How To Spend 24 Hours in Charleston South Carolina
Yes, you read that right – only 24 hours?! Oh believe me, I could quite happily have spent much, much longer in this beautiful part of the USA, and next time I visit I plan on staying here at least 3 nights, in fact I’d say 3 nights in Charleston is perfect. We arrived late Sunday evening and spent the whole of Monday exploring Charleston; and I can’t believe how much we packed in! So here’s how our day looked.
Where we stayed
I visited Charleston with my fabulous friend Freddy; the girliest girl that I know, so we opted to stay at The Mills Wyndham hotel; also known as the pink hotel! On the outside it really is strikingly beautiful and the staff are incredibly friendly. Speaking truthfully though, the rooms and food / coffee etc are not that luxurious and I much preferred the interiors and look of the rooms of other hotels we stopped by at, including The Dewberry and Hotel Bennett, so I’ll be booking one of the latter two on my next visit!
The Best Coffee In Town?
Luckily, the location of our hotel was pretty wonderful and we were just a few steps away from Harken; which is a gorgeous independent cafe serving wonderful coffee (and I can confirm it really is a good coffee as I’m a serious coffee snob – fellow coffee snobs will understand when I tell you that they have a La Marzocco coffee machine, so you’re in safe hands) as well as delicious freshly made cakes and breakfast treats. On the first day I tried an Avocado and Matcha muffin, and then as we left Charleston on Tuesday morning, I took an Oat Milk Latte and one of their avocado toast dishes to go.
My dress is by Erdem, Sandals are Valentino and the bag is Lily and Bean. Below; the interiors of Harken coffee (I’m obsessed with their use of antique furniture!) and a photogenic Queen Street sign; the location of Harken.
Stumble down the side streets…
One thing I adored about Charleston when exploring by foot (we found it easy to park the car at the side of the road and mostly explored by foot) was that you stumble across beautiful and historical places just by chance. One such chance was our discovery of Philadelphia Alley; a small and unpretentious cobbled alley leading off Queen Street; it’s known to be a spot where duels may have taken place centuries ago, where opponents would take 10 steps away from each other in opposite directions, and then turn on their heels and fire their pistols at each other down the alley. No doubt many more interesting events have taken place on this historical alley over the years!
I also just loved how even when we visited; at the end of February, by 11am it was warm enough to walk around in a thin dress. The weather was so divine and it seemed that Spring had arrived in the beautiful port town, and just loved how well cared for the whole place appeared; whether it’s the flowers growing in window pots or the way everyone cared for the greenery growing over their homes, every corner, every front yard, every porch was simply stunning.
Swoon over the homes in The Battery
The Battery is a defensive seawall and promenade in Charleston, known for it’s spectacular stately antebellum homes. It stretches along the shores of the Charleston peninsula where the Ashley and Copper rivers meet. Now, you can enjoy swooning over the incredible homes here; we fell in love with this stately pink house and also the gorgeous smaller homes along the side streets. Once you’ve picked up your coffees from Harken, drive down here, park up, and walk around for an hour or so; get lost down the side streets; each and every one is just gorgeous.
We also wondered through White Point Gardens ; a historical waterfront park on the Battery area. Settlers originally called the area Oyster Point, due to the abundance of oyster shells covering the ground; now named White Point Gardens you can stroll through and enjoy the lovely pergola area (below – so pretty!) and learn about some of the history of Charleston through the plaques that line the gardens.
We didn’t want to spend too much time sitting down for a formal lunch, so we chose to pop into the Patisserie at Hotel Bennett, located at the top of King Street, for a light bite. The deserts here were extra special; so be sure to leave room for a cake or too! To burn off our indulgent lunch, we made our way back to the hotel by foot, walking down King Street which is where you’ll find lots of wonderful shops. From the luxury stores like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, to Charleston style boutiques like Love Shack Fancy and Candle Fish, there’s plenty to tempt you!
Rainbow Row & Famous Movie Spots…
You can’t be a tourist in Charleston without visiting the beautiful Rainbow Row; a row of 13 brightly coloured homes along the waterfront with an equally colourful history The Georgian homes were not always brightly coloured; in the 1700s they were owned by merchants who ran their businesses from the ground floor and lived above. After the Civil War however, the area was a little run down; until in 1931 Dorothy Legge purchases a section of homes on East Bay Street and painted them beautiful colours in a bid to liven up the street; and her neighbours soon followed suit!
Other famous spots include The American theatre; a spot you’ll recognise as one of Ally and Noahs date locations in The Notebook!
Need a pick me up?
By 4pm we were starting to flag and needed a little pick me up, and rest from all of our exploring! As you can see the fashion blogger in me got a little carried away and I must have changed outfit 4 or 5 times during this day (our car is our wardrobe!) to shoot social content with a variety of outfits!! We had made a booking on the roof top of The Dewberry hotel; it’s the largest roof terrace in Charleston and they served wonderful cocktails, delicious snacks including Veggie Tacos, the most scrumptious fries and chips and dip which we enjoyed to the maximum taking in the views of the bay, the church towers and the beautiful streets, before ordering two shots of Don Julio Tequila!
That evening, we dined at 82 Queen, where we sampled local delicacies of She Crab Soup and Maple and Pecan pie – scrumptious! We then made our way to Hotel Bennett to visit their 20s style pink bar area – Camellias – for a glass of pink champagne; very pricey- but a beautiful spot to enjoy a night cap none the less!
And darlings, that was the end of our full on day in Charleston. We loved every moment and ticked off so many iconic parts of the city in one day. Next time we’d love to take a horse drawn tour, or perhaps a Ghost tour of the historical parts of town. If you’ve been to Charleston, please add your recommendations in the comments below!