I recently returned from a trip to Charleston with my blogger besties Kelssey and Sara and I wanted to share all of the details from our trip. Charleston is my favorite city in the Southeast to visit, not only because of how drop-dead gorgeous it is, but because of how many things there are to see, do, and eat!
Charleston really is a city for everyone: the foodie, the romantic, the ghost-hunter, the thrill seeker, the party animal, the beach bum, or the history buff! You name it and you can create a weekend around it in Charleston. In the past I have shared my bachelorette weekend here and a romantic weekend with the hubs, but now I wanted to chat all about a girls’ roadtrip weekend.
Maxi Romper: Shop Impressions c/o | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff | Sunglasses: LeSpecs
Toyota was kind enough to lend us a 2017 RAV4 for the weekend, so I packed it with far more than I’d ever need and popped over to the airport to scoop up Sara and off we went!
What We Did
Ghost & Graveyard Tour: After arriving in Charleston, checking in and getting our TONS of clothes put away (seriously, you should see how much three fashion bloggers can fit into a hotel room), we got ready for a ghost and graveyard tour. I had done a haunted jail tour in the past and after the right amount of drinks, it’s a good time!
Carriage Ride: Although it seems a bit touristy, I highly recommend a horse-drawn carriage ride on your first full day in Charleston. Not only do you learn SO much about the history of the city, your guide is packed full of info on places to visit. I have done a few carriage rides in Charleston and each time is different. When the guide takes the horse and carriage out of the stables, they go through a check point in which they’re provided the route to take. This is so the streets don’t get too crowded, but it’s great because you never know which tour you’ll get!
And for those worried about the horses, they honestly have more rights than the people of Charleston do. At this same check point, the particular horse is documented and can only go on a limited number of tours a day. This number also depends on how extreme the weather is, as well.
Dress: Endless Rose | Heels: Sam Edelman
Bourbon Tasting: Can you believe I almost made it to 30 without ever trying an Old Fashioned!? Well thanks to Toyota, this is no longer an issue. They threw an influencer cocktail party at none other than Gentry Bar and J.D. himself, from Southern Charm, walked us through a bourbon tasting.
Dress: LOFT | Sandals: Steve Madden | Bag: Clare V
Tour Boone Hall Plantation: Touted as the America’s most photographed plantation, Boone Hall Plantation is stunning! This plantation tour can be as long or short as you’d like because it is actually a handful of tours rolled up into one admission price. The admission is worth it JUST to see the Avenue of Oaks (remind me why I didn’t get married here?!) We toured the plantation home – you might remember it as Allie’s parents’ summer home in The Notebook – and the gardens surrounding it. But there are also full property tours, a live presentation on Gullah culture, the slave street and history presentation, and a butterfly pavilion.
Swimsuit: ASOS | Shorts: Nordstrom | Bag: Clare V | Sandals: Tory Burch | Earrings: Nordstrom
Visit Sullivan’s Island: Charleston has quite a few easily-accessible beaches: Sullivan’s Island, Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, Kiawah Island, etc. But Sullivan’s Island is hands down, my favorite. Unlike many popular beaches, it is untouched by condos or hotels and isn’t overrun with tourists. It is a calm and surprisingly clean beach that is perfect for relaxation.
There is no dedicated beach parking, so when navigating to the island I always put the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse (or Charleston Light as it is commonly referred to) into my GPS then park on one of the side streets and take the boardwalk out to the beach.
If watersports aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to pass the time on Sullivan’s Island such as a couple standout restaurants: The Obstinate Daughter and Poe’s. Additionally, you can tour Fort Moultrie National Monument.
Stroll Waterfront Park & Rainbow Row: Depending on how much walking you are up for, this can be a one to two trip event! Begin at Waterfront Park and take in the Cooper River, the Arthur Ravenel Bridge, and the token pineapple fountain. Head south towards Rainbow Row and stroll along this stunning row of antebellum homes. Each one is seriously more stunning than the last and OMG, the flower boxes! You’ll eventually wind up at The Battery or White Point Gardens. The Battery is named for a Civil War coastal artillery battery here, of which you can see reminders throughout the garden. Now, ironically, it is a popular destination for outdoor weddings.
