A few weeks ago, I decided on a whim to book a trip to some place warm in order to escape what’s been an unbearably long winter here in the GTA. My husband Eoin couldn’t come due to his work schedule and my friends had other plans so I put a few places into the Kayak app that felt safe to travel to alone and after watching flights for a few days, I landed on Charleston. I’d been there before for one day about six years ago and it didn’t feel like enough, so I thought it would be the perfect place to go for a few days with my camera. I panicked a little after making my decision so I messaged my sister-in-law and asked if I was nuts for travelling by myself, to which she responded, “Can I come?! Just kidding'.’ Umm, YES! Things fell perfectly into place - she is a nurse, has two little ones and just got back from vacation to Peru, so it’s literally a miracle that she managed to sneak away with me for five days. I’m so glad she did because it wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without her!
Charleston did not disappoint! We stayed in an Airbnb on the East side of town (we would avoid this area next time) and spent three days doing a whole lot of walking without a snowflake in sight. I think we managed over 50k steps over the course of our time there. We had a good laugh one afternoon after realizing that our feet hurt so bad because we had literally walked the length of Charleston Peninsula THREE TIMES in just one day! The stately homes and stunning gardens were totally worth it though.
We managed to eat at a few of the hot spots in town: Hominy Grill, Five Loaves Cafe, Mercantile and Mash, Husk, Poogan’s Porch, Miller’s All Day, 5Church and Fleet Landing. I can’t even pick a favourite because everything was delicious. 5Church was one of the coolest restaurants I’ve ever seen, being in what appeared to be an old church with angel wing pendant lighting over the bar. Husk came HIGHLY recommended, as did Poogan’s Porch but we only managed to get into the bar at Husk due to the restaurant side being fully booked. We had the most delicious cider at Husk that I sadly cannot recall the name of, and fortunately, did not have any ghost sightings at Poogan’s. Fleet Landing was the most reasonably priced by far with great happy hour specials. It is quite expensive to eat in Charleston, so it was a nice to find this spot thanks to Paloma eavesdropping on another woman’s conversation about the Painkiller cocktail, ha. March is considered to be a slow season for Charleston and we still had trouble getting into some spots so if you plan on traveling there, definitely make reservations for dinner in advance of your arrival. Planning ahead for accommodations is also necessary- we nearly didn’t get an Airbnb at all, which is the only affordable way to stay on the peninsula with hotels starting around $300USD a night.
We saw the Nathaniel Russel House (pretty but not necessary), did a ghost tour at night (fun but I put coffee grounds in our bedrooms for the boohag to count, YIKES), went to Magnolia Plantation (the house is not a must but the gardens and grounds are unreal), took a carriage ride down Rainbow Row and the Battery, tried and failed three times to get into the candle workshop at Candlefish (we decided it’s because there isn’t actually that much to do in the city at night, ha), rented bikes from the Holy Spokes hubs throughout the city, and walked and walked and WALKED all throughout the city, with most of our time spent in the South of Broad neighbourhood. I’m convinced we’ve seen more streets in Charleston than some Charlestonians! We thought that the prettiest streets were Church and Legare, but it’s totally worth renting a bike and spending a few hours cruising around the streets in the lower half of the peninsula.
Charleston is a breathtaking city that you definitely need to check out some day, if you haven’t already!