but a perfect night cap spot. It’s a block from Hotel Bennett so we had a quick stroll back to the hotel and slept for TEN HOURS. Mom and dad were tired… lol.
**The Dewberry was another hotel option we looked at- it’s beautiful and I would have been happy staying there too. It depends on your style as to which I would suggest. We stand by staying at Hotel Bennett for our style of vacation. The Dewberry is very very nice and “boujie” but a bit trendier while Bennett is highly elegant.
Woke up, got coffee downstairs at La Patisserie (coffee shop at Hotel Bennett) and walked across the street for Acai bowls for breakfast. Once fueled, we hit the road to Old Village. This is an area on the other side of the bay from downtown and ended up being both of our favorites. The history is rich and the homes are stunning. While downtown is the classic, thin rowhome style from 200 years ago decked out in colorful paint, Old Village in Mt. Pleasant is larger colonial/plantation style homes on the water with huge wraparound porches begging to be sat on with a sweet tea in hand.
After exploring a couple hours, I went back to Hotel Bennett for a prenatal massage at the spa. Their spa is the top rated one in Charleston and for a good reason. It’s intimate and beautiful. My prenatal massage was spectacular!
After my massage, we hopped in the car and drove to Sullivan’s Island. I had no intention of skipping lunch this day, but I sorta missed it. Paul went to Basic Kitchen for sweet potato fries and we then returned twice more for those fries over our trip, because they were SO GOOD. We walked the beach at Sullivan’s Island and strolled around a bit. It was lovely and the weather was perfect.
We returned to the hotel to wash up and get ready for night 1 of the conference we came for at Seacoast Church (Mt. Pleasant) and went to an early dinner at Basic Kitchen. This place was DELICIOUS. They close in the afternoon and re-open at 5 pm for dinner and people were literally standing outside waiting to come in. They are very allergy-friendly if you need that like us. I ordered their bowl with chicken and Paul ordered… Corn Ribs. He thought this meant some kind of yummy meat rib. But they were literally corn on the cob ribs shaped like ribs. We got such a good laugh. But, he also ordered two more orders of his sweet potato fries so he left a happy camper. 😉
We went to our conference and stayed talking with people until 11:30 PM and I was about dead by the time we made it to our hotel room hehe. DO THE VALET.
Woke up, coffee La Patisserie, left and ordered Playa Bowls in a different location next to the church… haha. I am telling y’all, we went there daily and multiple times a day. I ordered a green smoothie this time! This whole day was mostly conference! We LOVE our ARC partner and are so beyond thankful for them and they way they’ve poured into us and Cadence. They’re truly the best. For lunch, we walked across the street to Verde for salads.
We returned for an afternoon nap at our hotel because I seriously couldn’t keep my eyes open. After naps, we went for smoothies at, yep, Playa Bowls across the street from Hotel Bennett and then jumped back in the car for night sessions at conference.
After session, we snuck out to a special dinner at Post House Inn… FAVORITE SPOT THE WHOLE TRIP. Best dinner, best experience, best waiter… everything. It was all perfect. I ordered the steak and the brassica salad (YUMMMM) and Paul got the pork chop which was also freaking bomb. This was another possible spot we considered staying in, and now having seen it I would 10000% stay there if just me and Paul ever come back again. It’s an intimate old Inn full of rich history with an amazing restaurant downstairs and 7 bedrooms upstairs for guests to stay. If you follow Julia Bolzerheimer, she reviewed this place which is how I knew about it and it’s evidently near her home… which makes sense because this area is picture book perfect.
Day 4: We leave this day, but knew we wanted some more time exploring so we booked an afternoon flight!
Woke up, coffee La Patisserie and Acai Bowls. We stayed here quite a while taking it slow and watching people. It’s quite a hot spot and feels like you’re truly in a French bakery! We cleaned up the room and packed up to leave the hotel! CANNOT say enough about them. It was a perfect babymoon stay. TIP: 1000% do the hotel valet for $40 a day. I genuinely don’t even know where you park if you don’t do the valet. We came in and out multiple times a day and just had to call the desk 10 minutes ahead to have our car pulled around. Don’t do it any other way! It would have been such a hassle to walk to a garage and re-pay/park multiple times a day.
We went back over to around Post House Inn to drive around and explore more pretty homes in the sunlight since we went in the dark the night before. We tried to find somewhere new to eat but ended up just going to lunch at Post House Inn and sat in the sun on the lounger patio tables. I ordered the onion dip and crudite and shrimp wraps. Paul got the chicken salad and it was also so yummy! They were great with food allergies as well.
Left for the airport and had the best trip. Even with a slight flight delay, we truly had the easiest trip experience from start to finish.
Places to See:
Meeting Street/King Street downtown (French Quarter, The Battery, and everything around – there’s historic markers everywhere to learn about the people who once called Charleston home and made it great!) This is like a 1.5 mile rectangle radius of must-see history and homes. Just drive in and out of every street and go back in time.
Old Village, Mt. Pleasant
Places to Eat:
Post House Inn
The Dewberry Rooftop
Hall’s Chophouse (We had reservations here but ended up having to cancel because of time, but based off of reviews and location, I would 1000% suggest!)
Church and Union (We didn’t go here, but the valet told us to definitely go if we can and so many of you suggested to as well!)
Husk (We didn’t eat here because the menu changes daily and it would be too hard for us with our food restrictions – but having seen it, I get the hype! It’s a great spot!)
Poogan’s Porch (Y’all said this one so much and it’s right next door to Husk and 82 Queen. It was packed and the food looked good!)
Where to Stay:
Hotel Bennett **AMAZING, worth the money. So elegant and top notch kind of an experience.
The Dewberry (We didn’t stay here but did walk around and it was beautiful. It was our top other choice and we actually went with Bennett officially because of room availability. It’s lovely and equally as nice as Hotel Bennett but a little on the more trendy side.)
Post House Inn (We didn’t stay here, but would now having been twice to eat. It’s beautiful, charming, and intimate.)