Charleston Mini Trip
Charleston is a historic and charming city on the coast of South Carolina, established in 1670.
It’s filled to the brim with ah - mazing restaurants, haunted locales, and great places to take pictures.
The moms & I decided to meet up for a long weekend since it’s only about a 3.5 hour drive from my place near Asheville & the same distance from her place on the coast!
We rented a cabin at the St. James County Park - on St. James Island.
It was sooo amazingly peaceful and quiet - filled to the brim with wildlife and walking trails. Bonus; the County Park is a short 20 minute drive to Downtown Charleston!
The highlight of the (super spacious) cabin was definitely waking up to the sounds of birds chirping & enjoying our morning coffees out on the screened in porch while bird-watching.
Day # 1 - we took it easy and then headed out to ‘Rutledge Cab Co.’ for some beer and nosh. Rutledge Cab Co. has a 50’s diner made modern feel (back in the day it used to be convenience store & gas station)!
The staff was laid back & welcoming, and the food - beyond delicious.
I had a (local) ‘Holy City’ Mud Porter paired with a homemade Veggie Burger & side of Okra Fries.
The Veggie Burger was *to die for* with a slightly sweet sauce, and crunchy shell. The Okra Fries were like nothing I’ve ever had before; they *also* had the perfect amount of crunch & were seasoned with a delightful amount of salt.
Next we were off to The Mills House Hotel (in the historic district); the quintessential place for a classy glass of wine and ghost stories.
This hotel emanates Southern Antebellum style - with its lanterns that flicker in the night & Juliet balconies that line the facade off of Queen Street.
The hotel itself was built in 1853 (& then rebuilt in 1968) - and is said to be haunted by confederate soldiers.
The Mills House is often featured in ghost tours, and we actually walked by three tours as we were soaking up the architectural history that is the intersection of Queen & Market Street.
Day #2 of our Charleston Expedition
- we headed back Downtown for Chocolate & Pastries at ‘Christophe Artisan Chocolatier Patissier’. The back patio is the place to be-
Enjoy your chocolate, coffee & pastry while you’re transported to a fairytale-esque mini France. Tip; it’s the perfect spot for an *adorbs* photo op!
Next we were off the the ‘Historic Charleston City Market’ for some shopping. We parked at the end of S. Market St. & walked up - stopping at some of the shops geared towards tourists - where we picked up some t-shirts and sweatshirts to bring home.
The Historic City Market is a (covered) open air market with a wide variety of shops that sell goods such a artwork, jewelry, and even cutesy kitchen goods - done with a local flair, some not. The City Market is *the* place to grab unique & sophisticated gifts to take home to family and friends.
Don’t miss the Fresh Squeezed lemonade stand on the way out - it’s the perfect pre lunch pick me up.
Do miss the horse & carriage ride - but don’t miss saying “hi” to the beautiful equine. If you can get away with hand feeding them some water, your life will be forever changed.
If you can’t walk far; definitely take advantage the *humane* (and human) driven rickshaws that are conveniently available all over Charleston. If you *must* go for a horse & carriage ride; take a rickshaw - close your eyes and pretend the bicyclist is a horse. (The powers of the imagination are incredible!)
Anyway - after so much exciting and fun shopping, we were ready for some lunch and more haunted stuff - so the moms & I made our way over to the haunted jail.
The best part of the haunted jail is; you don’t actually have to get arrested to visit!
Bulldog Tours offers daily haunted tours of the jail - (fortunately for them, unfortunately for us - they were sold out on the day we went). Moral of this story; buy your tickets in advance!
Since we did not purchase our tickets in advance - we decided to just take some pics outside of the spooky house of incarceration (est. 1802).
Turns out that that tens of thousands of people perished at the Old City Jail, many being pirates. 10-15 criminals or “criminals” (not all were guilty), were housed in cells together & slept on hay.
I wonder if they told ghost stories to pass the time - before they knew they were going to be ghosts?
Head over one street and you’ll find yourself at the ‘Queen Street Grocery’ which is a hidden gem & the perfect lunch spot.
They’ve got a wide variety of sandwiches (including plain veggie), fun local beer & old fashioned bottled Nehi sodas. And - their bread is Oh My Gosh - the *best bread ever*. Enjoy your sammich at an outdoor table & soak in the Charleston sunshine in this charming neighborhood.
After some downtime and basking in nature back at the cabin on St. James - we headed back out to DT Charleston for dinner at ‘Basic Kitchen’.
The interior of Basic Kitchen is captivating - with the small beaded lamps that line the bar & mini candles that perfect the already dreamy ambiance.
I enjoyed the Vegan Veggie Burger with a side of Sweet Potato Fries. The cabbage slaw *made* the burger & the sweet potato fries were *the best*; I’m not sure what they were cooked in, but they tasted uber healthy & rich. I loved the fact that they were cut into extra large slices.
On Day # 3 of the trip we took it easy & headed over to ‘Baguette Magic’ on St. James Island - for brunch. I was drawn to Baguette Magic because their website boasted their use of local eggs & meat.
Baguette Magic did not disappoint. The interior is super cute with an open kitchen concept so you can watch the pastries being made!
My Avo Toast topped with a local egg was plentiful, super fresh, and incredibly flavorful. The Oat Milk Honey Lavender Latte was exceptional, and the perfect ending to a perfect vacation!
So Charleston is beautifully sunny - I definitely suggest wearing sunscreen and bringing some trendy bucket hats or a lace parasol or two on your vacay.
But no need to worry; this historic city has plenty of places to stop and cool off in the shade, and an abundance of delightful refreshments readily available!
Although we only went for a few days - Charleston is a city that you could endlessly explore!
Buy my book 'The Crystal Inn ~ A Southern Haunting' (click this link to go to Amazon page)!