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Our 72 Hours in Charleston

Last week my husband and I took a quick trip Charleston, South Carolina for his birthday. Leading up to the trip, everyone kept asking “Why are you going to Charleston?” The answer is simple. We’ve never been! Other than hearing that it was a pretty city, we really knew nothing about Charleston. I did a little research on the Southern city before we arrived and found this article in Harper’s Bazaar to be really helpful! Unfortunately, there is NO WAY to do, see and more importantly EAT, everything in 72 hours. But, boy did we try!

 

Where to Stay:

ZERO GEORGE 

We stayed at THE MOST charming boutique hotel, Zero George. When I was researching places to stay, I really wanted to feel like we were stepping back in time and visiting historic Charleston. I can honestly say that this hotel is one of my very favorite of all the hotels I have ever visited! Set in a restored home circa 1804, Zero George perfectly set the mood for our stay in Charleston! Enjoying the complimentary wine & cheese on our balcony was one of the highlights of each day. Also complimentary are the bikes that became our favorite mode of transportation.

Where to Eat: Dinner

Where do I even begin!? I had NO idea that Charleston was such a food focused city! If we could have eaten 10 meals a day we would have, and we still wouldn’t have been able to taste all that Charleston has to offer. But even with only 72 hours to explore, I can honestly say that I had some of the best meals of my life in Charleston.

The Ordinary

We decided to eat at The Ordinary for my hubby’s birthday dinner. IT WAS INCREDIBLE. Honestly, this was one of my very favorite meals… EVER. If you love seafood, this is where it’s at. Set in an old bank, the ambiance is chic & historic. Our uber driver recommended we order the smoked mackerel pate & the oyster sliders. Those are things we wouldn’t have ordered if left to our own devices. But we gave it a go and they are some of my most memorable dishes from our trip.

Halls Chophouse

For our second night in town, we decided to visit Halls Chophouse. Halls was voted one of the country’s best steakhouses and it did not disappoint. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by Billy Hall, one of the owners, who remembered that we were celebrating my husband’s birthday. He promptly handed us two glasses champagne. The food was incredible (loved the fried green tomatoes), the service impeccable ( today we received a HAND WRITTEN NOTE from our server in the mail) and it was all finished off with two more glasses of complimentary champagne. Do yourself a favor and get the Whiskey Bread Pudding.

Zero George

One our last night, we decided to stay close to home and eat at our hotel. I can honestly say this was probably the most inventive & creative meal I have ever had. We did the 6 course menu along with the wine pairing and it was a dinning experience unlike any other. We ate one dish out of a terra cotta pot which included edible soil! The menu changes daily and you wouldn’t believe the tiny charming kitchen that the restaurant works out of. You feel like you are at a friends house. A really FANCY friend’s house! Below are the deviled eggs…  each one topped with something different…Chorizo, Truffle, Mustard Seeds &  and then of course Caviar.

Where to Eat: Lunch

Chez Nous

Chez Nous was one of my favorite dinning experiences in Charleston. It’s about as CUTE as it gets. Set in the most charming restored home, as soon as you walk in you feel like you are somewhere very special. Made with local ingredients and inspired by cuisine from France, Northern Italy and Spain, the {handwritten} menu changes daily & only has two appetizers, two entrees and two dessert options. Obviously, we had one of each.  The swordfish was honestly the best swordfish we’ve ever had! It was blow your mind delish! And also very affordable. Don’t miss this!

Poogan’s Porch 

We stopped in here when we couldn’t get into Husk for lunch. Like everything else in Charleston, it didn’t disappoint. Set in another darling little house, this eatery has been around forever and has had it’s fair share of celebrity clientele. After so much indulging, I was ready for a salad but the waiter informed me that the Chicken n’ Waffles where the best in town! So, I adopted a Carpe’ Diem attitude and ordered them! When in Rome right?! PS- They were HEAVEN.

FIG

Fig was another can’t miss stop on our “Eating our way through Charleston Tour”. We decided not to go for dinner because it is the same chef as The Ordinary, but we did stop in for a cocktail & apps before our reservation at Zero George. We got really lucky and walked in without a reservation. They open at 5pm and we got there about 5:03. By 5:06 the bar was completely full and if you didn’t have a reservation for the evening you were out of luck. The cocktails were awesome and the Ricotta Gnocchi Bolognese was totally worth the extra calories (at this point we were so stuffed from eating for 3 days straight).

