Girls Weekend Travel Guide to Charleston

Charleston, South Carolina is the second largest city in South Carolina and hugs the Charleston Harbor, which responsible for bringing in $68 billion in imports each year to the U.S. The coastal city beckoned to my closet girl friends and I as we planned for my best friend’s Bachelorette Weekend. The Holy City did not disappoint. I was impressed by how much we were able to see and do while visiting the colorful city.  I’m not so sure the old nick name “Holy City,” applies so much these days. Come along with me and plan out your next big Southern trip…

Where to Stay

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Folly Beach

Don’t let this seemingly quiet beach town fool you. It is full of life. Folly Beach is located just 10-15 minutes outside of downtown Charleston. It has a lot of the friendly, outgoing personality of the Harbor area. The beach is wide and flat, ready for relaxation. The bars and restaurants are lively and even wild at night. In terms of lodging, it was much more affordable to stay near the beach vs. downtown. You’ll find your best options using VRBO.com or Airbnb. We rented an entire house for three nights at a cost of $120 per person.

Where to Drink

vendue view

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Vendue

This rooftop haven is definitely the “in” place to grab midday drinks. I’d also love to watch the sunset from Vendue. Locals say it is a classy night spot. My group and I shared a few rounds of drinks and snacks at lunch time. Despite an overcast sky, the view was still mesmerizing. The restaurant is located above an art gallery called the Drawing Room. It’s worth an extra 10-20 minutes to stroll around and appreciate the art before you head upstairs, or maybe come down if you have to wait for a table. When you do arrive up stairs, this interactive art installation will greet you.

 Silver Dollar

We trekked to a few other bars and restaurants during our adventures here, but the best time we had I think might have been at the Silver Dollar. Amidst the streets full of young professionals, there was a sound of a live band. I followed it and sniffed out the best dance spot in town. The Silver Dollar has the look of a dive bar, but has a certain sexy vibe. The house band that played all the 90s and 2000s greatest hits. There was a lot of sweat happening in that place. There are plenty of fancy clubs and exclusive rooftop bars, but you will have to get there before 10 p.m. if you want to miss the lines, which could easily leave you waiting for more than an hour.

Where to Eat

pearlz oyster bar bloody marycalamariPearlz Oyster Bar

When you’re traveling by the sea, you’ve got to try the local seafood. Pearlz Oyster Bar offered up a wide selection with a casual, classy setting. The restaurant has seating outside on the sidewalk and inside. The wait staff was friendly and helpful. The bloody marys with shrimp, oyster shooters, calamari, raw oysters, and crab dip were all well presented and expertly prepared. Sitting outside is an ideal spot for seeing the city move from day to night over dinner and drinks.

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shemcreek charelstonShem Creek

Shem Creek is an area located on a smaller harbor of Charleston in Mount Pleasant. Both sides of the water way are lined with well known seafood restaurants and bars. According to locals, almost all will do the trick. Red’s Ice House has a crow’s nest for guests to relax and drink on. The casual atmosphere of this restaurant might beckon to those looking for a simple side of beer with their crab cakes. Vickery’s takes it up a notch with a fine dining atmosphere and a more complex menu.

Where to Shop

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King Street

If you want to waste away a day shopping in Charleston, take your tush to King Street. The road is lined with local and chain boutiques a like. You’ll get a chance to peep at the local fashion, wave to tourists on the famous carriage tours, and grab ice cream or coffee from a number of cafes in between stores. Visit this helpful website if you want to see what’s coming next: King Street Fashion District.

two cumberland hand towels two cumberland dresses two cumberland broubon bracelet displayTwo Cumberland

I am so glad we stumbled on this gem on King Street. Two Cumberland boasts the largest selection of Bourbon and Bowties bracelets in the country. I fell in love with the rest of their well curated jewelry and clothing selection. In addition, it’s a one-stop shop gift haven for any occasion with plenty of mongrammable (I made that word up) items, to bullet bottle openers for your groomsmen, to home decor. I bought a bracelet I am just in love with. I can’t wait to shop online with the store.

Lori Lu Charleston lori lou insideLori + Lulu

Lori + Lulu carries the high end brands you crave on splurge worthy shopping days. The store’s personality is that of a classy boho chic woman. Think Karen from Californication. The shop’s selection is vast and the back room has several racks of sale items to dig through to find a deal on a Tart dress or Free People poncho. Shop the store online. 

What to See
charleston harbor foundation charleston harbor good photo charleston pineapple fountain DSC_0513Battery Park

Battery Park frames the waterfront of downtown Charleston. The streets nearby are lined with colorful southern mansions, oak trees, palmettos, and statues. You can find historic cannons, fountains and views of Fort Sumter, Castle Pinckney, and the Sullivan Island Lighthouse.

palmetto breezecharleston bridge charleston sun in the clouds
palmetto breeze groupcharleston pirate shipThe Palmetto Breeze

Charleston offers a lot of historical tours of the city, some by carriage. I would love to take a more nerdy approach to the city next time I’m in town. If you’re looking for a relaxing, breathtaking cruise, however, call the Palmetto Breeze. The gregarious captain and easy going staff will take you and 100 others on a two-hour ride throughout the harbor. You’ll see dolphins, yachts, picturesque bridges, and even pirate ships. The Palmetto Breeze keeps music playing and the cash bar open at all times. They’re there to make sure you have the best time possible. We certainly did. Thank you!

Where else have you been in Charleston that’s worth sharing? Let me know in the comments! I’ll be back! 

Linked up with Treasure Tromp, Virginia Bloggers, Two Thirty Five Designs, Fashion Should be Fun,  and the Closet by Christie.

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