Weekend in Charleston, South Carolina

Weekend in Charleston, South Carolina | Always A Foreigner

Caren and Cazzie

Hi, We're Caren and Cazzie and we're Always A Foreigner. Welcome to our travel blog! We hope you find it useful. We love waterfalls, street eats, and anything to do with travel and adventure. We met while volunteering in India, and since then have made it our goal to travel to as many places as we can. Join us on our journey!

Enter your email address to receive updates and newsletters from the blog directly to your email!

Weekend in Charleston, South Carolina

Our Weekend in Charleston, South Carolina

As far as cities go, Charleston’s got it! Charleston, South Carolina is a city of undeniable charm, fascinating history, and it has some of the best culturally significant food in the region. We spent a weekend in Charleston back in August, and we loved every minute. Founded in 1670, it became a major seaport and international trading hub which helped create the unique culture Charleston possesses. Historically, an astounding 40% of all enslaved Africans transported to America were said to come through the port on Sullivan’s Island right outside of Charleston to eventually make their ways to different places throughout the region.

 

The Historic Market in Downtown Charleston

 

How to Get Around

Charleston is a walking city. During our weekend in Charleston, I think we walked about 15 miles all together. The two main streets, Market and King, form a T shape, and it’s possible to do a walking tour of the area they encompass by using Rainbow Row and The Battery to make a giant loop. This is quite a bit of walking, but there is plenty to look at along the way. Ah, Rainbow Row…my favorite little row of houses! The houses close to town are painted vibrant colors of green, pink and blue. As you go further from the downtown, the houses become more and more lavish, complete with private gardens and giant wrap-around porches.

Weekend guide to Charleston
Rainbow Row

Cheers! Bars and Drinking Holes

Charleston’s food and nightlife is POPPIN. Both King and Market Streets have a wide selection of restaurants, bars, rooftop clubs, and much more.

For rooftops that have great views, check out The Vendue, or The Market Pavilion Rooftop Bar in the Market Street area. From the rooftop of The Vendue, we counted 15+ church steeples. It really put perspective on the nickname Holy City!

For all the PBR lovers out there, The Recovery Room sells the most 12-ounce cans in the world. It’s a great little semi-college dive bar on the northern end of King Street. There’s tons of entertainment options at The Recovery Room, including darts, pool, and pinball. Another great dive bar that I highly recommend going to is The Griffin, as featured on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations.” Every inch of wall space is covered by dollar bills that people staple up. The bartender will give you a sharpie to write a message, and then find a space to put it up! See if you can find ours. 🙂

weekend in charleston

Restaurants

The slave trade brought a rich culture that can be seen in many ways around the city. For us, it was most notably found in the delicious food of the low country. The Southern influence is mixed with a blend of flavors that leans on creole and French to create super distinctive dishes that blow you out of the water. Throughout our weekend in Charleston, we were able to sample some of the best dishes we’ve had in the region.

Lowcountry Bistro has an amazing and creative menu selection with a cute patio atmosphere overlooking Market Street. I ordered the scallops paired with duck wings as an appetizer, and it was a wonderful and unique culinary experience. Fleet Landing has decent dishes, but an even better view overlooking the ocean. Try their Shrimp&Grits, a classic  southern dish you can’t go wrong with. Fig is an excellent choice for  seafood menu options, and the restaurant is known for sourcing local ingredients. Five Loaves is Cazzie’s favorite, and they have an awesome menu full of fresh vegetarian options.

For breakfast, we recommend Hominy Grill.  The menu favorite is the Charleston Nasty Biscuit, a wonderful combination of fried chicken, cheddar cheese and gravy. YUM! There’s usually a line that’s out the door, so prepare to wait if you’re going to eat here.

Oyster bars are a popular option in Charleston. The Darling is conveniently located on King Street. Their interior reminds me of a cute but very classy diner with a black and white tile interior. Pearlz is also a good choice for oysters, and is one of the most popular places in Charleston. Eat your hearts out, people!

weekend in charleston
Fleet Landing’s View

Angel Oak Tree

Located 30 minutes drive outside of Charleston on John’s Island, is the beautiful and awe-inspiring Angel Oak Tree. We were mesmerized from the minute we saw it. The tree is estimated to be 400-500 years old, and some of its branches are so heavy they have to be supported. Its massive trunk gives way to a tangle of branches that spew in every direction and reach out like the snakes on medusa’s head. From tip to tip the longest branches stretch 187 feet! The circumference of the trunk is so big it would take multiple people to wrap themselves around it. Any weekend in Charleston should include a trip to see this mega-beauty.

