Wander Through The Historic Streets Of Chucktown
We're off to Charleston, South Carolina!
Wander & Rove with us back in time to a city filled with history, beautiful architecture and southern charm. We will be featuring words from a lovely friend in this post so stay tuned until the end!
If you're looking for a charming long weekend getaway with incredible eats and all the sites look no further. Whether for a gals trip, romantic weekend or solo trip; Charleston has a little bit of everything for everyone.
Charleston has been on my bucket list for years but I was not prepared for how much I would fall in love with this beautiful place.
A little back story...
My sister is getting married in a few shorts week and she didn't ask for too much leading up to her wedding except one thing. To go to Charleston for her Bachelorette Party and being the best sister I am, I made sure this happened. ;) And trust me I never turn down a great opportunity to plan a trip!
Okay l know, I know what you're thinking... everyone seems to be going to Charleston for Bachelorette Parties and well... yes, you aren't wrong. We ran into ladies celebrating their brides everywhere we turned!
Call us basic if want but if you've been to Charleston you know there are so many reasons to go there besides bar hoping with your gals.
So why Charleston you ask? My sister was drawn to the southern charm, architecture and the natural scenery that is a bit different from New England, not to mention some much needed sun after a long winter! For myself, I was instantly drawn to the historic charm that reminds me of England and the incredible foodie scene.
As I started to dive into the planning I instantly found myself a bit overwhelmed with all the to-do's, things to see and places to eat. I made a master list but knew I had to narrow it down for our long weekend getaway. So I turned to an expert. I reached out to an old co-worker who had graduated from the College of Charleston for her local recommendations! And she did not let us down!
To Start us off...
A Few Helpful Hints When Planning Group Travel:
First and foremost before planning any group travel:
- Send out an anonymous google doc questionnaire asking if everyone is comfortable flying and what their budget is.
- Book your flights as earlier as possible because you know the drill, they only get more expensive as it gets closer to your departure.
- Do you primary research of the area and select an area to stay that is walkable to the main areas/ downtown.
Now Time For A Blast Into The Past:
If you're a history buff this is for you, if you could care less and just want some food recommendations keep scrolling...
Whenever we travel as a family my dad shares all his history knowledge, he's like a walking history book. I always thought it was interesting that he knew so much worldly history and as I got older I came to really appreciate the knowledge and how incredible it is that he can remember it all. So now every time I travel I try to take a bit of history with me and this trip I wanted to be able to provide the group with a little bit of history of the places we would be wandering and roving to.
Back In Time To Charles Town
With a rich 300 year history, Charleston today is America's most beautifully preserved architectural and historical treasure. The city has endured many challenges over its 300 year span and is a true testament to the spirit and tenacity of its people and culture.
Dating back to 1670 Charleston is the oldest and largest city in South Carolina.
Established as Charles Town in honor of King Charles II of England, Charleston adopted its present name in 1783.
If you'd like a deep dive into Charleston's rich history, read more here.
Navigating To Charleston:
- Getting to and from Charleston is extremely convenient. We flew in and out of Charleston International Airport (CHS)
- Only about a 20 minutes drive to downtown!
Where To Stay:
First time to the Charleston area? I suggest staying walking distance to downtown so you can walk to all the sites.
- King Street- 300 blocks of rich history, King Street is a place to find shops from retailers of all types and wonderful places to eat.
- Keep in mind this is a one way street so if you happen to be driving anywhere on King Street to plan accordingly for traffic.
- The French Quarter- rough area of the original old walled city, spanning from Meting Street, the Cooper River, Market Street and Broad Street.
If your looking for a more relaxing beach getaway or something a little bit out of downtown then I would suggest
- Sullivan's Island- Take a 15-20 minute scenic drive from downtown Charleston over the Ravenel bridge, through the marshes and wet lands to a beautiful two and a half mile stretch of a barrier island. Wonderful eats, restaurants and beach access.
- Shem's Creek- A must-see place 10-15 minutes from downtown Charleston is a quaint area known as Shem Creek. An inviting estuary where active shrimpers, boaters, and seafood loving locals gather.
What To Do/ See:
I've said it before and I will say it until I'm blue in the face. There is truly no better way to see a new place than by foot. Trust me.
Why? Because you get to see it all, at your own pace and feel fully immersed in the local culture. Besides, I always have to know what is around the next corner.
- Helpful wandering & roving hint: do a bit of research before hand on the area and have at least one or two destinations to aim for so you don't get totally lost and turned around.
