The Perfect 3 Day Weekend in Charleston, SC

pineapple fountain, charleston sc, charleston travel guide

 

 

Travel & Leisure Magazine announced Charleston, South Carolina as the number one city in the world in 2016. It’s been the leader of the U.S. and Canada for several years, but now it’s claiming the world title, and that’s a big freaking deal. Our weekend in Charleston was spontaneous, thanks to The Gentry Hotel offering a discounted rate to us. With Charleston holding the number one spot, we had high expectations. After three nights and two full days of fun, we pulled together the highlights for a weekend getaway in the charming city of Charleston.

Sleep in Charleston:

The Gentry Hotel:

This hotel (more like a condo), was a highlight for the weekend! It’s a non-traditional hotel in the heart of the French quarter, settled next to Waterfront Park. It didn’t have the typical front desk, lobby, or room keys, but that was never missed. Travelers enter the building and the assigned suite with a code onto a key pad. All information that is needed for entry is emailed prior to arrival. It’s amazing location is a top reason to stay here. We walked almost everywhere during the weekend trip, all thanks to the Gentry Hotel.

Our 2 bedroom suit featured a cozy great room with a full, updated kitchen, complete with a Keurig and coffee. A brick wall led the way to a hallway with two bedrooms, both having their own bathrooms. The beds were very comfortable, the bathrooms were stocked with travel-size toiletries, and there was enough storage space to move in for a month.

gentry hotel, charleston hotel, charleston sc, gentry 2 bedroom gentry hotel, charleston hotel, gentry 2 bedroom, charleston sc gentry hotel, charleston sc, gentry hotel bed gentry hotel, charleston sc, charleston hotel, gentry hotel bathroom

 

Explore Charleston:

Charleston Museum:

We walked to The Charleston Museum on our first rainy morning in town. We both loved the history that filled the museum, and because I hadn’t researched the city like I normally would, this was the perfect start to discover the stories that made Charleston so special. Like many kids, I have a short attention span in a quiet museum.

Rainbow Row:

This iconic, colorful row of homes is a staple in Charleston. It demands attention in the sweetest southern way. The purple home, recently listed for $2.8 million, stole my heart.

rainbow row, charleston sc, weekend in charleston rainbow row, charleston sc, weekend in charleston

rainbow row, charleston, south carolina

Waterfront Park:

Just a short walk from Rainbow Row is the prettiest park of Charleston. Stroll along the water under the shade of the old oak trees. The popular Pineapple Fountain is at Waterfront Park and offers a great photo opportunity!

waterfront park, charleston, weekend

Sullivan’s Island: 

About a 25 minute drive from Charleston is Sullivan’s Island, a sweet little beach town with million dollar homes lining the streets. I felt like I was arriving on a beach set in a Nicholas Sparks novel, and I wasn’t mad about it.

sullivans island, charleston sc, charleston beaches

Oh hey, Marc-André.

 

Sandlapper Sunset Cruise: 

Cruising the harbor in Charleston is romantic and fun, but going at sunset is the cherry on top. The evening that we went was gorgeous. We got some great photos and even saw some dolphins. Sandlapper sold beer ($4 for a Landshark, not too bad!), and had complimentary cheese and crackers.

Horse & Carriage Ride:

This is one of the best ways to see more of Charleston. Our 60 minute tour showed us spots that I’ve added to the list for our next trip to Charleston, like the gorgeous churches that call Charleston home and all the great shopping along King Street.

charleston sc, charleston weekend, charleston carriage ride

King Street:

Ok, believe it or not, we never strolled the sidewalks of King Street during our weekend in Charleston, but I highly recommend it! Whether it’s window shopping or a full-blown southern shopping spree, this is the place to be.

 

Eat & Drink in Charleston:

Bakehouse Charleston:

This was the perfect spot for a quick breakfast and coffee in the French Quarter. I recommend a caramel latte and their sausage breakfast sandwich. YUM.

167 Raw:

Ohmygosh. BEST MEAL IN CHARLESTON. We arrived a little after noon on a Friday and the host had us wait outside (but brought us rosé and a beer to sip on), because the interior of the restaurant is small. Marc says he counted 24 seats in the restaurant between the bar space and a few high top tables. We loved the vibes of this space and felt like we were truly experiencing a piece of Charleston. Neither of us had ever eaten a raw oyster and this was the place to do it. Sitting at the “bar” space, we had a young guy shucking oyster after oyster in front of us. He gave us an oyster from Prince Edward Island and just squeezed a little lemon on it. It. Was. Amazing.

The guacamole and chips were great, but next time we’d start off with the oyster sampler (now that we’re raw oyster pros and everything). Marc ordered the ahi poké and I got the grilled swordfish taco. Their fresh menu changes every day, but this was the best fish taco of my life. I should’ve ordered ten. The servers matched the way we felt about the food – awesome.

