Charleston SC - Shopping & Bites!
I know I promised a few of you this a couple months ago and I am SO sorry it’s late but all good things take time ; )
I recently went down to Charleston for my dear friend Bethannes birthday. She is the queen of blush pink and pretty pastels so spending her birthday in a colorful city like Charleston was essentially the perfect girls getaway!
Photos technically by me, even though she set the camera settings, told me where to stand and how to push the buttons. So basically what I’m saying is I’m a photographer now.
Quite a few people asked for recommendations on places we visited based on insta-stories so I figured it best to post them all here!
Also, for all the people who asked for Charlottesville recommendations as well, I PROMISE I didn’t forget! I’m actually heading back down again for work and will finish that post soon. SO soon!!!
Without further ado, here are some of my absolute favorite things that I got out of my recent jam-packed stay in CHS!
Places to Stay
King583 - Bluegreen Vacations
Bethanne found us a sweet 2 bedroom presidential that overlooked King Street. Equipped with a small kitchen, dining space and living space, it was outfitted quite nicely, with the amenities and decor of a nice hotel room in the size and space of a roomy 2 bedroom apartment. My favorite parts were the wall fireplaces in the living space and master bedroom, the great round glowing mirrors in the bathroom perfect for makeup application and floor length mirrors in both bedrooms. The closets were roomy and the goldenrod, cerulean blue, and rustic wood campaign furniture with gold accents made my design soul so happy! There was a working gas fireplace in the living space and a little wall unit in my room and while it’s Charleston it still does get a tiny bit chilly in the winter so it was a perfect cozy addition! Most importantly, our hotel was located smack dab on King Street and literally walking distance to some amazing shopping, breakfast and dinner spots. Speaking of which…
Cannonborough Collective - Gifts, earrings, local made!
I have a few earrings I got from Cannonborough Collective from The Tiny Tassel that I am SO in love with. The coolest thing is we actually got to meet Mimi, the person who actually makes the earrings alongside her mom who makes the cutest gingham outfits and tassel print scarves!
Mac & Murphy - Stationery
I have a problem with pretty paper. Bethanne and Cielo actually were the ones to head up the charge to Mac & Murphy and it’s filled with beautiful local to Charleston finds and some more familiar names like Rifle Paper Co it’s a quaint little shop full of all sorts of beautiful office items, stationery and things that you would want to cover your desktop and office space with!
J. Stark - Bespoke canvas bags
We strolled into J. Stark after hitting up the boba spot around the corner to feed my addiction. J. Stark is named after James Deans character in “Rebel Without a Cause” and it’s beautiful bespoke, canvas bags come in a variety of different shapes and colors. In fact while we were in the store, there were people in the back making them by hand as we shopped! A cool place to buy a gift for that cool person in your life, even if that person is you.
Ro Sham Beaux - Interior Design, home decor, housewares, unique accessories and fashion!
Ro Sham Beaux is that friend that’s always super stylish, has a gorgeous home and throws the best dinner parties. You never catch her outside the house at Target or walking her dog in anything less than the most stylish outfits and may have a secret past life as a socialite in Paris. Ro Sham Beaux is actually a home design
The Skinny Dip is in my top 10 favorite stores of all time. It’s a place that instantly catches your attention as soon as you walk in the door and draws you through every inch of every display until you’ve arrived at the fitting room with not enough arms to hold all of the perfection that is hung from each and every rack. From the perfectly in style tassel earrings, to every OOTD worthy winter coat, it’s almost like peak Pinterest before people just posted whatever the hell crappy chicken recipe they took an iphone photo of and thought was worthy of sharing with the internet. I know you would think being trapped in a grocery store, Wal-Mart or Costco would be the best place to be trapped in the event of a zombie apocalypse but when it all goes down I hope I’m locked inside The Skinny Dip so I can spend my last moments on earth surrounded by it’s beauty.
A bonus to the perfectly curated 1st level of awesomeness is the upstairs. The girls at the cash register really sold it to the point I felt I would be disappointed. Boy was I wrong. Welcoming us up the stairs was a giant mural of an octopus (which is my very strange 2nd favorite animal in the world) and at the top we were greeted by a bar/cafe where you could order a latte, glass of wine or cocktail and sit out on their beautiful rear rooftop balcony, indulge inside the white washed walls or sit in their beautifully airy, giant window, light-filled co-work space with a bright and cheery mural of rainbow row on the wall. Look, it’s not something I can describe. You’re just going to have to go there yourself or check out their online shop!
A little bit farther down King St is a sweet little boutique Jude Connally, southern through and through. They offer a variety of different dresses, tops, pants and accessories perfect for any sweet southern lady needs. I took home the Kennedy Ponte Fit & Flare Dress perfect for client meetings in a cozy, stretchy fabric and equipped with pockets.
The thing that drew us into the Preservation Society of Charleston was the beautiful display of “Brackish Bow Ties” which came about when one of the owners created turkey feather bow ties for his groomsmen as a unique gift for his wedding. Each bow tie is created with a hand selected feather so no 2 are exactly alike. Beyond the beautiful bow ties were rows of books about Charleston and South Carolina history, small goods for purchase, artwork and maps. The Preservation Society of Charleston works to preserve historic parts of Charleston so your purchase goes towards a great cause as well!
