Charleston City Guide
This Charleston city guide has everything you need to know for planning an amazing trip to Charleston, South Carolina. First, I’ll share some trip highlights (just a few…..okay a LOT), and then I made lists of the best places to shop, eat, stay and play! Let’s get into it!
If I could use one word to describe Charleston, it would be charming. If you’re looking to plan a weekend getaway with a stellar food scene, a girls trip with fun nightlife and stylish bars, or you love boutique shopping and local designers, then this Southern coastal charmer is for you! I loved visiting the storefronts of so many Charleston-based fashion designers that I admire so much. Charleston is a HUB for “Coastal Granddaughter” style with both fashion and interior designers galore!
The Mills House Hotel
It doesn’t get more iconic than Charleston’s PINK Mills House Hotel, which is reportedly haunted! Don’t worry, we never saw any ghosts, just dreamt about them. It was recently renovated, and it’s really gorgeous inside and out. The rooftop pool is very nice, and you can reserve a cabana. They have a great coffee shop called the Black Door Café — be sure to get the breakfast biscuit, it’s really good. And I was really impressed with their gorgeous bar and delicious food at the in-house “Iron Rose” restaurant. I would highly recommend the Mills House Hotel for anyone looking for a nice place to stay in Charleston that has convenient access to all the great shopping and restaurants around King Street!
Welcome to Charleston – Dinner and Drinks
The first night in Charleston, we walked to dinner at Sorelle, an Italian restaurant and probably my favorite place we dined during our stay. I had the “pillows of gold” ravioli and it was TO DIE FOR. That is, if you link things in a pool of butter–which I do. After dinner, we went to the pink bar, Camellia’s, at Hotel Bennett. This bar was too gorgeous for words, and I got the Lavender Haze for a night cap–gotta love a nod to Taylor Swift.
Day One – Visiting Charleston Based Designers
On the second day, we visited some Charleston-based designers and national brands with Charleston flagstone stores. First, we went to Juliska, where we got to create our own tablescape! Juliska offers flower arranging classes and has an upstairs registry room where you can play with all the place settings to create your own. It was so much fun and would be a great idea for a free girls trip activity. I chose a green and white color scheme for my tablescape — see the picture! You can also book a flower arranging class – another great girls trip idea!
Lunch with a View
After Juliska, we grabbed a bite to eat at The Dewberry hotel’s rooftop restaurant, the Citrus Club. It was really great. And after all that tablescaping, we needed those parmesan truffle fries! I loved the panoramic views overlooking Charleston. Definitely a must-do when you’re visiting Chuck town!
Then we stopped by one of my favorite stores, LoveShackFancy! I got so excited seeing their new bedding line in person that I got home and ordered it for my teenage daughter. She loves LoveShackFancy! I surprise her with a bedroom glow up when she got home from camp! Check out the reel here!
I also couldn’t resist coming home with this stunning bow dress! I know, I know, kind of a splurge (don’t tell Bo), so I rounded up some of my favorite Amazon styles that have a LoveShackFancy inspired look too so you have lots of options!
When in Charleston, get the Beau and Ro
Next we stopped by Beau and Ro by Sara Rossi, a Charleston-based fashion designer. We all had a fun little try-on session, and you can see my whole try-on on this Instagram reel! I loved all the dresses, but I chose the floral tiered dress to take home. I can’t wait to wear it on my beach trip in late August!
When you’re in Charleston, you have to come home with at least one dress designed by a Charleston gal! Get the Beau and Ro!
Coastal Home Lovers Stop Here
Later, we went to Megan Molten, a Charleston-based interior designer with a shop warehouse full of gorgeous home decor. I came home with this cute-as-can-be leather tray with bamboo handles, an orchid and pot, as well as a light burl wood box. See below how I used these to style my coffee table.
At the shop, I loved seeing all of her coastal-inspired decor, and she has everything you need to elevate your home–and I mean EVERYTHING–trays, frames, accents, pots, florals, pillows, rugs, you name it! If you’re in Charleston area, be sure to stop by. The shop is in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, a short Uber ride from downtown Charleston.
Cocktail Making 101
After a long day of shopping (it’s hard work!), we had to kick back and have a little fun. We went to Sweet Grass Vodka for a cocktail making class! Put this on you must-do list! The staff mixologist taught us how to make three craft cocktails, and he educated us on all things cocktail making. I learned that you only shake citrus cocktails, with the exception of the espresso martini.
