Traveling. It’s what I do, it’s what I love, it’s what makes me feel truly alive. The BEST part about this? It’s literally my job to travel! Sometimes, it’s the rush of Manhattan that makes me feel exhilarated or a historic stroll through Philadelphia that feels sort of like coming home. My favorite adventures, though, are the places when time feels like it stands still, I can slow down, and take in every single second of the beauty this life has to offer. That feeling is Charleston to me. So when Chance and I had an engagement session planned in Charlotte and in Charleston, we said heck yeah, vacation bonus!
I’ll never forget my first time wandering through the holy city, exploring most of the city by myself my first time (the tiiiiiny piece of introvert inside of my extrovert loves some good, quality me-time). I spent time on Folly Beach letting the wind from the ocean whip through my hair as I walked with my feet in the tide. I fell in love with the courtyard at Kudu, where I sipped an iced coffee and slowed down enough to listen to the birds chirp in the fountain. I watched the sunset over the river on the fishing pier of James Island County Park while reading one of my favorite books. I mean, can you FEEL the relaxation yet?!
So to be able to take the love of my life to my favorite place in the world while doing what I love most meant everything and more. Winston, our Schnoodle pup, got to come, too! Charleston is such a dog friendly city, so it was easy to tote him around (quite literally) with us everywhere we went!
I only took my camera the night we went to James Island County Park, the beach, and to see the Angel Tree, but rest assured we have amateur iPhone photos of the rest of the time 😉
SO – we geared up for our road trip to Charleston! (Winston super annoyed that we are taking ANOTHER picture).
… but first, STARBUCKS! Vanilla iced coffee for Chance, iced passion tea for me, and waters for protein shakes 🙂
First stop in Charleston was an easy one… Magnolia Plantation and Gardens! This place is MASSIVE. Oh, and the Carriage House there is also my dream wedding venue, so had to take Chance by it… casually of course 😉
After we checked into our Airbnb in James Island (our host, Kiersten, was so amazing), we took a stroll downtown and had dinner at 82 Queen!
Confession: Husk was our first choice, but we know it’s SUPER hard to get into. We were 5th in line for walk-ins and it was still an hour and 45 minutes to wait. Make your reservations though, people, I’ve heard this place is incredible! They change their menu daily depending on the fresh farm-to-table selection.
However, 82 Queen was tooooootally an incredible runner up. I wish I would have taken a picture of the courtyard because it was so stunning! The entire restaurant is a courtyard nestled between two historic buildings in the middle of downtown Charleston right off of King Street (basically the 5th Ave of Charleston).
Thanks to our awesome host, Kiersten, we were able to stay downtown for longer than we would have been able to since Winston can’t be in his crate longer than 4 hours! She watched Winston for us and took him for a walk so that we could enjoy our time! SO beyond thankful for her doing that for us because we were able to stay downtown and stroll through some of my favorite places: King Street, The Battery, Waterfront Park, the pier, East Bay Street, and Rainbow Row… ALL must-see’s as a Charleston first-timer.
Day 2 started with coffee (duh) at my favorite Charleston joint, Kudu Coffee and Craft Beer. Trust me, get the lavender vanilla latte… you won’t regret it! Kudu has the cutest courtyard with string lights above it and a little fountain in the middle where you can sit and relax with your morning coffee. Take your dog, too… Winston loved it 🙂
After coffee, we drove to the Charleston City Market, one of Charleston’s best tourist attractions (although I feel like I’d be there all the time as a local). It’s actually one of the oldest markets in the country! They have hundreds of vendors that come and set up shop for the day with all kinds of different goods to sell! Chance and I collectively bought a few hand painted signs for the lake, a seer-sucker leash for Winston, and some fresh-made lemonade and Arnold Palmer. There is definitely something for everyone!
The end of our second day in Charleston was by far my favorite. We ate at Folly Beach at Taco Boy with Winston and headed down to the beach! Winston is so little I wasn’t sure how he was going to react, but he LOVED it! We had a hard time pulling him away to go home! At first when he stepped on the sand, he kinda froze for a minute, but then started flipping his back legs up to spray sand everywhere and I swear he ate the entire beach (as you can see by his sand mustache).
*Siiiiiiiigh* what a hunk (blushing emoji)
Our last day in Charleston, we had brunch at the Lost Dog Cafe, one of Folly Beach’s most coveted brunch spots! (Make sure to get there early because there is usually a pretty long wait the further into the morning you go).
After we had brunch, we made our way to the Angel Tree in John’s Island! I have been to Charleston so many times but never had time to make it over there! We finally did and we weren’t disappointed. Seriously, LOOK at those branches!
We ended the day with dinner at Fuel (an incredibly cool, dog-friendly, gas station turned restaurant downtown with BALLIN’ pork tacos) and a stroll down our favorite places: The Battery, Waterfront Park, and East Bay Street.
Also, you HAVE to go to Carmella’s on East Bay and get a gelato panini… oh. my. WORD.
Charleston, you were SO good to us and are always the perfect long weekend getaway! Can’t wait to do it again soon!