Defined by its cobblestone textures, cotton candy painted houses and rich history, Charleston is the true gem of Lowcountry. Upon seeing Charleston referenced in multiple travel articles I had my heart set on visiting and this past October the perfect opportunity came up. Fortuitously, I was heading to the Sanctuary, Kiawah Island to host a golf trip early Fall which I coincidentally read was the perfect time to visit the Holy City. I invited a girlfriend to explore Charleston with me and we flew in for one weekend before I was scheduled to drive down to Kiawah Island for ‘work.’ (Tough job I know)
Generally, when I travel to a new city, I make a short list of ‘must-see’ restaurants, photo spots, experiences, bars, and adventures to ensure I maximize limited time in a new destination. Upon doing some simple online research it became clear quickly that Charleston was going to be an adventure centered around…EATING. From renowned oysters to fried green tomatoes, Charleston boasts flavors of the south that literally had us eating five meals a day. Both my girlfriend and I are super active by nature so in order to counter-balance the number of consumed calories we decided we would bike the entire city to each destination, near and far. This turned out to be the perfect plan for sightseeing and waist watching.
Charleston is best explored by bicycle as you could spend a day getting lost in the culture-rich neighborhoods full of gas lanterns, pretty painted houses and cobblestone streets all radiating with southern charm. After spending one weekend of urban discovery in the Holy City, my greatest hit notes to add to your ‘must-see’ list are recommended below.
Broad Street; art galleries
Chalmers Street; some of the oldest cobblestone
Church Street: Where you will find…churches, duh
East Bay Street; an instagrammers playground of photo opportunities
King Street; nightlife and shopping
Queen Street; some of the city’s most prestigious and delicious restaurants
Legare Street; walls and courtyards dressed with gardens and ivy
Poogan’s Porch; dinner, fried green tomatoes, southern cuisine, she crab soup
Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit; breakfast or lunch, southern biscuits, multiple locations
5Church: dinner, ambiance, set in an old church, the entire book of “The Art of War” is hand-written on the walls
Butcher and Bee; brunch, seasonal menu of local rotating ingredients, shakshuka, specialty cocktails
Sugar Bakeshop; scratch baking, local ingredients, cupcakes
Peace Pie; ice cream sandwiches with a layer of pie filling
Goat. Sheep. Cow; gourmet specialty cheese shop, grab supplies for a picnic and head to the park
167 Raw; dinner, tacos and crudos, raw bar, intimate setting, lobster rolls, po’ boys
27 State Street Bed and Breakfast; perfect location in the French Quarter, two courtyards, huge room, reasonable prices, outstanding hospitality and cleanliness, incredibly preserved 1814 residence
The Grand Bohemian Hotel; art gallery, live music, open-air, champagne specials
The Commodore; locals bar, less college kids, incredible live music, cool vibe, southern charm, cheap drinks
Holy Spokes; Official bike share of Charleston, South Carolina, download the app, reserve and go
Curls: If you have curly hair, you can leave your hair products behind, the humidity in Charleston created the best hair days EVERY day. We never touched our curling irons and indulged in the glorious natural textures from the moisture in the air.
She crab soup: This was a very common item on the southern cuisine menus and the ingredients include; Atlantic blue crab and crab roe bisque mixed with sherry.
This is a handsome life.