167 raw, charleston sc, charleston restaurant, charleston travel guide 167 raw, charleston sc, charleston restaurants, charleston travel guide 167 raw, charleston sc, charleston restaurants

Poe’s Tavern:

Located near the beach on Sullivan’s Island, I desperately wanted to dig into some of their fish tacos, but the hour long wait didn’t agree with my growling stomach. If you make it to Sullivan’s Island, please eat here for me.

Lagunitas Taproom:

If you love bar-hopping as much as we do, make a quick stop into Lagunitas Taproom for a beer flight.

Pearlz Raw Bar:

Less than a 60 second walk from our awesome little hotel, this eclectic restaurant served up fresh seafood and killer tasty drinks. Try the wedge salad or clam chowder for a starter.

Hank’s Seafood:

Anyone I talked to about Charleston recommended Hank’s. We had a 9:30pm reservation, and they got us in right away. The whole experience was DELICIOUS. Being the oyster pros and all, we ordered a sampler and enjoyed tasting the oysters from different regions. I decided to try the roast grouper and Marc settled on the shrimp and grits. I’m still full from this meal.

 

The Weekend Fox Tips:

  • Take time to walk your way through the city. The history, buildings, homes, and character are worth the steps.
  • Chat with the locals! We met a lot of friendly Charleston locals that gave us great suggestions for our next trip.
  • Parking for Sullivan’s Island was trickier than expected. We drove in circles through the residential streets until we finally found a spot on the side of the road. Some of their laws recently changed and you can only park on one side of the street, now.
  • Like Florida, Charleston can be hot and humid. Stay hydrated and bring bug spray!
  • I’ve heard Charleston is a great place to ride bikes around the city, but we felt it was much more walker-friendly due to the narrow, cobblestone sidewalks and steady traffic on the streets.

 

I can understand why this southern city has stolen the hearts of so many travelers. I can’t wait to go back and experience more. Have you been to Charleston? What did you love most?!

3 day weekend, charleston, sc, charleston charm, weekend travel guide, the weekend fox

Charleston, SC, Travel
Previous Post
Next Post

You Might Also Like

  • Courtney Byers

    OMG Charleston is on my must travel list. I am hoping to make it up there this year. I will pin this post, so I can refer to it.

    • Katherine

      Thank you! I heard Charleston is amazing around October, too! Hope you get there soon, and hopefully this post will help with your planning! 🙂

  • Christina

    I’ve never been to Charleston but it looks like such a cute city. Those southern cities on the east coast really do have a certain charm. I think it’s all the history you know that’s there. That’s why I love Savannah. It looks like so much fun and your photos are so pretty!

    • Katherine

      Ohhhh I LOVE Savannah so when I heard that Charleston has similar characteristics, as a city, I was so excited to go! But I do think that Savannah is one of a kind with it’s beautiful squares. I know you’ll love Charleston though! Thanks for reading!

  • Tami

    I just went to South Carolina, but we were in Columbia. I’d love to go back to SC sometime and definitely visit Charleston because it’s such a pretty state and city! Great post. 🙂

    • Katherine

      Thanks girl! Just writing this post made me want to go back to SC haha. Hope to stay longer next time!

  • Andrea

    This place is heavenly!!! I’ve always wanted to visit Charleston! And this post just inspired to be start planning the trip! What a lovely place!

    • Katherine

      Thank you! I love being able to inspire others to travel to different place. I hope when you make it to Charleston, you’ll love it just as much as I did!

  • Charleston has been on my list for YEARS– since one of my old blogging idols moved there. These photos inspire me so much. Love those pastel buildings. Can’t wait to see it for myself!

    • Katherine

      It won’t disappoint when you get there! The charm of the city is one of a kind and I was so amazed with how friendly and open all of the locals were! Can’t wait to hear about your first time there!

  • The Salty Mamas

    Definitely one of my top destinations I’ve never been to!

    • Katherine

      Agreed! I think it’s sitting in my top 5 U.S. cities right now. 🙂

  • Stephanie Wheeler Mechtel

    Charleston has been on my bucket list for a while. I think I will have to take a weekend trip in 2018!

  • thesophiadiaries

    wow, the pictures do look amazing!! And I’m totally digging how you put together a few of your fav places <3

  • I’ve vacationed in Charleston a couple of times now, and I’m IN LOVE. Like, “move there tomorrow” in love, haha.
    I agree Rainbow Row and the carriage rides are a must. I also love touring plantations while I’m there and roaming around downtown. There’s actually so much stuff to do that you could never take it all in at once. I’m a huge history buff, so Charleston is the ideal destination for me.

    Next time I’m there, I’ll have to check out some of your recommendations for restaurants…I don’t think I hit any of these places the last time I was there. Pinning this post for future reference! 🙂

    Tendril Wild Blog