We're well into the summer here in Charleston, and one thing is for certain - wedding season is in full swing! Every bride preparing for her big day deserves the only best for her bachelorette party, too, and what better place to celebrate than the Holy City? Endless options of places to eat, drink, and play make Charleston, South Carolina the ideal destination for a girls trip like no other. Here are a few of our favorite ways to take advantage of a weekend in the city.
Where To Stay
The Belmond is one of my favorite hotels in Charleston. It is located on Lower King Street, right in the heart of the shopping district and boasting an impressive collection of boutiques and high-end retailers in their own lobby. With entrances on both King and Meeting street (looking right onto the City Market) the sprawling, marble-floored hotel offers easy access to many of Charleston's must-see areas. The recently-renovated rooms are lavish and exquisite, and the rooftop pool and spa area is one of the most beautiful luxury settings any Charleston hotel has to offer.
The Mills House is another hotel I love to recommend. It is associated with Wyndham, but the Mills House has the feel of a one-of-a-kind boutique hotel. Standing on Meeting Street in all its pearly pink glory, this one is hard to miss as you walk by. The hotel is in perfect walking distance to fabulous restaurants (close by are Husk and Poogans Porch, among others), and is just blocks away from Rainbow Row and much of the historic district. With a dazzling interior and a lounge-worthy outdoor pool and patio, a visit to the Mills will likely leave you wanting to stay forever.
Photos courtesy of Workspace
If a swanky, retro, but extremely high-class aesthetic is what you're all about, look no further than the Dewberry Hotel on Meeting Street. This newcomer has only been open for a year or so, but has already received the highest praise for it's sparkling interiors, incredible restaurant and world-class bar. A stay at the Dewberry will make you and the gang feel as if you stepped onto the set of Madmen, but you don't have to be a guest of the hotel to experience the grandeur - stop by their bar, the Living Room, for craft cocktails, or visit Henrietta's Brasserie, also on site, for a wonderful breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Where To Eat
Queen Street Grocery is a must stop for any breakfast lover and one of my personal favorites. Nestled in the quiet, residential area of Queen Street, QSG is a neighborhood favorite, surrounded by quaint walk-ups and brownstones. Because of its slightly off-the-tourist-trail location, many miss out on the chance to eat here while in town. The cafe offers a delicious selection of sweet and savory crepes, salads, sandwiches, omelettes, and smoothies. Quaint and beyond delicious, a stop here is the perfect way to start your weekend in Charleston.
Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit is raved about by both locals and tourists. They are known for their world-renowned biscuits, topped or stuffed with a variety of jams, meats, cheeses, and seasonings. Their original location is a tiny hole-in-the-wall shop on Upper King Street, but a second outpost has recently opened inside the City Market on Meeting Street. You can sit at the counter and dine or grab them to go, but they are without question a must eat during your trip to Charleston! Don't forget a cup of their French press coffee, too.
Stars is a unique brunch experience because, unlike many other locations, guests are seated at a table and treated to an all you can eat buffet. One section offers a variety of salads, appetizers, and desserts, while another has biscuits, eggs, sausage, potatoes, and customizable omelettes and pancakes. After a delicious meal, and you follow up your brunch with mimosas and bloody Mary's Stars' spectaular the rooftop overlooking King Street.
When it comes to weekends in Charleston, brunch is a necessity and Hominy Grill is the place to be. They didn't earn the title of most popular brunch spot for nothing - Hominy dishes out heavenly plates of grits, pancakes, and the infamous ‘Charleston Nasty Biscuit,’ a breakfast monstrosity compiled of fried chicken, cheddar cheese, and sausage gravy. Expect a wait to get in, but no need to worry - while you sit outside killing time, you can order drinks through a special window on the patio.
Adored by all, the Park Cafe is the brunch destination of your dreams. With a fresh, local menu dominated by the likes of poached eggs and avocado toast, this bright and airy cafe is the perfect start to the weekend. Enjoy a mimosa or a specialty coffee among the abundant greenery.
The Palmetto Cafe is located right in the center of the renowned Charleston Place Hotel. The restaurant is set in a courtyard within the hotel and is surrounded by glass walls so you can enjoy the beauty both inside and out. The food is fabulous and the menu offers crowd-pleasing dishes such as She Crab soup, Lobster Mac and Cheese, and a Surf and Turf Burger. Once you polish off your meal, you can explore the stores within the hotel or head back out to continue exploring.
