Thinking about CHS for the weekend? Here’s a quick peek into how I’d spend two nights in my favorite “southern” city.
Arrival into CHS is sooooo simple, the airport is honestly a (beautiful) breeze. As with any weekend trip, try to get in as early as you can. Rental cars are super easy if you plan on doing some exploring but if you’re staying downtown it’s not necessary, just grab an Uber. If you need an airport snack, hit up Caviar & Bananas.
Emeline has a European feel, dark colors lots of texture (pet friendly for pups under 40lbs). Zero George is pricey but stunning. Very boutique feel. Not far but this spot is not on King street nor the battery. The Dewberry is a really fun “quintessentially” Charleston spot. Feels historic but modern wrapped in one.
Arrive at your hotel, do the check-in dance, and rinse off the travel day. Don’t linger, you’ve got lots to see. Heads up — and this is important — Charleston has some serious sidewalk bumps, cobblestone streets, and overall you’ll likely be sipping cocktails so pick your shoes with care.
For night one, I’d suggest you make your way to 167 Raw for a quick appetizer and cocktail. You can mosey around the market streets if you want but if it were up to me, I’d scoot over to the Rooftop at Vendue Inn for sunset (this is about a 10-minute walk). Hang out there and get a glass of champagne (and water because #heat) before making your way to dinner.
Dinner options are endless but here are a few (regardless of where you’re headed, make sure you call to make reservations):
Check out Chubby Fish or Maison, which is a new spot I haven’t tried yet but definitely would prioritize. Coast has some of my favorite fish tacos in Charleston, or hit 82 Queen for something more traditional and nearby
If you’re not exhausted, walk back to the hotel and enjoy the Charleston air. Keep in mind it’s Friday night so college kids will be out and about on King street. If you’re not quite done head up to the rooftop at Stars, it’ll be standing room only and if that’s not your vibe save this spot for a daytime visit. Either way, take the elevator, no one needs a hero.
If you’re a morning person bop over to Babas on Cannon for coffee and walk down to the battery. It’s well worth the brief glimpse into history and the fresh harbor air. Peek at Rainbow Row and cruise through some of the back alleys and residential streets. Water Street and Stoll's alley are two of my must-sees on this walk.
If you’re planning to check out the beaches I’d load up and head out to Sullivans Island for a great beach walk and tons of delicious spots to eat.
Poes Tavern is a bit of a classic and Home Team is the classic of classic spots for lunch. If you’re just out there for the beach and skipping lunch keep your eyes peeled for sharks' teeth on your way up and down the shore. I’d suggest a quick pit stop at Shem Creek because it really is that beautiful. If you want, you could also try and swing by the Post Inn and Pitt Street Bridge - we’re getting carried away and that’s a lot to squeeze in but laying out options :).
If you do swing by Shem Creek, I’d visit the patio at NICO or Red's rooftop depending on your level of #fancy either way keep an eyes open for dolphins!
Pre-dinner, I’d sneak over to Little Palm for a drink. And for dinner itself, I’d suggest: Leon's Oyster Shop, which is casual and delicious. Check out the Grocery for seafood in a beautiful building. And stop by Hall's Chophouse if steak house is your scene (get the filet martini — if it’s not on the menu, ask for it. Oh, and get a real martini too).
Ask your hotel if they can set up a pedicab for you, if not try and find one on the way home, and make sure you have cash. If you really want to feel local, see who is playing at The Royal American.
Sadly, it’s Sunday morning and you’ve gotta think about leaving (unless you change your flights, which is a common occurrence for any weekend in Charleston). I know there are tons of trendy breakfast spots but I’d suggest a biscuit from Callie's Hot Little Biscuits or a crepe from Queen Street Grocery, either way, you can get a little walk in before you have to pack it up.
All that’s left to do is plan your return visit. If there are new must-try spots, drop them below!