Charleston Travel Guide!
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WOW… the best way to sum up our trip to Charleston. I have traveled quite a bit and Charleston definitely stole my heart. I could truly see myself living here (possibly work my way on to Southern Charm ;) (lol just kidding). This town had a little bit of city, mixed with some country, plenty of the colonial vibes with history back to the 1500’s. I never wanted to leave!
Hotel Bella Grace was a dream of a hotel to stay in during our time in Charleston. The room was beyond anything I had ever seen before, the breakfast was yummy, and the people there are SO friendly and welcoming into Charleston! Hotel Bella Grace is very well-known for its art all throughout the halls. Very modern, elegant, and unique to its area! Then, hop on over to the colonial breakfast house across the way for a change of pace. Hotel Bella Grace is fairly new to the area and their owner (Robin) is excited to meet new locals and fellow travelers — so go visit her! A buffet breakfast is available every morning, valet parking, and the most helpful service I have had in such a long time. The concierge (s/o Christopher!) immediately began asking me about my trip, what we had planned, gave me a map to show me the way, and of course he was our photographer for date night! In my room, there was a refrigerator, microwave, stove, and plates/utensils. Along with a make up station (w/ the BOMB lighting), a futon for guests, etc. I could keep going on and on about Hotel Bella Grace, but moral of the story is: If you are in Charleston, stay at Hotel Bella Grace :) You will not be disappointed!
Our first night, we went on the “Mermaid Monday” Aqua Safari Catamaran tour in the Palmetto Breeze! This was one of our top favorites from the trip because of the gorgeous sunset! Dolphins were peeking up at us, refreshments were all around, and the weather was just right. You were free to move about the boat and grab some refreshments from the snack table and bar. Drew and I grabbed some seats at the front of the boat and watched the sun go down together! It was truly a magical time and one of the most memorable! A special thank you to Charleston Travel Plans for setting up this tour and showing us how beautiful Charleston is!
Right after our boat ride, we rushed back to the hotel to change for dinner. We finally got to dress up together (like actually dress up) and go to the most romantic restaurant — 5Church Charleston. This place was over the moon with elegance. The candles, dim lights, architecture inside the church, it was lovely. We came here at the right time cause it was RESTAURANT WEEK WOOHOO! I 100% did not do that on purpose but I guess I got lucky HAHA! We started off with the charcuterie board and wine — cause I’m basic like that and just love cheese way too much. This charcuterie board looked like they were making it for Hannah Brown, it was GORGEOUS! && totally photo worthy obvi so see pic above ;) They also brought out some hummus and pita chips with it. Drew got a cocktail and I got the rose. They had several types of wine, bottles filled almost all the way up to the ceiling! For dinner, I got the Sea Scallops and Drew got the Ravioli with Italian Sausage. ALL of their food was delicious and we were so impressed with the atmosphere and service as well.
Tuesday was filled with lots of walking and exploring! We woke up and had a great breakfast, got a good workout in at the hotel and took off for the day. We carried around our maps and had absolutely NO shame — we would have been lost lol! We first stumbled across the towns marketplace. Locals were selling all of their handmade products such as art, wooden baskets, jewelry, engraved cutting boards, etc. The market had to have been over a mile long. There was so much to see and the fact that it was all handmade just blew my mind! Then we made our way to the Pineapple Fountain at the Waterfront Park. Had to get my signature blogger photo by the pineapple ~duh. Right around the corner from their was Rainbow Row. It was the most gorgeous isle of houses I have ever seen. We made our way down to the Battery, explored the little side streets, then took a pit stop at Calhoun Mansion. We dropped into several stores, talked to some locals, and of course got some ice cream. Exploring around Charleston was something I will never forget! To see videos of all of these “must” places, check out my video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jOzeQL0Vdo
So, we heard Uptown Social was a hotspot in Charleston, so we made our way down King St. and stopped at some of the shops on the way! Truthfully, Uptown Social had one of the cutest walls I have ever seen and matched my personality so well lol — Social Butterfly! The upstairs bar has outdoor seating and room to move around if you just like to stand with your drink and talk. Drew and I started off with some hummus, pizza dough bites, and a few drinks. We loved the laid back atmosphere and very generous staff! For our meals, Drew got a burger & curly fries, and I got a shrimp caesar salad. Everything was flawless and I am pretty sure I had to be rolled out the front door lol!
The next morning was an early one for us. We decided to get up and run the 5 mile Arthur Ravenel Jr. bridge. Gorgeous view... but the run was a little too steep for me lol!
We came back, showered, and started heading to our tour with Liz Duren, owner of Say Charleston tours and I could not rant and rave about her enough. Her energy was on a new level, her knowledge about the town on Charleston was just fascinating, and her CAMERA SKILLS ARE JUST WOW! She used to be a wedding photographer and decided to transform her business into tours because she just loves the history of Charleston. The tour lasts about 90 minutes and you get several photos, and a personal view of the town’s history all from one perfect human being! You can’t beat that! Also, she sent my photos to me by the next morning at 8am… she has such a quick turn around and edits them all for you! Book her on your next trip by messaging her on Instagram @charleston_photo_tours !
After all of the walking we were starving! We popped into Poogans Porch for some brunch and I just HAD to get the Shrimp and Grits! They are my favorite dish and I heard South Carolina is known for them! Funny enough, Poogans Porch has award-winning Shrimp and Grits all throughout Charleston (so I came to the right place!). Drew got the stuffed French toast and then we shared some soup! YUM! Poogans Porch was delicious and their outdoor seating and sign “Good Food Good Mood” was adorable for photos!
We went back to check out of our gorgeous hotel (insert tear drop) and said goodbye to the best staff. Hotel Bella Grace was everything we could have ever imagined and more! Thank you so much for having us, we enjoyed every bit of it!
On our way out of Charleston we stopped by the Angel Oak Tree and it was just as amazing in person as it is in pictures! Then, we had to stop by Taco Boy to grab my brother some tacos that he has been obsessed with ever since he came here to visit. So we went and picked him up some tacos to go! Needless to say, Taco Boy has the BEST fish/shrimp tacos we’ve ever had!
I never wanted to leave this beautiful town. I could have stayed there FOREVER! Charleston, we love you — we will be back very soon :)
XOXO - Amber
Special thank you to everyone who made this trip possible and allowing me to document the experience! It was a pleasure working with you all (websites linked below for more information!):