Kitchen 208 hosts a more casual, price-friendly atmosphere, while still delivering great quality and taste. Their menu consists of sandwiches, salads, and wraps. You order and pay at the front counter and then can choose a seat on their large side patio. The patio is located right on the busy King Street so its a great place to eat and people watch. The staff will deliver your food to your table and you just place your dishes in a bin when you are done. It is the perfect place to stop if you’re looking for something quick and delicious.
Oku offers an unbeatable atmosphere on any weekend evening. As Charleston's favorite classy Asian spot, Oku boasts a great selection of drinks and an even better menu of appetizers and sushi. Even if you're not a sushi lover, have no fear: Oku also offers classic dishes like Chicken Teriyaki and Roasted Duck. After the dinner hours have passed, the restaurant becomes more of a bar scene, DJ and all.
Photos courtesy of Charleston Culinary Tours
If it's a true culinary experience you're looking for, head to Husk. Owned by renowned chef and local favorite Sean Brock, Husk is all about dazzling spins on Southern favorites (think shrimp and grits, Carolina gold rice, and so on). If you can't snag a table in the main dining room, grab a seat at the adjacent Husk Bar, where the cocktails and bar snacks are just as to-die-for as the main menu.
A Night on the Town
Republic is a great stop for a night out downtown. The bar is right on Upper King and offers seating both indoors and out. The patio is where the real party is, with a live band featured most nights of the week. You can walk in but also have the option of reserve a table ahead of time, and with an extensive cocktail menu and bottle service available, Republic puts you in the center of the action of Charleston's lively late night scene.
The Pavilion Bar is located on the roof of the Market Pavilion Hotel. It sits on the corner of the City Market and has a gorgeous view of the market, the bridge, and the city. Their have a variety of Martinis, Mojitos, and wines, many of which boast some southern flare. They also have a great late night food menu to browse. With high top tables and poolside loungers, this rooftop haunt is an ideal spot to end the night with an unparalleled view of the city and harbor.
This rooftop restaurant and lounge feels part bar, part fairytale - in other words, the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of rosé at golden hour. Kick back in one of the many plush couches or chairs and watch the sunset.
Fun Things To Do
Hit The Beach
Whether you’re staying in downtown Charleston or off on one of the islands, you're guaranteed to never be more than 20 minutes from a beach. What better place to spend the afternoon on a hot and sunny weekend? Folly Beach has the vibe of a classic beach town, with a wide selection of restaurants and shops - all bathing suit and sandy-feet appropriate. In the other direction, Sullivan’s Island is dreamy in its own right. A bit quieter but definitely not lacking in incredible restaurants or views, Sullivan's feels like summer year-round. Be sure to stick around for a post-beach bite, be it world-famous burgers at Poe's Tavern, tacos and margaritas at Mex 1, or something a little nicer at the Obstinant Daughter.
Stroll Down King Street
Shoppers, rejoice. In the heart of downtown Charleston is King Street, something of a mecca for fashionistas and explorers alike. In the number of shops living both sides of the street, you can find popular high end brands like Club Monaco, Louis Vuitton, and Vineyard Vines alongside local boutiques and big chains like Forever 21, H&M, and Urban Outfitters. Make a day of it by stopping for lunch or coffee at one of many cafes and restaurants tucked between retailers.
Photos courtesy of Candlefish
A wonderful option for groups and something of a bachelorette "must" here in Charleston, the Candlefish candle making workshop is a total blast. Spend an afternoon or evening choosing custom scents and learning how to pour candles like a pro, all in Candlefish's beautiful Wentworth Street space. As an added bonus, workshops are BYOB, so don't forget a to bring a bottle of rosé.
Visit a Plantation
If you're looking for a break from the downtown scene and want to take in some local history, why not visit a plantation? The Lowcountry is home to a multitude of the historic sites, including Boone Hall, Magnolia Plantation, and Middleton Place, all located within reasonable driving distance of downtown. Each plantation has their own unique story and visitor experience, but all offer a perfect dose of old Southern beauty and charm.
However you spend your weekend, we hope these ideas help to make you bachelorette one you'll never forget!
If you need a souvenir to commemorate your girls weekend, check out our Texture Design Co. bachelorette weekend mugs on Etsy. Free pick up in Charleston if you message us!
- Elise & Abby