Dress: ASOS | Sunglasses: Quay | Earrings: BaubleBar | Heels: Sam Edelman | Bag: Clare V
Dress: Red Dress Boutique c/o | Heels: Target | Bag: Clare V | Earrings: Accessory Concierge c/o
Bar Hopping: You bet your booties we danced the night away in Charleston! Just hop in an Uber and tell them to take you to King Street. They have such a lively bar scene, each one unique, and many gracing rooftops. Some of my favorites include Cocktail Club, Élevé (I ran into Kristin Cavallari here last time!), Stars, and Republic.
If you’re out on the weekend, prepare to see ALL. THE. BACHELORETTES. They seriously must make up a quarter of the population of King Street on any given Saturday night! But with that many people out on the town for one last hoorah, you know it’ll be a good time.
Skirt: Free People (on sale!) | Tank: TopShop | Sandals: Target | Earrings: BaubleBar | Hat: Brixton | Bag: Clare V
Where We Ate
Charleston is famous for it’s lowcountry cuisine and while I’m sure it’s possible to come to this city and not gain a few lbs, where would the fun in that be?! 😉
Husk: You’ll find Husk on almost everyone’s best of Charleston list because it really is that good! The menu is always changing so I can’t leave you with a recommendation only to close your eyes and point at something on the menu and you’re guaranteed to enjoy it. I have been here for both lunch and dinner and had the BLT and octopus, accordingly.
I would suggest making a reservation but if you arrive early, pop over to the Husk bar next door to have a cocktail while waiting for your table. If it doesn’t spoil your appetite, try the wings!
492: This was my first visit to 492 on King Street and it was fabulous! I had the lamb shoulder with creamed corn and okra and highly recommend it.
Poogan’s Porch: Situated right next to Husk, Poogan’s Porch is always a must for me when visiting Charleston. The atmosphere is great, the bottles of wine are reasonably priced, and they have one of my favorite dishes of all time: Scallops over pimento cheese ravioli over creamed corn! Can you believe that’s a thing?! And it is delicious.
Magnolia’s: Magnolia’s is a MUST for brunch! My favorites are the peach fritter poppers and the lowcountry benedict. I’ll be shocked if you can eat it all! Plus, there’s free parking (woo woo!)
Where We Stayed
Francis Marion Hotel: I, unfortunately, didn’t snap any photos of the Francis Marion Hotel during our stay, but I most certainly should have because it was in such a fabulous location! Located on King Street, this hotel is situated right in the heart of the shopping and party district of Historic Charleston. Take a left out of the hotel and you’ll be steps from all of the fun bars. Take a right and wave good bye to your money because all of the best shopping is that direction!
We stayed on the sixth floor and the view was incredible: water and steeples as far as the eye could see!
Shorts: Nordstrom | Jacket: LOFT | Tank: Nordstrom | Bag: Tory Burch | Mules: Athena Alexander | Necklace: BaubleBar c/o | Hat: Brixton | Sunglasses: Quay
What We Drove
Toyota RAV4: As a huge fan of Toyota (I drive a Tacoma myself) I had such a blast roadtripping to Charleston in the 2017 RAV4. Compared to my truck, the RAV4 was so zippy – my computer didn’t autocorrect that so we’re rollin’ with it 😉 It had all the bells and whistles and I felt so spoiled.
Some of my favorite features were the backup and bird’s eye view cameras. As a self-proclaimed terrible parallel parker, I finally felt confident. The JBL sound system was also amazing! I actually turned off the true crime podcasts and turned on some 1990’s hip hop.
I want to give a HUGE thank you to the wonderful ladies at Southeast Toyota Distributrs for planning such an amazing trip! And lending us the perfect vehicles for a blogger bestie roadtrip 🙂