Up a narrow staircase onto a beautifully boho porch was Grit & Grace Studio, a simply chic jewelry boutique. A lot of pieces made from oyster shell including one of my new favorite adjustable bracelets. A must stop if you’re looking for a perfect birthday present or want to treat yourself!
Historic Charleston City Market
I actually didn’t have a ton of hope for the market. I figured it was just going to be a tourist trap and while I admire the bespoke nature of the classic seagrass baskets, they weren’t exactly carry-on friendly. I found a few really great gifts, a chinoiserie tea jar and a fabulous hat all for great prices plus there is a Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit there so I got my fix and a few Christmas gifts!
Spartina 449 Charleston Sapphire Boutique
I’m switching up my routine from the piles of useless fading costume jewelry and fading metallic smelling necklaces and making the adult decision to shop for more sophisticated pieces. Spartina 449 is mostly fun, beachy printed tote bags, purses and wallets but I am in love with their jewelry. They have the “Sea la vie” line which has a precious stone and is either sterling silver or gold plated chain so no more metallic, neck agitating crap metal. Each necklace is also associated with a word. I picked “Fabulous” in 18kt gold plated with a Labrodorite gem for myself. I picked up a bunch more for gifts, at less than $40-$50 (and some on sale for $30 right now!) it was a perfect, meaningful gift I matched to each persons personality or the message I wanted to send.
A wildly fun boutique where Madewell style meets fun&funky gift shop. We spent a decent amount of time laughing at all the hysterical greeting cards and I took several home for various upcoming special occasions!
Centrally located between the high end boutiques and crafty little dives, Blue Bicycle Books is host to all manner of new and used books including a wide array of Charleston specific from local authors. I’m always and forever a sucker for a bookstore and this one did not disappoint. They even had a copy of a Jeanette Winterson novel I haven’t been able to find anywhere else.
We swung into this great spot right after breakfast, filled to the brim yet carefully curated with beautiful antiques. The dog who greeted us at the door did a good job of enticing us inside to start but we stayed for all of the great pieces to peruse!
My vintage loving heart skipped a beat with the mid-century modern aesthetic as soon as I stepped in the door but the shakshuka and lattes made me fall in love. Off of King Street but highly worth the very short UBER over. Also, extremely instagrammable, including the check coming out in a vintage book about botanicals or bees that you can sign and leave your mark in. My book was Bee Season by Myla Goldberg!
Callies Hot Little Biscuit
Did you know that biscuits are my love language? Yup. That’s right. The 6th and oft forgotten love language. Callies Hot Little Biscuit is a teeny tiny hole in the wall spot where it’s better to order to go then to stay unless you’re comfortable squished against a wall or back to butt against strangers on a barstool. Either way, the getting uncomfortably close to a stranger is worth it for their bacon egg and cheese biscuit.
Butcher and Bees sister spot and seemingly more modern space serving up a mean breakfast burrito in a more fast-paced, laptop friendly environment. We sat at the chefs table and watched them hurriedly whip up breakfast food and lattes alongside bottles of their house-made hot sauce. Also has some great branding if you want to pick up a t-shirt or coffee mug!
Millers All Day
Again Charleston does not disappoint when it comes to that mid-century modern goodness! Millers had pretty typical solid diner food in a really gorgeous vintage-inspired atmosphere. Bonus, our server looked like a younger, more angsty Archies dad from Riverdale so that made the food taste a little better.
We stopped into Poogans Porch the first night in town and it was SO so good. My favorite local spot in NoVa is Field & Main and the aesthetic of Poogans Porch is like Field Mains twin that moved to the south and bought a gloriously old haunted building. The service was great, the space as beautiful and the fried chicken was so good I ate until I was in pain. It gets a little bit loud in the back room when all the tables are filled but that could also be due to my old age and curmudgeonness. Highly recommend!
Husk is that spot that, when announced you are going to Charleston, everyone insists is a must visit. This is why we went to Husk for Bethannes birthday dinner! While the atmosphere and food were great, this photo of us geeking out at rainbow row right before was my absolute favorite!
A late night stop into Taco Boy after popping open our bottles of wine at the hotel proved to be, as Martha calls it,”A very good thing.” if Uncle Julios is Homegoods, Taco Boy is the beautiful family run boutique selling handmade and found treasures from the European cities explored during summers abroad. The gorgeous hedge wall and glowing sign beckoning you for tacos is all it took. Inside, the atmosphere is cozy, dim and warm. The margaritas are sneakily strong and the taco variety is just enough to give you options without inducing analysis paralysis. It could have been the blend of the cabernet followed by the marg, but they were a few of the best tacos I’ve had.
Of all the dining experiences in Charleston, the impromptu one on our last night was my absolute favorite. After sadly packing up our stuff in anticipation of the next days flight, we debated dinner spots. We had walked by The Grocery (right next to our hotel) on my first day hunt for boba. I’m so glad we stopped in because the atmosphere was absolute perfection, the service was impeccable and the food was one of my top 10 favorite meals of all time. It’s a very unassuming spot that will surprise you with it’s delectableness!
While there are still endlessly more things to do and see in Charleston, I’m ending here because it’s already a ton! Stay tuned for another “Things to do & Late night” post soon (hopefully this time not several months after I’ve promised it!)
Also, mad props to Bethanne for finding a lot of these places and planning it out before we went. It was a perfect vacation getaway and way to celebrate her birthaday!