Hiiii! Sorry, I’ve been posting less recently- the end of April got really hectic but I have lots of good stuff coming your way soon. Today I’m sharing the highlights from my Charleson trip! The trip started out as a wedding weekend for friends but we decided to tack on a couple days to celebrate our anniversary which was a week and a half prior. (We typically try to do an overnight trip to celebrate our marriage but since our anniversary was a Wednesday and then it was Easter the timing worked out well since we would already be away).
My husband Pat and I left Philly early Friday morning and flew into Charlotte, grabbed our rental and a quick bite at Sunflour Bakery before heading down south. It was an easy and quick 3-hour drive (so much cheaper to fly into Charlotte then directly into Charleston). We met up with the couple we were sharing a hotel with for the wedding and the four of us headed to Sullivan’s Island.
OMG the water was so warm- was not expecting that for April but it felt so nice to dip our toes in and enjoy the ocean breeze. Afterward, we headed to the Obstinate Daughter for a couple of drinks and a snack. They had two cocktails on draft (how cool!) and I ordered one and stole a few sips of the other one- they were both delicious and this place was super cute.
The four of us headed back to the room to refresh before heading downtown to our dinner reservations at Magnolias. I had gotten so many recommendations for dinner options so I basically just chose the place with the best timing since the menus were all pretty similar (farm to table, seafood, local). Pat, Dave, Kate, and I shared a few apps including my favorite overall food of the trip- fried green tomatoes. I also discovered I’m not a huge pimento cheese fan, which is shocking. For my entree, I got goat cheese grits with kale, topped with a local tilefish (unfortunately the fish was slightly overcooked but everything else was fantastic).
We walked around a bit after dinner and then headed to a bar to meet up with friends in town for the wedding and to see the special couple on their last night before they became husband and wife. I did not do very well at taking any group pictures which is super disappointing. It was such a fun group and I loved getting to know some of my guy friends new ladies better 🙂
The night was a bit later than we had planned so I ended up skipping my morning workout in favor of an early brunch at Hominy Grill. It was just Pat and I and we arrived about 30 minutes after they opened but still had a 30-minute wait. So worth it! We shared shrimp and grits and a biscuit topped with fried chicken and sausage gravy. If you’ve been reading this blog for a hot minute you know I’m not a huge meat eater (probably only 2-3x/month) but on this trip, I was craving all the fried chicken! It was so good so I listened to my intuition and ordered it a couple times. Pat and I checked out the local farmers market after brunch where I bought some green juice and he bought some spices to make a stew he had sampled the day before- can’t wait to try it!
Next, we headed back and met up with Dave and Kate to check out some local breweries before the wedding. Since my husband and I are huge craft beer fans, sampling local beers is one of our favorite things to do while traveling. We typically split a flight or two so we get to try a large variety. The breweries we spent some time at were Westbrook, Ghost Monkey, and Two Blokes. Overall they were all really good and I was impressed with South Carolina beer.
Next was wedding time! Kyle and Bri are a very sweet and unique couple- the wedding was on a horse farm and dinner was provided by food trucks- so fun (and delicious!) Everyone had a great time at the wedding and at the after party that lasted late into the night. Needless to say, I was not feeling my best Sunday morning since I’m 30, haha. We had a slow start and our friends hit the road so we ventured out on our own content to celebrate our anniversary.
Pat’s cousin lives nearby (and on the water) so we ate lunch with them at their gorgeous beach house and enjoyed some time on the dock and in the water. We successfully did some paddleboarding together (only our second time- much easier than when we did it in Italy last summer). The water felt great and it was so nice to be out in the sun. After we said our goodbyes we headed to check into our hotel.
The Belmond at Charleston Place is probably the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed in (usually we are Airbnb people) and it was perfection. We checked out the new digs and then cleaned up before heading to dinner at Husk.
Everyone and their mom had recommended Husk when visiting Charleston. It is a James Beard Award-winning chef who uses local cuisine in an upscale setting. The menu changes daily based on what is available, that day we started with a beautiful bib lettuce salad (me) and pigs ear lettuce wraps (Pat). I chose the short rib dumplings in miso broth for my entree and Pat chose the cornbread crusted catfish. We shared a farro risotto with mushrooms on the side which I will definitely be trying to recreate for the blog as it may have been my favorite dish of the night.
Stuffed from dinner, we skipped dessert (this is so unusual for me) and headed back to the hotel to relax in the hot tub and pool before calling it a night. The pool has a retractable roof and rooftop deck with a nice view of the city. I definitely headed to bed early that night after a long but awesome day.
The next morning we had originally planned to head back to Charlotte and check out the U.S. Whitewater Center but it was in the 50’s and raining so we decided to hang out in Charleston. It poured in the morning so that sabotaged our plans of going to a plantation since it would be so muddy. Instead, we walked around Charleson enjoying the views of the water, the infamous pineapple fountain, and rainbow row.
We grabbed a late lunch at Butcher and Bee which had an awesome and mostly vegetarian menu. We shared 3 mezze plates and then the veggie burger. All of the food was delicious and super fresh- it was a nice change of pace from the heavier food we had been eating most of the trip. Pat and I were well fueled for the 3-hour drive back to Charlotte. The 20-degree temperature drop in those 3 hours had us quickly changing from shorts to pants for dinner.
My friend Sam had given me several recommendations for dinner and after narrowing it down to 3, Pat chose one more southern food-focused meal so we went to Tupelo Honey. I went for their signature dish (aka more fried chicken)- sweet potato pancakes, apple cider bacon, fried chicken, grilled apple, and two fried eggs. I ate a little less than half and boxed up the leftovers for breakfast the next morning. We had an early flight out of Charlotte so that worked out perfectly. We arrived back in Philly mid-morning sad our trip was over but promised ourselves we would definitely be back to the area soon! I’m eyeing the Kiawah Island marathon for December- let me know if anyone wants to join me!
Have you ever been to Charleston? Favorite restaurant you visited? Favorite southern dish??