Historic Self Guided Walking Tour:
- But first, coffee & breaky: Harken Bakery & Cafe
- Stroll back in time down Philadelphia Alley
- Browse the stalls and vendors at the Historic City Market
- Need a refresher? Make a pit stops at The Vendue Rooftop Bar for a nice view of the city
- Stroll the Waterfront and take a photo stop at the Pineapple Fountain and enjoy the ocean walk to The Battery, taking in the sites of the historic mansions lining the streets
- Don't forget to stop at one of the most photographed place in town!
- Rainbow Row - a series of thirteen colorful historic houses on East Bay Street.
- More sites to look out for while strolling:
- The Pink House Gallery
- The Calhoun Mansion
- A stroll or bike ride through Hampden Park
Wandering & Roving down Philadelphia Alley
Time To Eat: The food scene in Charleston is unmatched and as a big time foodie I was in heave. There are so many options and different cuisines to choose from. I already have my list for the next trip back! Not to mention every meal was delicious!
***Make reservations a few weeks in advance if there are places that you really want to go to
- Harken Barkey & Cafe
- Frannie & The Fox
- The Obstinate Daughter- Sullivan's Island
- Church & Union- For Brunch, stunning historic church converted into a restaurant
- DAPS- breakfast joint
- The Dispensary- laid back bar with live music
- Republic Garden & Lounge- if you're in the mood to dance
- The Watch- rooftop bar
- Uptown Social
Regret not getting to but on the list for next time:
- Home Town BBQ- they have a few locations and I heard they make a mean mudslide
- Callie's Hot Busicuits- (MaryAnn's regret below as well)
- Miller's All Day
- Goat Sheep Cow
- Park & Grove
- 167 Raw
- Carmella's Dessert Bar
Favorite Shop Finds:
- Sightsee Coffee Shop- the sweetest coffee and retail shop I ever did see.
- Goldbug The Shop- Sullivan's Island
Blog Feature: Charleston From The Eyes Of MaryAnn Gibbons
"As you stroll through Charleston, SC you'll be effortlessly transported to another era, a poignant reminder that modern construction may not command the same level of attention to detail as it once did.Before or after walking to Rainbow Row (for your obligatory shot of the famous colored houses) be sure to stop and get a latte and dessert at Carmella's Cafe and Dessert Bar. I have not stopped thinking about the cup of banana bread pudding I ate stopping in the street between bites on the way to visit the famous pineapple statue. I find it fitting that the pineapple represents the city's tradition of embracing others with open arms and making them feel at home.Shopping along King Street can easily lead to spending a significant amount of money. I became an amateur street photographer and broke out a 1972 Ricoh 500G rangefinder that I found in my in-law's recent basement cleanout. I was lost in time for a bit. I only checked my work email once, and it only cost me a roll of film from my local film shop in Hanover, Ma!Get a new pair of kicks if you head to Charleston since you will easily get your steps in exploring the scenery. My time in Charleston gave me juicy inspiration bits for my next project: ARTYPANTS MAGAZINE.Issue 01 of the print project is currently in development.The mission of APM is to reinvigorate print, highlight New England creatives and their art/processes while igniting dormant creativity in all of us!"
Regrets: Not trying Callie's Hot Little BiscuitVibes: Group dinner in old Church at Church and Union, rooftop drinks at Dewberry, and dancing at RepublicThank you for wandering and roving with me!"Maryann Gibbons
Follow @herantenna on Instagram for more on her latest creative endeavor and all the juicy bits.Film photos by MaryAnn shot on her 1972 Ricoh 500G rangefinder
What To Pack:
Coming from the Boston area, traveling south is always a treat especially during the winter months. We will take all the Vitamin D we can, please!
The weather in April was beautiful, mid to high 70's and it cooled down at night.
Here's what I suggest packing:
• Plane outfits- one or two based on your preference- if staying in an AirBnb check to see if they have a washer and dryer. This can save packing space.
- Comfortable walking shoes that go with all your packed outfits
- Sandals if you plan on heading to the beaches
- A dress or two- I absolutely love dresses to travel in- easy to pack, effortless outfit and cooling for warmer climates
- Denim- Fabiola Jeans
- Trousers- Silvestre Trousers, the most versatile trouser which are a plus for traveling, the outfit options with these are endless.
- A light layer- white button down or lighter jacket
- Bathing suit
- Layering tanks or tees
- Accessories- staple jewelry pieces, bag that matches all outfits
***For optimal packing space in your suitcase try what I like to call the clothing burrito or better known as the Army Roll- this was the best trick I've ever learned, thanks to my flatmate when I studied abroad in London- she showed me this trick and I've never looked back.
Slow mornings on the porch
Wander & Rove with us!
For more Wander & Rove adventures and slow fashion pieces to pack with you on your travels visit us at www.wanderandroveshop.com