Happy 2015! A new year means change, and for CoriannaGoesXC, this nouveau touch will come in the form of a city guide. Of course, it is only appropriate to start with the first city I fell truly, madly and deeply in love with – Charleston. There were obviously other loves, namely Paris, but, Charleston was the first love that was my own. Like all loves, it started as a crush, as I admired her from afar. Then I visited, and voila! I was hooked. I lived there for four glorious years and have firm plans of returning one day.
So whether you’re just driving through or are spending your honeymoon in Charleston, below are some places where I find myself when in Charleston. Be sure to click the “Charleston” tab on the side bar for further recommendations.
If there is one meal that is quintessentially Charleston, it is brunch. Brunch was made for Charleston. There is something about the smell of the salty air in the morning that says Shrimp n’ Grits.
Hominy Grill | It’s the classic CHS restaurant. Get here early (there will be a line), but be sure to get drinks while you wait on the porch. (I recommend the Planter’s Punch) You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu here, but they are known for the Charleston Nasty (formerly known as the Big Nasty), a piece of fried chicken sandwiched between a southern biscuit and smothered in gravy.
Fat Hen | Located off the peninsula, you won’t regret a drive that transports you to the set of Gone with the Wind. Chef Neuville nods his hat to the French Hugenots that settled the area with a French-fusion menu.
Old Village Post House | An old post house sets the stage for this brunch location. OVPH boasts the classics – omelettes, French toast, oh, and of course fried green tomatoes. If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by Pitt Street Pharmacy for an old fashioned milkshake.
Lunch & Dinner
When in Charleston, eat seafood. After all, it wouldn’t be a real trip to the Holy City without oysters.
Fleet Landing | Can’t beat the location. Fleet Landing is the one of the only restaurants located on the water, therefore practically guaranteeing some sunset dolphin views, if you sit on the patio. You can’t go wrong with the seafood here.
Obstinate Daughter | My favorite restaurant happens to be on Sullivan’s Island. Everything is delicious. If octopus is on the menu, I dare your to order it, followed by an affogato for dessert.
The Ordinary | This restaurant is touted as the hottest in Charleston, and the hype is legit. Whether you’re ordering their Hawaiian rolls or lobster roll, you won’t be disappointed.
Rarebit | If Moscow Mules, alt music, and good conversation are your thing – you must go here.
The Belmont | Hands down, my favorite 5 o’clock somewhere spot. I dream about bartender/owner Mickey’s Cielo. Juices are hand pressed (with pulp <3) and bitters are homemade. Oh, and film noir projects above you in the candlelit room. Talk about a date night.
Black Tap | But first, coffee. Nothing better than this coffee shop & the almond latte’s that come out of here. Take a window seat for your new favorite Sunday morning spot.
Bin 152 | Wanna feel like you’re in France? Easy. Just stop by this rustic wine bar for a bottle of your favorite French wine and a board of cheese.
Prohibition | My go to spot. Located a block from my old apartment, you can’t go wrong with the happy hour special here. $4 well drinks, wine and bubbles. Located on King Street, comes with a side of great people watching.
Charleston Farmers Market | The Farmers Market is everything good about this city tucked into one quaint park on seasonal Saturday mornings. Tasty food vendors, artisan craftsmen, lowcountry farmers and artists alike bring out the best of the best to share with locals and visitors.
Charleston City Market | If you’re visiting Charleston, you can’t miss this novelty. Read further here for a post I wrote for the Charleston Place Hotel (which btw, is a magnificent place to stay while visiting) Pick up a carriage ride here, my favorite way to see the city. Not only do you learn something different from each guide, but you get to see the city at a slower, more leisurely pace.
Beaches | There are three defined beaches in Charleston. They each have their own flavor.
Sullivan’s Island – my absolute favorite beach in Charleston. Walk to the beach through grassy backyards and houses that make you feel like you’re in the Hamptons, to a beach where you will normally end up bumping into a few friends.
Folly Beach – The “college” beach. Come here if you’re looking for a good time, especially around the 4th of July.
Isle of Palms – A bit more residential, this beach is a vacationer’s paradise.
King Street | Shop along King Street for your favorite retail stores, but also for some one-of-a-kind boutiques and antique shops. The second Sunday of every month, “Second Sunday” is where all vendors bring their shops to the street! The street becomes pedestrian-friendly while you casually stroll to your favorite shops.
The Battery | And lastly, my absolute favorite thing to do in Charleston – walk. Charleston is one of the most walkable cities, and there is always something amazing that will catch your eye; it could be a fountain in a hidden garden or a Carolopolis award denoting the historical importance of an antebellum mansion. See here for a blog post I wrote for Charleston Place.
#ForTheInsta: The most photographed area in Charleston? It’s a toss up between picturesque rainbow row and the pineapple fountain, but my pick is below for obvious reasons #ProudAlumni
You can’t go wrong in Charleston. I could go on for days about all parts of this city that made me fall in love, but I will leave some work up to your own heart.