Leons Oyster Shop

Leon’s was our very first stop once we landed in Charleston. We were starving from a long morning of early travel and everyone recommended Leon’s as a great place to recharge and set the mood for our trip! First of all, it’s adorable. Vintage paintings of old ships, rustic mismatched furnishings & a colorful bar make this place feel fun & relaxed. After a frozen Gin & Tonic… yes… I said FROZEN G&T, oysters and a fried chicken sandwich were were recharged & ready to hit up King street!

Where to Drink:

The Dewberry

Chic doesn’t even begin to describe this Charleston hotel / hot spot. The Dewberry was actually on our list of hotels to stay at when we were planning our trip. But it’s mid century / art deco vibes reminded us more of mad men and less of Charleston. However, we knew we wanted to stop in for a drink to check it out while in town. IT IS STUNNING & SO CHIC. We enjoyed our cocktails in the hotel lobby bar which is outfitted to make you feel like you are in Don Draper’s living room. It almost makes your jaw drop from the feeling of being transported back to a much chicer time. Even the lobby bathroom was fabulous!

The Bar at Husk

Husk is arguably one of the most famous eateries in Charleston. However, after researching reviews & asking the locals, the overwhelming conclusion is that Husk is overrated. Not wanting to waste a precious meal on somewhere with mediocre reviews, we decided to visit anyway… but just the bar. Set is a darling locale in the middle of town, the Bar at Husk (located in the building next to Husk) is a great places to take a break from shopping King St. You can order food from there as well and even though we just stuck to libations, we can still say we’ve been to Husk. It really is so cute!

Where to Shop:

Oobe

We stumbled upon this funky menswear shop on King St and I immediately feel in love with the decor while my husband went straight for the vintage denim. This store feels like stepping into a Double RL dream mixed with a little Southern sophistication. To top it off.. the staff was so adorable & sweet! By the time we left, we had even exchanged numbers!

Shirtini

Located almost directly across from Oobe, Shirtini, is the place to pick up the wardrobe staple we all need… A crisp white button down. Fortunately, for mother’s with messy two year olds, they have more colors than just white. This tiny shop is super cute & besides.. what’s more Southern than a crisp button down for Summer?

Antiques & Interiors Market

Housed in a warehouse at the what feels like the end of the King St shopping district is this jewel. We stopped in to escape the down pour of rain and found ourselves transported to different worlds & times based on the booth we stood in. From Turkish kilims, to french grape gathering baskets to awesome abstract art, the treasures here were a plenty & also affordably priced!

Croghan’s Jewel Box

This shop is 100 years old! And it houses an extensive bauble collection… both vintage & new. What I loved about this charming little store the most was that it had something for everyone. From pricey vintage estate jewelry to inexpensive costume pieces, this little gem is a must see. I also loved that the whole store is lined in a vast collection of vintage silver!

 I hope that you enjoyed my little travel guide to Charleston, South Carolina. It was simply an amazing trip! We can’t wait to go back and spend some more time eating and exploring our way through the city! Have any places that we should check out next time?? Let me know! Happy travels!

   
  • Scott Jones - Wow Girl! You guys did eat your way through Charleston. As you know our boat is there and we go there a lot. We have been to most or all of those restaurants. Hall’s is amazing and remains my favorite. They are top notch in customer service and do a great Gospel brunch on Sunday mornings. Anyway glad you guys had a great trip. Hope to see you soon. XOXO Scooter and SkeeterReplyCancel

  • Nancy Harvey - Hi LeahI ,just finished reading about your 72 hour mini vacation in Charleston, S.C. I was getting so hungry . It was just like I was there with you two, Lol, Your husband sure had a great Birthday,,I really enjoy traveling with you , All the places you ate at & shopped at were so beautiful , my oldest son & his wife ( of 42 yr & 7 children) would love ❤️ Charleston, S.C. & stay at the Hotel were you & husband stayed, plus they would enjoy all the Eatery places, they love to shop too, you two sounded like them, They go like that for a few days to the older little towns on our Eastern Shore, Leah , thanks for sharing your Mini Vacation with us,, love you & miss you ,, NancyReplyCancel

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