This was the most fun experience of the trip! The cocktails were so delicious and the vodka was so smooth, you couldn’t even taste it. Sweet Grass Vodka is distilled right there in Charleston. I don’t have the recipes to share, but if you’re ever in Charleston, definitely plan to do this–it was well worth it. Now I will be ready to entertain my friends and show off my new cocktail making skills!
After the cocktail making class, we enjoyed a few beverages on the terrace at the Mills Hotel. More girls traveled in this evening, so we met up with them to visit for a while.
Day Two – Shop Til You Drop
On Friday, we did –surprise!–more shopping on King Street. We stopped for lunch at Bar 167, and it was delicious. Definitely recommend it for a sit down lunch. It’s an upscale casual oyster bar and well worth the (brief) wait.
On Friday night, we went to another rooftop bar, Satellite, and enjoyed a refreshing purple Pressure Drop. Just know that if you go anywhere outside in Charleston during the summer, wear a short dress, because it is HOT and humid, but that didn’t stop us from having a good time. After drinks, we went to Rudy Royale. It was a short Uber ride from the hotel. We loved everything we ate there, but I especially loved the cornbread and fried oysters.
Last Day – Babes that Brunch
On Saturday we had planned on a pool day, but the weather was bad (womp womp), so instead we went to brunch at Husk, which was conveniently right next door to the hotel. Husk is a great brunch spot, but they’re best known for their dinner. They change their menu every day, so I can’t tell you what to get, but the cinnamon roll was crazy good.
Rainbow Row and Amanda Lindroth
We wrapped up our trip visiting Rainbow Row. It’s one of the most iconic spots in Charleston, so if you’re never been, you have to go! It’s a great spot for pictures, but make sure to walk around and look at the beautiful homes. The pretty coastal colors and timeless carriage houses are a vibe I want to bottle up!
Last, we stopped by Amanda Lindroth before heading home. Amanda is a Charleston-based interior and decor designer, and her scalloped furniture is everything!
Well, that’s it for our trip highlights! Now on to the lists you want to save for later…
Best Places to Shop
- Love Shack Fancy
- Roller Rabbit
- Beau and Ro
- The Impeccable Pig
- Madison Matthews
- Megan Molten
- James Asher
- Amanda Lindroth
Best Places to Eat
- The Ordinary*
- Chubby Fish (local rec)
- FIG (local rec)
- Wild olive (local rec) – best Italian
- Tempest (local rec) – best fancy seafood, get the seafood tower
- Hyman’s (local rec) – best for fried oysters
- Shuck and shack (local rec) – best for chargrilled oysters
- Bowman’s (local rec) – in Folly Beach
- Zero George (local rec)
- Bar 167 or Raw 167*
- Poogan’s Porch*
- Citrus Club* at the Dewberry Hotel Rooftop
*We went there or I had a close friend who went there and loved it!
- Sweetgrass Vodka – do the cocktail making class!
- Camellia’s at Hotel Bennett
- Satellite Bar
- Vintage Lounge
- Rooftop Bar at the Vendue
- The Commodor
- Citrus Club at the Dewberry Hotel Rooftop
Things to Do
- Rainbow Row – pictures and walk around to look at homes
- Rooftop views at Hotel Dewberry
- Shopping on King Street
- Make your own tablescape at Juliska
- Book a flower arranging class at Juliska
- Cocktail making class at Sweet Grass Vodka
- Ben Silver – if you’re an Outer Banks fan
- Sunset Harbor Cruise
- Haunted Ghost Tour
- Joe Riley Waterfront Park
- The Battery
- South Carolina Aquarium
- Charleston City Market
Places to Stay
- Mills House Hotel
- Hotel Bennett
- Zero George
- The Vendue
- The Dewberry
- The Beach Club at Harbor Resort
- The Spectator
- The Pinch Charleston
What to Wear
In Charleston, it’s HOT so go with a short dress! Sneakers during the day and elevate with heels at night.
Shop my Charleston outfits on LTK!
As a bonus, I’m including some of our favorite brands who contributed products for our welcome bags. If you’re planning on a bachelorette or weekend girls trip, be sure to check them out for some cute and gift-able items! It’s so fun to have a welcome bag for your friends upon arrival!
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