weekend in charleston
The Angel Oak Tree

Beaches

Closest to the actual downtown is Folly’s Beach. Although it’s very popular, the beach is large so it prevents overcrowding. There are surfers in the waters here, even though the waves don’t compare to the West Coast. You’re also able to drink here if you use plastic cups, which is a big draw for a lot of people. Isle of Palms is another good beach that is a bit of a hike from the downtown area. The great part about Isle of Palms though is that it has its own little community built up around it. Going into the downtown area is fun but unnecessary if you stay out here. Windjammer’s Beach Bar is a good time if you’re out that way. Sullivan’s Island is a quaint option, and there’s a classier selection of restaurants and establishments compared to other beach options.

 

You really can’t go wrong with Charleston. Hopefully this guide to a weekend in Charleston helped fellow travelers out there trying to decide what to do. There really is something for everyone, and I barely even took a tiny dent into everything it has to offer. I can’t wait to get back!

Written by

14 Comments
  • mommermom says:

    Our only trip to the Carolinas was to Charlotte which was also a lovely place to visit. We have family there and saw only a small part of the town. Passing through for the most part on our way to stops in Georgia. Certainly hope to get east again. You certainly make it sound like a very appealing place to visit and we will move it to our list of places to see.

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      Cazzie is from Charlotte and grew up there. While it is a great place, the places on the coast hold a special place in my heart. Georgia is very pretty though, and I’m glad that you’ve been able to experience a little bit of the east. We’re headed to Savannah, Georgia in April.

  • mommermom says:

    My grandmother was raised in Savannah and she’s burried there in the infamous cemetery ( whose name escapes me at the moment). There are several historic buildings that hold her family name. She was also in Juliet Lowes very first Girl Scout Troop. My heart in part belongs to Savannah. We thought it was just the most amazing city.

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      That’s really something amazing that your family and grandmother are a part of the beautiful and abundant history the region has. I’m from Chicago, so I’m really first starting to explore the southeast and so far I love it. Thank you for sharing.

  • Nice post! And a bit random but your blog design is really great!

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      Ah! Thank you! I spent way more time than I even want to admit trying to figure out website design so it’s nice to hear you say that!

  • Great pictures and review! I think I might need to take a little trip! We loved Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston seems like it would have a similar feel to it. I think it is officially on my list!! 🙂

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      Thank you! It was a great time, and I can’t imagine anyone not liking it. We’re headed to Savannah in April and I can’t wait! I haven’t been but Cazzie has and says that they are very similar.

  • Daedalus Lex says:

    Call me morbid but my favorite spot in Charleston was a little graveyard downtown (the old Unitarian church?). I’d attach a pic if I could figure out how — dense southern vegetation amidst the tombstones. Between local whiskey nightmares and graveyard nostalgia, I am inadvertently producing quite an alter-ego for myself on your blog 🙂

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      Haha, I do love cemetery’s though as well and I don’t think it’s morbid. I didn’t have a chance to go to the one in Charleston, but I’m sure it’s full of wonderful history and beautiful grave markers. I’ve been told to check out the cemetery in Savannah when we go in April, so I’ll definitely post pictures from that.

  • Great post! Saving this to refer back to when I visit in July 🙂

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      Awesome! I’m glad you liked it. If you have any questions, let us know! Cazzie went to school at College of Charleston so he knows a bunch about the city as a whole. Hope you have a wonderful time!

  • I love the Fleet Landing’s View you have there and its amazing for that Angel Oak Tree. Thought that it was a great weekend.

Tell Us What You Think!

