Charleston is a recent a hot spot for both bachelorette party weekends and weddings. This year my sister got married to her boyfriend of 11 years in June. It was her dream to have her bachelorette party in Charleston to stand in line with her country and barn style wedding. Therefore, in April we took a long weekend trip down south with her close friends to celebrate her upcoming nuptials. This exciting and beautiful town offered us the perfect setting to enjoy high quality food, drinks, and culture. It was the epitome of southern hospitality and charm and was the ideal setting for a girl’s weekend.
We rented an adorable apartment near the center of town for the group of six of us. For a bachelorette party, it was a great option versus a hotel. With access to a spacious living room, dining room, and kitchen, we were able to have room for the whole group to hang out, drink champagne, eat some snacks, and relax before heading out on the town. We were also able to liven up the space with cute wedding related decorations and favors to make the weekend even more special for the bride. As well, we had a porch which was a great way to feel like a part of the city. It seems that almost every house has a porch and that people really use them often. Every time we went out into town, the environment was so cozy and friendly. People were constantly just hanging out on their porches enjoying a drink, reading a book, or talking with friends. It was such an inviting and homey atmosphere.
On our first day, we took time to make sure we really got out into the city to wander and get to know it better. After fueling up at the Hominy Grill for some real southern brunch food like grits, biscuits and gravy, fried chicken, and omelettes with shrimp gravy. It was the perfect feast to power us through a day full of self-guided walking tours and celebrations at night. We wandered down to the city market and looked at all the handmade crafts and trinkets. From there we meandered down through Waterfront Park, which is a beautiful park full of fountains, greenery, and the energy of people enjoying the day. We made our way to The Battery, a street filled with massive mansions of all shapes and colors along the waterfront. It truly is wondrous to behold such magnificent architecture and views. Following The Battery lead us to White Point Garden which is another beautiful park that offers walking paths and rows of the iconic southern oak trees. The branches weave in all different directions with strong trunks that speak to their long lives. The oak tree is almost a metaphor for the city that has old, historic roots with extreme beauty and uniqueness.
Throughout our walks of the city, it is clear why Charleston is known as the "Holy City." Around almost every corner a new church can be discovered. The majestic steeples and spires can be seen throughout the entire landscape. Churches are basically the skyscrapers of Charleston. In addition to the churches, Charleston seems to have an abundance of alluring alleyways. They are not sketchy in any way and actually add to the charm of the town rather than take away. Each alleyway I noticed was distinct and filled with very well thought-out designs. Some had cute lights, small trees, benches, statues, or even full blown gardens. It's amazing how easy it was to stumble upon gems in that town. For instance, we had heard of Rainbow Row, a street lined with houses of varying bright colors, but hadn't looked up where it was. By chance, we happened to get a bit lost and came right upon it. We looked up and low and behold we were blinded by the colors of the rainbow. It was genuinely surprising and magical.
Besides the city itself, Charleston's food scene stood out very strongly to me. Each restaurant and shop we visited had its own unique spin and specialty. It was truly a new experience and vibe at every place with high quality food. One of our first stops for dinner was seafood at Hank's and it did not disappoint. It had a large space for seating and the service was extremely friendly and accommodating. Plus, the food was impeccable and the seafood cooked to perfection. This set the standard for the rest of the trip and nothing disappointed us at all. We had BBQ at Smoke BBQ, true southern comfort food at Poogan's Porch, interesting sandwiches at Brown Dog Deli, other worldly breakfast biscuit sandwiches at Callie's Hot Little Biscuit, and mind blowing lobster rolls at The Immortal Lobster food truck. Our favorite place was definitely Husk Restaurant which serves up southern food with modern twists. We tried everything we could like fried chicken skins, oysters, fried pig ears, catfish, duck, and so much more. As well, they were amazing with service. My other sister was unable to attend the weekend trip but had secretly called up the restaurant to place an order for a bottle of champagne as a surprise for us. I thought it was really thoughtful for both the restaurant to oblige such a request. Judging by the success of every place we tried, it's safe to say Charleston is a foodie's dream city.
One of my favorite things we did was visit the Boone Hall Plantation. It was a true southern experience and a beautiful plot of land. The Avenue of the Oaks leads up to the plantation house and surely is the best sort of entryway I've ever seen. It was also a great learning experience to hear more about their past with slavery and their future now. It was interesting to see what crops they still make and how the process has shifted through time. It was an illuminating day trip that just so happened to be a breathtaking scenic spot. After taking the historic tours of the building and land, we wandered on our own and found a pier leading out into Horlbeck Creek. We sat at watched the flying fish leap across the water and took in the sunlight as it glistened on the creek.
Charleston was an exciting, sophisticated trip that also offered the perfect relaxed environment necessary for a person soon to be married. With tons of food and culture to experience, it was basically impossible to be bored in the city. With so many restaurants, stores, sights, and bars to choose from, a thoroughly entertaining, exciting, and tasty vacation awaits any person that visits. If a slow down to a normally fast paced life is needed, Charleston is surely the answer.