A Mini Charleston City Guide...
I didn't know what to expect when I hopped a plane to Charleston with Aaron a few weeks ago. Sure, I'd heard about bright streets, historic homes and foodie restaurants, but I had no idea what fun was in store! Here are some of our favorite Charleston discoveries!
WHERE TO STAY:
We decided to stay downtown (THANK GOODNESS). This location is perfect to walk everywhere! We stayed at The Belmond Charleston Place. WE LOVED IT. The location couldn't be more perfect; right next to all the best restaurants in Charleston + shopping destinations. The hotel decor is so southern + inviting and the staff was a total dream. Breakfast was included in our room charge (Hooray!). Aaron and I enjoyed getting up early and eating breakfast together before we started each day. Definitely check out The Belmond Charleston Place if you are planning a trip. You won't be sorry!
I loved exploring every day when I had a break from work. I developed my own little route and found many exciting places.
WHAT TO DO:
Since Aaron was on set filming almost all day, I had most of the day to myself just to explore + work (my favorite). I'd give myself little breaks from work just to take a walk. This helped clear my mind while I explored the beautiful city!
My favorite place to walk to was St. Philip's Church. This is one of the most beautiful churches I've ever seen (and I've seen a LOT in Europe!). George Washington even went to church here while visiting Charleston in the 1700s (HOW COOL). What I loved most about this church was the cemetery and courtyard area behind it. It was a green space intended for people to sit on a bench and reflect. Every time I went there, a huge sense of peace rushed over me. Please visit this amazing place if you are in the area.
When Aaron got off set early one day, we decided to do what we do best: OUTDOOR ADVENTURE! If you guys didn't know, Aaron and I love a good outdoor activities (especially if it involves water). We immediately both thought: PADDLE BOARDING! We were already heading towards Folly Beach (an awesome beach with bright umbrellas galore) when we thought about paddle boarding, so we quickly got on Yelp to see nearby rentals. We ended up going with Charleston SUP Safaris and I'm so glad we did! The employees were so chill and fun. They helped us get our rentals with such ease! We ended up paddle boarding in the canal right by where we rented...and, let me tell you, it was just a bit difficult. Due to the high winds, we got quite a workout that day-haha! We had such a great time and I always prefer to travel by water, in spite of challenging conditions! A word of advice: beware of oyster beds. They seem to be especially heavy around the bays and canals in Charleston. Be aware if you plan on paddle boarding in this area. They are sharp!
WHERE TO EAT:
Oh man, where do I even begin??? Charleston is a HUGE foodie destination. Some of the best chefs in the world call Charleston home. Although we didn't get to go to a lot of the really famous restaurants due to long lines, we still found some true gems!
First of all, I found my favorite juice, smoothie/lunch spot called Whisk. Let me tell you...this place was good + healthy (my favorite combo). Not only did they have mouth-watering smoothies (The Surfer's Delight was my fav), but they also had an awesome salad called "The Big Bowl" that combined all their fruits and veggies. I know it sounds crazy, but It is SO GOOD. Check Whisk out.
Aaron would join me for dinner, which was awesome, so we could explore places together. My amazingly awesome pals on Instagram (love you guys!) sent me a rad list of suggestions which included the next two dinner spots I'll be talking about.
Let's talk about French food, baby! Charleston has one of the best french restaurants I've been to called Chez Nous. This adorable pint-sized eatery has a menu which changes almost every day. We enjoyed Tarte a la Tomato, Grouper with Squash Gratin, and Chicken à la Dijonnaise. Make a stop here a priority.
Now let's talk about good ole southern food. I mean, we were in Charleston, South Carolina, after all! For our top southern food place, Aaron and I LOVED Cru Cafe. To just give you an idea of how in love we were with this place, we had dinner here two nights in a row! The Café's Executive Chef and Owner John Zucker has been creating southern food with a gourmet twist for decades. We were blown away by the fried green tomatoes (I HAD to try them), the Ahi Tuna, and the Tai Seafood Risotto. YUM!
Well, this about covers our Charleston adventure! In short, if you ever get the chance to go to Charleston, DO IT. It was so amazing.
If you have any specific questions about traveling to Charleston, feel free to leave them in a comment below! And remember: Never stop exploring!