Charleston is my f a v o r i t e place on Earth, so when one of my best friends/Balcerzak Group teammates, Ange, invited me to join her on a three day trip she bid on and won at a charity event a few months back, the answer was WHEN DO WE LEAVE?! We booked our flights (Southwest has nonstop 1 hour 15 minute flight from Baltimore to Charleston – the best) and made arrangements at the hotel she won, the HarbourView Inn, and the countdown was on! This would be Ange’s first time in the Holy City, so the pressure was on to hit all the hot spots and show her a great time. People who know I went to College of Charleston and make it back a few times a year usually ask me for recommendations on what to do, where to eat and things to see while visiting. I have a few variations of suggestions saved in my Starred email folder that I modify depending on my audience (bachelor/bachelorette party, beach trip, family trip, romantic getaway, etc etc etc). To me, the hardest part is squeezing it all into one weekend! So much to do, so little time 😉 I am happy to send you more details and recs, but today I will give you the play by play of this most recent trip and reviews on our experiences.
MONDAY, March 25, 2019
10:30 am: Arrive in Charleston and allow humid, salty air to hit you in the face as you exit the recently renovated airport. Grab Uber and head downtown to drop bags at hotel.
11:00 am: Arrive at HarbourView Inn. Check in was not until 4 pm, but we decided to drop our bags at the front desk and change into bathing suits and head to the beach to soak up the sunny 75 degree weather. There are NOT enough good things I can say about our experience from beginning to end at the HarbourView Inn. They were so accommodating and welcoming and they offer so many “extras” that take your stay to the next level. My favorites were the cold brew coffee in the lobby, complimentary breakfast each morning from Saffron delivered to your room, the atrium or the rooftop terrace, a daily wine and cheese – this was actually an open bar with a bartender and not just wine—nightly from 5-6 pm, and complimentary bikes to use at your leisure. We also were greated with a gift card to Halls Chophouse, two Aquarium passes, and a voucher for a historic carriage ride. Halls was already on the “must do” list, so having some extra money to cushion a splurge went a long way!
11:45 am: Arrive at The Co-Op on Sullivans Islandto have lunch and then grab a few drinks and snacks for the beach. There are a few different beaches in Charleston (Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, Sullivans Island) and it will depend on who you ask as to which beach is the best, but I spent the most time on Sullivans in college and love the restaurant/bar selection there the most!
The Co-Op is adorable and offers a perfect selection for a filling but light feeling lunch before a day in the sun. They also have the MOST INCREDIBLE Frose that you can imagine that they pour into plastic juice bottles with lids for you to take to go. You can’t understand the magic until you try it for yourself, but this was another must have during our trip. We split sandwiches and grabbed our Frose and snacks and headed to the beach.
12:30 pm: Sit on the beach, listen to good music, soak up the sun (some a little more than others… cough cough, Ange got fried!!!…) and observe college kids which leads you to realize that you knew you had it good going to college here but wonder if you realized HOW good you had it at the time?!
4:00 pm: Uber back downtown to hotel to get ready for dinner – bottle of champagne on ice and two glasses waiting for us in the hotel room?! Yes please!
6:30 pm: Dinner at Little Jacks. I was thrilled that two of my sorority sisters (including my little #diamondsis #ADPiforever) were able to meet us and suggest one of their favorite spots. I hadn’t heard of it and I am admittedly not a huge burger person, but I knew they wouldn’t lead us astray and I am SO happy I listened as Little Jacks did NOT disappoint. Probably the best burger I have ever had in my life + Baked Egg and Crudites and Dip as apps. The locals will tell you that Little Jacks just changed their menu and you used to order The Tavern Burger on its own and add fries or whatever you wanted as a side. The suggested order was to get two of The Tavern Burgers instead of The Double Tavern Burger because you want to “maintain the ratio of the original” BUT now they have packaged the burger and fries together, so my local sorority sistas essentially went head to head on ordering advice and my takeaway is you can’t go wrong – its all incredible.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
8:30 am: Breakfast is served on the HVI Rooftop Terrace. See picture for the deliciousness that was all of the carbs and salt we could find.
10:00 am: Tour de Charleston on beach cruisers. Who knew riding a bike would require so much effort and coordination?! We laughed, people certainly laughed at us, and we cruised into Miller Gallery one of my fave places ever owned by one of my fave people, Waterfront Park, The Battery and more.
12:00 pm: Lunch at Mellow Mushroom. I know it’s a chain, but we don’t have one in Baltimore and the Esperanza dressing speaks to me.
1:00 pm: Shop til you drop because you will find every store/boutique imaginable in the city of Charleston.
4:00 pm: Back to HVI for quick shower and a nap with zero threat of being woken up by a crying child #treat.
6:15 pm: Halls Chophouse for drinks and dinner. Halls is such a solid choice across the board – service, drinks, food, atmosphere, location… the list goes on. We had delicious dirty martinis, red wine, and I tried my first ever bison filet with mushroom garlic risotto. DROOL. AND naturally we polished off the bread pudding before we practically rolled ourselves out of there.
9:00 pm: Charleston Beer Works – another favorite spot. Grabbed one last drink before calling it a night
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
8:30 am: Breakfast in bed – Saffron deliciousness round two.
10:00 am: Shopping in the Market. The Market is definitely a landmark/tourist attraction of Charleston. According to the website, “The Charleston City Market’s three open air structures, called sheds, have stood witness to history for more than two centuries. These unique sheds have survived fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, and cannonball bombardments during the Civil War. Today, the Charleston City Market is a place of enterprise with hundreds of entrepreneurs operating small businesses at the bustling venue, which is Charleston’s most visited public attraction.
The eclectic, revolving, and evolving wares found at the Charleston City Market create a fun and exciting shopping atmosphere that keeps both visitors and natives returning to peruse the new items every few months or so.
From sweetgrass baskets to bags of stone ground grits—and thousands of products in between, the Charleston City Market buzzes with people perusing stalls filled with inconic, rare, and unexpected products.”
We grabbed some cute souvenirs and a few other fun items before heading back to the hotel to grab our bags and head back to the airport.
12:30 pm: Farewell Old Faithful. It was SO fun being back (per usual) and seeing the city through a newcomer’s eyes! BE BACK SOON!