Follow Us!
  • Almost the weekend! ☀️😍 What's everyone's plans? You can find us nestled somewhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains....hoping the cooler temperatures has made the leaves a little more colorful.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#liveoutdoors #roamtheplanet #sonya6000 #livewithoutlimits #bestnatureshots #adventureawaits #adventureculture #adventureunknown #enchantingvoyages #goatworthy #outdoors #mountainlife #mountains #mountain #lifeisbetteroutside #getoutstayout #ashevilletrails #trailful #wnc #hiking #hikingadventures #shareyournature #natureaddict #optoutside #gooutside #getoutthere #whatgivesyoulife #travelgram #welivetoexplore #exploretocreate
  • Lazy days don't need to be spent inside ☀️
.
We recently received our @soloeyewear sunglasses and absolutely love them! This is a stellar company that uses recycled plastic or sustainability sourced bamboo to make their sunglasses, and are also committed to restoring vision around the world through their profits. They've restored vision to 15,000+ people in need already! If you're in need of new sunglasses, I highly recommend looking at Solo Eyewear...I'm glad we did 😊
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#liveauthentic #hiking #hammock #travelgram #traveling #adventureawaits #liveoutdoors #gooutside #optoutside #couplegoals #relationshipgoals #camping #wildernessculture #exploretocreate #northcarolina #travelcouple #travelawesome #roamtheplanet #campinglife #getoutstayout #sunglasses  #travelblogger  #hikingadventures #longhairdontcare #findmeoutside #exploretheworld #hikinglife #outdoorsy #natureaddict #eno
  • We were in full leaf chasing mode this weekend, and I had all my spots planned where I wanted to go. I was pretty bummed because a road closure on the Blue Ridge Parkway on Saturday forced us to head to lower elevations where the leaves weren't as vibrant. We found an awesome campsite though, completely secluded in the woods by ourselves. We spent the day slack lining, laying in the hammock, and trying and surprisingly succeeding to light a fire with damp wood. As we packed up in the morning aiming to head back up to my original planned spots...we realized we would run out of gas 😑😑😑 Long story short, we had to head back from where we came from and to be honest, I was really upset. We came around the curve though and were greeted with these blankets of clouds over the mountains, and I instantly forgot I was ever upset at all. Sometimes, things really do turn out just fine. .
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#blueridgeparkway #blueridgemountains #exploretocreate #exploringtheglobe #hiking #mountains #liveauthentic #liveoutdoors #wildernessculture #northcarolina #wnc #travelawesome #travelgram #traveler #gooutside #travelstoke #roamtheplanet #beautifulplaces #beautifuldestinations #cloudporn #skyporn #fall #mountainlife #travelgram #traveling #explorers #optoutside #artofvisuals #ashevilletrails #asheville
  • When I first met Cazzie, it was in the middle of a crowded and hot room outside of Delhi, India. If you told me five years ago I was going to meet my future husband in India of all places, I would have most likely laughed and called you crazy. And yet here we are....chasing waterfalls, traveling across the world, and craziest of all, planning a wedding. I wish we could just gather up our closest loved ones, hike up a mountain, promise forever and toast the night away. Because what else do we really need? . .
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#wildernessculture #roamtheplanet #ExploreCarolina #exploretocreate #exploretheworld #exploretheglobe #travelawesome #travelcouple #couplegoals #Fall #hikingadventures #liveauthentic #traveladdict #natureaddict #doyoutravel #hikinglife #outdoorlife #findmeoutside #waterfall #northcarolina #nc #wnc #outdoorsy #adventureawaits #travelgram #gooutside #optoutside #getoutstayout #outside #waterfalls
  • Cazzie always used to brag about North Carolina...always telling me it was the best state with beaches, mountains, and everything in between. I never really believed him. When I thought of North Carolina, I didn't know about the parkway, or Appalachia, or horses running wild near the ocean...I didn't know about pimento cheese, or grits, or North Carolina BBQ sauce. Now I do though. And I can't say it's the best state because I haven't been to all 50, but I can say it's pretty up there. Especially in the changing season. @visitnc .
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#fall #wildernessculture #roamtheplanet #beautifulplaces #ExploreCarolina #exploretheworld #blueridgeparkway #blueridgemountains #asheville #wnc #visitnc #northcarolina #gooutside #getoutside #mountainlife #travelblogger #travelblog #travel #travelgram #traveling #beautifulworld #naturepic #enchantingvoyages #travelawesome #travelnow #doyoutravel #wanderlusting #hiking #ilovetravel #timeoutsociety
  • Foggy days spent exploring 🍂. .
•
This last weekend we spent our time in the picturesque high country town of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. We chose to hike Grandfather Mountain on Saturday, only to find the further we hiked, the more foggy and ominous the weather became. About a 1/2 mile from the top, we realized that we had hiked smack dab into the middle of a cloud. But even with the dampness, we wouldn't have spent our day any other way. .
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#hiking #hikingadventures #gooutside #sheisnotlost #mountain #mountaingirls #getoutstayout #optoutside #autumn #ncfalloffame #fallcolors #travelgram #traveling #adventureawaits #getoutside #exploretocreate #adventure #travelcouple #stayandwander #roamtheplanet #northcarolina #asheville #ashevilletrails #wildernessculture #wnc #travelblogger #travelingram #travelbug #outside #outdoorlife